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Woody > Malus > Malus pumila > Malus pumila 'MN #1711'

Malus pumila

'MN #1711'

Honeycrisp Dwarf Apple Tree

Origin:  The original seedling was grown by the University of Minnesota’s apple breeding program located within their Horticultural Research Centre in Excelsior, Minnesota, United States of America.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


The common name of this apple aptly includes the word Dwarf. A Honeycrisp Dwarf Apple Tree is overall quite stout in appearance with the canopy being as large as the tree is small. You won’t find many orchards that refer to this tree as tall, just as you wouldn’t find a Dwarf that refers to him/herself as being vertically gifted. An apple orchard field containing 64 rows by 8 columns was used for the field research sample. This sample of approximately 500 trees had little to no outliers in height or width. With only a few exceptions due to individual plant health, the orchard progressed through the Ontario autumn and endured the first half dozen frost events without losing many leaves. A fascinating bendiness to the overall look exists, as the near 90° angle, the lateral branches make the plants look like they’re contorting to fit into dwarf armour. The University of Minnesota propagated the plant, and they readily admit that ornamental features are considered secondary to the fruit. (University of Minnesota UFOR Nurery & Lab. (n.d) para. 5) The fruit is delicious and regularly chosen as being one of the top contenders for American taste buds. The sweet, crispy apple might not do so well in New Zealand (Home of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dwarves) though since the Kiwi tastebud profile is considerably less tolerant to American style sweetness. - James Oatway

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


'MN #1711'
Tree (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 - 7
Canadian Hardiness Zone
3 - 8
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
2 - 5 m
2 - 5 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Honeycrisp Apple is a scion cultivar. Scion wood is grafted onto a dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstock by aligning the vascular tissues between both distinct parts. As a result, the tree will always have a bulging portion at approximately 5-15 cm above the soil. Height reaches 2-5 m with similar spreading width. Branches come off the trunk or previous laterals at near 90°, creating a contortionist like look. Leaves and fruit spurs are in alternating arrangement, with anthocyanin pigments causing a red-purple colour along the petiole, veins, apex, and margins of the shoot tip leaves. (Inspection Canada. 21 October 2021 Para. 3) Leaves are spinach green with glossy top and pubescent bottoms. (US Patent and Trademark Office. 20th March 1990 Leaf Description Para. 1) Leaves are late to drop. Before dropping, leaves in autumn take on a copper-coloured appearance. (Inspection Canada. 21 October 2021)
Planted in orchards for commercial food production use, this apple tree is one of the more expensive apple cultivars to grow because maintenance has been estimated to cost two to three times as much as other popular cultivars. (Mosquin, D. (12th October 2018) Para 4). A member of the Rosaceae family, they have stunning mid-spring flowers and can be grown in a showy area of a curated garden to demonstrate another variety of fruiting rose trees. Because they are not self pollinating, they must be planted within range of another apple tree. The suggested range is upwards of 100 feet and can include crab apples. (Hoover, E. Tepe, E. Klodd A. Schuh, M. Foulk, D. (2021))
This tree requires full sun exposure. This helps to dry the morning dew from the leaves and helps reduce fungi, bacteria, and disease. ((n.d). This Old House Reviews Team.) “Honeycrisp” was bred for cold USDA Zone 4-7. Though orchards and publications and enthusiasts note that it grows best in USDA Zone 3-4. ((n.d). This Old House Reviews Team.) Canadian Nurseries note that it is cold hardy to Canadian Zone 3. ((n.d). Corn Hill Nursery Ltd.) Should be grown in well drained soil. Sandy loam, with limited clay content. pH levels should be slightly acidic and between 6.0 and 7.0. ((n.d). This Old House Reviews Team.)
Dwarfing, with spread being roughly equal to height of the plant. Growth is branching at 90° from the trunk and laterals. The trees produce fruit early into maturity and therefore require support during its first few years of fruiting. Once a plant can support itself, orchards often continue to trim and maintain the tree. Maintenance by removing some flowers and flower buds can result in better fruit yields, as when the plant produces too much fruit the resulting fruit can be small and stunted. (Hoover, E. Tepe, E. Klodd A. Schuh, M. Foulk, D. (2021) Paragraph bullet points titled “Care through the seasons”)
ID Characteristic
Plant will have a bulge above the ground at 5-15 cm that resulted from the successful grafting of scion to rootstock. Plant will take on dwarf appearance with spread being roughly equal to the height of the tree. Branches at 90° create unique bends that require support structures while the plant is still young. Mid-spring flowering and mid-autumn fruit harvesting, this is an apple cultivar that has won the hearts of apple lovers around the world. Striping and vibrant red over a yellow base, the fruit stores well, is a combination of sweet, tart, firm, and has a uniquely crunchy texture that is owed to its cells being twice as large as most other apple cultivars. (12th October 2018. D. Mosquin)
This apple tree does not have any known exceptional resistances to either insects or disease. Orchards are expected to adjust their spraying programs if needed to help fix bitter pit, and fungal symptoms. Apple scab, flyspeck, scooty blotch, powdery mildew, fire blight, bitter pit and wildlife may all be issues with this cultivar.
Horticultural origin.
Bark/Stem Description
Stem has the distinctive bulge from a scion/rootstock graft at approximately 5-15 cm above soil. Mature bark is smooth but scaly, bronze coloured with distinct and prominent lenticels (US Patent and Trademark Office. (20th March 1990) Sub-heading: Tree Description) Shoots within the same grow season (one year) are observed to have moderately fuzzy pubescence on the upper half. This can be lightly rubbed, exposing a moderately shiny reddish-brown bark. They are weakly to moderately flexible and have small lenticels. (n.a. Inspections Canada. (21st October 2021))
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Leaf buds are ovoid with, visible to the naked eye, approximately 3 leaf scales. Ranging in size, what is visible measures at 1-3 mm. They grow in alternating arrangement up the main stem, and along the lateral growth stems. They also accompany the flower bud in a cluster around the base of the flower bud in groups of approximately 4-5 leaves. They are glossy and have a burgundy-brown colour. They grow along the stem/branch as well as along new lateral growth. Flower buds are larger, being approximately 3-5 mm and grow in an alternating arrangement. The flower buds grow on spurs which jut out from the stem at nearly 90°. Taking on a glossy shine, they also have a burgundy-brown colour. Appearing in a ringed arrangement around the flower bud appears to be additional scaling which indicates leaves surround the flower in clusters of 4-5 leaves. Once spring brings the plant out of its dormant state, the buds grow to a dark pink balloon with a pedicel that is green. (Inspections Canada. 21st October 2021)
Leaf Description
The growing tip of the shoot, the meristematic growth region, is white-green. Shoot tip leaves are concave, glossy and have no pubescence on the upper side. The lower side is bronze-green, with anthocyanin influencing the veins, petiole and the apex and margins of the shoot tip leaves. (Inspections Canada. 21st October 2021) Leaves that have matured protrude outward from the branches in an alternate arrangement. Taking on a strongly glossy top with a spinach green colour and moderately pubescent underside adding a fuzzy whiteness. The colour influence throughout the petiole, veins and upper sides of the blades is still strong and causes some red-purple colouration. All leaves have a shallow serration around the margins, cuspidated apex, and have an ovate appearance. Leaves are late to fall from the tree, with numerous leaves remaining attached after the first half-dozen frost events with numerous high-wind storms.
Flower Description
The flower buds from the previous year measure approximately 3-5 mm. Upon spring, these buds burst open in mid spring. Ranging from early May to late May depending on the zone and environmental conditions of that growing season. These buds turn from a dark pink balloon to a naples yellow when fully opened (US Patent and Trademark Office. (20th October 1990). Subtitle: Flower colour) Flower has an inferior ovary. The underside of the petals is creamy white with some pale pink with a grouping of yellow stamen. The flower petals are broad elliptic in shape and overlap each other. (Inspections Canada. (21st October 2021))
Fruit Description
A large, symmetric pome with a slightly irregular oblate cross section. (US Patent and Trademark Office (20th March 1990) subtitle: Fruit). Mean Diameter of fruit: 92.02 mm. std deviation: 5.04 mm. (Inspections Canada. (21st October 2021)) The eye of the distal end is small to medium, and the orifice is partly closed. The blossom’s sepals persist as the calyx even when the fruit is mature. Honeycrisp fruit have a long stem (3 cm) (US Patent and Trademark Office. 20th March 1990). The skin is medium in thickness and yellow to yellow-green during growth. Once matured, there is a moderately high amount of red colouring that gives the apple a red and yellow spotted appearance with streaks of yellow coming through the red exterior. There are visible lenticels on the fruit, quite prominent, with a yellowish-white appearance and possibly russet (Inspections Canada. 21st October 2021). The fruit flesh colour is blotched scarlet over lemon yellow background colour. Seeds are pointed in an acuminate appearance (US Patent and Trademark Office. 20th March 1990). The fruit has a high sugar content at 13.8% sugar in the juice (Inspections Canada. 21st October 2021)
Colour Description
Mature bark, older than one season, takes on a bronze appearance (US Patent and Trademark Office. 20th March 1990)). New growth bark appears reddish-brown with a soft pubescent fuzzy white layer. The reddish colour comes through into the buds, petioles, leaves and veins as the colour of these features are influenced by anthocyanin pigments in the tree. Leaves have a spinach green and glossy top, with a fuzzy pubescent bottom that adds a whiteness. In late summer and into autumn the leaves take on a copper like yellowing appearance mottled in with the green. Adding a golden yellow to the appearance of the tree in an unattractive manner. The flower bud emerges from its pink balloon to display a 5-petal flower with a white top, pink underside, and yellow stamen. As the flower grows the fruit emerges as small and green and changes to yellow as it matures. The final mature fruit is a yellow-green with a red overcoat with a spotted appearance. (Inspections Canada. (21st October 2021))
Texture Description
The trunk of the tree has soft bark with some scaling that can add patches of roughness to the bark. With obvious roughness as you come out of the ground and approach the tree’s grafting scar. The scaling lessens the further out in growth you follow. As you approach the most recent growth that has occurred only within the last 3 years you have a moderately smooth branch with only the leaf scars and lenticels adding any texture. The lenticels add a braille-like very light bumpiness to the branches. Every leaf underside has pubescent fuzz which gives it a very silky touch, in contrast to the glossy wax like top of the leaf.
Notable Specimens
This is one of North America’s most popular apples, having earned one of the top 25 innovations in over a decade as per the 2006 Better World Report. This apple is growing in orchards across Canada and the United States of America. An easy tip on how a member of the public could see this plant would be to visit their local Farmers Market and engage in conversation with an Apple Orchard grower.
This tree is best grown on a dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstock. For the scion we cut a health piece from the youngest dormant section of the tree. Consider the top or outermost part of the tree limbs where most recent growth has occurred. The scion is to be cut when the tree is actively dormant. So, if possible, during the height of winter. February or March in the Northern Hemisphere. Once cut, trim to whip lengths of 30–45 cm. Store with a damp towel or moss inside a bag to maintain moisture and seal, and place in the refrigerator until ready to graft and plant. This should be done in early spring when ready to put into a nursery, or if planting into the ground only once the ground is ready to be worked. Cut the scion in a single stroke on a wide angled diagonal to allow for maximum vascular tissue to be exposed. Make another cut, coming vertically starting from the middle of the stem and cutting in a downward direction to the depth that brings you in-line with the start of the first cut. Cut the rootstock in a long diagonal to expose the same amount of vascular tissue. Cut another vertical angled cut. Once the graft is complete it is recommended to seal it with tape or wrap tightly with a moisture locking plastic seal. When planting, it is recommended that the scion be 6 cm above the ground to ensure it does not take root.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
This cultivar was developed for the American taste. This tree was described by the patent holder, “University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center”, as being of excellent quality of dessert, or for fresh consumption. (US Patent and Trademark Office. 20th March 1990) Around the world, apples have always been eaten either fresh or in cooked dishes. Fruit trees, and of course apples fall into that category, have provided cultures with delicious food for thousands of years.
n.a. (n.d). Honeycrisp Apple. University of Minnesota UFOR Nursery & Lab. Retrieved from n.a. (n.d). Honeycrisp. University of Minnesota - Minnesota Hardy. Retrieved from