Honeycrisp in Nova Scotia


As crop density decreases, fruit size and color improves (Wright et al., 2006). Use detailed spur pruning, blossom thinning, and fruit thinning to obtain optimal crop levels. (Embree and Nichols, 2005). Trees with less than 6 fruit per cm2 trunk cross-sectional area tend to have earlier harvest dates. Growers may prefer later harvests to get better fruit color, but this can lead to increases in storage disorders. Avoid excessive nitrogen regardless of tree vigor (Nichols et al., 2008).

Maturity Indices

Harvest when background color changes from green to cream. Harvest window is generally September 25 - October 10 (Nichols et al., 2008). Clip fruit peduncles to avoid fruit punctures during harvest and grading.

Postharvest Disorders

Internal (soggy) breakdown, soft scald, Jonathan spot, and off-flavors have been observed in Nova Scotia-grown fruit. Bitter pit is generally not a problem (DeLong et al., 2004). Use delayed cooling, placing fruit at 50-68 °F (10-20 °C) for 4-7 days, < 50% RH, prior to long-term storage at 37-41 °F (3-5 °C). To reduce fruit decay and greasiness, and maintain flavor and juiciness, store fruit under 2.5 kPa O2, 1-1.5 kPa CO2 at 37 °F (3 °C; DeLong et al., 2006).


  • Prange R, J DeLong, D Nichols, and P Harrison. 2011. Effect of fruit maturity on the incidence of bitter pit, senescent breakdown, and other post-harvest disorders in Honeycrisp™ apple. J. Hort. Sci. Biotech. 86:245-248.
  • DeLong, JM, RK Prange, WC Schotsmans, DS Nichols, and PA Harrison. 2009. Determination of the optimal pre-storage delayed cooling regime to control disorders and maintain quality in ‘Honeycrisp’ apples. J. Hort. Sci. Biotech. 84:410-414.
  • Nichols, D, J Hebb, P Harrison, R Prange, and J DeLong. 2008. 'Honeycrisp': Harvest, conditioning and storage. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Technical Bulletin. AAFC No. 10541E. nichols-et-al-honeycrisp-harvest-and-storage-bulletin-2008.pdf
  • DeLong, JM, RK Prange, PA Harrison, CG Embree, DS Nichols, and AH Wright. 2006. The influence of cropload, delayed cooling and storage atmosphere on post-storage quality of 'Honeycrisp' apples. J Hort Sci Biotech. 81:391-396. jhsbhcdelongetalmay2006.pdf
  • Wright, AH, CG Embree, DS Nichols, RK Prange, PA Harrison, and JM DeLong. 2006. Fruit mass, colour, and yield of 'Honeycrisp' apples are influenced by manually-adjusted fruit population and tree form.  J Hort Sci Biotech. 81:397-401.
  • Embree, C. and D Nichols. 2005. Bio-regulators improve fruit size and colour and reduce crop-load and annual bearing of Honeycrisp apples. Canadian J Plant Sci. 85:453-455.
  • DeLong, JM, RK Prange, and PA Harrison. 2004. The influence of delayed cooling on quality and disorder incidence in 'Honeycrisp' apple fruit. Postharv Bio Tech 34:353-358.
  • Nichols, D, R Prange, C Embree, J DeLong, P Harrison, and H Wright. 2004. 'Honeycrisp' apples grown in Nova Scotia. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Technical Report: 04-02. hc-handout-april-28-2004.pdf