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Keywords: Fruit trees--Washington state, Heirloom varieties, Fruit trees

PAL Question:

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).

View Answer:

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 a WSU Extension article on heirloom apples, for example.

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.

Season All Season
Date 2006-10-10
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Keywords: Fruit trees, Fruit

Garden Tool:

Bob Flowerdew's Complete Fruit Book (Cathie Kyle, 2001) is worth reading for the recipes and color pictures, even if you don't grow fruit. But if you do, you will find details on history, care and maintenance of the fruit garden instructive and you may be inspired to grow some of the more exotic varieties he describes. Flowerdew writes about normal fruits and nuts from apples to walnuts and everything in between, including unusual fruits like sapodillas and Cornelian cherries. Available from Flora and Fauna Books in Magnolia.

Season: All Season
Date: 2007-07-12
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June 24 2013 12:55:25