Honeycrisp in New York

Honeycrisp is susceptible to fireblight during establishment years (Rosenberger, 2003). It is also susceptible to sunburn and heat injury (Rosenberger, 2008). Growers may consider using overhead cooling to protect crops during August heat waves.

Use NAA at 5 ppm or 2.5 ppm NAA plus 1 pint of Sevin XLR per 100 gal to thin fruit at 10-12 mm (0.4-0.48 inch) growth stage (Schupp, 2003). However, may not get adequate return bloom with thinning at this stage. For stronger thinning, use 5 ppm NAA plus 1 pint Sevin XLR per 100 gal.

Cropload affects fruit size, return bloom, leaf chlorosis, fruit soluble solids content, fruit color, and fruit storage quality (Robinson and Watkins, 2003). For fruit between 200-250 g (7-8.75 oz), aim for a cropload of less than 5 fruits per cm2 trunk cross-sectional area.

As cropload increases, the following will decrease:

  • return bloom
  • leaf chlorosis
  • fruit soluble solids content
  • fruit redness
  • fruit firmness
  • bitter pit levels
  • senescent breakdown
  • rot
  • superficial scald

In addition, as crop load increases, so does soggy breakdown.

Honeycrisp is susceptible to black and white rots (Rosenberger, 2003). Apply fungicides (Topsin, captan, strobilurins) after petal fall and in late summer.

Apply CaCl2 throughout growing season to reduce bitter pit incidence (Rosenberger et al., 2003). Use at least 6 applications of at least 3 lbs per acre (3.4 kg per ha) of elemental calcium sprayed to drip with 100 gal per acre (Rosenberger et al., 2004).


Early harvest causes an increase in bitter pit and fruit firmness (Robinson and Watkins, 2003). Late harvest causes an increase in rot, soggy breakdown, soft scald.

For Lake Champlain region, ideal harvest would start 2nd or 3rd week of September (Watkins et al., 2003). Fruit should have starch index of less than 6 on the Cornell scale for long-term storage.

For western NY, optimum harvest period is 2nd-4th week of September (Wargo and Watkins, 2003 and 2004). Maturity can fluctuate from year to year. Spot pick fruit 3-4 times during harvest window, when starch index is 7 on the Cornell scale, with a minimum firmness of 13.5 lbs and 13% soluble solids content. Skin cracking can be a problem in late harvested fruit, so if rain is predicted, harvest before rain starts falling. Preharvest fruit drop is not a major problem.


Use delayed cooling of 10-20 °C (50-68 °F) for 1 week prior to long-term storage at 3.5 °C (38 °F). However, this may increase levels of bitter pit (Watkins et al., 2004), senescent breakdown, and rot (Robinson and Watkins, 2003). Warmer storage temperatures will decrease incidence of soggy breakdown, soft scald, and superficial scald. CA storage is not yet recommended for NY-grown Honeycrisp.

Honeycrisp is susceptible to Penicillium blue mold (Rosenberger, 2003). Sanitize bins, packing areas, and storage rooms, and keep fruit away from bins and areas contaminated with blue mold


  • Chen, L., Cheng, L. 2004. CO2 assimilation, carbohydrate metabolism, xanthophyll cycle, and the antioxidant system of 'Honeycrisp' apple leaves with zonal chlorosis. J Amer Soc Hort Sci. 129:729-737.
  • Robinson, T., Watkins, C. 2003. Cropload of Honeycrisp apple affects not only fruit size but many quality attributes. NY Fruit Quarterly 11.
  • Rosenberger, D. 2003. Managing diseases and arthropod pests on Honeycrisp. N.Y. Fruit Quarterly 11(3):13-15. http://www.nyshs.org/fq/03fall/NYFQFall2003.pdf
  • Rosenberger, D.A. 2006. Early August heat affects Honeycrisp fruit. Scaffolds Fruit Journal 15(24):3-4. http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ent/scaffolds/2006/060828.html#disease
  • Rosenberger, D., J. Schupp, C. Watkins, K Iungerman, S. Hoying, D. Straub, and L. Cheng. 2001. Honeycrisp: promising profit maker or just another problem child? NY Fruit Quarterly 9(3):9-13. http://www.nyshs.org/fq/fall01/FQfall2001.pdf
  • Rosenberger, D., Schupp, J., Hoying, S., Cheng, L., and Watkins, D. 2003. Managing bitter pit in Honeycrisp. N.Y. Fruit Quarterly 11(3):17-21. http://www.nyshs.org/fq/03fall/NYFQFall2003.pdf
  • Rosenberger, D., Schupp, J., Hoying, S., Cheng, L., and Watkins, C. 2004. Controlling Bitter Pit in 'Honeycrisp' Apples. HortTechnology. 14(3):342-9. zhc-bitter-pit-ca-sprays-horttech.pdf
  • Rosenberger, D. 2003. Susceptibility of new apple cultivars to common apple diseases. N.Y. Fruit Quarterly 11(2):17-22. hc-disease-suscep-nyfq-03.pdf
  • Rosenberger, D. 2004. Fruit decay problems in Honeycrisp. Proc. New Engl. Fruit and Veg. Conf. Manchester, NH. Dec. 15-16. hc-summer-decays-extn-article.pdf
  • Schupp, J., Fallahi, E., Chun, I. 2002. Effect of particle film on fruit sunburn, maturity and quality of 'Fji' and 'Honeycrisp' apples. XXVI Intern Hort Congress. Wargo, J., Watkins, C. 2004. Maturity and storage quality of 'Honeycrisp' apples. HortTechnology. 14:496-499.
  • Watkins, C., Nock, J., Weis, S., Jayanty, S., Beaudry, R. 2004. Storage temperature, diphenylamine, and prestorage delay effects on soft scald, soggy breakdown and bitter pit of 'Honeycrisp' apples. Postharvest Biol Tech. 32:213-221.
  • Watkins, C., Erkan, M., Nock, J., Beaudry, R., Moran, R. 2005. Harvest date effects on maturity, quality, and storage disorders of 'Honeycrisp' apples. HortScience. 40:164-169.
  • Watkins, C.B. and Nock, J.F. 2012. Controlled atmosphere storage of 'Honeycrisp' apples. HortScience 47:886-892.