productive fruit trees for cold climate

eatsivyFebruary 22, 2011

Hi all, I've been doing some research on hardy fruit trees.

I've narrowed my ideas down to a few varieties of apples, pears, and cherries I'm considering. I'm in zone four in the rocky mountains of Idaho.

It is my understanding that while some fruit trees may survive and grow in very cold winter conditions, they still may bear fruit sporadically due to cold snaps in the spring (killing the flower/fruiting buds when the tree is setting fruit). I'm here to ask if people in very cold climates have had good luck with any particular fruit trees. Perhaps some varieties of fruit trees flower later and thus are less susceptible to frosts in the spring.

I'm thinking that perhaps my best bet is to try and grow a sour pie cherry tree like a Bali, or Montmorecy.

Also considering these pear varieties - Ure, Summer, and Nova.

Apples on my short list include:

Freedom, Red Baron, Norland, Carrol, and Keepsake.

Does anyone out there have success growing productive fruit trees (trees that bear fruit most seasons) in zone 4 (or even zone 3)?

Thanks, would love to hear about how others are doing growing fruit trees in these cold regions.

ps - i've posted this same inquiry on several other garden web forums (like Rocky Mountain gardening)

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I'm in zone 3B and have had good luck growing Haralson, Sweet 16, Chestnut Crab, and State Fair. Other apples that other people have/can grow around here include the following : Duchess, Fameuse, Fireside, Freedom, Hoanneycrisp, Honeygold, Prairie Spy, Wolf River, and Yellow Transparent. St. Lawrence Nurseries in Potsdam is specifically tailored for the zone 3 and 4 grower.

Here is a link that might be useful: St. Lawrence Nurseries

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 3:48PM
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We have a couple of old apple trees, Beacon and Haralson. They are good producers but they tend to bear heavily one year, then take a year off. I suppose I could prune off some of the fruit on the "good" years and maybe it would even out :) The University of Minnesota breeds fruit trees for cold climates, check out their web site for some good cold hardy varieties.

Here is a link that might be useful: U of M Extension - fruit

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 1:59PM
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Try this link ...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 10:01PM
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There are many threads in the "Far North" forum dedicated to this topic. I'm in a much "harsher" climate than you (Northwestern Alberta, USDA Zone 1B), and yet there's a wide range of fruit trees that are available -- and will thrive -- in the north. "Norland" and "Parkland" are excellent apple varieties for cold-winter areas, and I can't recommend Nanking cherries highly enough. While it's true that they don't approach sweet cherries in size and taste, I always get a great crop and they're really tasty. I have a "Golden Spice" pear, but it's not really thriving and seems to be susceptible (advertising notwithstanding) to fire blight.

Finally, no northern garden is complete without a stand of saskatoon bushes. They're extremely productive and rank with the best of all fruit in taste.

FWIW, my growing season is about 100 days, and we can usually count on a snowfall or two in May...although it snowed on June 4 this year.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:12AM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

I guess I should go out and sample the saskatoon berries. I always let the birds have them!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 12:36AM
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