[nafex] Re: New Member

edforest55 at hotmail.com edforest55 at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 14 10:39:41 EST 2001


Hello Dean,

Very glad you joined the list, I was just grumbling to myself that 
there wasn't enough talk from the far north on Nafex.
I'd like to test some of the apples that Bob Bohrs has told me about, 
but I am such a small nursery that I don't know if the U of S would 
want to include me as a prospective propagator. It is for this reason 
that I have thought of trying to get together some other small 
nurseries (the large ones would steal the show and have in the past 
convinced universities not to share with the small ones in order to 
squeeze us out) and form a collective that could get more attention 
from the U of S. 
At any rate, welcome aboard. 
I specialize in zone 2/3/4 fruits and some zone 5 now that I have 
moved out of zone 3 to S. Wisconsin.
I am growing the Evans cherry, it so far seems nearly flawless 
although I haven't fruited it yet, my friends have and I have heard 
nothing but raves about its productivity, 10 times that of the most 
highly productive European varieties. If you haven't connected with 
Dr Evans yet I would highly recommend contacting him, he's quite a 
knowledgeable source for Canadian north fruit growers. I think it 
might make a great cherry rootstock for cold climates on a wide range 
of soils, if compatability would not be a problem. Also Bernie 
Nilolai of Edmonton is a fantastic source of info. There's quite a 
fruit enthusiast crowd in Edmonton as you probably know. They have a 
flyer like Pomona called Apple Notes. You can be a member by 
submitting an article or paying small fee I think. I keep forgetting 
to join. I think Dr Evans is running it now. Bernie, who is on this 
list would know.
I am also very interested in topworking and have seen it improve the 
hardiness of tender varities, ie Liberty, Ashmead's Kernel, 
Gravenstein, and Lady apple surviving 42 below with no damage when 
topworked to antonovka, where normally they would be dead.
I would like to understand this phenomenon on a cellular/hormonal 
level and am about to call a professor here in Madison to see if he 
or his students would be interested in doing some experiments on 
this. I had previiously contacted a profesor at the U of S to see if 
she would like to investigate this but I got no response. It seems 
that there is a lot of work being done on wintering of plants at the 
U of S. I would also like to know understand the complex differences 
between two very hardy rootstocks- antonovka and ranetka.
Had you considered topworking some of the more tender dis res 
varities to super hardy rootstocks? Have you considered Nova Easygro? 
It is reported hardy by some to zone 2! and to be dis res.
I had a lot of customers in the Dakotas, MN, WI, and Montana. I'm 
always looking for new varieties. I also have traveled about talking 
to growers, extensions and the like. (north along the US Canada 
border, from WA to Maine. 
I also grow organically, and I agree that you have quite a niche 
market waiting for you in your area being that it probably does't 
have the pest/dis. problems that have plagued my present home base- 
S. Wisconsin. The largest organic apple orchard in our midwest US 
region went under last year and the second largest is rumored to go 
under soon also. This leaves only one other organic orchard that I 
know of in WI. We have our own organic orchard but it is not 
commercial although could be somewhat. With the advent of Surround 
kaolin clay our apples have been about 70 percent fewer in pest 
damage. Plum curculio is the most labor demanding problem, but 
Surround works beautifully on it saving many hours of work.
I haven't fruited my Alderman yet but am pleased to hear that you 
like it. It is known to bear early so I hope to get a chance at it 
soon. 
What other varieties are you going to plant? How about apple? Pear? 
Apricot?
I use P. americana as a plum rootstock, M. ranetka for apple, P. 
ussuriensis for pear, P. besseyi for apricot, and P. maheleb for some 
of the more tender cherries. When there is a question as to 
compatability or hardiness of the rootstock you can always bury the 
graft union to allow the scion to root as is sometimes the case with 
ussuriensis and mahaleb.
Well, gotta go. 
kevin bradley



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