Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association

April 6, 2018

April 21 Grafting Workshop – Grow Your Own Apple Tree

The Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association (APFGA) will hold their annual Apple Grafting Workshop from 1:00-3:00 pm on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the Spenard Church of Love, 3502 Spenard Rd, Anchorage.  This workshop is open to the general public and provides free grafting instruction and apple scion wood with the purchase of at least one hardy rootstock.  ($2 ea. members/$3 ea. non-members)

March 18, 2018

March 24: Member-Only Pruning event

The annual APFGA pruning workshop will be held on Saturday, March 24 at 1:00 pm at Boyer’s greenhouse (645 E. 81st Ave. in Anchorage).  The workshop will be led by the club’s master pruner, Dan Elliot.  Pruning is essential to the health and vitality of fruit trees.  This is the perfect opportunity to watch and learn sound pruning techniques, practice, and/or get a refresher course!

If the weather permits, we hope to do some pruning outside on the younger trees in addition to the mature trees in the greenhouse.  So, come dressed accordingly, and bring your pruning shears and/or loppers if you can help prune or desire some guided practice.

Map to Boyers Greenhouse

March 3, 2018

Next Meeting March 8th at BP Energy Center

You are cordially invited to the March APFGA general membership meeting on Thursday, March 8, at 6:30 pm in the BP Energy Center, 900 E. Benson Blvd (southwest of main office tower – west of the Marriot) .

Our evening program will be presented by Debbie Hinchey: Tree Science Applied to Buying, Planting, Pruning and Care of Fruit Trees.  The description of the program is as follows:

There are many myths surrounding fruit production.  As more research is done to test some long-held assumptions, a better understanding of best practices for fruit production is emerging.  This will be a brief introduction into some of the science to help others understand what to do and when.

At 6:30 pm there will be refreshments and the opportunity to socialize before the meeting is called to order at 7:00 pm.  Feel free to bring any cookies or light refreshments that you might like to share.

At the meeting, we will again have permanent metal plant tags and parafilm grafting tape for sale.  The tags are 10 for $2, and the parafilm tape is 8 feet for $1.  Bring dollar bills if you are interested in purchasing these items.

February 26, 2018

Upcoming events, March and April…

Add these dates to your calendar!

March 8 – Monthly meeting, with a presentation on Tree Science Applied to Fruit Trees

March 24 – Annual Pruning Workshop at Boyer’s Greenhouse: Get pruning tips and then help prune and clean up this pioneer fruit-growing establishment. No experience necessary.

April 21 – Grafting Workshop: Get Alaska-suitable rootstock and graft a favorite variety onto it!

February 16, 2018

Lammers Orchard video

If you missed the APFGA meeting last night, which featured Scott Lammers talking about his dad’s historic Fairbanks apple orchard, here is a link to a video about the orchard on FaceBook. Clair was a true Alaskan fruit pioneer!

January 15, 2018

NEXT MEETING: February 15th (date change)

You are cordially invited to our February general membership meeting on Thursday, February 15, at 6:30 pm in the BP Energy Center.

Please note the change of date from our usual meeting day.  It was decided at the January membership meeting to change the meeting date to accommodate our presenter, Scott Lammers. Scott is the son of the famous Fairbanks orchard pioneer, Claire Lammers.  Scott will present an overview of the current status of the Lammers orchard, and take questions on growing fruit in Fairbanks.

We will also have a visit from a beekeeper.  She will talk briefly about what is involved in hosting a hive and is looking for two locations to place hives this summer.

At the meeting, we will have permanent metal plant tags and parafilm grafting tape for sale.  The tags are 10 for $2, and the parafilm tape is 8 feet for $1.  Bring dollar bills if you are interested in these items.

At 6:30 pm there will be refreshments and the opportunity to talk and socialize with other members before the meeting is called to order at 7:00 pm.  Feel free to bring any cookies or light refreshments that you might like to share.

January 3, 2018

Next Meeting, January 11th at BP Energy Center 6:30

You are cordially invited to our first meeting of the year on Thursday, January 11, at 6:30 pm in the BP Energy Center. There will be refreshments and the opportunity to talk and socialize with other members before the meeting is called to order at 7:00 pm.  Please bring any cookies or light refreshments that you might like to share.

The program for the meeting will be a presentation and discussion on growing plums in Alaska led by Gary Masog. Many of our members have been experimenting with plums.  If you have experience with growing plums, Gary is most interested in having you share your knowledge at the meeting about what varieties you have had success with, and information about compatible varieties for pollination.

December 8, 2017

Next meeting: Dec 14th, 6:30 pm, BP Energy Center

July 9, 2017

CRIMSON BEAUTY APPLE

 

-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

Anchorage Apple Grafting Workshop — April 15th

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:

  • A plastic ziploc with a moist paper towel inside if you choose to bring your scion wood home instead of grafting at the event.
  • A marker and masking tape to label your scion wood varieties.
  • A grocery or garbage bag to transport your newly grafted tree(s) home.

(If you can’t bring these items, we’ll have a limited supply at the event)

 

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