July 9, 2017
-by Dwight Bradley
For those who have producing apple trees, this is a good time of year to watch for particularly desirable branches for propagation. Whereas new apple varieties result from seedlings, many improved strains of existing varieties have come from observant growers who notice something different on one branch of a tree. For example, redder fruit, larger fruit, pronounced calyx lobes, abundant spurs, and so on.
Although there are no large-scale apple breeding efforts in Alaska, bud sports are one potential way to quickly improve our lot as apple growers. So keep an eye out for branches with particularly larger Norlands, Parklands, Rescues, and so on. Flag them now to be cut for scionwood next spring.
-by Dwight Bradley
The Crimson Beauty, or Scarlet Pippin, is an antique, early-ripening, red apple variety. Although still not widely grown in Alaska, it shows considerable promise. According to Beach (1905, Apples of New York, v. 2, p. 196-197), it originated about 1860 in Lynn, Ontario. Harold Jones, an Ontario agricultural researcher, is credited with having brought the variety to general notice.
The apple resembles Fameuse and Macintosh. Beach did not report on its parentage, but it seems likely that it was a Fameuse seedling, as this variety was widely planted in Upper Canada in the 1700’s and 1800’s, whereas McIntosh was not even propagated until 1870. As described by Beach, the red fruit is medium size, very attractive, and round to slightly oblate. The flesh is white, firm, crisp, mild subacid with a pleasant but not high flavor, and very good (This was before grade inflation — Beach rated only a very few apples higher than very good).
In our Peters Creek orchard, we have one Crimson Beauty tree that we planted in 1992 as a one-year whip. It bore its first crop of three or four apples in 1994, and its second crop of the same size- this year. In 1994, the fruit ripened around the middle of September (about the same time as Yellow Transparent), and would have rated at least 9 on a scale 10. The 1995 crop, unfortunately, was pecked off the tree around the end of August by magpies.
The tree seems well suited to Alaskan conditions. According to Stilphen (1993, Apples of Maine, p. 83-84), it was widely grown in Aroostook County, northernmost Maine (Zones 2 and 3) a century ago. (In the late 1800’s, northernmost Maine and Minnesota were still the proving grounds in the U.S. for hardy fruit trees.) St. Lawrence Nurseries rates it as hardy to Zone 1 or 2. It has suffered little or no winterkill in three winters at Peters Creek. It also has the advantage of shutting down early, shedding its leaves just after Rescue and Chinese Golden Early. This makes it less prone to breakage during the first ice- and snowstorms in the fall.
I would be interested in hearing from other Alaskan growers about any experiences with Crimson Beauty. From what I’ve seen so far, it is a variety worthy of more testing. I grafted three more trees in 1995, which will be going into the ground in 1996. Ample scionwood will be available in the Spring of 1996.
April 6, 2017
APFGA’s annual apple grafting workshop will be held April 15th at Dimond Greenhouse from 1pm-3pm.
The event is free, but you must buy the rootstock you’ll graft onto. Rootstock will cost $3.
APFGA members will be there to demonstrate or assist you with grafting your own apple tree(s)!
Consider bringing the following items:
(If you can’t bring these items, we’ll have a limited supply at the event)
There will be multiple apple grafting clinics in Fairbanks. Information on this event is below.
BEGINNER May 4 Thursday 6-9 p.m.
BEGINNER May 6 Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
INTERMEDIATE For those with previous grafting experience. May 7 Sunday 10 a.m.–1 p.m
UAF Arctic Health Research Building, 901 S. Koyukuk Drive, Room 1W05. Free parking is available on the west side of the building. Enter building through west-facing doors.
Beginner class is $30 for materials. Intermediate is $5/tree. PAY AT CLASS with cash or check (payable to Steve Masterman).
Space is limited, so be sure to preregister online to ensure a spot in class: bit.ly/GraftingAppleTrees17
Steve Masterman, 590-3797 or firstname.lastname@example.org
February 3, 2017
This month’s meeting (February) will be held at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Chugiak on February 9th from 6:30-8:45pm. The church is located at 18444 Old Glenn Hwy. Enter through the main doors and you’ll see the meeting room on your left.
January 7, 2017
At this meeting, we will be voting on some amendments to the Bylaws of the Club. The proposed changes were sent to you with the December meeting announcement emailed on 12/01/16; another copy was emailed last week. The second major part of our meeting agenda will be a presentation of some fruit tree pruning videos courtesy of Dan Elliott. We will be also giving you updates on progress of Club committees and other business.
January 5, 2017
General meetings are suspended from March through October. During this time APFGA has tours, workshops, and other such events. Should any business come up that requires a meeting, the membership will be notified as per the Bylaws.
Please note, dates and times subject to change.
|2017 Schedule of Meetings and Tours|
|Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association|
|Note: General meetings will be suspended from April through September. There will be tours etc. only during these months. Should any business come up the membership will be notified per the Bylaws. Dates and times subject to change. TBA (to be announced). Attendance at summer fruit tours is limited to paid-up Club members.|
|Date||Time||Day||Location Name||Address||Topic (s)|
|1/12/2017||6:30 PM||Thursday||BP Energy Center||ANC||Bd Mtg; Bylaws Changes; Pruning videos|
|2/9/2017||6:30 PM||Thursday||Our Redeemer Lutheran Church||Chugiak||TBA|
|3/9/2017||6:30 PM||Thursday||BP Energy Center||ANC||Commercial cider pressing & hard cider making|
|3/18/2017*||1:00 PM||Saturday||Boyer Greenhouse||South ANC||Pruning Demo|
|4/15/2017||10 AM Setup;
1:00 PM Public
|Saturday||Dimond Greenhouses||1050 W. Dimond Blvd||Grafting Workshop|
|5/6/2017*||2:00 PM||Saturday||David/Diana Evans||mid-town ANC||Topping/Topworking Apple Tree|
|Other ANC locations||?||Topworking|
|6/03/2017*||1:00 PM||Saturday||Tami Schlies
|Summer blossoms tour|
|7/15/2017*||1:00 PM||Saturday||Plant Materials Center
|Butte/Palmer||Summer fruit tour|
|8/05/2017*||1:00 PM||Saturday|| Fred/Dawn Deiser
|Wasilla||Summer Fruit Tour|
|8/17/2017*||6:30 PM||Thursday||Gary Masog||Old Harbor St ANC||Summer fruit tour|
|Ira Edwards||Mid-town Anc||” “|
|9/19/2017*||6:30 PM||Tuesday||BPEC||ANC||Early apple tasting|
|10/12/2017*||7:00 PM||Thursday||PMC, Butte||Palmer||Late apple tasting|
|11/9/2017||6:30 PM||Thursday||BPEC||Annual meeting and elections|
* = only open to club members
December 2, 2016
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – New meeting day (due to meeting room not being available at normal time this December)
BP Energy Center, 6:30-8:45PM (in Anchorage)
Program: Sharing the Knowledge
Come learn from others and share your fruit growing experiences. This has always been a fun and informative discussion.
· What worked and what did not.
· What are your favorite varieties and why?
· What are you going to try differently next year?
· How did you process your fruit? (make cider, jams, pies, drying, wine, etc.)
· Favorite recipes or techniques? (samples and treats always welcomed, too)
Some of you may not be able to attend this informative meeting, but I am sure you have something to share. Writing it all down and sending it in (to me) to put in our newsletter would be a great contribution. (It does not have to be a fancy written piece, just the facts (and readable) will work.) Sending recipes and (especially time saving) techniques would also be wonderful.
November 13, 2016
The newly elected 2017 Board of Directors is:
President, Doug Ott
Vice President, Terry Thisius
Secretary, Ken Acton
“Assistant Secretary”, Susan Miller (back-up when Ken is traveling)
Treasurer – Debbie Hinchey
February 12, 2016
Shannon has volunteered to take over as Newsletter Editor. Join us in saying Thank You to her!