Fruit Trees & Berry Bushes

Apple (Malus)

Many people think good apples can't be grown on the prairies.  That may once have been true but some of the best apples we have ever eaten were grown in southern Manitoba.  Many of the available cultivars produce apples as large as those produced anywhere in the country.  All full size prairie apples are grafted.  Depending on the root stock used for the graft you can purchase either a tree size apple or a dwarf apple often of the same cultivar.  Dwarf cultivars are about half the size of the full size tree.  The difference is in the size of the tree not the apple.  Dwarf cultivars have several advantages.  They are smaller than the normal apple tree making them better suited to small yards.  They are more winter hardy and produce fruit sooner because they spend less energy growing branches and leaves.

Dwarf Dexter Jackson Apple  

Zone: 3

Fruit Colour/Size: Red over amber/7 - 8cm

Prairie hardy, early fruiting apple developed in Saskatchewan.  Taste is similar to Norland with good resistance to fireblight and apple scab. Annual producer.  Rated good for cooking and storage and very good for eating.

Fall Red Apple 

Zone: 3

Fruit Colour/Size: Dull red/7 - 8cm

A large apple with very good cooking and storage characteristics and rated good for eating.  Ripens in September

Gemini Apple   *Not Available for 2011*

Zone: 2

Fruit Colour/Size: Red over yellow/7 - 8cm

Full size apple tree 15 - 18' tall with a spread of 12'. Crisp, medium sweet large apple.  Best for eating fresh.  Ripens late August.  Stores well.

Dwarf Goodland Apple

Zone: 3

Fruit Colour/Size: Green with red blush/6 - 8 cm

Red blushed green fruit has aromatic flesh. Good for cooking and eating fresh. Stores well. Tree is very productive. Ripens late August.  Very good for cooking and eating and good for storage

Goodmac Apple  

Zone: 3

Fruit Colour/Size: Green with red blush/6 - 8cm

A Macintosh x Goodland cross with the much of the flavour of the Mac with the hardiness of the Goodland.  Rated good for eating and storage and very good for cooking.  Late season.

Honeycrisp Apple  

Zone: 3b

Fruit Colour/Red  Size: 7 - 8cm

A commercial apple for the Prairies.  This is juicy,  good tasting apple that is much firmer than a Mac and not as sweet.  The flavour has something of a pear like overtone. Exceptional storage life.  Should be planted in a sheltered location.

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Dwarf McIntosh Apple  *Not Available for 2011*

Zone: 3-4

Fruit Colour/Size: Green with red blush/6 - 8cm

Yes, the famous Mac apple from a seedling selected in Manitoba over 30 yrs ago.  Will not taste exactly like the BC version due to different soils.  Best planted where sheltered from strong wind.  Early

Norkent Apple

Norkent Apple  

Zone: 2

Fruit Colour/Size: Red over pale yellow/7 - 8 cm

Large fruit maturing in late August.  Norkent has a flavour similar to Golden Delicious.  AgCanada introduction from the '70s.  Rated good for eating and cooking and very good for storage.

Norland Apple  

Zone: 3

Fruit Colour/Size: Red blush over green/6 - 7cm

Great tasting early apple on a naturally dwarf tree. Very good for eating. Good for cooking and storage(if picked before fully ripe).  Tends to produce heavier every second year.

Prairie Magic Apple

Zone: 3

Fruit Colour/Size: Red blush on yellow / 7 - 8cm

A medium large apple that ripens in mid-September.  This a Goodland x Mantet cross from Neepawa MB

Dwarf Prairie Sensation

Zone: 3

Fruit Colour/Size: Light green with red wash & stripes/7.5 - 8.5cm

Similar to the gala apple. Great for fresh eating and cooking. Stores well. Ripens mid September.

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Prairie Sun Apple  

Zone: 3

Fruit Colour/Size: Yellow cream with a red blush/7 - 8cm

A semi dwarf variety from the University of Saskatchewan.  Consistent annual producer ripening in late August. Rated as very good for fresh eating with good cooking characteristics.   Fair storage characteristics.

Red Sparkle Apple *Not Available for 2011*

Zone: 3

Fruit Colour/Size: Dark red over green/6 - 8cm

A medium size early apple with excellent flavour inherited from its McIntosh parent.  Ripens mid-September.  Rated very good for eating and storage and good for cooking.  A Morden introduction

September Ruby Apple  

Zone: 2

Fruit Colour/Size: Dark red/6 - 8cm

A medium sized apple with light green flesh.  Can be used for cooking or eating fresh.  Ripens in early September and stores well.  A Rescue x Haralson cross

Winter Cheeks Apple  *Not Available for 2011*

Zone: 3-4

Fruit Colour/Size: Red blush over green/6 - 7cm

This apple is a little tender for Manitoba and needs a sheltered location.  Well worth the extra care because this may be the best tasting apple available anywhere.  It's parentage is unknown but has a definite Mac flavour with flesh That is whiter and firmer.  Great for eating and good for cooking and storage.  Very limited supply.

Applecrab (Malus)

Applecrabs are a cross between apples and crabapples usually producing an abundance of small apples of golfball plus sized fruit.

Kerr

Kerr Applecrab  *Not Available for 2011*

Zone: 2

Fruit Colour/Size: Dark red/4 - 5cm

Kerr's produce a small apple larger than a golf ball.  The fruit is firm, and white with a semi sweet flavour.  Good for fresh eating and excellent for canning and juice.  Ripens in late September.  Stores well.  Fireblight resistant.

Rescue Applecrab  *Not Available for 2011*

Zone: 2

Fruit Colour/Size: Yellow with red blush/3 - 4cm

Very heavy producer of sweet, golf ball size fruit that ripens in late August.  Excellent for eating fresh, canning and applesauce.  Does not store particularly well.

Trail Applecrab  

Zone: 3

Fruit Colour/Size: Yellow with red blush/3 - 4cm

Trail produces heavy yields of very sweet, juicy golf ball size apples.  Rated as good for cooking and very good for eating and storage.

Asparagus

Tender green shoots of a rather attractive fern.  It takes a while for the plants to mature enough to produce enough shoots to eat.  Be prepared to wait or plant several to speed production.

Jersey Giant Asparagus  

This a great tasting,  disease resistant,  male hybrid with a much heavier yield than female plants.

Blackberry (Rubus)

Blackberries are a favourite treat but they don't travel well which means that, here in the Prairies, they are always expensive and the quality is often less than great.  It takes blackberries 3 years reach full production and their Prairie hardiness leaves a bit to be desired.  Late spring frosts can reduce or wipe out crops but, in a good year, you can have amazing production. l

Chester Thornless Blackberry

Height: 6'  Zone: 4

Chester is the hardiest of the thornless blackberries.  This is a high yielding variety with good disease resistance.  Fruit is produced on last year's growth so pruning should be done immediately after harvest in August.  Note this is a Zone 4 plant.  Mulching is recommended.

Cherry (Prunus)

This is another fruit that people thought could not be grown on the prairies.  Many of today's cultivars were developed at the University of Saskatchewan and are fully hardy on the Prairies.  These new cherries are considered semi-sweet although some of them have a sugar content higher than most other fruit.  All are shrub form.  These cherries are self fertile but may produce slightly higher yields if cross pollinated with another cherry.  The fruit becomes sweeter the longer it is left on the bush.

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Carmine Jewel Cherry   *Not Available for 2011*

Height: 6' - 8'  Zone: 3

Dark red 2 - 3cm fruit best suited for toppings, pie filling and juice.

Crimson Passion Cherry  *Not Available for 2011*

Height: 4' - 5'  Zone: 3

Large 3 - 4 cm dark red semi sweet cherries with high sugar content.  Good for fresh eating as well as baking and preserves.  Part of the "Romance" series of cherries from the University of Saskatchewan.

Cupid Cherry  *Not Available for 2011*

Height: 6' - 8'  Zone: 3

Large, heavy, dark red fruit suitable for eating fresh or processing.  Blooms about a week later than the other cherries in the "Romance" series of cherries from the University of Saskatchewan.

Evans Cherry

Evans Cherry  

Height: 10' - 12'  Zone: 2

This cherry has proven itself for decades on the Prairies.  This is a heavy producing,  tree form cherry with 2 - 3cm bright red semi sweet fruit good for eating fresh or processing.

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Juliet Cherry

Height: 6' -  8'   Zone: 2

Fresh eating cherry with high sugar content. Dark red and 2 -3  cm in size.  Few suckers.  Another cherry from the "Romance" series of cherries from the University of Saskatchewan.

Nanking Cherry *Not Available for 2011*

Height: 6'  Zone: 2

Upright spreading shrub with deeply veined green foliage. Flowers are white turning pink at petal fall. Small, sweet red cherries are excellent for jelly. Very hardy.  They also make an excellent hedge.  Birds are attracted to the fruit.

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Romeo Cherry

Height: 6' - 8'   Zone: 2

Flavourful cherry for fresh eating and preserving.  Dark red and 2 -3  cm in size.  Another cherry in the "Romance" series.

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Valentine Cherry  *Not Available for 2011*

Height: 6' - 8'  Zone: 2

The last of the "Romance" series of cherries from the University of Saskatchewan.  Valentine's bright red 2 - 3cm fruit is best for pie filling etc.

Currant (Ribes)

Currants are small shrubs producing quantities of berries suitable for jams and jellies.  They are pollution tolerant and low maintenance.  All the varieties below have attractive three lobed leaves. Currants should be planted in moist well drained soil in full sun.  Prune out older stems periodically to maintain health and higher yields.

Ben Sarak Black Currant

Height/Spread:  3'x 3' Zone: 2

Compact form with high yields of large black fruit used for jams, jelly or pies. Ripens in August. Fruit produced on new wood. White flowers in spring.

Golden Currant

Height/Spread: 5'x 5'  Zone: 2

Upright rounded shrub with deeply lobed green foliage in summer turning red-yellow in fall. Showy fragrant golden yellow flowers in May followed by purple-black berries.  The flavour of these currants is too strong for processing by themselves.  They are used to give a boost to other preserves.

Red Lake Currant

Height/Spread: 5'x 5' Zone: 2

Strong, vigorous bush with dense foliage.  Abundance of red fruit good for jelly and pies.  Ripens in August.   Most popular red currant.   White flowers in spring.

Cranberry (Viburnum)

These are native members of the same  family as many entries in the deciduous shrub section.  Masses of white flowers give way to clusters of red berries.  Very hardy.  Somewhat shade tolerant but do best in full sun.

Bailey's Compact Cranberry

Height/Spread:4'x 4' Zone: 2

Compact upright shrub with attractive green foliage in summer and red in fall. Flowers and fruit are showy but sparse. Red berries are edible and attract wildlife. Very cold hardy variety.  This is a compact selection of the native Highbush Cranberry.

High Bush Cranberry

Height/Spread: 10'x 6'  Zone: 2

A very hardy large shrub spectacular in spring with white flowers, summer with red berries and fall with purple-red foliage.  The berries can be used to make syrup or a sparkling jelly.  Best grown in moist well drained slightly acid soil.

Gooseberry (Ribes)

From the same family as currants,  gooseberries are hardy shrubs with good production of  pink to red berries suitable for wine and jelly.

Jahn's Prairie Gooseberry

Height/Spread: 5'x 5'  Zone: 3

This disease resistant native shrub produces high quality red berries suitable for dessert.  Fruit ripens in July.

Pixwell Gooseberry

Height/Spread: 4'x 4'  Zone: 1

A very productive variety producing pink berries in its second year. Fruit ripens in mid summer and is used for wine and jelly.  An added bonus is the burgundy fall colour.

Grapes (Vitis)

Multi purpose fruit in a variety of colours and flavours.  Some cultivars are best for wine while others are great for juice or fresh eating.  All need plenty of sun and good drainage.  Some require another cultivar as a pollinator.

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Eona Grape  

Height: 4-5'        Fruit Colour:  White           Size: 1/2"       Zone:  3-4

One of the hardiest white varieties.  Long loose cluster ripen in September.  Primarily a wine grape.  Pollinator required.

Kay Gray Grape  

Height: 4-5'        Fruit Colour: White         Size: 1/2"+     Zone: 3

A white grape for wine and fresh eating.  Small clusters ripen in September.  Good yield.  Self fertile.

Minnesota 78 Grape  

Height: 4-5'       Fruit Colour: Red-purple        Size:  1/2"      Zone: 3

Sweet fruit best for juice and jelly but can be used for wine.  Hardy and disease resistant.  Late ripening.  Pollinator required.

Valiant Grape  

Height: Tall       Fruit Colour: Blue         Size: 1/2"       Zone: 2

One of the hardiest grapes.  Concorde type grape that can be used for juice and jelly.  Good yields of tight clusters.  Suitable for use as a climber - we have seen vines 10' long used this way.

Honeyberry (Lonicera)

AKA Sweetberry, this is an edible honeysuckle.  The fruit is dark blue with a taste similar to blueberries.  There are several different types of Honeyberry - some are not well suited to fresh eating.  We recommend one Berry Blue to four Haskap plants.

Borealis Honeyberry  

Height: 6'  Fruit size: 1"  Zone: 2

One of the better tasting varieties.  High yielding. One of the two honeyberries bearing the "Haskap" name.   Pollinator required.

Berry Blue Honeyberry  

Height: 6'  Fruit size: 1"  Zone: 2

Vigorous high yielding Honeyberry.   Use as a pollinator for Tundra and Borealis.

Tundra Honeyberry  

Height: 5'  Fruit size: 1"  Zone: 2

The other "Haskap", Tundra has somewhat firmer berries with less tendency to bleed than Borealis.  Pollinator required.

Plum (Prunus)

Another member of the cherry family,  plums are an old favourite for eating and processing.  Unlike the cherries mentioned above, plums are not self fertile and should be cross pollinated by another variety of plum.

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Brook Red Plum  *Not Available for 2011*

Fruit: Dark red/3 - 4cm  Zone: 2

Very vigorous, medium size, dark red plum good for eating fresh or processing.

Pembina Plum *Not Available for 2011*

Fruit: Dark red/4 - 5cm  Zone: 3

This is the most popular large plum for the prairies.  It has dark red skin with delicious yellow flesh.

Raspberry

There are two types of raspberries.  Floricane types produce in the spring on last year's wood.  Primocane types produce later in the year on the new year's growth.  Floricane types are a better bet for canning but require more work and more plants.

Boyne Raspberry *New for 2011*

Zone: 2

A well known floricane raspberries with good yields of dark red sweet berries.

Red River Raspberry  *New for 2011*

Zone: 2

Primocane type producers sweet red berries in late summer on 3 - 4' canes.

Souris Raspberry  

Zone: 2

A higher yielding, tastier and more mite resistant version of the traditional Boyne floricane type.

Rhubarb (Rheum)

I grew up with stewed rhubarb and still like it that way as well as in pies.  Great for pies when mixed with strawberries as "Strubarb" pie.  Newer varieties are, generally, red stemmed and sweeter than many of the older ones.

Honey Red Rhubarb  *Not Available for 2011*

Height: 2-3'  Stems: Red up to 1"  Zone: 2

A hardy variety from Saskatchewan.

 

Paul's Red Rhubarb 

Height: 2 - 3'   Zone: 2

This cultivar has vivid red sweet stalks.  Excellent for pie especially combined with strawberries.

Saskatoon (Amelanchier)

No one on the prairies needs these described.  Also known as Service Berries and June Berries.  There are many cultivars available.  All have dark blue fruit and are hardy.  Size varies greatly among cultivars from 5-15' tall.  Saskatoons grow best on a sandier, well drained soil.  Younger bushes produce larger better flavoured fruit.  Needs periodic rejuvenation.

Saskatoon

These are seedlings of the generic Saskatoon rather than one of the cultivars so size and flavour will vary considerably.

 

Strawberry (Fragaria)

There are three different kinds of strawberries.  June Bearing varieties produce one heavy crop in late June and sporadically throughout the summer. Everbearing varieties produce two main crops in spring and late summer.  Day Neutral varieties produce fruit throughout the growing season.  If you have room and like to make jam, a combination of Day neutrals with either of the others will give you berries throughout the summer with a spike in yield for canning.

Kent Strawberry  

Kent is a June bearing variety.  Good yields of high quality berries for a 2 to 3 week period

 

Tristar Strawberry  *New for 2011*

Tribute is a very sweet and flavourful Day Neutral.  They produce throughout the summer but we have found they tend to produce more heavily in late summer to early fall.

 

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