I was being a bit flippant (as usual). But, I do have personal experience
with two Honeycrisp/Bud9 plantings. The one you refer to, planted in 2006,
yes, the Honeycrisp/Bud9 are not where they should be in terms of size and
bushels/acre although I stopped collecting data some years ago. I am sure I
over-cropped them in years 2-3. Let's say these trees were from Nursery A
(see below), and initially they were some of the most beautiful red
coloring Honeycrisp I have seen. More recently, the color seems to have
diminished, even though the trees are certainly not over-fertilized or
vigorous. They have also become rather biennial, probably a result of
inconsistent crop load management on my part. (Crop load and apple scab
management seem to be the two biggest apple production problems we face
year-in/year-out in the East.) I should also mention McIntosh/Bud9 were
also planted to compare to Honeycrisp; these have had no problem filling
their space and out-yield Honeycrisp because of the larger canopy volume.
(Bud 9 is a great rootstock for McIntosh!) Results of this mini-apple
orchard systems trial were published in Fruit Notes:

Another Honeycrisp/Bud9 planting was in 2002, planted to super-spindle,
trees 2 ft. apart, Nursery B. These grew very well, no problem getting them
up to 10 ft., good consistent cropping (probably more carefully
hand-thinned), but, the fruit was consistently very green. It was hard to
get good red color on it even when the trees were young. Unfortunately I
lost this planting to the freak October 2011 snowstorm. I guess my point is
I think there is a lot of difference in Honeycrisp budwood, both in terms
of fruit color and tree vigor. And 2 ft. is a good spacing for
Honeycrisp/Bud9 because it forces you to grow a leader and not branches.

Keys to success with Honeycrisp/Bud9? Plant larger trees from the start
from a good nursery; plant 2-3 feet apart, 10-12 feet between rows; plant
on a better site; plant with the graft union closer to the ground (2-3
inches) than what you might do with EMLA9; install trickle irrigation and
fertilize adequately in 1st and 2d leaf; don't crop in 1st and 2nd leaf;
focus on growing the leader up ASAP (no big side branches); use Bud9 where
winter hardiness and fireblight resistance are a concern, otherwise,
consider using EMLA 9.

I don't think Bud9 suckers as bad as some EMLA9 clones, and like Tim says,
the leaves are pretty...


On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 7:04 PM, Steven Bibula <sbib...@maine.rr.com> wrote:

> Especially for Jon Clements, but others as well:****
> ** **
> Are your initial Honeycrisp/Bud 9 Tall Spindle trials, where you cropped
> starting in 2nd leaf, agreeing with Mike’s experience?  Looking at these
> trials subsequently, what happened to production?  I have a 1,000 tree
> Honeycrisp/Bud 9 Tall Spindle planting planned for 2015 and this discussion
> has taken a very interesting turn.****
> ** **
> I noticed this year that with my 2nd leaf Snowsweet Tall Spindle on Bud
> 9, the trees that were fully cropped hardly grew (but produced huge fruit);
> however, the trees that had no fruit (spotty pollination in southern Maine
> with nearly continuous rain during bloom) also grew very little.  Not one
> Snowsweet is even close to the top wire, located ~8.5’.   We did have four
> periods of drought-induced stress this year, and the Bud 9 varieties were
> clearly the most checked.  I will have Uniram drip with fertigation for all
> trees starting in 2014, and I anticipate that this will help ameliorate.**
> **
> ** **
> Steven Bibula****
> Plowshares Community Farm****
> 236 Sebago Lake Road****
> Gorham ME 04038****
> 207.239.0442****
> www.plowsharesmaine.com****
> ** **
> *From:* apple-crop-boun...@virtualorchard.net [mailto:
> apple-crop-boun...@virtualorchard.net] *On Behalf Of *Mike Fargione
> *Sent:* Friday, October 25, 2013 9:42 AM
> *To:* jon.cleme...@umass.edu; Apple-crop discussion list
> *Subject:* Re: [apple-crop] M9-Nic29 winter hardiness****
> ** **
> Some growers in NY’s Hudson Valley prefer to plant Honeycrisp on B9
> because they feel these trees are less prone to biennial bearing and can be
> cropped more heavily each year compared with Honeycrisp on M9.  Our
> experience is that planting Honeycrisp/B9 at higher density and not
> cropping in years 1 & 2 can produce a very productive orchard.****
> Mike****
>  ****
> *From:* apple-crop-boun...@virtualorchard.net [
> mailto:apple-crop-boun...@virtualorchard.net<apple-crop-boun...@virtualorchard.net>]
> *On Behalf Of *Jon Clements
> *Sent:* Thursday, October 24, 2013 6:26 PM
> *To:* Apple-crop discussion list
> *Subject:* Re: [apple-crop] M9-Nic29 winter hardiness****
>  ****
> Simple solution -- pre-order and plant them 2 ft. X 10 ft. Will make you,
> and the nursery, happy...:-)****
>  ****
> Jon****
> _______________________________________________
> apple-crop mailing list
> apple-crop@virtualorchard.net
> http://virtualorchard.net/mailman/listinfo/apple-crop

Jon Clements
aka 'Mr Honeycrisp'
UMass Cold Spring Orchard
393 Sabin St.
Belchertown, MA  01007
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