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Failure to grow fruit trees - need help ( zone 5a )

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Failure to grow fruit trees - need help ( zone 5a )

Postby vesta » Mar 09, 2012 8:49 pm

Hi guys/gals,
I’d like to get your advice on the fruit trees that will work in my 5a zone. I am looking for some reliable and trouble-free, disease-resistant varieties (is it too much to ask?)
We moved to a new house a year ago and now I am planning to plant some fruit trees … space is not a concern, plenty of sunny spots - though they are not exactly wind-protected.
My previous experience with fruit trees in my old house in zone 5b was a disaster. I was growing the following trees in my old house (all trees were planted in 2002):
1. Apricot (one of the “Har” varieties – I think, it was Harcot? ) – we had a handful of fruits maybe two years of out 8… late frosts were always an issue
2. Sweet cherry “Lapin” – every year it was blooming heavily and setting tones of fruits, but then they would all crack and rot … just a couple of years I had some decent crop, other years all cherries were gone before the harvest time
3. Plum “Stanley” – it was growing like crazy, one year it produced several 10l buckets of sweetest plums…. Then it got black knot and started declining rapidly.
4. Peach “Reliance” – in the last 4-5 years it was getting the leaf-curl every spring…. It was half-dead when we sold the house

The only reliable tree was the sour cherry North Star, but it is a very slow grower.

So, I’d like to hear you success stories – which fruit trees perform good for you year after year without much spraying/fussing around?
I will probably give-up on sweet cherries and peaches…. Are there any reliable plum varieties resistant to black-knot and other plum diseases? I also would like to grow a quince, but not sure if they are worth growing in our climate….
Any success stories with apricots (maybe, Manchurian Apricot or something)?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Failure to grow fruit trees - need help ( zone 5a )

Postby Dumbo » Mar 12, 2012 6:07 pm

One thing I learned over the past 2 years (or rather what I have seen) while researching what kind of fruit tree I would like to buy and plant is: Place your order in fall or winter or you will get only the left over tree farm stock.

Even now, while looking your question up, most all tree farms are sold out of the hardiest resistant types of fruit trees.

As far are the best resistance goes, everything I have read to date shows that only certain pear and apple trees are resistant to most all. The rest isn't so.

The only plum I came across resistant to "black knot" is a zone 3 Euro tree called Arctic Red. But the fruit isn't the best for picking and eating. It's more for canning.

Personally, I would go with a Mount Royal Plum tree.

Cherry I know nothing about. We had one. It took about 4 years to set fruit. Then it was a race against the birds. Really great fruit. No clue what it was. It was small though maybe at most 12-15 feet high. Guess this is what is called a dwarf species.

One tree has always interested me. I have never seen it for sale here. It's an indigenous species, and it's fruit (a molecule found in this fruit) is being used in the latest colon cancer research. This is the PawPaw tree. Some people like it, some don't.

I've never seen one. Nor have I ever seen or tasted the PawPaw fruit.

Why not try something different?

Anyone here have a PawPaw?
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Re: Failure to grow fruit trees - need help ( zone 5a )

Postby Eeyore » Mar 13, 2012 12:53 am

Dumbo, Ron has a Paw Paw tree. I'm not sure if he eats the fruit though. I wonder if your Cherry was an Evan's Cherry?

Vesta - Apricot is tricky to grow as you've already discovered. Late frosts often kill off the flower buds. All prunus are subject to black knot and it sounds as though your peach tree had mites. If you are looking for hardy fruit trees try looking at Morden varieties. They are bred for the prairies and should do well in your area.

Univerity of Saskatoon has developed several sour cherries (Romance Series) that should suit your needs but again you need to watch for black knot.
AB, Zone 3A
“Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.” ` James Arthur Baldwin"
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Re: Failure to grow fruit trees - need help ( zone 5a )

Postby Countryboy » Mar 13, 2012 4:53 pm

I've had good luck with a Dwarf Sweet Cherry called Tehranivee. Available at Canadian Tire. I have to net it in the Spring against the birds but that's just part of the chores of harvesting a six-quart basket of fruit. :)
Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
.....Ralph Waldo Emmerson....

Frank . . ON5a
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Re: Failure to grow fruit trees - need help ( zone 5a )

Postby vesta » Mar 13, 2012 11:23 pm

Thank you for all your suggestions! I already started researching the cultivars you mentioned and I like the reviews they get. I'll do some more digging to come up with my list of "must buys" this season.
Happy gradening! :P
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