Fruit Trees for Zone 2/3

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by TYW, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. TYW

    TYW Member

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    I moved to a suburb of Edmonton and have a brand new empty large backyard. Edmonton is definitely zone 3 climate, in the suburb, it is probably borderline on zone 2. I plan to put 3 edible-fruit bearing trees in each of the back corners. I have read quite a bit of literature on hardy apple trees and am comfortable with my selections.

    I want to have 3 non-apple edible fruit trees like plums and cherries in the opposite corner. Finding hardy non-apple fruit trees is not as easy as I had originally thought. I prefer trees which will grow to at least 3m tall. Top of my list are Brookred Plum, Brookgold Plum, Pembina Plum, Evans Cherry and North Star Cherry.

    Both corner will get lots of sun all day long. I have spoken with a few local nursery employees and none of them seem to know much about edible fruit trees (other than apples, everyone seems to know a lot about apples and not much about anything else). None of them can give me an idea what the various cherries or plums taste like.

    I am just wondering if any of the experts here can tell me more about my selections. In particular:

    Are they hardy enough for zone 2 climate?
    Are the fruits tasty?
    Do they need multiple trees for cross-pollination? or can they self-pollinate?
    Other than the 5 that I found, any other suggestions?

    Thanks in advance for any information you may be able to give me.

    TW
     
  2. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Hi TYW:

    I'll get you started but others will have to help you
    fill in the blanks that I have left out.

    The Brookred Plum and Brookgold Plum can pollinize
    each other and there is a chance (my assumption) that
    they can also pollinize a Pembina Plum.

    The Evans Cherry is a tart Cherry, along the lines of
    a Montmorency and is self fertile. You can grow the
    Evans Cherry but the North Star Cherry, also a tart
    Cherry, is thought of as a zone 4a grower, so you
    might have some problems growing it.

    As far as taste, the only one I've tasted is a North Star
    and for a tart Cherry it is a good one for making sour
    Cherry preserves and for baking.

    I have a strong word of caution for you and that you
    will want to protect these trees from the cold and any
    cold winds. It will probably be essential for you to
    utilize a fungicide regimen for these trees which means
    you will be spraying these trees quite often when they
    are dormant but not when the temperatures are freezing.
    Talking to Brett (he started one of the first ISPs in all
    of Canada), while he lived in Edmonton, it would still
    be freezing there when it was already warm here. You
    will want to get a supply of Calcium or Copper based
    fungicides but remember this: you cannot spray a Cherry
    tree with lime-sulfur when it is freezing as the Volck-type
    spray will burn the twigs and branches. Your best bet is
    to wait until the tree is in its popcorn stage (right before
    the blossoms start to swell) before you use a lime-sulfur
    spray. Copper sulfate is not as injurious to a Fruit Tree
    in cool weather. Also, with Cherries where you are you
    will want to use a fungicide spray real soon after harvest
    as that is when your most destructive pathogen may hit
    you and that is Fireblight.

    Be extra careful to buy as clean a tree as you can. The
    Brookred Plums can be notorious for being laden with
    Bacterial Canker so a fungicide regimen becomes even
    more essential for you as spraying the bark of the trees
    with a Copper or Calcium spray will act as a good
    suppressant for you. Enough of this type stuff but you
    need to know in advance that for you to effectively grow
    Fruit Trees in your location will require some effort from
    you to be successful.

    You may want to look at these URLs below. One of them
    is a UBC forum thread on Pembina Plum.

    http://www.lakeviewgardens.com/html/apricot_plum_cherry.html

    http://www.dnagardens.com/evans_cherry_in_northeastern_ver.htm

    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=3535

    Jim
     
  3. TYW

    TYW Member

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    Thanks Jim for the help (again!); I went through the links and got a lot of useful information out of them. One of the more notable nursery in town has a lot of Pembina Plums and the nursery has labelled them as Zone 3a and labelled the Evans as Zone 2. I wonder if it may be a more cold resistant strain... It may be a marketing ploy as well.

    I did some more digging and the link below provides some more details on pollination. It would appear that the Evans Cherry can self-pollinate. As far as the plums are concern, the Brookred and Pembina can pollinate each other. See groupings in the website. I don't know anything about that website or the nursery that it is affiliated with so I can't comment on how reliable the information is.

    http://www.sproutfarms.com/plum.htm

    I am definitely leaning towards an Evans cherry, a Brookred Plum and a Pembina Plum.
     
  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Hi TYW:

    I am now back home so I checked the link that you
    listed. I think the Brookred may work also although
    when I read two University reports, one I linked to
    for the Pembina Plum thread, I got the impression
    that both Universities were unsure what to use as a
    pollinizer for the Pembina. Based on the blooming
    times of the two trees I think you can get some
    overlap and have the Brookred pollinize the Pembina.
    Have the Brookred facing into the wind and plant the
    Pembina either behind it or next to it to ensure better
    pollinization. You will still have to have bees to be
    your pollinators.

    Based on what I read you can grow the Evans Cherry
    where you are. When I wrote that it is self fertile I
    meant that this Cherry does not need a pollinizer to
    produce a crop. I would not worry about the Pembina
    Plum being labeled a zone 3a. It just means the tree
    may require some extra care when it is young to help
    protect it from the cold. Once the tree is established it
    should do well for you.

    Let us know how things work for you as I for one will
    want to know. Perhaps Brett and his wife near Camrose
    will want to have some Fruit Trees also.

    If you have any more questions such as how to plant them
    or better protect them from the cold, do not hesitate to ask.

    Best regards,

    Jim
     
  5. I have Brookred, Pembia and nanking cherry. This combo works very well together. I also live in Edmonton. All three main nurseries do recommend this combo for maxium cross-pollination. I have talked to many owners of Plum trees and they all swear by it. I also find Salisbury this best place to get advice on fruit trees for Edmonton area. The Brookred and Pembia are very sweat. As for the nanking cherry it is a bush and is good for jam and at best is semi sweat. Seeing that you are planting them in the back corner they should be alright against wind damage etc (you do have a fence?). I have not protected them in any special form and they have not gotten any damage etc from Temperature and Wind. I do recommend that you goto Salisbury and talk to them(or call them) . I would stay clear of millcreek nursery as most of their fruit trees have powdery mildew. I have also planted Goodland Apple, very sweat and a Strathcona Gold which is also a very sweat apple, both are doing excellent.

    One side note The Brookred will not pollinate the Brookgold. You might get a couple of plums but that is about it. The Pembia, Brookred and nanking cherry bloom at the same time so it really is you best choice for pollination. If your yard is very large you might consider a Canadian Plum (wild plum) but ofcourse you would not want to eat these plums. It would produce the most plums on your Brook's. You could always remove the plums on the wild before they really start to form.
     
  6. myshkin

    myshkin Member

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    U Sask has developed apricots and pears for the prairies. That should work for Edmonton. Check them out.

    Cheers

    m
    Prince George, Zone 2/3
     
  7. I am a horticulturist working for N.A.I.T. in the northern Alberta town of Fairview.I planted an Evans cherry here on the campus about 7 years ago. It was a seedling approximately 8" high at that time. At the present time it is about 10 feet tall and I harvested about 4 gallons of fruit off it last summer. It is growing on the east side of, and within 10 feet of a greenhouse wall. Perhaps this has created a micro-climate as I have noticed no winter damage whatsoever and have never really given it any special care. It was cut from 4' down to 6" by a seasonal worker who thought it was a perennial on its second season.This variety was found growing on the U of A campus in Edmonton and was introduced by Dr. Evans. As long as you provide shelter you should have no problem.Best of luck-Ellen
     
  8. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Howdy TYW,
    Welcome to Edmonton. Which part are you at. I used to live in Edmonton and am quite well verse with fruits for that area. Some parts of the Edmonton area are closer to Zone 4 than Zone 3. Knowing where you are can place you in a microclimate where you can grow varieties others tell you cannot be grown. So before going into answering your questions, please let me know your locality.
    Peace
    Pheh
     
  9. TYW

    TYW Member

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    Thought I would report back, planted an Evans, a Brookred and a Pembina. Two years in a roll, I have lots of cherries from the Evans but zero last year, not sure why. As for the Brookred and Pembina, lots of flowers but zero fruits. Planted a Sandcherry between the two last year based on a local St. Albert greenhouse's recommendations. Have to wait and see.

    To answer Thean's question, I live on the edge of St. Albert, just north of Edmonton.

    Going to plant another two fruit trees this year, just for the heck of it. Any recommendations consider what I have already?
     
  10. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Howdy TYW,
    I don't know why the Evans did not fruit for you last year. As for the plums, in your area, Pembina and Brookred will not pollinate each other. Both are hybrids and hybrids produce very poor pollen. What you need is a wild native Canada plum (Prunus nigra). Do not buy those named native plums like Norther, Assiniboine or Dandy. These don't work either. I find sandcherry and cherryplums although both recommended for pollinating plums do not work either. (I live in Edmonton and these bloom after the plums have finished blooming.) Another better bet is to plant hardy Japanese plums like Ptitsin 5 or Brookgold. As for recommending two more fruit trees, how about apples. My choice? Goodland, Mantet, Carroll, Norkent. If you do not mind having bushes, try saskatoons. My choice? Pembina, Northline, Thiessen, Smoky.
    Peace
    Thean
    PS You should come to the annual apple show in September at the Devonian Botanic Gardens - not far from your place.
     
  11. learningtogrow

    learningtogrow Member

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    We have pembina and brookred tjat we planted last year and one unidentified older plum... and a sandcherry that, as Thean said, bloomed after the plums. We have also a Nanking cherry - I am curious to see whether this bush will help. Otherwise, I was disappointed in my choice of plums in that several sources had said brookred and pembina would pollinize each other, but apparently that is not so. There is a good article (well, a number of good articles) on the website of the University of Saskatchewan regarding hardy fruits.

    We planted a Romeo cherry last year and it looks very healthy this year. Also several honeyberries that have grown happily and blossomed a lot this year. U of S has some new varieities of those.
     
  12. Gardenlover

    Gardenlover Active Member

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    Location:
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    Off hand I know RED BARON is a very hardy apple tree for zone 2/3
     
  13. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Howdy Learningtogrow,
    I used to have a Pembina grafted onto a wild Prunus nigra. Each year, I both were loaded. Both trees have since died and I now have a Zapie, Ivanovka and Ptitsin (all Japanese plums). I get lots of plums each year from these. Before I got the Ivanovka and Ptitsin, I have a Sapalta (cherryplum) planted against a south wall to induce it to bloom at the same time as the other plums. Perhaps you can try this trick too with your sandcherry. In my case the Sapalta blooms about three days later than the Zapie but there is a long period of overlapping.
    Peace
    Thean
     
    learningtogrow likes this.
  14. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    I had two bushes of wild Prunus nigra when I lived in Edmonton, and they did wonderfully so long as I could keep the ants off them in the summertime. The fruit was fairly tart, but very good for preserves.

    If you want to branch out (no pun intended) there are Apricots that will survive an Edmonton or St. Albert winter. I had two trees in my old yard, and they produced some of the best Apricots I have ever eaten. They were comparable to what we call "Durazno" down here in Ecuador - small, firm flesh with more of a peachy flavour than commercial apricots.

    Properly trimmed and trained, you can get Saskatoon bushes to grow into Saskatoon trees; my grandparents, who live in Zone 2a, did. Otherwise, along with hardy hazlenuts, they make a great hedge camouflage to hide your fence. And you have the added bonus of having fruiting barrier hedges. Nothing compares to the flavour of the little wild hazelnuts, and IMHO Saskatoons are one of the foods of the gods. They're the only fruit I miss.

    And although my family was kind of a star at forcing things out of zone, if you've got a sheltered area and are committed to mulching to overwinter them, you can probably grow really exotic stuff on the vine, like Kiwi Issai and Concorde grapes. As well as intriguing bush berries like 'Jostas' (Ribes nidigrolaria) which are a cross between black currants and gooseberries, hardy to Zone 2 last time I checked, and superior in flavour to both their parents, with the added bonus of not having any thorns... You can also look at high-bush Cranberries! The possibilities are endless.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  15. TYW

    TYW Member

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    Thean, can you tell me (or PM me) as to where (i.e. which greenhouse) I can find a Prunus Nigra and what is the common name for Prunus Nigra. Seems like a huge waste to dig up the Brookred/Pembina just because they don't yield fruit. I am assuming that the Japanese plums canNOT pollinate the Brookred/Pembina either. So I guess I am going to add a Prunus Nigra to try. I am not happy with the various resources which indicate that a Brookred/Pembina combo works.

    As for future trees, I am adding four apples this year for sure. Leaning towards a Goodland or two; need to figure out if I need two identical apples or can I have two different ones.

    Going to add a Thunderchild for its looks. Hmmm... I wonder if I can put a Dolgo next to it...
     
  16. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Prunus nigra - Black Plum. Ask at Holes, and barring that, at the Devonian Botanical Gardens; both places will recognise the scientific name. If they don't have them, they will be able to point you towards somebody that does.
     
  17. TYW

    TYW Member

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    Did not know that the Devonian sells plants too, havnt been yet but my kids were there on a field trip just last week.
     
  18. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Devonian sometimes sells plants - but if they don't have anything they WILL know who does.
     
  19. northerngrapes

    northerngrapes Active Member

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    The Devonian botanical gardens has a fruit growers group. There is an event each September with fruit displays and lectures. Check it out.
     
  20. TYW

    TYW Member

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    I called about six places, including Holes and Devonian. None of the places have Prunus Nigra for sale or can tell me where to get one.

    The lady at Holes was very knowledgeable, she insisted that the Western Sand Cherries/Pembina/Brookred combo should work, although, she believes that because the trees came from different part of the world, it may take a few years for the trees to synchronize their flowering. This is an interesting concept.

    Anyhow, I have added a Norkent, a Goodland, a Thunderchild (for looks only) and a few purple sandcherries to my back yard.

    If anyone comes across a Prunus Nigra for sale, please let me know. I will keep searching. I will definitely hit the fruit tree show at the Devonian this September.
     
  21. northerngrapes

    northerngrapes Active Member

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  22. Granrey

    Granrey Active Member

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    Hi guys,

    I live in Edmonton too. My neighborhood is Rutherford (south side close to the airport).

    I also want to have some fruits in my backyard but after reading this tread I would have not known this is so complicated.

    It looks I have to buy at least two apple trees (different species) to make them polinate each other.

    I will read this tread carefully again to determine the species, but I'm suspecting the combination that did not work might not have worked for lack of polinating insects. Do this make sense?

    Is is posible to polinate these plants by human intervention?
     
  23. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Howdy TYW,
    I do not know of any nursery in Alberta that sells Prunus nigra. However I have seen a few plants in peoples' yards in Edmonton. Arrowhead Nursery in Edmonton was looking into propagating some Prunus nigra but I do not if John got the idea going.
    The Apple Show at Devonian Botanic Gardens is on September 13 and 14. There are a few crazy fruit growers in attendence but they generally keep their mouths closed unless they are asked. So please ask. They may be a little crazy but are a friendly lot of guys and gals. Lecture sessions are also presented but only on the 13. Sunday display is open to all for tasting. If you are coming to the Saturday session for the lectures, please bring along some cooked food for the pot-luck lunch. Lectures starts at 1300 hours. (audience will be more docile or they will be sleeping after filling their stomachs. Hehehe.)

    Howdy Kim,
    Prunus nigra 'Princess Kay' is a hybrid and will not work. Moreover it is completely sterile. It was bred and selected purely for the ornamental trade. Hope to see you at the Apple Show.

    Howdy Granrey,
    Please come to the Apple Show. You can taste all the apples, pears and plums on display and decide which apples suit you before going out to buy some trees. A lot of write up on trees and taste are subjective; they are according to the taste buds of the writers.

    Peace
    Thean
     
  24. Granrey

    Granrey Active Member

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    I'll be there.

    When would be the deadline to plant trees weatherwise? I'm not experience. I think the plant has to setle prior winter. is that correct?
     
  25. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Howdy Granrey,
    As a rule the best time to plant is either in early spring as soon as the ground is dry enough to work or late fall (after the leaves have fallen off) for deciduous plants. However, if your plants are in containers, you can transplant anytime if you are careful not to break the rootball.
    Regarding your other posting on Nanking cherry. Most Nanking cherries are self-sterile although there are some that are self-fruitful eg Orient. So to be on the safe side, plant another Nanking cherry. Evans will not pollinate Nanking cherry or the other way around. However, Evans is self-fruitful. There are other sour cherries besides Evans and you should check these out too. There maybe some sour cherries on display (and for tasting) at the Apple Show.
    Peace
    Thean
     

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