[NAFEX] Honeycrisp and Zestar Cold Hardiness test results

MARIE ASHTON bwoodtx at verizon.net
Fri Dec 30 21:51:14 EST 2005

You should submit this data to Pomona where it can be recorded in written 
Richard Ashton
Brownwood, Texas
7b/8a AHS 9

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bernie Nikolai" <BNikolai at shaw.ca>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2005 9:45 PM
Subject: [NAFEX] Honeycrisp and Zestar Cold Hardiness test results

> Both Honeycrisp and Zestar are outstanding tasting cultivars from the
> University of Minnesota's breeding program.  I have been testing both for
> over 10 years, to see how they would do in my harsh zone 3 Canadian 
> climate
> in central Alberta.  While not scientific tests, my results are pretty
> accurate for folks wanting to grow these excellent apples in cold 
> climates.
> In a nutshell, both Honeycrisp and Zestar seem equally hardy for me over 
> the
> last 10 or so years.  As a comparison, both are hardier than McIntosh, a
> variety that is normally considered quite hardy, but for me, only exists 
> in
> near perfect microclimates in the city of Edmonton, and won't exist at all
> outside of the city.
>    The rootstocks I have used under these cultivars are Siberian Crab,
> Ranetka Crab, V1, V2, Ottawa 3, M26 and Bud 490.  I wanted to see if any
> rootstock combination worked to impart extra hardiness (unfortunately, 
> none
> did from what I could see over the last 10 years).  Here are the results 
> for
> both cultivars:
> to -37.5 or -35F no damage
> -37.5C to -40C or -40F - tip dieback in the spring, between zero to 24
> inches, once the temperature reaches -37.5C or     -35F.  The closer the
> temperature dips to    -40C  the  more dieback you get.
> -40C and colder - complete dieback of the entire tree to the snowline.
> The coldest I have recorded at my orchard site is -43C, or about -45F, and 
> I
> have been experimenting with about 36 Honeycrisp and Zestar trees.  As a
> matter of interest the only commercial apple that has withstood these
> temperatures and produced without significant dieback is Wealthy.  But the
> production of Wealthy has been light for me.
> The best apple I can grow in my opinion is a test variety from the
> University of Saskatchewan, "18-10-32".  I understand this will probably 
> be
> released this spring under the name "Sweet Sunsation" or just "Sunsation".
> This is a large firm  apple , yellow with a beautiful red blush on the 
> sunny
> side, that is delicious in fresh  taste  (tart/sweet) and is truly
> outstanding for pies.  It took -43C without even the slightest hint of tip
> damage, and produced bountifully the next year on all trees.  It also 
> stores
> well into the new year.
> Bernie Nikolai
> Edmonton, Alberta
> zone 3/2
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