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There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured. the only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked in to him with a stick.
Robert A. Heinlein

Stone Fruit

Cherries, Plums, Apricots, and for dreamers, Peaches

Cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines, almonds, and mayday, sandcherry are all members of the same genus, Prunus. I have the first 3. I'm considering a russian almond, more as an ornamental. (The nuts are small and don't taste nearly as good the conventional almond, but it will survive here, and is very pretty in spring. Loads of pink flowers.) Peaches, I fear, are only a dream, right up there with avocados and oranges.

(But hold to that dream: I've read of peaches in Siberia. The guy goes to insane measures to overwinter them. Hope springs eternal.)

Apricots

We are marginal for apricots. But a tree ripened apricot is wonderful. The tree is a decent ornamental, and is covered in early spring with flowers, so it earns its keep even in years it doesn't produce. Apricots need a seemingly impossible combination of site factors: Cold in spring, but hot in summer. See Apricots for details.

Cherries

Native Cherries

We have two types. Both produce small fruit that is mostly pit. Makes good jellies if you have the patience.

Plums

I'm just learning about plums. I bought one in 2011. In 2013 I bought two more types. This year we have four cultivars.

European plums are often self fertile. Asian and North American Plums need two varieties. Worse, the hybrids are not mutually good cross pollinators.

At this point I'm recommending Brookgold and Brookred plums as a pair, and Pembina and Toka as a pair, but suggest growing a nanking cherry or two.

Plums

Black Knot Fungus

This entire group (Cherries, plums, peaches, apricots) suffers from an endemic fungus disease called 'black knot'. Black knot looks like a dried dog turd on the branch. It will kill the tree. The jury is still out on whether black knot is a single species, or a genus of related species that are specific to the particular cherry or plum. The first source below comments that spores from wild plum don't affect domestic plum.

Dealing with it is not complicated. In fall you prune the infected branches and burn them.

If you don't have it on your native cherries right now, then likely you can keep it in check with an hour's patrol on a fine, calm fall day.
If it gets ahead of you, you can lose all of your cherry trees and bushes in a few years. If you live on or near a wooded acreage, it is a good idea to walk the nearby areas too. Both of our native cherries go pink/orange in the fall, and hold on to their leaves after the poplar drop theirs.
Take a walk, looking for pink. Mark the location with GPS, then come back after they finish to check them for black knot. One snip at the source may save you a lot of grief later.

Information about black knot

Good overview on pruning: To be or knot to be

Management of Black Knot Biology of it.

Black Knot Good pictures in this article.

The Problem Of Black Knot Fungus And Fruit Trees

Black knot on Wikipedia

My experience has been that purple leaved cultivars are more susceptible than their green leaved counterparts. (Schubert Choke cherry compared to native choke cherry; purple leave ornamental flowering plums compared to their green cousins.) I think that this is due to low energy. All that purple pigment gets in the way of photosynthesis. With the food factories running on a 'work to rule' basis, there isn't the energy to fight off infection.


Got something to say? Email me.

[sfinfo@sherwoods-forests.com][8]

Want to talk right now? Talk to me:

(8 am to 9 pm only, please) [1-780-848-2548][9]



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Copyright © 2008 - 2014 S. G. Botsford, Sherwood's Forests Tree Farm, All Rights Reserved

This file last modified on Thursday, May 28, 2015


Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our [Contact][11] page for directions.


Got something to say? Email me: sfinfo@sherwoods-forests.com

Want to talk right now? Talk to me: (8 am to 9 pm only, please) 1-780-848-2548


Back to Top
Copyright © 2008 - 2017 S. G. Botsford

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