Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association

FRUIT TREE THOUGHTS

November 9, 1995

 

by Bob Boyer

Anchorage

 

The following are blossoming dates (B) and fruit pick dates (P) for trees in ground or buckets.

 

Nanking cherry. B May 5, P Sept. 26. 1 gallon.

Cavalier cherry. B May 22. No fruit.

Chokecherry. B May 22, didn’t pick; put Cygon 2 on tree.

White Nanking cherry, B May 22, no fruit.

Sam cherry, B May 27 May, picked one tree cherries) on Aug. 6 Aug; other tree (6 cherries) on July 19.

Noran apple, B June 3, no fruit.

Sunrise apple, no fruit

Earlymont cherry, B June, P Aug. 6, one cherry.

Giant Robinson strawberry, picked first fruit July 15, some 2.75” across. Very good.

Serviceberry, P Aug. 27, good.

Red and gold raspberries, picked first crop Aug. 2; as of Oct 6, still no frost and still picking fruit. Green berries still on canes.

Black and red currants, picked 5 qts.

Meteor x Montmorency cherry, P Oct. 6. Red fruit, not edible. May be rootstock.

 

Sam cherry is bright red. Book says dark blue cherry. Hunter at Bear Creek says that farther north cherries tend to be lighter in color than normal. Other cherry trees I have in buckets or ground are: Bairds pie cherry: No fruit yet. Thane cherry: Eric Simpson says it’s a wild cherry called Thane in Haynes and in Juneau called Telegraph Hill where found growing. Cavalier cherry: No fruit.

 

I had no apples on trees at studio. No blossoms except Noran, and two blossoms on Sunrise. All fell off. I talked to three other people whose apple trees had been producing but this year had no blossoms. I think the problem was trees didn’t shut down last fall and too much sap in spurs when frozen. I had a long talk with Hunter at Bear Creek. He said trees must go through cycles. I have some thoughts on this but too late to try this year. I expect to have same problem this year with all this rain. So next year about 2 or 3rd week of August will put Visqueen around bases of to deter water from roots. Then after first frost or when trees defoliate water trees well before ground freezes up. Hunter also said looking at photographs and slides from Bob Purvis he noted that-Alaskan groweers had green grass or what-have-you growing around trees base. He said must get bare ground to warm soil in early spring, which will start the tree going-through cycles earlier and thus shutting down earlier. I had thought of putting 1” rocks around base of trees, painting black to further warm soil. Hunter thought would work. Glacial rock would also give off nutrients. I didn’t do it but I think important to foliar feed weekly from bud break to fall with seaweed and fish fertilizer, adding a little sugar (holds on better).

 

I have also inquired about pollen for fruit trees, and if anyone is interested call me. And also am checking on various sources of garlic oil and garlic products to deter insects and moose.

 

Hunter and I talked about saskatoons and he said be really likes the Timm x Success variety. This is bush type and sweet and produces fruit on 4´4’ bushes. Good color.

 

I have been grafting trees with interstems to dwarf tree — both apples and cherries. I had about 50% take on both apple and cherry grafting interstem on rootstock and chip budding (Jones method) interstem I received cherry scion wood this year that was budded out so took dwarf or semidwarf varieties of scions. Rubbed off buds, grafted to Mazzard and bud-grafted the interstem. Had 8 of 11 take. I also grafted apples on Ranetka using interstems and chip budding varieties at same time — about 50% take. I will report later as to vigor etc., of this method. You might like to try.