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Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
Robert A. Heinlein

Typical Pine

The edge were tree meets field creates a haven for all sorts of critters.

Wintercheeks Apple Fruit

Wintercheeks -- Red with a white bloom. Sweet, crisp. Good keeper. Zone 3. This is our first year selling Wintercheeks.

Apples for Cold Climates

Malus domestica


Apples are grafted -- they generally do not grow true from seed. The ones I bring in are grafted onto Dolgo crabapple rooting stock. These are full size trees -- they will get 25 feet tall and wide if you let them. Most people prune them back to keep them 12-15 feet high so they don't have to spend a month each year climbing ladders.

Battleford Apple Fruit

Battleford apple. This apple has been around since the late 50’s.

You need two different cultivars to get decent crops. One can be a crabapple. They don't have to be close -- within a city block of each other is fine. They do have have overlapping bloom periods.

Apples should be pruned to 4-5 feet off the ground as they mature. Dropped fruit should be picked up before winter, as the fruit can act as overwintering ground for apple scab. Dropped fruit can also draw wasps and fruit flies.

Height is a matter of choice. Too low, and picking up fallen fruit is difficult. Too high, and you spend all your time on ladders. A reasonable compromise is to limb the tree to the point where you can ride your mower under it.

Prairie apples have a tendency to fall off the tree when ripe. This often bruises them which then requires that you salvage and preserve what you can. On possible way to deal with this: Buy a batch of 12 foot tarps when they go on sale. Tie one corner to the trunk at the lowest branch. Pull the kitty corner out from the tree and peg it down. Now pin down the other two corners.

The end result with 4 tarps: Most of the space under the tree has a tarp at least a foot off the ground. A falling apple has a chance of hitting the tarp, much like a not very bouncy trampoline, and rolling to the edge.

Apples should be kept cold to store. Keeping them just above freezing will double their storage time compared to a 15 C (60 F) cellar. The adage about one bad apple spoiling the barrel is true. Periodically go through them, and separate any that are going soft.

Apples can readily be preserved as jelly, fruit butter, fruit chunks, apple sauce or pie filling. They can also be sliced and dried or pureed and made into fruit leather. If you have a lot of apples, consider making cider.

Applecrabs are hybrids between crabapples and apples. The fruit tends to be smaller, somewhat more tart. They tolerate a shorter growing season Their smaller size makes them good snack and lunch box items for school lunches. Some of them are like gnawing on golf balls when they come off the tree. Store them for a few months, and they are quite good.

Crabapples are the smallest members of this group. Most are interspecies hybrids to the botanical name above doesn't fit. Fruit for eating crabs is typically about ping pong ball size or a bit smaller.

Apples and pears are both subject to fireblight. Some apples are immune, some are resistant in varying degree, some are very susceptable. A good article on it is here: Fire Blight of Apple And Pear

Norkent apples on the tree

Norkent apples on the tree.

Our cultivars

Warning: I’ve gotten very mixed reports from reading different sources. One says, “resistant to fireblight” another says susceptible. One says, “Good keeper” another says “Keeps only 4 weeks” Do your homework. If you find more info, drop me a line.

This link http://www.fruit.usask.ca/pfg_apples.html has a fair amount of information, but is not without it’s own contradictions. Note that the zones referred to are not always the Dept of Agriculture zones. See included map on their web page.

Battleford Apple Battleford was first introduced in 1934, and is still used as a standard to compare other apples. Pale yellow skin, with red splash/stripes. Apples 6-7.5 cm (2.5 in.) in diameter. Ripens late August to mid September. Fair eating apple, good cooking and juicing apple. Keeps well for 4 weeks. Good resistance to fireblight. 15-18 feet tall x 12 feet across. Zone 2

Norkent Apple Light green with prominent red streaks. Apples 6-7 cm (2.5 in.) in diameter. Ripens late August to mid September. Very good fresh eating, and baking. Fruit is crisp with a hint of pear flavour. Somewhat thick skinned. Stores well for 12 weeks. Susceptible to canker. Storage up to 14 weeks, but loses flavour as it ages. Fruit picked early lacks flavour. Zone 2b.

Goodland Apple Fruit 6-9 cm (2.5 - 3.5") Red, streaked with gren. Very good for fresh eating, and baking; good for juicing. Ripens mid September to Early October. Zone 3.

September Ruby Fruit 6-7 cm (2.5 in. ) Red all over. Stores up to 16 weeks. Moderately resistant to fire blight. Zone 2a.

Kerr Applecrab Another traditional apple dating back to 1952. Apple is late ripening, (Late September, early October) but will stay on the tree far into fall, and tolerates heavy frost. A cross between Dolgo and Harlson Fruit 5 cm. (2 in.) Red skin, yellow flesh, slightly acid. Good for fresh eating and canning, excellent for juice and jelly. Stores up to 27 weeks. Fair to good resistance to fireblight. Zone 3

Odyssey Flavour comparable to Royal Gala. Green with red, white spots. Early ripening. (Late August according to some.) Stores 3-4 months. 20-30 feet tall x 10-20 feet wide if left to itself. Zone 3.

Dolgo blossoms & fruit

Dolgo Crabapple.

Dolgo Crabapple Dolgo is a large eating crab, about the size of a ping pong ball, very sweet, and very red, making it attractive on the tree. It also keeps well, and is a good apple for canning whole.

Odyssey Apple Zone 3 Fruit:7-9 cm Red blush on yellow-green. Ripens: Late August Storage:good

Winter Cheeks Apple Zone 3 Fruit:6-7.5 cm Red over pale yellow Ripens: Early September. Crisp, good flavour, good keeper.

I may be able to get the following: Drop me a line if you are interested. Write too if there is another variety that you think may do well in Alberta.

Norland Apple Zone 2 Fruit:6-7 cm Red over green Ripens: Early August Storage:16 weeks if picked slightly green. Out of stock for 2017 Height & Width about 20 feet.

Prairie Magic Apple Zone 3 Fruit:7-8 cm Red blush on yellow Ripens: Mid-September Storage:Good No stock 2017

Red Sparkle Apple Zone 3 Fruit:6-7.5 cm Dark green over green Ripens: Early September Storage:Very Good

Rescue Applecrab Zone 2 Fruit:3-4 cm red stripes on yellow Ripens: Late August Storage:Fair

Food -- Apple

(# plants)
Apple, Battleford #10 Std pot (30 qt) 10 9.0 $100.00
Apple, Goodland #10 Growbag (42 qt) 1 1.5 $120.00
Apple, Goodland #8 Std pot (24 qt) 10 5.5 $90.00
Apple, Norkent #10 Growbag (42 qt) 11 4.5 $120.00
Apple, Norkent #10 Growbag (42 qt) 2 5.5 $120.00
Apple, Odyssey #10 Growbag (42 qt) 1 4.5 $120.00
Apple, Odyssey #10 Growbag (42 qt) 3 5.3 $120.00
Apple, Odyssey #10 Growbag (42 qt) 2 6.5 $120.00
Apple, Odyssey #8 Std pot (24 qt) 5 5.5 $90.00
Apple, September Ruby #10 Std pot (30 qt) 5 9.0 $100.00
Apple, Wintercheeks #15 Std pot (45 qt) 2 9.0 $100.00
Apple, Wintercheeks #8 Std pot (24 qt) 2 7.0 $90.00
Apple, Wintercheeks #8 Std pot (24 qt) 5 8.1 $90.00
Applecrab, Kerr #10 Growbag (42 qt) 5 5.5 $120.00
Applecrab, Kerr #10 Growbag (42 qt) 3 9.0 $120.00

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Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our Contact page for directions.