Honeycrisp issues

Asked August 25, 2015, 8:54 PM EDT

What is wrong with our honeycrisp tree and is there anything I can do about it? I have looked at pics on the University of Minnesota website and cannot figure this out. We have a pear tree doing great just about 20 feet from this one.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

This appears to be the result of early insect feeding, most likely Japanese beetles. Japanese beetles feed on leaf tissue, skeletonizing leaves and leaving behind somewhat lacy-looking leaves. Apple trees, grapes, roses and other fruits and ornamental plants can be affected by their feeding. Fortunately, they only feed a short time - about 4 weeks - and they are now gone. The brown (dead) leaf tissue is the result of this feeding as well. While pesticides and traps are available on the market, they can be ineffective and can negatively affect beneficial insects like pollinators. So we recommend homeowners hand-picking the bugs from the plants and dropping them in soapy water. For larger plants, you can blast the foliage with a spray of water and knock the bugs off the leaves temporarily as well. Here is a publication on Japanese beetles: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/japanese-beetles/

Honeycrisp also have a condition called Honeycrisp Leaf Mottle Disorder. Leaves affected look have a mottled yellow-green appearance. This is a physiological issue with the Honeycrisp cultivar and its cause is unknown. However, it does not affect the fruit or the productivity of the tree.

Taking proper care of apple trees is important. This includes pruning, mulching, watering, and managing insects. Here are publications on growing apples in your home landscape that will be helpful. Also be sure to read the publication on apple pest management.