Can you diagnose why one of my honeycrisp apple trees is showing leaf...

Asked July 8, 2020, 3:20 PM EDT

Can you diagnose why one of my honeycrisp apple trees is showing leaf yellowing? Actually it looks like a very pale green. I could not find such symptoms with my little internet search. My other few trees do not show this, including another honeycrisp that is only 40 feet away, nor my Golden delicious or northern spy. I first noticed this in early to mid June. And just last week I see that the vein region on some leaves are turning very dark. I've never had this in all my 35 years of having apple trees. Both honey crisp trees bore very heavy last year. Pictures do not show the yellow color as strongly as it truly is. Thank you for any help you can give me, Stephen Vossberg

Summit County Ohio

5 Responses

Hi -

This is a difficult one. Thus, I sought an answer from our state pomologist. Here is what she says:

This is an odd thing that Honeycrisp does. It’s not nutritional. Honeycrisp is really poor at translocating sugars out of the leaves. The transport system gets plugged up, backed up and overloaded with sugars. The damage shows up as leaf chlorosis (splotchy yellowing) and then it can affect the veins (as shown here). I would guess these trees have little or no fruit on them. When there is fruit the transport system seems to work a little better as the fruit have a draw for the sugar. No one has figured out a solution, and basically it is not a big deal – just unsightly and worrying. There is nothing to apply that will solve the problem. The trees will be fine. More fruit on them next year will help them look better.

So, no worries!

Thanks for all the help, to both of you.
You are correct in that there is little fruit on the tree this year, no doubt due to the very heavy crop last year.
And of course I'm happy to hear that it is likely to be temporary, and that I need do nothing about it. Thank you, you people are a wealth of helpful knowledge.


Glad to help. Do you have an orchard? Or, just trees for you?

Only 6 trees, for friends & family.
My northern spy is 40 years old, planted my me.

Great! We love Northern Spy. Happy growing!

Thanks again for your question, -Eric