Cherry

Cherry  Prunus cerasus Cherries occupy the Cerasus subgenus within Prunus. They are members of the Rosaceae family, subfamily Prunoideae.  Prunus avium L. is the Sweet Cherry, and Prunus cerasus L. the Sour Cherry. P. fruticosa (ground cherry) and P. pseudocerasus (Chinese cherry) are other minor fruit species. Cherries originated in Asia, but spread to Europe…

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2022 Grafting workshop

Our first public grafting workshop since the start of the pandemic will be on Saturday, April 23 in the All-Purpose Room at Begich Middle School in East Anchorage. The schedule will be as follows:             11 am – Volunteers arrive and set up             11:30 am – Open for members (bring scion wood,…

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Pruning Workshop and Grafting Workshop Canceled

The Board of Directors have made the decision to cancel the upcoming Pruning Workshop scheduled for March 28, and the Grafting Workshop scheduled for April 18. Those who placed bulk orders will be notified of when and where you may pick up your order.

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Renew your membership using your credit card

You can to renew your membership online with a credit card by clicking “Join”.  Scroll down the page and select your membership option to add it to the cart.  You will see the cart icon at the top right.  Simply click on that to complete your membership form and payment.

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January Meeting

Thursday, January 9th at the BP Energy Building.  The festivities begin at 6:30 pm with some refreshments and the opportunity to socialize with your fellow fruit growers.  Any food or drink that you might wish to contribute to our hospitality table would be much appreciated.At 7:00 pm we will have a short board meeting followed…

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December Meeting

Thursday, December 12 at 7:00 pm in the BP Energy Center.  Join us at 6:30 pm for some refreshments and the opportunity to socialize.  Any food or drink that you might wish to contribute to our hospitality table would be much appreciated.Program: Annie Brownlee: Fruit Tree Physiology and Growth

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November Meeting

Our first winter meeting is Thursday, November 14 at 7:00 pm at the BP Energy Center.  This is an important meeting that you should plan to attend.  This is our annual membership meeting where we present the president’s year-end review, the treasurer’s report, and we vote to fill openings on the board.  Usually, if time permits, everyone shares…

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September 19th Apple & Fruit Tasting

Thursday, September 19, 7:00 pm at the BP Energy Center will be an apple/fruit tasting for our members. Non-members may attend for a charge of $5 per person. Come to the tasting to find out what apple varieties to add to your orchard. Set-up for the tasting will begin at 6:30 pm

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March Meeting

Please plan to attend the APFGA general membership meeting on Thursday, March 14th, at 7:00 pm in the BP Energy Center, 1014 Energy Court, Anchorage, AK 99508 (southwest of main office tower – west of the Marriott) . At 6:30 pm there will be refreshments and the opportunity to socialize before the meeting is called to order at…

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February Meeting

Please plan to attend the APFGA general membership meeting on Thursday, February 14th, at 7:00 pm in the BP Energy Center, 1014 Energy Court, Anchorage, AK 99508 (southwest of main office tower – west of the Marriott) . At 6:30 pm there will be refreshments and the opportunity to socialize before the meeting is called to order at…

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January Meeting

Please plan to attend the APFGA general membership meeting on Thursday, January 10th, at 7:00 pm in the BP Energy Center, 1014 Energy Court, Anchorage, AK 99508 (southwest of main office tower – west of the Marriott) . At 6:30 pm there will be refreshments and the opportunity to socialize before the meeting is called to order at…

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Next Meeting December 13th at BP Energy Center

Please plan to attend the APFGA general membership meeting on Thursday, December 13th, at 7:00 pm in the BP Energy Center, 1014 Energy Court, Anchorage, AK 99508 (southwest of main office tower – west of the Marriott) . At 6:30 pm there will be refreshments and the opportunity to socialize before the meeting is called to order at…

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May 12 (Member-Only) Top-Working Demonstrations

Do you have an apple or crab apple tree that produces apples that you don’t like?  Do you have limited space but would like more varieties of apples?  Then join us for Top-Working Demonstrations on Saturday, May 12, 2018 starting at 1:00 pm in the Valley. Apple grower Dan Elliot will demonstrate how to prune…

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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…

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March 24: Member-Only Pruning event

The annual APFGA pruning workshop will be held on Saturday, March 24 at 1:00 pm.  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…

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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…

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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…

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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! https://www.facebook.com/pg/ClairsCultivations/videos/?ref=page_internal

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Fairbanks Apple Grafting Workshops

There will be multiple apple grafting clinics in Fairbanks. Information on this event is below. Time: 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 Location: UAF Arctic Health Research Building, 901 S. Koyukuk Drive, Room 1W05. Free…

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2017 Meeting Schedule

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…

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Meeting and Activity Schedule for 2016

General meetings are suspended from March through September. 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.

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General Reminders

Don’t forget to send interesting Gardening articles, ideas, and recipes to Shannon Kesting editor@apfga.org for the newsletter. Our Gallery page could use more pictures of plants, fruit and APFGA events. Send those digital photos to our webmaster with a brief caption for posting.

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Featured Fruit – Nagoonberry

Found in Northern Alaska in shady thickets, meadows, and stream sides. If you aren’t lucky enough to grow your own nagoonberries or find them in the wild, you can replace them with raspberries or strawberries in this recipe for trail cookies.   Nagoonberry Hardtack (Taken from the Alaska Wildberry Guide and Cookbook.) 4 cups nagoonberries…

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Apple Thinning

By Tami Schlies Every July I spend time among my trees hand-thinning apple clusters. For twenty plus trees, it is time consuming. There will be spiders. My chickens get underfoot chasing the dropped fruit. But it is worth every moment of my time when harvest arrives. It hurts to break off all that potential fruit,…

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Update from Dwight and Lauren Bradley

  Lauren and I moved out of Alaska in mid September and drove two cars and three pets to Randolph, New Hampshire. We bought an old farm on 20 acres here; I worked at this farm in the 1970s, before becoming a geologist. The farmhouse is in great shape. There are three attached barns Two of…

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Nagoonberry Trial

Nagoonberry Trial By Mark Wolbers   In the summer of 2010, I planted a test plot of arctic raspberries (Rubus arcticus L. subsp.x stellarcticus) also known as nagoonberries. I ordered three cultivated varieties developed in a Swedish breeding program to assess vigor, flowers, fruit size and production. The varieties tested are sold under the names…

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Featured Fruit — Nanking Cherry

Nanking Cherry   Exerpted from “Plums on the Prairies” by Rick Sawatzky http://www.usask.ca/agriculture/plantsci/dom_fruit/articles/plums.pdf   “Prunus tomentosa, Nanking cherry, is widely grown in the prairie provinces.  Nanking cherry as well as eastern and western sandcherries are listed with the plums because they are more closely related botanically to the plums than to true cherries.  Nanking cherry…

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Bob Boyer

It is with great sadness I report that Founding and Lifetime member Bob Boyer passed away on June 20, 2014. Bob’s passion for Fruit Growing never waned over the years. His enthusiasm and willingness to share his knowledge on fruit growing will be hard to replace. Our deepest Sympathy go out to his wife Marianne…

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Cold injury to fruit trees a big concern

By Gary Pullano, Assistant Editor Reprinted with permission from Fruit Growers News, April 2014 Edition Vol. 53, #4 The need for growers to understand the impact of cold injury to fruit trees in 2014, particularly to the more tender crops, made a series of presentations by Jon Clements, Extension tree fruit specialist with the University…

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Ranetka Sightings! and Related Observations

  by Mark Weaver In last year’s ranetka article, I voiced concerns about the hardiness of the ranetka seedlings many of us have been using for rootstock. I have since found additional information that helps to answer the question of what “ranetka” is, where it comes from, and how much variability we can expect. Lawyers…

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A Garden Report

  by Mary Patania   Gardening 2013 The events of fall 2012 set the stage for 2013. We had huge amounts of rain 2012, July through August then a sudden quick freeze in Sept. The results of 2013 were: Early Spring: No garlic or tulips. The ground didn’t warm up until mid July. We had…

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A Study of the Winter Kill Phenomena

  By Anne Wieland Passed on from Ellen VandeVisse, a member from Palmer AK.   Dear Homer friends who garden, Back in June you may have taken the time to enter data in the Winter Kill survey.  It’s been quite a while since then and some amazing things have happened demonstrating the resilience of nature…

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Romeo cherry tree likely doesn’t need fertilizer

Original article BY GERALD FILIPSKI, EDMONTONJOURNAL.COM JULY 16, 2012 Forwarded with a note by Kevin Irvin: For what it is worth, please do remember these are considered ‘trial’ her,e and our South Central temp swings can wreak havoc on plants. It is exciting to trial new fruits though isn’t it? Unlike many cherry trees, the…

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Sun Scald Meets Science

Sun Scald Meets Science (Ilya Kotovich Upends the Apple Cart) By Mark Weaver – December 2013 It is difficult to grow fruit trees in Alaska without sooner or later encountering damage caused by sun scald. Typical damage appears in the spring on the southern, sunny sides of trees. Sometimes it consists merely of roughened, discolored…

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Welcome to the RECIPES Edition

  By Tami Schlies   What does a fruit grower do when not growing fruit? Eat it! As you’ve probably noticed, I like to include at least one recipe in every edition. This edition will be an all recipes issue, focusing on apples. With the holidays just around the corner, you might be thinking of…

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Reindeer Sausage Apple Crisp Pie

By Carol Ross Apple filling: Made when apples are harvested and frozen in 12 or 16 oz plastic Cool Whip containers. Place plastic wrap on top of apples before putting on lid. Label and date.   5 cups large Rescue crabapples cut in quarters and cut out core and seeds, (not pared.) 1/4 cup brown…

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The Key to Preventing Moldy Berries

(From the AMGA Gardener Loop) Berries are delicious, but they’re also delicate. Raspberries in particular seem like they can mold before you even get them home from the market. There’s nothing more tragic than paying $4 for local raspberries, only to look in the fridge the next day and find fuzzy mold growing on their…

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Orchard Report

By Tami Schlies If you’ve been to the membership forums, you’ll find a section where people are posting the results of the past winter. Very interesting to see what survived and what didn’t in various parts of the state. Like many people, I had terrible dieback on my Evans cherries. They are about eight years…

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President’s Message

  By Kevin Irvin This year has been quite the roller coaster as far as weather as I am sure you all know. Many iron-clad varieties had survival problems and it wasn’t just apples! It also is dependent on the micro-climate we each have at our respective orchards. Some fared far better than others simply…

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Gluten Free Rhubarb Cream Cheese Tea Cake

Reprinted with permission from You Can Eat This! 22 Gluten Free Comfort Recipes This cake is a bit involved to assemble, but well worth the effort. The cake portion has a pastry-like texture, and the layers of fruit and cream cheese give the confection a complexity that makes it hard to stop eating. If you…

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Ranetka is a Ranetka is a . . . ?

(Some Inconvenient Observations about Apple Rootstocks) By Mark Weaver — December 2012 In the last 20 years, productive apple trees and productive home orchards have proliferated in Southcentral Alaska to an extent once thought impossible. In large measure, this has happened because of the willingness of a few Alaskan and Canadian growers—real pioneers in the…

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The Importance of Chilling Hours

The Importance of Chilling Hours Flower buds require sufficient chilling hours during the winter to break dormancy and bloom in the spring. Chilling hours is a complex and confusing issue. Because so many customers have asked about chilling hours, Grandpa has compiled some charts from the best sources that he has to help customers concerned…

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Membership Loss…

Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of Clair Lammers and Alice Brewer, life time members and true Pioneers of fruit growing in Alaska. Clair passed away on December 24, 2012 and Alice on December 30, 2012. They both will be greatly missed.

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Featured Fruit — Banana

Featured Fruit Banana Musa acuminata Colla, M. X paradisiaca L. (hybrid) Bananas are the fourth largest crop in the world, comprised of over 400 cultivated varieties, and the plants grow throughout every tropical region.  The plants are called trees, but are actually a perennial herb.  The stem is composed of tightly wrapped leaves surrounding the…

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IPM Talk

By Tami Schlies   Did you know that the mayday tree, Prunus patus, is becoming invasive here in Alaska?  Michael Rasy with the UAF Cooperative Extension spoke to us about things to look out for here in the high north that may cause problems down the road. Apparently invasive species can have what is called…

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From the President

By Pat Mulligan   Hello members.  Much of the value of this group is the sharing of experience. When one member tries something new, we all benefit.  Why should we miss new, hardier plants or make the same mistakes?  Our newsletters convey some of our experiences.  Please join me in thanking Dawn Deiser for scanning…

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Featured Fruit — Avocado

Avocado Persea Americana Avocados grow in subtropical climes where there is no frost and little wind, though the Haas cultivar has been known to tolerate temperatures down to −1°C.  The trees are partially self-fertile, and like apples are propagated by grafting to maintain predictability in the fruit.  The rough, green-skinned, pear shaped fruit is botanically…

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Haskap Arrives in North America

From the Home Orchard Society www.homeorchardsociety.org Dr. Maxine Thompson Haskap berries are native to Hokkaido, the northern Island of Japan. Historically, wild-growing plants provided one of the few fruits available to the Aniu people, the indigenous population on this island. They appreciated their taste and also recognized their high nutritional value. In 1967, the Japanese…

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Moose Protection

By Tami Schlies I have a few trees in my front yard that have, of necessity, been planted without moose protection.  Starting every August, I have moose cycle through my yard like clockwork every five or six weeks until May.  My orchard in the back is protected by the fence around my chicken yard, and…

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Featured Fruit — Pumpkin

  Pumpkin – Cucurbita pepe, C. mixta, C. maxima, C. moschata   The origin of pumpkins is not known, although pumpkins are thought to have originated in North America. The oldest evidence, pumpkin-related seeds dating between 7000 and 5500 B.C., were found in Mexico. Pumpkins are a squash-like fruit that range in size (less than…

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Fireblight

By Seymour Mills I would like to offer something for the Fireblight that is very cheap to try and I think it will work. I’m pretty sure that is what I had to deal with. Mix a heavy solution of garden lime in water and scrub loose any diseased looking area and paint on the…

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Currants Up North

By Travis Czechowsi I have some words on currants I would like to pass on to club members.  Though personally I have grown currant bushes for 5 years now, I grew up around massive amounts of them and gooseberries in western New York State.  One of the strains I have of a black currant came…

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Grammy Nedra’s Carrot Cake

  This is a really great cake made with our sweet Alaskan carrots.  The recipe was requested by several people at one of our fall meetings after sampling some mini-cupcakes.     CAKE Grease a large bundt pan & preheat oven to 325 F. In a large mixing bowl cream: 2 c. of sugar 1…

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Homemade EarthBoxes

At the January meeting I showed members how to construct a self watering planter similar to those sold under the name EarthBox™.  Here is the information from the website I learned the technique from, as well as photos from the January meeting.  (Edited from www.josho.com/Earthbox.htm) Here’s how to make a homemade EarthBox™ in about 15…

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Raspberry Production in South-Central Alaska

Dwight Bradley   We’ve been growing raspberries organically for at least 10 years and now have about 600 feet of raspberry row.  Here are some lessons learned.   Raspberry basics Raspberry roots live for many years, but the canes themselves are on a two-year life cycle.  During year one, a new cane will sprout from…

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SWEET SIXTEEN APPLES RIPEN IN ANCHORAGE

    A few years ago, Bob Boyer top worked Sweet Sixteen onto an old Siberian crab growing in Tony Route’s backyard near 8th & M just west of downtown Anchorage. The tree is one backyard north of the “8th & M mystery apple” which has been mentioned in past newsletters. The top worked tree…

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Did you know …?

You can make sturdy, homemade tree tags out of soda cans.  Member Eldon DeKay cuts the top and bottom off the can and slices it open to flatten out the metal.  He then uses tin snips to make a three inch tab on one end and to round out the sharp corners.  Make two slits…

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Book Review – Fall 2007

Book Review By Tami Schlies   The 2007 Prairie Garden The Edible Landscape This 168 page paperback is a very nice compilation of articles written by experts in Western Canada.  Articles such as “Dwarf Sour Cherries for the Prairie” and “Wild Plums in the Northwest” are a wealth of information we orchardists in Alaska can…

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A Dozen Things to Do Before Snowfall

A Dozen Things to Do Before Snowfall Clean up leaves and fallen fruit to prevent disease and pests from over wintering. Remove diseased wood from trees and other plants. Wrap trees to protect against sunscald and rodent damage. Put up fencing or other means to protect fruit trees from moose. Send in soil samples for testing. …

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From the Editor’s Garden

By Tami Schlies Another season is over, with the golden birch and cottonwoods raining down their leaves in a forecast of the snow to come.  I sit at my computer once again, reworking in my mind all that has occurred in the brief summer since the last newsletter. Spring seemed to take its own sweet…

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Honeyberry Facts

  The bushes are hardy to about -49 F / -45 C The open flowers are hardy to 20 F / -7 C Each bush can yield over 2 pounds of fruit in its third year and up to 8 pounds by its sixth year 3 oz. of fresh berries provides 50-70 mg of vitamin…

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ANNUAL TASTING OF ALASKA-GROWN APPLES 2006

ANNUAL TASTING OF ALASKA-GROWN APPLES By Dwight Bradley   2006 Results   The annual apple tasting was held at Bradley’s in Peters Creek on Sept. 23, 2007.  About 30 people were there and 19 rated the apples.  Fifty-five different apple varieties were tasted along with nineteen duplicates.  Another dozen or so varieties were brought for…

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From the Editor’s Garden

By Tami Schlies   A Haiku Dog tracks in the house leading from the kitchen door. Spring in Alaska   That seems to be about all I have seen of spring at my house so far this year.  The Siberian squill, crocuses, daffodils, and tulips are late coming up (they have shown their heads finally…

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PRUNING FOR FRUIT

  By Tami Schlies We have watched a lot of videos over the years on pruning apple trees, both in the early, formative years, and on old trees that need to be seriously reformed.  However, I think quite a few people likely have questions on how to prune other types of fruit, or even how…

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Did You Know?

  For those of you who do not wish to get out the ladder to pick your fruit, trees should be kept to a height equal to 80% of the row width. So if your trees are spaced 12 feet apart, you should keep them 9 ½ feet tall.  The best way to de-invigorate a…

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Orchard report for 2005 growing season – Peters Creek

by Dwight Bradley, Peters Creek Our orchard was laid out in summer 1992 so this was its 14th summer. It’s looking more and more like a real orchard and less like the “stick farm” that it once was.  Of the 50 trees that were planted in 1992-1993, only six remain (Heyer 20, Crimson Beauty, Norland,…

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Mulching

  by Debbie Hinchey   I am scheduled to talk about mulching at the upcoming Rose Soc. Feb 21 meeting and thought it would be neat to ask an even broader group of gardeners about it. I am hoping that it could later be put into a talk to other groups if I get enough…

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Cider: some definitions

Some definitions: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.   Cider Cider (also spelled: cyder) refers to a beverage containing the juice of apples. In Europe and Oceania, the term refers to fermented apple juice. In North America cider is normally unfermented; when fermented, it is known as “hard cider” or “alcoholic cider”. In North America, cider is bought fresh; when filtered, clarified, fortified with Vitamin…

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Featured Recipes 2006

  Spicy Cider Syrup Submitted by Kevin Irvin   1 cup sugar 3 tablespoons flour ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 cups Apple Cider 2 tablespoons lemon juice ¼ cup butter or margarine   In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar, 3 T flour, ¼ tsp. cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in cider and lemon…

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Schlies Orchard Report 2006

Schlies Orchard Report 2006 By Tami Schlies This was a good year for fruit yield at our house.  Almost every apple tree produced fruit, and the Evan’s cherries actually produced enough for a couple of pies (well, would have if my son had not had a feast one day while he was looking for duck…

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Japanese or Manchurian Plum?

By Kevin Irvin This information was taken from the following website: http://www.uga.edu/fruit/plum.html There seems to be some confusion on what to call Prunus salicina, Japanese or Manchurian Plum? What do you call it? The two names Japanese and Manchurian have been inner changed quite frequently, so let me help clarify why this is so and…

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Notes from Dan Elliot

I re-read the excellent Ecological Fruit Production in the North this summer.  Since it is out of print, I will pass on some information of interest. Pears need high phosphorus longer than apples (10-12 years) and only half as much nitrogen. For established apple trees apply 25-50 kg (55-110 lbs) of compost per tree in…

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Researching Cherry Fruit Bud Hardiness

Researching Cherry Fruit Bud Hardiness Below is a forwarded email from Lynn Long a Hort. Extension agent from the University of Oregon. [Kevin] came across the attached Article written by Lynn and thought it would be good information for the Newsletter. Lynn has given permission to reprint.   Hello, I came across your paper on…

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Making Jam and Jelly

By Tami Schlies Jams and jellies are a fine balance of four essential ingredients; fruit, pectin, sugar, and acid.  Each type of fruit provides at least some natural pectin and acid, with slightly under-ripe fruit providing slightly more than the fully ripe counterpart.  This is why many recipes suggest using about one-fourth under-ripe fruit, so…

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Antonovka as a Rootstock

By Kevin Irvin Most commercially sold Apple Trees with a Hardy Standard size rootstock are budded onto M. Antonovka. Baileys Nursery a wholesale grower for the Nursery Trade uses Antonovka as well as Columbia, Borowinka and others as a Hardy rootstock. Most Nursery (Greenhouse) retail outlets here in Alaska commonly buy from Baileys among others.…

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Cherries

These Cherries are reported to begin fruiting at 3 years old! SK Carmine Jewel Stands out for it’s early fruit. Harvest mid to late July when fruit is dark red almost black. Small pit; lots of flesh. Mature height 6’ to 8’ SK Crimson Passion (formerly called Big Mamma) Dark red fruit. Fresh eating Cherry.…

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2005 Orchard Report — Kenai

2005 Orchard Report by Mike O’Brien O’Brien Garden & Trees 49152 Orchard Circle Kenai, AK 99611 (907)-776-8726 obrienorchards@gci.net   Hello Tami,   This started as a note on the highlight of the 2005 season but after proofing also includes previous years. I enjoyed demonstrating the grafting procedure at the workshop last April, 9 with Dwight…

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Featured Fruit — Blueberries

Blueberry –Vaccinium spp.   Related to azaleas and rhododendrons, blueberries need a highly organic, cool, moist, well drained soil with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5.  Tiny, urn shaped white or pink flowers decorate the plant in spring, followed by green berries that turn blue when ripe.  Roots grow very near the soil surface, so…

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Did You Know?

  Several of our members were featured in an article in the Frontiersman that later appeared in the Anchorage Daily News? See the article at: http://www.frontiersman.com/articles/2005/09/13/news/news2.txt Debbie Hinchey found an informative web site:  www.treesofantiquity.com.   They are in California and sell organic fruit and/or trees. Dan Elliott got the Grand Champion prize for the outdoor…

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Nutrient Requirements of Fruit Production

By Tami Schlies   Bob Purvis observed some nutrient deficiencies in fruit trees during his visit here in September and was kind enough to share with all of us some of his knowledge on these issues.  I have also investigated some other common deficiency symptoms and expanded on his advice in this article.   We…

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Hardy Plums

By Debbie Hinchey (Edited by Bob  Purvis)   At the apple pressing hosted at Dan and Miriam Elliott’s home on September 8, 2005, we were treated to delicious greenhouse-grown apples by Bob Boyer and plums grown by Bob Purvis (at his Minnesota orchard.)   The plums were ones that Purvis thought might do well for…

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Spindle Galls on Local Tree

By Tom Marshall   In July strange growths were found on the underside of some of the leaves of my four year old native American plum tree. Each one looked like a little cigar shaped dark green tubular leaf on a small lighter green stem.  They ranged in length from1/4 to 3/4 inches.  I brought…

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From the Editor’s Garden 2005

Fall blew in on a windstorm this year, the normal mode up here, but this year it seemed to be nearly a month late.  I usually have a killing frost by the end of August, and it was the beginning of October before frost finally took my beans, squash, and pumpkins.   The winds blew…

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Featured Fruit — Coconut

  Coconut Cocos nucifera   Coconuts are so common throughout the world’s tropical regions that the exact origin is unknown.  The fruit can float for long periods of time, following ocean currents to colonize new lands.  Coconuts were the Polynesian way of carrying water to drink on their long, migratory canoe trips.  A coconut can…

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Member Fruit Updates

Alice Brewer finally got some beautiful little pears off her pear tree Bob Purvis gave her years ago.   Neither Alice Brewer nor Lawrence Clark had apricots produce this year.   Dan Elliot says his best apple this year for flavor was Simonette 1847.

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The Road to Hana

By Tami Schlies I missed the October meeting this year, but with good reason: I was in Hawaii with my family, basking in surf and sun.  No, I am not writing this to rub it in, but to share with you my sense of the vegetation and especially the fruit.  Our first island was Maui,…

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Featured Fruit — Wild Alaskan Blueberry

Wild Alaskan Blueberry Vaccinium ovalifolium, V. alaskensis, V. uliginosum   Our wild blueberries here in Alaska tend to be much more flavorful than the commercial blueberries bought at the grocery store.  They grow in such abundance that many find no need to attempt the very specific conditions required for growing blueberry cultivars in their back…

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New Fruit Variety Trials

By Tami Schlies Our visit from Bernie Nikolai this summer was very enlightening on a lot of fronts.  He is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, which has weather most like our state, though a bit colder winters and hotter summers than Anchorage.  Their average frost dates are around may 24th and September 15th.  They only get…

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Did You Know?

Did You Know?     If you discover a girdled tree in early spring, use white silicone caulking on the exposed area to prevent desiccation and save the tree.  The bark may grow back.   Young apple trees do best in bare soil with no competing grass or weeds and no mulch.   Evans cherry…

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The Editor’s Garden

By Tami Schlies Greetings from the Editor’s Garden!  Our heat wave this summer has been great to many of my plants, and I wish I’d planted more beans and corn.  As they say, it is either a bean year or a lean year, and this is definitely a bean year!  My potatoes are suffering from…

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Red Raspberry

Red Raspberry Rubus idaeus   Native to North America, red raspberries grow from perennial roots.  The tall, thorny canes are brownish red and woody, reach full size the first year, produce heavily the second year, then die and are replaced by new canes.  Leaves consist of 3 to 5 irregularly toothed leaflets, whitish and hairy…

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Apple production at O’Brien Orchards – 2002

Apple  production @ O’Brien  Orchards 49152 Orchard circle Kenai ,AK 99611 907/776-8726 E-Mail obrienorchards @gci.net 2000                                                    2001                                                    2002 Breakey   .25#                                     Breakey 10#                                        Breakey  25# Centennial   45#                                  Centennial 25#                                    Centennial Crab 184 # Bud 9 – 1# CGE    3#                                            CGE 5#                                               CGE 3# Carroll 30# Chestnut crab 2#                                 Chestnut crab 10#                               Chestnut Crab 43#…

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root grafting

Did You Know? Dr. Dinkel sometimes gets 2 grafted trees per single rootstock using an interesting method he calls root grafting.  Those long taproots we often cut off to fit the tree into a pot can be used as rootstock by grafting directly onto it in some cases.  The best success is with a 12…

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Book Reviews – March 2003

By Tami Schlies Organic Gardening in Cold Climates by Sandra Perrin This sounded like a promising book when I picked it up, but I was a little disappointed at the simplicity of the subject matter.  She covered the basics, but there was nothing new for me in it.  I had hoped for an explanation of…

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Featured Fruit — Cranberry

Cranberry   Alaskan Bog Cranberry – Oxycoccus microcarpus A member of the Heath family, this creeping shrub has slender branches and tiny leaves.  The flowers resemble miniature shooting stars, while the ruby fruit often appears to be lying on a bed of moss.  Prefers mossy peat bogs.   The American Cranberry – Vaccinium macrocarpon This…

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Annual Tasting Of Alaska-Grown Apples – 2002

  By D. BRADLEY   2002 Results   The annual Alaska-grown apple tasting was held in late September at Bradley’s in Peters Creek.  About 30 people were there and 20 people rated the apples.  We rated 63 different varieties, and 26 repeats.  The top five apples this year were Oriole (grown by Tom Marshall), Carroll…

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Bench Grafting Stone Fruits In The Spring

  By BOB PURVIS Bench-grafting stone fruits in the spring can be done, but the requirements for success are more rigorous than are those for apples or pears.  In late January I discussed with Dr. Brian Smith, the stone-fruit breeder at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, what the requirements are for bench-grafting cherries.  …

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French pruning method encourages fruiting

All the pruning is done in summer, not winter. by PETER MITHAM   “It changes the sap flow in the trees. You divert the growth pattern to dormant buds for future growth, and you get more steady bearing.” Pem van Heek   Pem van Heek, a retired forester living in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,…

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Orchard Report – Peters CreeK – 2002

Peters Creek, Alaska by DWIGHT BRADLEY Jan. 6, 2003   This was the third straight good apple year for us in Peters Creek.  The winter of 2001-2002 was about average, with coldest temperatures in the range of  -25°F (one day I’ll start keeping better track).  Winterkill was minimal.   We hosted a pruning workshop in…

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Soil Health

by TAMI SCHLIES Our guest speaker in January, Mr. John Evans of Palmer, got me thinking about soil.  He created Alaska Bounty, a “soil stimulant system” that replaces natural bacteria and fungi lost in chemical fertilizing, harvesting, and even tilling the soil.  His unitque system breeds microorganisms by aerating a special compost tea, versus the…

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Recipes — October 2002

Bartlett Cream Pie       3/4 cup sugar 1/3 cup instant tapioca 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 4 to 5 cups ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, & sliced 1 cup heavy cream Cornmeal Pastry Dough 3/4 cup flour 1/4 cup cornmeal 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup butter, chilled and cut into…

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August 2002 Tours

by DAN ELLIOT APFG Members had an enjoyable and educational visit to Gene and Alaine Dinkle’s on Fairview Loop Road in Wasilla on a wet evening in August.  From giant cabbages to little crabapples, we were impressed by the variety and productivity of the established plantings. The prolific, large clump of red currant was called…

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Nursery Tour

by  TAMI SCHLIES   In early October I visited One Green World aka Northwoods Nursery in Mollalla, Oregon.  Jim Gilbert had just returned from Washington D.C. the previous day, and was too exhausted to take us around personally, so Rae took us around the grounds, urging us to sample the many types of ripe fruit…

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Hood River Tour

by TAMI SCHLIES   It rained hard all the way up the Gorge from Portland, Oregon, and I was sure we were going to get soaked.  But as we neared the Hood River exit, the clouds began to shred with the wind, and by the time we reached our first orchard – Pearl’s Place, the…

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Orchard Report – Peters Creek – 2002

Orchard Reports by Tami Schlies We got to see the wonderful acreage of Larry and Judy Wilmarth out in South Anchorage in July, and she gave us some notes I thought I would include in this issue.  They have a huge greenhouse where they keep some of their potted fruit plants in the winter.  They…

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At War with Voles and Fungi

by Tom Marshall   During the spring of the Year 2002 an army of voles invaded the orchard on my homestead west of Wasilla, Alaska.  They were probably attracted by the white clover in the lawn surrounding the trees.  The invaders girdled 6 trees killing them outright and severely retarded 6 more trees.  Unfortunately, one…

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Hardy kiwi: a potential crop for northern growers

Reprinted with permission from Great American Publishing By Mary and Bill Weaver Pennsylvania Correspondents   David Jackson has devoted 12 years of his time and energy to the hardy kiwi. His base of operations for research and development is in Danville, in Northumberland County, in northeastern Pennsylvania.   The hardy kiwi, according to Jackson, differs…

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Featured Fruit — Gooseberry

GOOSEBERRY  Ribes spp.  Saxifragaceae   Gooseberries are shrubs which grow best in cool climates with cold winters.  American gooseberries have weeping stems and will root themselves where they touch the ground.  The leaves are glossy and dark green, deeply lobed, and grow alternately along the stem.  The stems are woody and carry thorns at each…

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Recipes – Spring 2002

Homemade Fruit Juice from Jackson Gardens   Pick berries when ripe and freeze.  Later, thaw berries in a strainer to remove juice naturally, without killing the healthy enzymes in them.  Once the berries are thawed and strained, you can use a juicer or steamer to get the last of the juice out.  Freeze the juice…

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The Benefits to Plants and Soil

Reprinted with permission from Soil Foodweb Inc. By  DR. ELAINE INGHAM President, Soil Foodweb Incorporated, www.soilfoodweb.com   What benefits are possible that make it worth paying attention to the biological side of soils in addition to the chemistry and mineral fertility? Are there any economic benefits that can make a real difference to net farm…

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Beneficial Insects – The Best Pesticide

By ROCCO MOSCHETTI IPM of Alaska   “When you kill off the natural enemies of the pests, you inherit their work” –C. Huffacker   Insects are a vast group of creatures: there are more species of beetles alone than there are of all other animals put together. Although over 750,000 species of insects are known,…

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Books Review – Spring 2002

By TAMI SCHLIES   Tall and Tasty Fruit Trees by Merideth Sayles Hughes  80 pages   This book is actually a children’s book I found while at the library with my kids.  Being the fruit fiend I am, I picked it up to flip through and ended up checking it out!  It has sections on…

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Dan’s Apple Comments

By DAN ELLIOT   This past season was good for South Central apples.  Although dry, spring was early, fairly sunny, and warm.  Blossom peak was about June 4th – many years it is around the 10th.  We were almost a week earlier than Fairbanks.  Although July was cloudy, the ground had already warmed and the…

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Orchard Report – Edmonton – 2001

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada by THEAN PHEH November 28, 2001   I live in Edmonton which has a microclimate in Zone 3.  I also have contacts with other growers in Zone3 and 2 in Central Alberta.   The first killing frost of 2000 arrived late, giving the plants about two extra weeks to prepare for the…

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Apple Recipes from the 2001 Apple Tasting

Apple Pie Bars from Teddy Tebo   Filling 4 cups pared, cored sliced apples (1/8 in. thick) 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup flour 1 t cinnamon 1/4 t nutmeg 1/4 t ginger 2 egg whites, slightly beaten     Crust: 2 cups flour 1/2 cup sugar (optional) 1/2 t baking powder 1/2 t salt 1…

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Annual Tasting Of Alaska-Grown Apples 2001

By DWIGHT BRADLEY The annual Alaska-grown apple tasting was held in late September at Bradley’s in Peters Creek.  About 25 people attended and 12 people rated the apples.  We rated 52 different varieties, plus 22 repeats, or 74 apples altogether.  Bob Boyer also sneaked in his usual ringer—a Ginger Gold bought at Fred Meyers which…

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Orchard Report – Peters Creek – 2001

Peters Creek, Alaska by DWIGHT BRADLEY Dec.8, 2001   This was the second straight good apple year for us in Peters Creek.  The winter of 2000-2001 was very mild, no colder than about 0°F.  We didn’t have a decent permanent snow cover until sometime in January; meanwhile, a couple inches of glare ice built up…

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Orchard Report – Ketchikan – 2001

Ketchikan, Alaska by JERROLD KOERNER December 26, 2001 We are late in getting out our written evaluations on our trials of early ripening apple varieties here at the nursery.  Ketchikan experienced another horrible spring, much like the spring of 1999.  The apple bloom was delayed more than four weeks, spring temperatures were below normal, and…

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Orchard Report – Cottage Grove, Minnesota – 2001

Cottage Grove, Minnesota by ROBERT PURVIS August 21, 2001   This spring, my 1-year-old trees of M.604 and Debbie’s Gold apricot both blossomed on a warm day in late April, 2 wk after the last frost.  The bumblebees worked the blossoms, and the trees tried to set fruit, but ultimately they all fell off.  Now…

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Featured Fruit: Rhubarb

Rhubarb – Rheum rhabarbarum Rhubarb is an easy to grow perennial if planted in well drained soil.  The stalk is the edible portion (the large leaves are poisonous) and comes in varying shades of green to red.  Longer stalks can by obtained by blanching young plants in the spring using a cardboard box with the…

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Hansen Bush Cherry Sets Fruit with Manure Tea

by SEYMOUR MILLS At the orchard tour at my place someone said  that Hansen Bush Cherry did not fruit in Anchorage.  Guess what?  Mine have fruit on them this year.  They are a tear drop shape.  I have had one 4 or 5 years and another 2 or 3 years.  Each has flowered every year…

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Orchard Report Peter’s Creek August 30, 2001

  by TAMI SCHLIES   It is hard to believe that summer is almost over already.  It has not felt cold enough to be fall yet, but the trees have that bronzy sheen that speaks of the golden days of autumn just around the corner.  Perhaps milder days will give me the incentive to clean…

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Chickweed As Mulch

by SEYMOUR MILLS I know everyone hates chickweed but I am going to be the devil’s advocate.  I believe that mulch is useful even with our cold soil if we experiment different ways of using it.   I have plenty of chickweed and I have been using it to good advantage.  I’ve always heard that…

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Alternatives: Least Toxic Aphid Management

reprinted with permission from Journal Of Pesticide Reform/ Spring 1994 • Vol.14, No.1 Northwest Coalition For Alternatives To Pesticides/NCAP P.O. Box 1393, Eugene, Oregon 97440 / (5 41)344 -504438 Alternatives: LEAST TOXIC APHID MANAGEMENT By BECKY LONG   Every spring, aphids are one of the first pests to arrive in the yard and garden. Rarely…

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Featured Fruit: Strawberry

Strawberry – Fragaria Strawberry plants are composed of sets of three saw-toothed leaflets growing on slender, 8-20 inch tall stalks.  The berries can be white, pink, or red and are fleshy and juicy.  Strawberries are generally self fruitful. There are three classifications of strawberries based on when they flower and produce fruit.  June bearers start…

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Organic Fertilizer recipe

by TAMI SCHLIES   Instead of buying expensive, premixed fertilizer from specialty stores, try this recipe to make a complete organic fertilizer good for our Alaskan soils.  This is easy, too, because the measurements are by volume, not weight – just use a scoop!   Mix 4 parts seed meal or alfalfa meal, for Nitrogen,…

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Gladys Wood Elementary School Apple Tasting Results October 4, 2000

by HUGH HARRIS These are some additional results from an independent group with no vested interest in apples – Kindergartners!  Three classes participated, each child voting for the best apple.  This was also for the closing of “A For Apple” for the month of September.  Norland again seems to have taken the day!   Apple…

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Book Reviews May 2001

Book Review: by JERRY KOERNER   NAFEX member George Stilphen is offering a second printing of his book The Apples of Maine.  Back in 1993, George updated the original Apples of Maine by Bradford that was originally published in 1911.  George’s first printing was only 500 copies, which sold fast and are almost impossible to…

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Fencing at Low Expense

by SEYMOUR MILLS For those needing a fence around your trees at minimal expense, I will share my solution.  I use 5′ high by 1″ poultry mesh on heavyweight 6′ steel posts spaced 12 feet apart.  You can get 150′ long rolls at many hardware stores.  Before I attach the fencing I cut and peel…

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Featured Fruit: Apple

Apples are members of the rose family, or Rosaceae, and the genus Malus. The common wild apple of Europe and Asia is M. pumila. Other wild species are M. sylvestris (a wild crab), and M. baccata.  The Western Crabapple, M. fusca, grows wild on the Kenai Peninsula (rare) and along the coast of Southeastern Alaska…

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Meet a Member: Seymour Mills

  I first got serious about raising fruit trees in the spring of 1998 when I made an order from Bear Creek Nursery.  I’m very disappointed to see them go out of business.  I have also ordered form St. Lawrence, Fedco, and Oikes.  I am experimenting with some oaks, silver maple, mulberries, walnuts, and hazelnuts. …

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Growing Pineapple Indoors

by TAMI SCHLIES   Has all this darkness got you down?  Do you long for tropical sun, a little heat, maybe the smell of jasmine and piña coladas?  Well, short of hopping a plane to the tropics, those of us with an inclination for fruit growing can try growing pineapples.   First, go to the…

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Updated Apple-Tree Growth Curves For Peters Creek, Alaska 2001

Updated Apple-Tree Growth Curves For Peters Creek, Alaska By D. BRADLEY In January 1998 I measured the heights of the 77 apple trees then growing in our orchard and plotted tree height against age to get a growth curve.  In November 2000 I made new measurements of the 100 trees now growing.  The results are…

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Book Reviews January 2001

Reviews continued:   by DAN ELLIOT Happy New Year From the New President!  At the December meeting I passed around three books related to training and pruning I borrowed from the NAFEX library.  Debbie Hinchey suggested I write short reviews on them for the members not present. The video mentioned last here was shown at…

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The Ten Most Common Winemaking Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Reprinted with permission from RJ Spagnol’s Wine & Beer Making Supplies website At Spagnol’s, we love what we do. We’re hoping you’ll see why we love it. Home winemaking is easy, and we’re trying to make it even easier. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most common winemaking mistakes—mistakes we’ve all made in our…

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Annual Tasting of Alaska-Grown Apples – 2000

  By D. BRADLEY   2000 Results   The annual Alaska-grown apple tasting was held in early October at Bradley’s in Peters Creek.  About 30 people were there (including a reporter from the Chugiak-Eagle River Star) and 19 people rated the apples.  We rated 35 different varieties, and 15 repeats.  The highest-rated apples this year…

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Featured Fruit: American Red Currant

  American Red Currant (Ribes Triste) These , straggly, thorn free shrubs grow 1 1/2 feet to 5 feet high with  reddish brown shreddy bark.  The smooth leaves have 3-5 toothed lobes, and may or may not be hairy underneath.  The fruit is ready in late summer, drooping in clusters from the stems just below…

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Orchard Reports – Fall 2000

  Peters Creek, Alaska Dwight Bradley, Sept. 1, 2000 It’s finally starting to look like an orchard. Without a doubt this has been the best apple year since we planted the orchard in 1992.  Most trees survived last winter with very little damage.  Bloom lasted from June 3 to somewhere around the last week of…

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Why Fruit Trees Fail to Bear

reprinted  with permission from WSUCE  publication Your fruit tree normally will begin to bear fruit soon after it has become old enough to blossom freely. Nevertheless, the health of your tree, its environment, fruiting habits, and the cultural practices you use can influence its ability to produce fruit. Adequate pollination is also essential to fruit…

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Featured Fruit: Spruce Tips

White Spruce is found on well drained soil on south facing gentle slopes and along the edges of rivers and lakes.  Black Spruce grows on north facing slopes and in lowlands that are underlain by permafrost.  Sitka Spruce grows in coastal areas.  Collect the new, bright green, soft growth on the tips of well established…

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Book Reviews May 2000

Publication Review by Tami Schlies   The Oregon State University has a very good 23 page publication titled Growing Kiwifruit  (publication PNW 507) which gives step by step details on soil preferences, fertilization, irrigation, trellising options, thinning, harvesting, and storing kiwi.  They use “fuzzy” kiwifruit studies as a basis, but do include sections on Hardy…

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Insect Controls

selected and submitted by Paul Lariviere from an article in Pomona vol. XXXII no. 4 by S. Clark   INSECT KILLING PLANTS: *Nicotiana is by far my first choice for the control of all chewing and sucking insects.  In the same family as tobacco, is an annual in northern climates and a perennial in southern…

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Soil Facts

by Tami Schlies To many people, dirt is dirt, but to those of us who grow things, dirt is a dirty word.  The key word for us is soil, and there are many different properties to soil, all of which make our job as growers easier or harder.  Soil texture, profile, components, chemistry, and nutrients…

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Top Six Most Common Mistakes Made When Pruning Fruit Trees

Reprinted with permission By Caleb Torrice Cornell Cooperative Extension   These are the most common mistakes made while winter pruning in the orchard.   Cutting branches back instead of totally removing them. If you have a large caliper branch in the top of the tree, it needs to be removed. If that large branch is…

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KETCHIKAN ORCHARD REPORT

  —by Jerry Koerner Jerry Appleseed Nursery PO Box 6292 Ketchikan, AK 99901   Due to the La Nina reversal, Ketchikan experienced a very late and very cold spring in 1999, which severely effected our bloom time, pollination and ripening dates. Bloom time was delayed 4 to 6 weeks, as was the ripening dates for…

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FRUIT GROWING IN MINNESOTA- FIRST IMPRESSIONS

  -by Bob Purvis (12/27/99)   During the period March 1992-October 1999 my wife and I lived in Selah, WA, where I had about 245 fruit trees. At the end of October, we moved from our home there to the outskirts of St. Paul, MN, where I began work as an agricultural statistician with the…

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APPLE GROWING NEAR EDMONTON, ALBERTA

  —by Bernie Nikolai   Dwight Bradley suggested I update the Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers, with my recent experiences in apple growing in central Alberta. By way of introduction, I have an orchard of about 200 apple trees one half hour drive west of Edmonton, Alberta. My trees are from one to five years old,…

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FRUIT GROWERS FESTIVAL, EDMONTON

  — B. Boyer   The Fruit Growers Festival was held at Devonian Botanical Gardens on Sept 11 and 12. Devon is on the outskirts of Edmonton, Alberta. Clair Lammers and I attended from Alaska. On Saturday from 9 to 11 AM, we set up our fruit displays. Clair didn’t take any fruit this year.…

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GRAFTING FRUIT TREES SUCCESSFULLY

  —by Lamond Hardy 312 N.E. 80th Ave. Okeechobee, FL 34974   (The following article was found by Bob Boyer. It was used with permission from Countryside and Small Stock Journal, v. 79, no. 2. March/April 1995. The methods that Lamond Hardy describes were developed by him beginning in 1931. Regardless of whether one accepts…

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ADAMS COUNTY NURSERY, PENNSYLVANIA

  — B. Boyer   On my Pennsylvania trip, I visited Tom Callahan at Adams County Nursery. We toured their sweet cherry blocks. They have Hudson, Black Gold, NY 13-791, Hedelfigen, Ulster, Summit, Schmidt, Stella and Emperor Francis. He rates Hedelfigen #1, Summit #2, and Ulster #3. Tom was surprised to find out that my…

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ANNUAL TASTING OF ALASKA- GROWN APPLES

  — D. Bradley   1999 Results   The annual Alaskan-grown apple tasting was held at Bradley’s in Peters Creek on Sept. 25, 1999. About 30 people were there, and 19 rated the apples. We tasted 31 varieties of apples, a dozen repeats of these same varieties, two varieties of pear, and one each apricot…

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1998 ORCHARD REPORTS

  Anchorage – Bob Boyer   Although this was a cold spring and summer, I had more varieties of fruit this year. First I had about 2 pints of kiwis and I harvested over 28 quarts of service berries. I didn’t get as many raspberries this year. I bought a “Fall Red” plant this year.…

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KIWIS IN PENNSYLVANIA

  — B. Boyer   In June, Marianne and I visited David Kuchta in Nesquehoning, PA (humblebe@Ptd.net). We talked about bees for pollination and about Kiwi varieties. David has 32 varieties of kiwis on 1.3 acres, fenced with 3 strands of electric fence. He said the deer get in when he turns off the electric…

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MILE 108 APPLE

 —Kevin Irvin   The Mile 108 tree on the Seward Highway (about 10 miles south of Anchorage—editor) came to my attention via Verna Pratt this past spring. It was originally found by a lady who does nothing but search and enjoy the “big outdoor” garden. This tree has endured many a winter along the inlet…

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

  —Kevin Irvin   Another growing season has come and gone. Each season seems to be different and the only constant being the daylight hours. Seems most apple varieties ripened later than the norm, at least here in East Anchorage. However, my Valiant grapes didn’t seem to have a problem ripening this year, and they…

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APPLE WINTER SURVIVAL IN MINNESOTA

—David K. Wildung (Horticulturalist, North-Central Experiment Station, Minnesota)   (This article is from the North-Central Quarterly)   The winter of 1995-96 will be remembered as the coldest winter on record in Minnesota. The all-time state low minimum temperature of -60° F was recorded at Tower, MN on February 2, 1996. While the official low temperature…

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ESPALIERS, CORDONS, AND OTHER SPECIALIZED PRUNING AND TRAINING TECHNIQUES

    CORDONS (from The Complete Guide to Pruning and Training Plants, by David Joyce and Christopher Brickell, 1992, Simon & Schuster)   The cordon is a restricted form consisting in essence of a main stem furnished with short growing fruiting spurs. Apples are normally grown on dwarfing or semi-dwarfing rootstocks (vigorous rootstocks are only…

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ANNUAL ALASKAN-GROWN APPLE TASTING

 —Dwight Bradley   1998 Results   The annual Alaskan-grown apple tasting was held at Bradley’s in Peters Creek on Sept. 26, 1998. About 25 people were there, and 17 rated the apples. We tasted 31 varieties of apples, a dozen repeats of these same varieties, two varieties of pear, and one each apricot and plum.…

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OREOLE APPLE TREE UPDATE

    Tom Marshall provided some new information on his Oreole tree, which is topworked with 19 other varieties. The tree bore 350 Oreoie (of which 66 were blown off in a bad August windstorm), 74 Geneva Early, 37 Novosibirsk! Sweet, 26 Trailman, 19 Parkland, 15 Yellow Transparent, 21 Centennial, 7 Whitney, 1 Norcue, 7…

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1998 ORCHARD TOURS

  —Kevin Irvin   This past summer was the first year (since I’ve been in the Fruit Growers anyway) that we had a tour every month. In May we toured the Mystery Trees in Anchorage as well as making stops at Bob Boyer’s and Tom Marshall s to see then trees. Anyone who hasn’t seen…

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BYFLUI NALIV: A PROMISING ANTIQUE RUSSIAN VARIETY

    Dwight Bradley   In September, we had a visit from a geologist who spent his 40 or so years in Russia, then moved to Colorado a few years ago, when the standard of living in Russia started to spiral downhill. Like many professionals from Moscow, he owned an acre of land about an…

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A NOTE ON “BACCATA”

    I have one tree I began growing for a pollinator. This past season was the first year it blossomed and it was of no use as a pollinator. The cold spring weather had no effect on it and it was the first to blossom. It set very small crabs no bigger than the…

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MAKING CUTTINGS? USE WILLOW WATER

    (This article is from Pome News)   Many times when I take cuttings the directions indicate that I should use a rooting hormone to increase the rate of rooting. Many rooting hormones on the market are synthetic preparations of indolebutyric acid (IDA). You can use the teal thing by mixing a batch of…

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PETERS CREEK orchard report 1998

PETERS CREEK —Dwight Bradley   This was the best year yet for our apple orchard in Peters Creek. The fall of 1997 was a late one, which allowed just about all trees to harden off nicely. There were no severe fall ice storms when the leaves were still on — one of the two worst…

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Southeast Apple Tasting 1997

    by Joe Orsi   During the first week in October, Ed Buyarski, myself, and portions of our families participated in an apple tasting session from apples grown at our test orchards located north of Auke Bay, We collectively tasted 36 varieties of apples and recorded many of their attributes (Table 1). Although the…

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Orchard Report: EAST ANCHORAGE—Kevin Irvin

EAST ANCHORAGE—Kevin Irvin   This past growing season proved to be somewhat of a challenge with the spring weather turning cold as it did and essentially stopping growth for up to a month depending on the varieties. In my crowded container grown orchard the biggest set back was pollination. While all trees eventually blossomed they…

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1998 ORCHARD REPORTS

  FAIRBANKS—Clair Lammers   Our growing season started at the normal time of year!” We had NO rain until July 11. I started irrigating May 27th. We had “the best year ever”. I ripened 93 varieties of apples for a total of 1239 pounds, 8 varieties of plums for 67 pounds, 5 varieties of pear…

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MESSAGE FROM CLAIR LAMMERS ON USE OF ROOTING HORMONE IN GRAFTING

    Clair Lammers of Fairbanks sent the following email on April 23, 1998.   “I tried something different while grafting this spring. I dipped 64 grafts in HORMODON 1 (Indole-3-butyric Acid 0.1%). Only one of the dipped grafts failed to grow. Also, I only dipped the graft that was not a complete fit (slightly…

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BURGUNDY AND WOLF RIVER APPLES RIPENED IN ANCHORAGE

    by Dwight Bradley   The Burgundy apple is a large, red, relatively new variety that has some promise as a commercial variety in the colder apple-growing parts of upstate New York and northern New England, and southern Quebec. Pam Warner reports that her Burgundy tree ripened its .first fruit this past growing season…

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MINIMIZING ORCHARD DAMAGE CAUSED BY ICE STORMS

  by Dwight Bradley   The recent ice storm that devastated parts of Quebec and New England was the worst in living memory. Ice storms in that part of the world are fairly common between October and April when the all above a warm front is above freezing, and the air below it is below…

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RESULTS OF THE SEPTEMBER 1997 ALASKAN APPLE-TASTING

    —by Dwight Bradley   The annual tasting of Alaska-grown apples was held at Bradleys in Peters Creek in late September. About 30 people attended, and 23 turned in scoresheets. Bob Boyer contributed three of the top four apples this year: the winner, Ginger Gold, plus runner-up September Ruby and Sunrise. Tom Marshall’s Oriole…

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OREOLE APPLE TREE

  -by Tom Marshall, Anchorage   In 1969, weary of looking at my neighbor’s unfinished garage through my one picture window, I planted what I thought was a crab apple from Swedberg Nursery in battle Lake, Minn. My thought was that its early season pink blooms and foliage would beautify my house near Merrill Field…

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WINTER 1996-97 SURVIVAL

WINTER 1996-97 SURVIVAL -by Clair Lammers   Coldest temp was -42 on 1-13-97 with a snow cover of 22 inches. The first freeze was 10-3-96 with a +26; last freeze on 5-14-97 with a +27. Total rainfall for 1996 as 6.63 inches. On average, our spring was 7-10 days later than normal. To understand this…

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FOUR-YEAR SUMMARY OF ALASKAN APPLE-TASTING RESULTS

    — by Dwight Bradley   The following table summarizes the results of four consecutive years of apple tastings of apples grown in the Anchorage-Matanuska Valley region. This is a partial list of all the varieties that have been brought at one time or another to the tastings. For this table, I took only…

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RAISING OYSTER MUSHROOMS ON COTTONWOOD LOGS

  – Dwight Bradley   Many people who came to the 1996 apple tasting at the Bradley homestead saw our experimental mushroom farm. Now, nearly two years after first inoculating the logs, we are getting our first crop. Pleurotu ostreatus, the oyster mushroom, is a delicious edible mushroom that grows on dead hardwood trees. Oyster…

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MAXIMIZING RASPBERRY YIELDS

    The following information may be of interest to Alaskan raspberry growers. It is from the World Wide Web at:   http:/gus.nsac.ns.ca/-piinfo/newsletters/otherberries/961rasp.html   Research by Dr. J. P. Prive of the Michaud experimental Farm in New Brunswick, Canada, has shown that light interception is critical to maximizing yields, and that the best way to…

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IRT PLASTIC IN THE ORCHARD

– Dwight Bradley   Following up on an idea of Bob Boyer’s, I did a small but promising experiment with IRT plastic in the orchard over the summer. I had two apparently identical Norland trees, both on Antonovka rootstock, which were grafted in 1995 an bought as 1-year whips in 1996 from Lawyer. A control…

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Bending To Pressure

This Michigan growers apple orchard is bending over backwards to increase yield.   By Jean D. Aylsworth   LEO Dietrich, an apple grower from Conklin, Mich., has tried bending the leaders on some two-year-old trees to control tree vigor and possibly increase yields as well.   In a planting of Northern Spys on Mark rootstock,…

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SUGAR CONTENT OF ALASKAN APPLES AT THE SEPTEMBER 1996 APPLE-TASTING

  by Dwight Bradley   In the last Newsletter I reported on the September 1996 apple tasting, but forgot to include data on the sugar content. Bob Beyer took a slice of each apple that we tasted and squeezed a bit of juice into an refractometer, which measures sugar content in brix (I don’t find…

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‘Summerred’ Apple: A Delightful Addition to ‘Chinese Golden Early’ and ‘Rescue’ Eating Applies for Southcentral Alaska

    Curtis H. Dearborn*   ‘Summerred’ is the first apple of high eating quality ever to have developed ripe fruits on the tree in the Cook Inlet region of Alaska. Its flavor is a blend of ‘McIntosh’ and ‘Delicious’ and its fragrance exceeds that of ‘McIntosh.’ The texture of ‘Summerred’ resembles that of ‘Golden…

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REVISED SURVIVAL FOR WINTER 1995-1996

  by Clair hammers (1364 Esro Road, Fairbanks, AK 99712 phone 907-488-6446)   Our coldest temp was -40°F on 12-5-95 with a snow cover of 1.5 inches. We did receive an additional 18 inches on 2-2096 with a total for the winter of 26 inches. Total rainfall for the 1995 growing season was 11.10 inches.…

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RESULTS OF 1996 ALASKA-GROWN APPLE-TASTING

  by Dwight Bradley   The Annual tasting of Alaska-Grown apples was held at Bradley’s in Peters Creek on September 26. About 30-35 people attended, and 26 turned in scoresheets. In all, we tasted 50 apples, including 40 different varieties and 10 repeats. Almost everyone agreed that this was an excellent group of apples —…

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ORCHARD REPORT 1996

  by Helen Butcher (Received July 8, 1996)   The Golden Transparents received for Mothers Day 1986 have had a steady, not always consistent production. Several years ago I started culling down to two left on each group with resulting larger, regular-sized apples. Maybe the weather played a part? The trees are in the open…

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TART-CHERRY AND PLUM OBSERVATIONS

TART-CHERRY OBSERVATIONS by Bob Purvis   In 1993 I planted a Meteor tart cherry on a Mazzard rootstock and in 1994, a Baird pie cherry, grafted from the tree in Bill Baird’s yard in Anchorage. This year I had the opportunity to watch closely as both trees set a good crop of cherries and ripened…

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ESTABLISHING BENCH GRAFTS — SOME LESSONS LEARNED

  by Bob Purvis   I’ve done a lot of bench grafting over the past ten years and then grown the trees in pots or in the garden or (more recently) in a pasture. There have been some good success stories, but also some disappointments. Here are some lessons I’ve learned in the horticulture department…

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ESTABLISHING NEW FRUIT TREES—SOME LESSONS LEARNED

  by Bob Purvis   During the past sixteen years, I have planted a few hundred fruit trees and recently watched the planting of several thousand at our Richland fruit ranch. Here are some observations I would like to pass on to Alaska Pioneer Fruit growers members who plan to plant trees in 1997.  …

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NEW CHALLENGES FOR APFGA FOUNDER

  by Dwight Bradley   Bob Purvis, founder of the Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers and its first president (1984-89), left his job as a horticulturist with Agrimanagement, Inc. in Yakima in mid-February 1996 to become the horticulturist for Chiawan Orchards/Cotumbia Reach Pack in yakima. Bob recently wrote to me and commented on his new job:…

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IN PRAISE OF SIBERIAN CRAB

  By Bernie Nikolai   I’ve always felt that the magnificent Siberian Crab has received a “bum rap” over the years. Here we have a tree that can take -50°F with zero snowcover, and come out smiling the next spring without any injury! It has a tough corky bark which makes it virtually immune from…

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Apples in Alaska

  CURTIS H. DEARBORN Research Horticulturist   Apples are not native to Alaska oven though there are areas along the coast with milder weather conditions than those where apples are grown in other regions of the world. Oregon crabapple (Malus fusea) of southeastern Alaska is the only member of the Malus genus indigenous to Alaska.…

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SPRING ORCHARD REPORT 1996

  by Dwight Bradley   Owing to the lack of snow cover until January the winter of 95-96 had the potential to be rough on tender plants. I heard one report that the ground in Anchorage froze down to 14 feet below the surface. Whether or not this is an exaggeration, there certainly were a…

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The quest for new apple genes takes ARS plant explorers to Central Asia.

The quest for new apple genes takes ARS plant explorers to Central Asia.   ?????? ritz Waller has been in the apple business since the 1960’s. Today he grows 12 popular varieties—including McIntosh, Jonagold, and Empire—on his 250-acre apple orchard in Wolcott, New York, near Lake Ontario. One of his biggest expenses is the chemicals…

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Nineteenth-Century Russian Apple Varieties in Alaska

  by Dwight Bradley   My interest in Russian apples was recently rekindled by a short note by George Quesada in the Fall 1995 issue of Pomona. Quesda came across an 1884 booklet by Charles Gibb of Montreal titled On the Russian apples imported by the U.S. Dept, of Agriculture in 1870. Xerox copies of…

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Honey Bee Fun

  by Joe Orsi   This year I tried to improve the pollination success of my fruit trees by keeping honey bees near our home in Auke Bay. I was fortunate to acquire some beekeeping supplies from a person who raised bees in Juneau about ten years ago. I also ordered beekeeping supplies from Brushy…

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A Technique to Relocate Graft Positions

  by Joe Orsi   This year I topworked numerous varieties on to most of my apple trees. Topworking a tree enables you to evaluate multiple varieties in a relatively short time frame and in a limited amount of space. Of course, tills is as long as you can relocate and identify your topworked varieties.…

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Results of Fall Apple Tasting 1995

  by Dwight Bradley   The Club’s annual tasting of Alaskan-grown apples was held on September 28, 1995 at the Bradleys in Peters Creek. Twenty-six different varieties were tasted, along with several duplicates. The clear favorite was Tom Marshall’s Oriole apple, followed by Parkland, Norland, Lodi, and Whitney Crab. Twenty tasters rated the apples for…

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SUMMER ORCHARD REPORT – Peters Creek 1996

-by Dwight Bradley   After the rough 1995 winter which killed 20 of our 50 apple trees and set back quite a few more, the summer of 1995 was a great growing season. Most of the trees that survived the winter, and all of the new whips that went into replace the lost trees, put…

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ORCHARD REPORT

ORCHARD REPORT -by Michael J. O’Brien Nikiski   This report covers the production of fruit for this past season in my Nikiski orchard.   I have six Meteor cherry trees which produced one cherry each. These trees are seven years old.   Concerning apples, I had one-quarter to one-fifth the fruit as last year, approximately…

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TREE TAG WIRES THAT WON’T GIRDLE

  by Dwight Bradley Peters Creek   While I was in Maine in October, I stopped in on George Stilphen to check on his collection of Maine apple varieties. George has a clever way of wiring tags to trees that seems to solve the girdling problem (see sketch). As the tree grows and the trunk…

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FRUIT TREE THOUGHTS

  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,…

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APPLE EXHIBITS AT THE ALASKA STATE FAIR 1995

    At the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, First Premium for apples went to Casey Jones of Palmer for a small, non-russetted yellow apple labelled “Golden Delicious”. This was probably misnamed, since Golden Delicious would probably not even survive in south-central Alaska, let alone ripen prise-winning fruit. Second prize went to Phyllis Kircher for…

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ORCHARD REPORT – Interior Summer 1995

  by Clair Lammers Fairbanks   Pick dates of my various fruits. (Apples unless otherwise stated. * = new variety)   Variety               Date Picked Mesabi cherry                   7/30 Pin cherry                         7/30 Nanking cherry                7/30 Elderberry                          8/4 Ground cherry                  8/17 (P. fruitcosa) Chinese Golden Early      8/19 Dawn                               8/21 *Sylvia                             8/23 Parkland                           8/26 Ptitson #5 plum                8/28 Heyer…

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ORCHARD REPORT

  by Joe,Orsi Auke Bay   My micro-orchard in Auke Bay, north of Juneau, was initially planted in 1991 and consists of about 30 summer apple varieties and several varieties of sour cherries, sweet cherries, and plums. The maritime climate in Auke Bay is mild by Alaskan standards, with high and low temperatures moderated by…

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REPORT ON KILLARNEY AND CANBY RASPBERRIES

  by Dwight Bradley   Over the past three summers, we’ve had two 50-foot rows of Killarney Raspberry come into full production. Killarney is a red, summer- bearing raspberry developed in 1961 at the Morden Experiment Station in Manitoba. We chose Killarney from the North Star Gardens catalog (raspberry specialists: 91098 – 60th St., Decatur,…

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REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ON CHINESE GOLDEN EARLY

    -by Dwight Bradley   In the most recent edition (#20) of Apple Notes — A Prairie Pomologist’s Letter Exchange. editor Roger Vick has asked for information about the Chinese Golden Early apple. This short note is in response to his request. In the 1994 Census of Alaskan Apple Trees, Chinese Golden Early was…

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ORCHARD REPORT, June 3, 1995 – Fairbanks

  — By Clair hammers 1364 Esro Road Fairbanks, Alaska 99712 907-488-6446   Our coldest temperature was -38° on January 27 with a snow cover of approximately 36 inches. On the average, our g started about one week earlier than last year but on May 22, we had a hard freeze of +22°F — so…

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SPRING ORCHARD REPORT – Peters Creek

  -by Dwight Bradley   We sustained fairly bad winter damage to our 50-odd apple trees in Peters Creek, This came as a surprise and a letdown, because last fall and winter really were pretty mild. The first serious frost didn’t come until the first few days of October, giving everything a few extra weeks…

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GRAFTING IN FEBRUARY ON POTTED ROOTSTOCKS

  — by Dwight Bradley   Old Method.—Like most growers in Alaska, I’ve usually done my apple grafting on bare rootstock in April. With whatever thawed soil I can rob from the greenhouse, I pot the new bare-rooted grafts as soon as I can, and stick them in a warm place to callous over and…

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1994 MICRO-ORCHARD REPORT FROM SOUTHEAST ALASKA

  —by Joe Orsi   Since I began planting my micro orchard in Alike Bay near Juneau in 1991, this was the first year many of my trees flowered and set fruit. I had fruit on ten varieties of apples (Centennial, Discovery, Duchess of Oldenburg, Geneva Early, New Summer Scarlet, Red Astrachan, Rescue, Summer Rambo,…

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INCREASING APPLE CULTIVAR HARDINESS TO -40° F

  —by Bernie Nikolai 14012-86 Ave. Edmonton, Alberta T5R4B2   (Reprinted from Pomona, v. 25, no. 4, Fall 1994, with permission)   For about the last five years I’ve been experimenting with attempting to significantly increase the hardiness of tender apple cultivars to enable them to survive and produce after prairie Canada’s long, very harsh…

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RESULTS OF ALAKASAN APPLE-TREE CENSUS, NOV. 1994

  — by Dwight Bradley   So far, I’ve received nine responses from Alaskan growers to the apple census in the Fall Newsletter. I thank Dave Crusey, Doris & Jay Dearborn, Fred & Dawn Deiser, Burt & Cindy Durham, Michael Green, Mel Monsen, Charlene Oakes, and Joe Orsi for their efforts. Another half-dozen growers have…

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PRESSING CIDER IN PETERS CREEK

  — by Dwight Bradley   Lauren and I made five pressings of cider this Fall in Peters Creek, from Alaska-grown apples. The best cider was made from the leftovers from the Sept. 22 apple tasting. There were at least fifteen varieties, and even though half of them underripe, the result was still superb. Nearly…

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FRUIT-RIPENING DATES IN FAIRBANKS

  —by Clair hammers   I had a very good apple, plum, and cherry plum crop this-year. No pears or apricots. I also had some grapes (Valiant) and elderberries for the first time. One of my elderberries set two different crops about a month apart — and they both got ripe. The following is the…

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RESULTS OF APPLE TASTING AT SEPTEMBER MEETING 1994

— by Dwight Bradley The annual apple tasting was held at Bradley’s on September 22. About 30 people attended, perhaps a third of them non-members. We sampled 34 Alaska-grown apple varieties, which were contributed by about half that many different growers. People also brought a variety of excellent apple pies, apple- and raspberry crisp, apple…

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HIGH-BUSH AND LOW-BUSH BLUEBERRIES IN ALASKA

    After seven years in Alaska, I’ve yet to eat a native blueberry that compares with either the common lowbush blueberry of Maine (Vaccinium augustifolium), or cultivars of the highbush blueberry. I am therefore interested in hearing from any club members about their experiences with blueberry growing in Alaska.   Although most of the…

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FALL ORCHARD REPORT FROM DAVE CRUSEY

For our May meeting, Dave and Carolyn Crusey kindly gave a tour of their one-acre orchard in Knik. The Cruseys live in a very favorable spot that gets more sun and less wind than Anchorage, Eagle River, or Peters Creek, which are just a few miles away across Knik Arm. The soil is a rich,…

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SPRING ORCHARD REPORT FROM CLAIR LAMMERS

Last May (or early June?), Clair Lammers sent a listing of nearly 400 varieties being tested in his favorable location on the road to Chena Hot Springs just outside Fairbanks. The coldest temperature last winter was -30°F, on Nov. 19 and again on Feb. 14. Snow cover was 18-20 inches. I count 41 pear varieties,…

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ALASKA-GROWN FRUIT AT STATE FAIR IN PALMER

A number of Alaska-grown apple varieties were exhibited at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer this year. Jay Dearborn won “Grand Champion” for his very red Geneva Early apples. Dave Crusey won a “First Premium” for some beautiful Goodland apples. Other varieties included Chinese Golden Early, Norland, Rescue, Yellow Transparent, Parkland, Harralred, Trail (crab), Dolgo…

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GRAFTING AND BUDDING OF FRUIT TREES

By Robert A. Purvis, Department of Horticulture/LA, WSU, Pullman WA 99164-6414   Purpose of class: To describe the principles and practice of grafting and budding of fruit trees and to have the student practice the techniques of so doing.   Definition and Purpose of Grafting   Grafting is defined as the art of connecting two…

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APPLE NOTES FROM PRAIRIE CANADA

The Canadian prairie provinces have been the source of many of the most successful apple varieties in Alaska (for example, Norland, Parkland, Rescue, and Westland). Apple Notes, edited by Roger Vick, is a quarterly publication by the University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden dedicated to apple growing in the cold, windy, dry Canadian prairie. It…

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BOOK REVIEW -Growing Apples in the North

BOOK REVIEW   Up until a few years ago, there was not much published literature on apple growing that dealt specifically with the problems we face in Alaska. La Culture de la Pomme dans le Nord (Growing Apples in the North, 271 pages), published in 1992 by Eddy R. Dugas, is just the book we…

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ANTIQUE COLD-HARDY APPLE VARIETIES IN NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND

by Dwight Bradley   The northern counties of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine have long been a proving ground for hardy apples. The growing season is about the same as in Anchorage (late May to early September), and the winters are about as cold (record low temperatures for most towns are -40° to -50°F). For…

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NOTES FROM RECENT MEETINGS 1994

    Our January Meeting featured Susan Adams, who showed a video on her efforts to promote a wild blueberry industry near Aniak in southwestern Alaska. The project was funded by the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation. Susan brought in a blueberry specialist from the University of Maine, David Yarborough, as a consultant. Yarborough has…

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1993 APPLE TASTING RESULTS

By Pam Neiswanger Warner   Many thanks to Jay Dearborn and Dearborn Farms for their bountiful support of our 1993 Anchorage-area apple tasting!!   And thanks also to Tom Marshall, Elmer Jeske, Hugh Harris, Erik Simpson, Don Cox, Arvid Miller, and Bob Boyer for sharing their summer harvest with everyone! Once again, the weather was…

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FRUIT GROWING IN ALASKA vs. WASHINGTON

By Bob Purvis   Alaska members of the Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers may sometimes feel that, compared to Washington State, they have few advantages and many disadvantages in growing tree fruits. As one who has grown fruit trees in Anchorage, then in Pullman (near the Washington-Idaho border, elevation 2350’), and now in Selah (five miles…

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FRUIT TREES IN INTERIOR ALASKA

By Robert Fox   Back when I was five years old, my grandmother would send me out to the old peach tree to pick the makings of a wonderful peach cobbler pie. How I loved those pies!   Many years later, I found myself in Fairbanks, Alaska, wondering what it would be like to grow…

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Joe Orsi’s Summer Apple List

Joe Orsi’s Summer Apple List Table l.–Some early ripening “summer apple” varieties suitable for trials in Southeast Alaska (Orsi 10/92).   1Variety Parentage Origin 2Bears Sitka Exper. Station Tested Fruited 1 Adanac Battleford, Open Pollinated – J-MA     2 Almata Beautiful Arcade ´ Fluke 38 Crab – LA     3 Beacon Malinda ´…

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FEBRUARY MEETING REPORT

    On February 18, Dana Olson spoke to us of her efforts, together with her husband, Nansen, to start a commercial “gourmet” apple orchard and nursery in southcentral Alaska. Their orchard is on the Knik Arm, which means they have a longer growing season (and less wind). The Olsons want to promote and encourage…

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EARLY ALASKAN ORCHARD BEARS FRUIT TREE KNOWLEDGE

Thanks to Joe Orsi, one of our Southeast members, for the following–it’s a great article!   Dear Pam:   I enjoy reading the newsletter material and think you are doing a great job with it. In the last newsletter I really liked the piece by Bob Purvis on “Preparing Your Fruit Trees for Winter”, and…

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FRUIT TREE SURVIVAL RECORD FOR WINTER OF 91-92 IN FAIRBANKS, AK.

The following had no winter injury:   APPLE 922 END                                                                               IMP. BATTLEFORD                          RED SUMBO AKANE                                                                                 JACQUES                                             RED WELL AL MA SWEET                                                                   JOHN WALLACE                               RENOWN ANOROS                                                                               JORDAN RUSSET                              RESCUE ARBOR DALE                                                                     KEEPSAKE                                          ROMFO UNKNOWN ARCTIC RED                                                                      KERR                                                    ROSTHERN 18 BATTLEFORD                                                                    LEAFLAND                                          ROSYBROOK BIDDY                                                                                  LIVELAND RASBERRY                  SCOT 144 BREAKEY                                                                            LODI                                                      SEPT. RUBY BREAKEY X CRIMSON BEAUTY                                LOWELL                                             …

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BARK GRAFTING METHOD HOLDS PROMISE

  Clair Lammers has passed along a note from Bernie Nikolai, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, regarding bark grafting:   Here’s a diagram that Pm told results in 99% success. Just be sure to cut the stock to the hardwood (if s greasy and shiny looking) and put the cut side of your scionwood (the tapered…

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DETERMINING FRUIT RIPENING DATES

By Bob Purvis   “Can variety A ripen its fruit before the onset of winter?” A cultivar’s ripening date is an important consideration, next only to winter hardiness for selecting fruit varieties to be grown in a climate with a short, cool growing season. During my tenure (1984-1989) as president of the Alaska Pioneer Fruit…

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EDIBLE TREE FRUITS PRODUCED IN ALASKA

APPLES/CRABAPPLES (88 varieties)   Top Quality Apples (Overall Quality Rated as 9.0 to 10.0 on a Scale of 1-10, With 10 Being Best)   Boyer Mystery Apple (A), Carroll (FV), Mantet (AV), Noran (A), Norda (AFV), Norland (AFV), Oriole (AV), Parkland (highest rating at 9.5/AV), State Fair (AV), Viking (A).   High Quality Apples  …

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1992 APPLE-TASTING RESULTS (Southcentral)

This was a strange year for growing apples ….. the beautiful early weather, the cool later weather, volcanic ash. Ripening dates in the Mat-Su Valley were two (2) weeks ahead of schedule, Anchorage was two (2) weeks behind. And although there were some excellent-tasting apples at this years apple tasting, the general consensus was that…

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PREPARING TOUR FRUIT TREES FOR WINTER

By Bob Purvis   Getting a 1- or 2-year-old fruit tree to survive an Alaskan winter is not all easy task even if the tree is a hardy Canadian apple variety on an Antonovka or Ranetka rootstock. With winter almost here, it may be worth outlining practices that improve the odds of tree survival. These…

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ALASKA PIONEER FRUIT GROWERS SCIONWOOD AVAILABLE FOR GRAFTING IN APRIL 1992

Adams County Nursery. Sweet cherries: Gold Viscount Vista, and Ulster.   Bear Creek Nursery. Apples: Almata, Breaky, Champlain, Chenango Strawberry, Discovery, Dudley, Early Joe, Geneva Early, Goodland Heyer 20, High Top Sweet, July Red Lowland Raspberry, Mantet Norland Oriole, Palouse, Patton, Pecks Pleasant, Quinte, Rosthern 18, Sops of Wine, and Sweet Sixteen.   Christian Homesteading…

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VARIETY EVALUATION RECORDS

By Erik Simpson   All pioneer fruit growers should keep accurate records of their cultivars in order to document what they are doing and to record their successes and failures. The reasons for your successes can be written down for you and others to duplicate in the future. Tour failures can also be written down…

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EUROPEAN PLUMS FOR ALASKA

By Bob Purvis   Over the past 10 years, a number of early-ripening apple varieties have become available to Alaskan fruit growers. Only a little work has been done, however, on finding European plum (Prunus domestics) cultivars suitable for Alaska, but there are some good reasons for considering them for home orchards south of the…

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SOME TIPS FROM GARFIELD SHULTS

By Bob Boyer   Garfield Shults, an earnest experimental grafter from Homedale, Idaho, says that cherry plums will double or triple in size if budded on apricot rootstock.   He also says that when grafted, trees will grow much faster and produce earlier if fertilized with “Rico Verde”, a product of Agronics. 701 Madison NE,…

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STEM BANDING ENHANCES ROOTING OF APPLE ROOTSTOCK CUTTINGS

By Pat Holloway   “Softwood shoots of M.9 and MM. 106 were banded with Velcro for up to 20 days before cuttings were propagated. Banding 10-20 days increased percent rooting and number of roots/cutting and the longer the banding the greater the effect. In M.9, banding resulted in a higher survival rate and increased new…

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FRUIT FACTS FROM EDMONTON

By Bob Purvis   On April 9, 1991, 1 received a phone call from Bennie Nikolai, a new NAFEX member in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. He had some interesting information to share about the performance of fruit cultivars appropriate for Alaska, and I am publishing this information because it fills in gaps in our knowledge of…

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APPLES FOR ALASKA DON’T FORGET THE CLASSICS

By Leslie Toombs   In trying to grow bigger, better, hardier, and earlier fruit it is exciting to acquire and plant each new apple variety as it is released from the experiment stations. While new fruits suitable to our Alaskan climate will be discovered in this way, we should not overlook the historic apples suitable…

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CHERRY PLUM REPORT

By Clair J. Lammers   This year I had good success with growing and ripening four (4) varieties of cherry plums in the interior of Alaska. The following is a brief description of each:   Hiawatha: Fruits are, l” long and almost 1” in diameter and are dark red the flesh is purple- red. Ripened…

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GARDEN AND FRUIT GROWING REPORT

By Gerald L. Sudkamp   The following is a report of my garden and fruit growing activities for the last five (5) years at a lot I have near Wasilla. This report begins when I purchased a 2.8-acre lot located about 10 miles northwest of Wasilla on Pittman Road in the late fall of 1987.…

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INDUCING BLOOM IN NANKING CHERRY

By Bob Purvis   Nanking cherry (Prunus tomentosa) has been grown as a substitute for pie cherry trees by Alaskan gardeners for many years because of its hardiness (zone 2—it has fruited in Fairbanks, as well as in Anchorage). Unfortunately, I know more than a few Alaskans who have had great difficulty getting their bushes…

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BIG NEWS READ ALL ABOUT IT!

By Erik Simpson   Larry and Laura have successfully grown, the first known edible pear in Alaska—and it happened this year!!! This is apparently a Patten pear tree which produced pears this past year in their yard in Anchorage, near Arctic Boulevard and International Airport Road.   The tree is planted in a location with…

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PREPARING TREES FOR WINTER

By Bob Purvis   During my April 1991 trip to Alaska I visited Clair Yammers’ orchard in Fairbanks. Clair commented that he has been spraying his fruit trees with “Wilt-Pruf”, an antidesiccant used to prevent evergreens from drying out and that it seems to prevent winter-injury to some extent. This technique is one I also…

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1991 APPLE TASTING RESULTS

ANCHORAGE – Dimond Greenhouses was the scene of our annual Apple Tasting Event last September 19, 1991—and what a scene it was! Apples everywhere! Jay Dearborn acted as our special guest host and brought several apple varieties from the Valley for our tasting pleasure. Other members brought different varieties from their own crops and we…

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GIFFARD-A PEAR FOR ALASKA

By Bob Purvis   Finding pear varieties suitable for Alaska has proven far more difficult than finding suitable apple varieties. My perusal of U. P. Hedrick’s The Pears of New York in 1987 turned up only a few candidates, among them Beurre’ Giffard, or simply “Giffard”. This article was inspired by seeing the delighted reaction…

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Giffard -A Pear for Alaska

By  Bob Purvis Finding pear varieties suitable for Alaska  has  proven  far   more  difficult than finding suitable apple varieties. My perusal of U. P. Hedrick’s  The  Pears  of New York in 1987 turned up only a few candidates,  among  them  Beurre’ Giffard, or simply “Giffard”. This article was inspired  by  seeing  the delighted  reaction of …

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Fruit Performance Summary for Anchorage and Hope

By Bob Purvis   From 24 to 29 April 1991 i was privileged to spend time with members of the Alaska Chapter of NAFEX. For the benefit and encouragement of those I did not see, I would like to report on progress made by some of our members with various fruit cultivars.   Apples. For…

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ASIAN PEARS

Below is a description of some Asian pear varieties that could be worth trying to graft onto Pyrus ussuriensis. Northwoods Nursery lists the ‘Ya-li’ as not ripening until mid October, but perhaps some of the others ripen sooner. I have not seen any of the other varieties listed in any catalogs. —Leslie Toombs   “From…

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Establishing Tissue Cultured Red Raspberries

Most of the following information was gleaned from the 1991 Proceedings of the Illinois Small Fruit and Strawberry Schools and the North American Bramble Growers Association meeting in St. Petersburg. We thought a quick review would be worthwhile.   Tissue culture (TC) is a system whereby small portions of a plant, normally buds, are grown…

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SEED EXCHANGE RUSSIA/ALASKA

Over the past three years I have had the opportunity to meet with several delegations from The Russian Siberian Horticultural community. Their mission is to develop fruits vegetables, and grains that can survive winter temperatures as low as -65°F and yield well in latitudes that have a short summer with Iona cool days. Many Alaskan…

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GROWING FRUIT TREES AND MUCH MORE IN TOK

Last winter (89-90) we dropped to -50 F and had a lot of snow. There was considerable damage from snow mold. We occasionally had snow mold in Michigan, but it never seemed to be harmful. Here last winter we lost a lot of our strawberries (‘Toklat’, ‘Pioneer’ and an old variety from friends of friends…

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GROWING INDOOR CITRUS

Growing citrus trees indoors holds a special appeal to northern gardeners. There is an exotic attraction to a tree ripened lemon shining in your living room when it is dark and -40 degrees outside. Citrus plants are ornamental, with fragrant flowers, shiny evergreen leaves, and bright colored fruit which can hang on the plant for…

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CLAIR’S FRUIT TRIALS

Just a short note to let my fellow fruit growers know of some of the new rootstocks I will be testing this year. Prunus nigra, Prunus ussuriensis and Prunus mamima (pure) will be used for various stone fruits. Last fall I received some ‘Beautiful Arcade’ seed from Canada, and they are being started at this…

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MORE ON LONICERA

While doing graduate work at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I remember the Lonicera caerulea variety edulis. What I remember about it is eating the berries. I enjoyed the taste and ate at least a handful on several occasions before I realized it was a Lonicera. Since I did not think they were an edible…

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QUERY FROM WHITEHORSE YUKON TERRITORY

I received a letter from Fred Dorward who is a national NAFEX member from Whitehorse. He is interested in getting information on sweetberry honeysuckle, Lonicera caerulea edulis, which is said to grow wild from British Columbia to Newfoundland. He also grows wild currants and gooseberries and has a collection of plants in his garden from…

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THREE NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE PLANT MATERIALS CENTER

Three publication are now available from the PMC. Anyone interested in tomatoes should get a copy of Cathy Wright’s variety trials (Results of 1990 tomato variety observations) which compares harvest dates and yield for field-grown tomatoes. Plants from John Holm’s breeding program in Fairbanks and selections from the USSR dominate the list, and comparisons are…

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SELF INCOMPATIBILITY IN PRUNUS

Self-incompatibility in Prunus is widespread. Most commercial almond (Prunus dulcis) and sweet cherry cultivars (Prunus avium) are self-incompatible, and some are cross incompatible. Thus, they require a specific pollen source other than themselves to bear fruit. Plums (Prunus domestica) can be self-compatible, self-incompatible or partially self-compatible. Partial self-compatibility means that fruit set from self-pollination can…

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ANOTHER VISIT TO THE WHITEHORSE GARDENS

  At the end of June, I made a very quick visit to the Whitehorse Botanical Garden. I did not have an opportunity to visit with the owners, but made some quick notes between drenching cloudbursts on the status of the fruit crops growing in their raised beds. The plants were poorly labeled, so I’m…

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SOME INTERESTING PUBLICATIONS

Susan Brook, NAFEX member from Gustavus, sent some information on 2 publications that might interest Alaska readers. The first, A Grower’s Guide to Pruning Highbush Blueberries is a manual available in VHS format ($27.00 plus $3.00 shipping payable to Oregon State Univ.). Although highbush blueberries do not grow well in Alaska, the information might be…

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SOME PEAR POSSIBILITIES

Two Eastern European pears, distributed by the US DA Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, OR are now available for American orchards. ‘Ubileen’ from Bulgaria, is a very early ‘Bartlett’ -type that bears fruit with a red blush. From Belgrade, Yugoslavia comes ‘Shipova’, a cross between mountain ash and pear. Its mountain ash parentage seems to give…

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Blueberry Recipes

Blueberry Bavarian Cream   1 pkg               (6 oz) red gelatin (raspberry, strawberry, cherry, etc.)                                168 g 2C                   boiling water                                                                                                  480 mL 1C                   pineapple juice (from crushed pineapple; if not a cup of juice,                240 mL                         add water to make up difference) 2-2 ½C            crushed pineapple (unsweetened, drained)                                         480-600 mL 1 C                  blueberries                                                                                                     240 mL…

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MARKETS FOR WILD BLUEBERRIES

Many creatures, large and small, feast at the vast dinner table of Alaskan wild berries. Our indigenous Alaska blueberries are naturally delicious, nutritious, aromatic, low in calories, tangy, luscious to the taste buds, and can be enjoyed in any form from morning to night.   The Alaska Division of Agriculture provided funding to the Agricultural…

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SWEET CHERRY OBSERVATIONS

One June 16 I visited the IR- 2 Repository at Prosser, WA Agricultural Research and Extension Center of Washington State University. The IR-2 sweet cherry collection contains 59 varieties. The fruiting season was just beginning; on many cultivars the fruit was red but not ripe. We were highly impressed with the flavor of ‘Salmo’, a…

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FRUIT TREE SURVIVAL RECORD, WINTER 1989 -1990 FAIRBANKS ALASKA

  My coldest temperature was -46°F in late November, 1990 when we had very little snow cover. The following plant showed no winter injury:   Apples: Antonovka, Battleford. Centennial, Chinese Golden Early, Dawn, Dolgo, Duchess of Oldenburg, Gravenstein Red. Heyer 12, Heyer 20, Lords Seedling, Morden 363, Norcue, Norda, Noret, Norson, Norland, Orenco, Oriole, Parkland,…

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CHARLES H. ANWAY. A HAINES ALASKAN PIONEER, MINER AND HORTICULTURIST. 1857 -1949

In 1988, NAFEX member Robert Henderson of Haines submitted an article about Charles Anway to the Newsletter. At that time, Robert told me he was going to write a book about Anway, and he successfully completed that project in 1990. This well-researched book is filled with interesting facts about one of Alaska’s, earliest horticulturists. Robert…

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SERVICEBERRIES

  The serviceberry has always been one of my favorite landscape plants. It has nice fall color, beautiful white flowers and a delicious purple/black fruit. I was completely surprised to learn that serviceberries are being grown commercially for their fruit. Lloyd Hausher with the Alberta Special Crops and Horticulture Research Center in Brooks shared slides…

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BACK FROM SIBERIA

Cathy Wright and I returned from a trip to the USSR on August 25. We visited horticultural research stations in Novosibirsk (Vasknil Agricultural Institute and the Soviet All Union Academy of Science), Barnaul (The Lisavenko Research Institute), Gorno-Altaisk and Chimal (Mountain Experiment Station) and the Moscow Botanical Garden. We collected nearly 150 different species of…

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