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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Heirloom varieties, Fruit trees

I am interested in planting fruit trees on our treeless property. Can you recommend any sources of bare-root HEIRLOOM fruit varieties grafted onto modern rootstocks? Or do people who grow heirloom fruits usually use the old rootstocks, too?

I am also interested in finding a descriptive list of how different heirlooms taste, how difficult their pests are to control, and how they do in our region (Puget Sound).


Below are some suggestions:

1. WSU's fruit research station in Mt. Vernon is the best place to learn about history, grafting rootstocks, varieties, etc. Here is an article from the spring 2013 issue of WSU's Washington State Magazine on heirloom apples.

2. There is an event in early October at Cloud Mountain Farm in Everson, Washington. They have a fruit festival where you can taste the fruits and talk with experts.

3. An outstanding book you will probably want to buy (or come to the library to review it first) is Fruit, Berry and Nut Inventory, 4th edition, An Inventory of Nursery Catalogs Listing All Fruit, Berry and Nut Varieties Available by Mail Order in the United States. Edited by Ken Whealy, 2009.
We also have many other excellent reference sources about growing tree fruit.

4. You might consider joining the Western Cascade Fruit Society or the Seattle Tree Fruit Society. They offer courses and events, and are very knowledgeable.

5. The staff at Raintree Nursery near Morton, WA offer a wealth of information about what grows well in the Pacific Northwest, best rootstocks, etc.

Date 2017-05-05
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Fruit trees, Prunus armeniaca

I would like to grow some fruit trees on my property; we have room for maybe 2-3 small trees. Do you have any recommendations for the Seattle area? I'm partial to stone fruits -- although I had heard that apricots (Prunus armeniaca) don't do well in Seattle.


I don't think you need to give up on the idea of apricots, as there are a few varieties that will do well here, such as 'Puget Gold' and 'Harglow.' The book, Fruits & Berries of the Pacific Northwest, by David Flaherty and Sue Elen Harvey, also mentions 'Jannes' and 'Tilton' for Western Washington. The book, Pacific Northwest Guide to Home Gardening, by Ray McNeilan and Micheline Ronningen, lists 'Jannes' and 'Tilton,' as well as 'Moorpack,' 'Perfection,' 'Riland,' and 'Royal.' I would also recommend that you look at the catalogs of several Washington State nurseries that specialize in fruit: Raintree Nursery, Cloud Mountain Farm, and Burnt Ridge Nursery. Since you mentioned small trees, you would probably be looking for dwarf forms, depending on the space you have available. These should also be available from the nurseries listed above.

Date 2017-05-05
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August 01 2017 12:36:01