[NAFEX] developing hardy trees

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Fri Oct 23 13:55:09 EDT 2009

A lot depends on the species and on how highly selected the cultivars in 
use are already. Breeding a superior apple takes a lot of seedlings; a 
competitive apricot not so many.

Also, breeding for cold hardiness you don't have to grow the seedlings 
to fruiting. A year or two using very little space per seedling will 
accomplish a lot of selection, especially if you are satisfied to select 
for a slightly warmer climate than your own which does not require 
waiting for a test winter at your place.

If you are content to develop a hardy cultivar which is merely useful 
for home growers in a cold location, rather than fully competitive with 
cultivars from warmer climates for commercial growers, you can relax 
your standards. That might be the case if you were trying to develop a 
Zone 5 or 4 peach for example.

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Larry D. Cook wrote:
> Clifford E. and Jerry L.,et al
>         I'm under the impression that trying to develop a plant that is 
> at least cold hardy to one more zone,in a backyard venture is like 
> hitting the Lotto.  I have read that it takes a planting of several 
> hundred seedlings and then you may not get fruit quality (or something 
> else not desired)
> Larry D. Cook
> Indiana

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