At the February 8 meeting, Helen Butcher introduced Josephine Jureliet, a long-time Alaskan from Haines. Jo gave a fine slide presentation on her trees and garden in Haines Jo has successfully grown Yellow Transparent’ (her favorite), ‘Northern Spy’, ‘Early Gold’, ‘Bing cherry’, ‘Black Tartarian’ cherry (the earliest to bear fruit), and unknown crabapples. With the heavy snowfall in Haines, Jo has trained her apple branches upward by wrapping with a rope around the tree in an upward spiral fashion. She found it necessary to water the apple and cherry trees heavily in the summer when they are bearing fruit She orders all her trees from C & O Nursery, Wenatchee, Washington. She prefers to order the largest tree she can get in order to give them a good start. She has found it necessary to wrap her trees with tree guards because of the mice and rabbit problems.
Jo broke up her old iron pots and planted them in the ground under the drip line of her apple trees because they need iron. She would use plastic strips over the ends of the limbs to keep the moose away and use whirly windmills that look like sunflowers to keep the bears away. She found it important to thoroughly water when transplanting and to stomp the ground to get the air pockets out of the soil. Air pockets left in the soil create frost pockets which will kill the roots in the spring.
For a fertilizer, she highly recommends using 16-16-16. She said seaweed works well after it has aged for one year. Members thought this fertilizer could be obtained or made up by Don Chemical or Alaska Mill and Feed.
Jo also said not to put fertilizer in the hole when transplanting trees because it can kill the trees.
Our second speaker that night was Cathy Wright from the Palmer Plant Materials Center. She gave a good slide presentation on the apple and rootstock test plots growing there. She had been successfully bud grafting all the apple trees we are familiar with that are growing in Anchorage and Fairbanks. The bud grafts require that the trees be wintered over in a greenhouse or root cellar before planting them out the following spring. Cathy found ‘Wien’ rootstock to be the most successful with little winterkill and vigorous growth. ‘Wien’ crabapple seed can occasionally be obtained from Lawyer’s Nursery, Plains, MT. Cathy likes the 20-20-10 fertilizer which can be obtained through Alaska Mill and Feed. Hopefully Cathy will send up the results of her work at the PMC so we can share it with our members. Cathy did say the ‘Norcue’ was the earliest apple in the Nor-series to fruit at Palmer, but ‘Norland’ was the best tasting.