Tree Fruits  
      Home grown fruits are one of the highlights of summer. What could be better than enjoying a fresh crisp fall apple from your own tree or fresh juicy raspberries from your own garden?  It is amazing the varieties of fruits that are hardy for our prairie climate, including apples, pears, hardy apricots and cherries!  While it is true that we cannot grow oranges and bananas (planted outdoors) take heart. There is an amazing variety of fruits that we can grow, many of which are surprising.
      We also have small fruits like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, saskatoons and rhubarb. We offer old favourite varieties and newer cultivars as well. 

     Next year why not start that patch of homegrown fruit you have always dreamed about? 

  And oh, for the love of apples! They are a favourite fruit to grow, and but can be challenging to grow in our climate and soil types. The following varieties are zoned for at least a zone 3 and some for zone 2.  Most years our area is a zone 3 but the occasional bad winter we experience zone 2 conditions. Somewhere north of Ashern the zones are closer to zone 2, so bear this in mind when choosing  fruit  varieties.

Apple Trees

  • Gemini - Hardy to zone 2. A tasty, sweet, large fruited variety with good winter hardiness in the tree. This tree is a cross between Norland and Haralson.  The fruit have a red colouring over yellow. Delicious! 
  • Goodland - Hardy to zone 3. An old favourite, that shows good winter hardiness to zone 3. Yellow- green in colour overlaid with a blush of red, the fruit are ready in mid- September.
  • Norkent-   Hardy to zone 2. Acrisp apple with a light fruity taste. Fruit ripen near the end of August. Fruit store fairly well. Haralson x Rescue cross
  • Battleford - Hardy to zone 2. Produces a large apple that have red stripes over yellow colour. Fruit is ready in mid-September. Sores fairly well and makes a great pie. An older variety that was introduced and has been growing in prairie orchards since 1934.
  • Prairie Magic - Hardy to zone 3. Fruit is ready in mid- September. Crisp, delicious fruit have a red blush of colour on yellow. Goodland x Mantet cross.
  • Red Gemini - Hardy to zone 2. Medium to large red fruit that store well. Harvest in late August. 
  • September Ruby - Hardy to zone 2. A good storing apple with medium sized, dark red fruit.  Good for eating fresh, storing or cooking. Rescue x Haralson cross

Applecrabs
  • Kerr - Hardy to zone 2 . Very red fruit are ready in mid- September after a light frost. They make excellent jams, jellies , juices and eating fresh.  This tree was developed by the Morden Research Station in 1952 so it a proven tree for our climate.
  • Rescue - Hardy to zone 2. A reliable and heavy fruit producer you can count on it to produce quantities of small sized apples that have fresh, fruity apple flavour. Excellent for eating fresh,  pie or a mild flavoured juice. This tree should be essential in an orchard in our area. First introduced in 1936 it has proven success in providing generations of Canadians with apples.
Dwarf Apples
 
 A good choice for limited size spaces, dwarf apples are easy to pick and prune due to their diminutive stature, yet offer full sized apples. Often dwarf apple trees bear fruit earlier in their life than a standard size tree. The fruit characteristics are the same as the full-sized versions.
  • Dwarf  Prairie magic- A prairie hardy favourite grown on dwarfing rootstock.
  • Dwarf Gemini - Large fruit on a smaller tree! No climbing to pick those apples! 
  • Dwarf  Goodland -   Has large Goodland apples on a short tree!



Pears

Pears not only produce fruit but make an excellent ornamental tree. These ones are hardy for our climate and produce small fruit that taste like a mini-Bartlett.

  •  Early Gold -  Hardy to zone 2.  Great tasting small pears that are hardy for our climate. 
  • Gold Spice - Yellow fruit with a red  blush.  Zone 3
  •  Ure - Small fruit ripens in mid-September. Hardy to zone 3. 
  • Prairie Welcome - Hardy to zone 2. A new introduction with larger fruit that ripens in early September.

Apricots

  •  Manchurian - Golden -yellow fruit on a cold hardy tree. Hardy to zone 3. 
  •  Debbie's Gold - Hardy to zone 3. An improvement on Manchurian with fruit that are sweeter than Manchurian. Freestone fruit in a golden colour.
  • Westcot- Golden yellow fruit on a prairie hardy tree. Large freestone fruit. Hardy to zone 3.

Plums

  • Pembina - Large red-blue fruit with yellow flesh that are great for eating fresh or preserving. Ready in late August. Hardy to zone 3.
  • Mount Royal - Hardy to zone 3/4. A sheltered spot would be the right for this tree that produces delicious, blue fruit with yellow flesh. 
  • Brook Gold - Medium size, golden free-stone fruit for fresh eating or cooking. Hardy to zone 2 . 
  • Tecumsah - A prairie hardy variety of Japanese plum with deep purple red fruit and juicy red flesh. A heavy producer . Hardy to zone 3.
  • Toka - Medium sized reddish bronze fruit that are ready in late August. Hardy to zone 3.



Starting a fruit orchard may seem  daunting and expensive. Where to start?   These would be our first picks because of hardiness, fruit quality and ease of growing:
  • A hardy old favourite apple like a Goodland.
  • A Rescue Applecrab. Reliable producer of tasty apples. Very hardy, it thrives despite the most brutal winters. 
  • An Evans Cherry. Productive and hardy , this self pollinating shrub blooms beautifully in the spring. Fruit are great for fresh eating, canning, freezing or drying. 
  • Definitely get a rhubarb plant going. Oh, those mouth watering rhubarb crisps!
  • You just can't go wrong with a few raspberry canes. Easy to look after and they sucker to create more of  themselves.