Thursday, September 24, 2015

Zone 6b - NY - Fall colors

Zone 6b/7 summer temperatures mid 80s to high 80s. Occasionally mid 90s. Very sandy soil but I water them more frequently than other shrubs. Pollination is good. 

Honey Bee is the healthiest looking.  It has grown taller than Borealis but not as bushy.  It actually has some new growth but most of it looks like it wants to go dormant. Both have produced fruit that was twice the size of Berry Blue.

Borealis and HoneyBee
Photo taken August 29, 2015 shows Borealis on the left and Honey Bee on the right, both planted 2014.  Honey Bee looks very healthy while Borealis is starting to loss some color as it gets closer to dormancy. Borealis is nice and bushy. Honey Bee flowered and produced a few fruit in mid July of the year it arrived and planted in a pot.  This year was normal with ripe fruit second week of June.

Berry Blue
Berry Blue planted 2012.  It is losing some leaves but I expect it will be fine in the spring. It seems to be approaching dormancy faster than Honey Bee. (Editor's note: Russian varieties typically drop their leaves earlier than those with some Kuril Island or Japanese genetics, such as Borealis and Honey Bee).

Sugar Mountain Blue
Sugar Mountain planted 2014. It is doing poorly with very little growth this year. (Editor's note: One plant trial does not speak for this variety as a whole - most of our Sugar Mountain Blues put on 2 feet of growth their first year, similar to Berry Blue)
Dan, Long Island, New York, zone 6b

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Zone 4a - MN - Another haskap survival story

Berry Smart Blue berries

The first few years I had the plants (2 Borealis, 1 Tundra, 1 Berry Smart Blue planted 2011) in the forest and they didn't get enough sun to grow enough. Last year I had them in full sun and they grew but then during dog days died back. I wasn't sure they would survive. Then this spring they came back and flowered and the bees pollinated. But then I took off the deer fencing to use on some other plants because after the flowers went away I didn't think the pollination was successful. Then the deer ate the plants and I really gave up. I thought it was all over. But I threw over some make fast deer fencing in hopes of regrowing the plants. Then suddenly this morning I discovered the one odd plant - the bigger one - forgot to check which variety - but there was a dozen or so berries on it. I just harvested and ate them, along with my mom trying one. A strong taste to be sure and what a beautiful dark blue color. It's a powerful little berry and now I look forward to providing shade and deer fencing and to keep growing the haskaps again. It's been a rough road but despite all my errors - these plants are very miraculous! thanks.…
Drew, Marine on St Croix, Minnesota
who later tweeted:
booger hempel
Jun 15
@HoneyberryUSA discovered miracle this am, after torturing plants I got my first haskap berry harvest! Powerful deep blue tart tangy love. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Zone 3 - MN Honey Bee survivor haskap

Honey Bee haskap stands guard over egg
A Honey Bee haskap appeared dead after winter, but new life appears alongside the sole egg in a ground nest. Does anyone know what kind of bird egg this is?
Bernis, Minnesota

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Zone 4b - South Dakota - Clay soil good for haskap, sandy soil bad

Honey Bee haskap bushes

Borealis haskap bushes
The honeyberries planted in the Fort Thompson Community Orchard (April 2012) are thriving. We have (20 each) Tundra, Honeybee and Borealis. All are doing fine and no pollination issues. The soil is a pretty average, to a slightly higher clay, than most soils in our area. They seem to like it. Just three miles away, my honeyberries are planted in a much finer sandier soil. They are NOT doing well at all. There are no berries on them at all this year. They are just surviving. I am going to increase their water even more this year and see if that helps. Definitely won't be planting more honeyberries around my place.
Honey Bee haskap berries
We just picked some of the ripe ones from the Tundra and a few from the Honeybee (May 29/15).  Some were ripe enough that they were falling off.  Great eating.  Only picked about half a gallon.  The majority are a bit away yet and on the Honeybee bushes there is almost like a second crop of the berries that are still very green. 
Rod Vaughn, Diamond Willow Ministries (, Ft. Thompson, SD
Crow Creek Community Orchard:

Monday, May 25, 2015

Zone 3b - Spring wind storm hacks haskap leaves

Russian blue honeysuckle decimated

Russian blue honeysuckle

University of Saskatchewan blue honeysuckle fares better
Most of the Russian varieties I bought had their leaves transformed to tissue paper. 32F (0C) and 22 mph (35 km/hour) wind on May 18, 2015.
Michael, Bismark, ND

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Zone 5b - Spring cleanup

Keeping the grass away from haskap helps a lot. 

While suffering from a few broken branches due to the heavy snow/ice/melt/freeze conditions in the northeast this past winter, this lineup of haskap looks ready to get growing!

Borealis, Tundra and Berry Smart Blue haskap lineup
Planted May 2012

Buds ready to burst forth on April 17
Brian, Cape Porpoise, ME

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Zone 5b - Springville, UT Honey Bee haskap comeback

I thought I needed to order a replacement for what I thought was a dead Honey Bee haskap that I had planted last year. Last fall, my dog whipped the young haskap with her tail and broke it at the base. To my surprise this past week, the Honey Bee has pushed up a new stem and is growing vigorously. It is already about 2-3 inches tall and leafing profusely. Kevin, Springville, UT Elevation 4,577 ft