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Home Orchard Society Forums - View topic - Late apples and winter onset
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 Late apples and winter onset 
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:26 pm
Posts: 2
Post Late apples and winter onset
Hi community. I'm a new member and this is my first post.

I live in Aroostook County Maine, and I am planning an apple and blueberry orchard that will be planted spring 2011. I am having difficulty understanding late season apples. I have been researching types of apples that will survive the occassional bouts of -40 that happen in my climate. Zone 3 .

The problem I am having is that I find some apples that will survive zone 3, but they ripen in December. I question if the apples will survive long enough to ripen as pretty much all the trees are bare in october here.

I assume that although the tree will survive the cold of the winter that they will not have enough days to ripen the apple before freeze. Just wondering if someone could enlighten me on apple hardiness V number of frost free days needed to ripen. I often find apples still on trees even though the leaves are gone when I am hunting in November.

Thanks for any help
Jonathan


Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:39 pm
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:26 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Late apples and winter onset
Frost information frostdates.jpg
frostdates.jpg [ 75.58 KiB | Viewed 5325 times ]


Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:19 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:22 am
Posts: 237
Location: SW Portland, Oregon, USA
Post Re: Late apples and winter onset
Hi Jonathan:

If you don't get a reply here, I'd contact St. Laurence Nurseries, in New York. They specialize in northern climate fruit trees (and grow them in zone 3 and 4).

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zone 8, Portland, Oregon

http://www.plantworking.com


Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:56 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Riverside, Southern California USDA Zone 10a
Post Re: Late apples and winter onset
You should also contact the friendly folks at Fedco Trees up in Waterville, Maine. Wealthy is one variety I can recommend, a lont-time favorite for brutal climates.

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Kevin Hauser
Kuffel Creek Apple Nursery
Riverside, Southern California
USDA Zone 10a


Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:00 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Late apples and winter onset
Many varieties of apple are extremely popular in cold areas. Mcintosh is one, but it is not a great keeper. Many of the classic, heirloom apples that are great keepers don't ripen most places in Nov or Dec. I think Esopus Spitzenberg is one. Keep in mind that you will pick them maybe after some freezes, like to 27 degrees or so, but not til 12 or 15 degrees. A good website like Trees of Antiquity, or Cornell University can give you the information you need, even if you don't buy their trees. Since you live in such a cold climate, I would think you would store your apples in a garage, tool shed, dug out pit underground, or basement where the temp stays around 32 degrees. You would have to dig the pit before the deep freeze of course, and maybe use straw or other insulation and a roof/lid. Your winter actually has much better conditions for storing fruit than most. New York state is one of the great apple growing regions in our country, and sites like Cornell, or other nurseries in the region would point to types of apples that would be optimal.
John S
PDX OR


Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:38 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:00 am
Posts: 143
Location: Crooked River Ranch, Oregon
Post Re: Late apples and winter onset
Before you actually buy from a nursery check their ratings on Garden Watchdog. (this is very pointed advice)


Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:50 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1186
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Late apples and winter onset
I’m curious… how cold does Wenatchee Washington get? I’d consider it on a par with Central Oregon, with early frosts and very cold, if ‘early’ winters ...compared to our Willamette Valley. I’ve noticed that areas with extreme cold also experience ‘extreme heat’ during the summer, ripening their fruit faster than that of our over-cast valley’s. Would not the same occur in Maine?

I’d research neighboring sites, from backyards to longtime orchards and see what varieties mature. As we enter the season of the apple it would also be an excellent time to test some local fruit. If you find anything exceptional and would like to grow it – you don’t need to know it’s name – (with the owners permission and baring a valid plant patent) just mark the branch and return in January to collect scion wood; determine a preferred rootstock and ‘make’ or have made your own trees.

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Temperate Orchard Convservancy: http://www.temperateorchardconservancy.org/index.php


Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:18 am
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:00 am
Posts: 143
Location: Crooked River Ranch, Oregon
Post Re: Late apples and winter onset
I don't know how cold Wenatchee gets, but it is a serious fruit growing region. Lots of cherry orchards there.

I think they have a longer growing season than most of Central Oregon. Although Madras and Prineville are Central Oregon and have pretty decent growing seasons.

I'm not sure whether John Day, Oregon, is still considered Central Oregon, but they seem to have good fruit growing weather there. I was looking at a fruit orchard with irrigation in John Day until my son reminded me that I complain about driving 3 miles every day to care for fruit trees, so I'd really be unhappy to have to drive to John Day.


Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:23 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:12 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Zone 5, Maine
Post Re: Late apples and winter onset
Jbuza,
Good info given here and I would like to add one more thing. Check with all the local people already with apples. The Fedco people already have knowledge of what does well up there. I am on the coast down east and have no trouble ripening many varieties of apples, pears and plums. Even a few peaches. Oh, forgot to mention the Swensons Red grapes are incredible now.
Bberry


Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:47 pm
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