Honey crisp apple tree

Asked March 4, 2016, 7:17 PM EST

Have had it at least 5 yrs. Never grown at all. About 15 ft from large crab tree. Must too close and too much shade . Can it be hand dug up and if so when is the best time. Still looks very , just not growing. North centeral mn.

Becker County Minnesota

1 Response

Your message is somewhat splintered - in other words some of your sentences seem to have been cut off. I hope that whatever information we give you fits the questions you have had.

Honeycrisp apples usually take at least 5 years to produce apples. On the other hand, they do best in full sun and if this plant is being shaded by a larger tree it will take much longer - if ever - for it to bloom and produce apples.

If you want to relocate this plant, and it's been growing in place for five years, you must be prepared to dig a lot.
Most tree roots go out horizontally from the tree not vertically as we were told in grade school! The tree should also be pruned as a part of the transplantation process because, as hard as you try, many roots will be damaged and lost in the removal process.

Dig the tree by hand, making a trench around the outside edge of the canopy and digging down 15 to 24 inches to allow for the major roots. Use a sharp spade to cut minor roots cleanly. Wrap the root ball in damp burlap or other material until you can plant the tree.

Ideally you will have been able to prepare the new planting site right before you dig out the tree, and you won't have to worry about wrapping the root ball.. This will minimize the transplantation shock that always happens with new plantings. Watering is very important at this stage.

Here are some good links that will suggest the best way, and time to relocate this tree:


I hope this is helpful. Please contact AaE again if you have further questions.