Sea Buckthorn in the NE?

djlerklFebruary 4, 2006

Hi - I'm new to this site and glad I found it! I am very interested in growing Sea Buckthorn in my rather small yard but have a few questions:

1. I noticed when I searched the site that it may not do that well in the northeast - anyone have any success with it in this part of the country?

2. Are there any cultivars that people are especially happy with, particularly in regards to the taste of the berries?

3. How hard are they to establish? My only possible site is a western exposure that would be partly shaded in the afternoon due to a large tree. I have read that 1/2 day sun is OK (not ideal, I'm sure)

4. For those of you who are lucky enough to have both, (and you could only have one) would you choose a Sea Buckthorn or a Goumi? Thanks for any help!

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larry_gene

Just double-checking:

Seaberry requires a male/female pair of plants, you imply you may have room for only one plant.

If you do get them, choose newer varieties that claim to have a compact growth habit, or you will have no yard left.

There is no climatological reason that seaberry will not do well in the NE unless you have a late freeze; that would damage the small delicate female flowers. April freezes would probably mean no fruit that year.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 1:01AM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

I have a pair of seaberry plants that I purchased from Raintree. The female plant fruits every year and the growth habit is compact and attractive. I have them planted in poor soil on top of ledge in a windy exposed area.

Cheril2

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 7:00PM
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idogcow(z8)

I was wondering about the same questions, but I live in Southeast Louisiana. Any reasons why it may not do well in our climate?

James

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 4:02PM
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larry_gene

I don't know, but it is native to more northern latitudes in Eurasia and may require chilling. The major commercial North American experiments with seaberry are in Canada.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 12:25AM
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lkz5ia

James, I'm sure you can grow more worthwhile fruits in southeast than seabuckthorn. Typically, one would have to juice the berries and sweeten the juice. Humidity and Heat could also play a role in having your plants waste away.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 10:50AM
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oklahawg(NE OK z6-7)

I've not had my seaberry set fruit yet. The goumi did and I loved them! So did the robins.... Cherry-ish and so easy to take care of.

The seaberry has quickly gotten restless and I'll have to either take them out or put in some significant root barriers. They have sent up shoots to fill an entire 16x6 bedding area (that I thought would fill in over 4-5 years) in a single season.

I snap off the thorns so my kiddos don't encounter them negatively. I'll withhold judgement on them as I don't mind tart things (I drink grapefruit juice straight--not from concentrate--and love it) and enjoy the exotic nature of the yard.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 8:53PM
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larry_gene

oklahawg: The shoots are shallowly rooted and can be pulled up through the soil, cut off nearer the main plant, I wouldn't allow the bed to fill in, the main plant will produce plenty of fruit.

Seaberry takes about 3 years from planting to bear fruit.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 12:57AM
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gw:sibu-ford

Are you groing the berries to eat. I to wanted the nutrition from them but found it hard to grow, but I found a drink that consists of mainly sea buckthorn... Try this web site www.mysibu.com/ford.... let me know .

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 10:40AM
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larry_gene

I find seaberry easy to grow. The Sibu Balance drink offered at the above link may be nice, but it is likely that containers of the juice at Russian or European grocery stores around the U.S. are less expensive, such as Noyan brand, although this did not compare favorably with sweetened juice from my own plants.

My experience (unlike the Sebu website promotion) is that a tiny percentage of the fruit may shrivel and fall from the bush, but it will not shake off, it must be forcibly pulled off, or else it will rot on the branch.

It is nice to see seaberry promoted, such as Sebu is doing.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 11:50PM
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oklahawg(NE OK z6-7)

I am involved in an aggressive plan of plucking sucker-growth from outside the raised bed in hopes to contain the main plants.

I've not seen fruit yet, but the plants have only been "green" for about 3 weeks. Here's hoping!

I am startled by how far down the roots had to grow to escape the bedding area. I may try a bamboo-shield made of metal, retro-fit below the surface outside the bed. I do not want to be uprooting suckers for the next 25 years!

I am pleased that something I am interested in grows easily in OK and accomodates my less-than-spectacular gardening skills!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 11:42PM
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foxgreenfarm

My seaberry / sea buckthorn experiment has been in my head for a few years and this year it is being taken to actual plants and cultivation of seedlings. The initial plants this spring are being planted in Zone 6 in Massachusetts (we didn't used to be zone 6) and in Zone 3 in Central Maine. The Central Maine plantings will start within the next month or so before the black flies get too happy. The experiment, although early on, is going well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seaberry / Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 5:32AM
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foxgreenfarm

Well the experiment with Sea Buckthorn has continued to a large degree. I just finished planting 440 wild-unsexed plants here in Central Maine. Those along with 75 Saskatoon berry bushes and 10 mulberry trees starts what has evolved into a (hoped for) permaculture site and possibly the first Seabuckthorn orchard in the US.

There is variety of difference in thorn length and stiffness among the plants. As time goes on maybe there will be a few stellar fruit/thorn combinations in the bunch.

I know there are Sea Buckthorn orchards in Canada, Does anyone know if there are any existing in the US?
There are lots more photos on the blog and I will be updating that as soon as I get back on the grid.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seaberry Blog

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 5:08PM
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foxgreenfarm

Catherine in Vt sent me an email asking how things were going with my experiment in Maine and Massachusetts. The reply wouldn't work so thought I would say a few things here.
So far so good. The photo is from a few weeks ago and the hundreds of bushes are buried in snow but otherwise seem good. Spring will come eventually and I have high hopes they will all be healthy. Catherine, the plants are very good looking even if they aren't grown for the berries specifically. The leave are long and thin with silver undersides. Suckering has occurred but in the last 4 years it has been minimal and very controllable. In fact, I just remove them and plant them in another place because I want them all! I think they would be a good choice to maintain a steep bank in VT. No worries about them surviving the winter. They are thorny, so keep that in mind. Thorns can be a plus to deter browsing animals and they provide some really good habitat for birds nests.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seaberry Blog - Search for Mansfield to see more photos of how plants look in summer.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:49PM
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