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Most succesful Northern/Scottish fruit trees?

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  • Most succesful Northern/Scottish fruit trees?

    Hi,
    I'm wondering which types of apple, in particular, but also pears, plums or cherries you are growing most succesfully in Northern climes, in particular I suppose Scotland though (excluding the more comfortable microclimates around Edinburgh and some other places).

    Looking at the various info online, there are often varieties marked as particularly suitable for Northern climate, but I don't know if that just refers to the hardier ones, or if it's based on actual long-term experience of growers in that region.

    Aberdeen, for instance, isn't just colder than many other places, but also wetter, which brings it's own set of problems.

    Any takers? Top, "solid" varieties?

    Cheers

  • #2
    I see that you are in Iceland, which is a lot further North than myself in Glasgow, and probably wetter as well!! Have you done a google search, as there is some information on Canadian and Norwegian varieties of apple already growing in Iceland?
    Desert apples Discovery, Sunset and Katy(bred in Sweden), and cooking Bramley seedling, grow well in Glasgow, and are quick maturing which suits a short growing season. You would need to check on the pollination requirements.
    Plums and cherries might be possible if a quick maturing variety is chosen, on a very dwarfing rootstock.
    Pears might be a step too far.
    You can improve your chances if you provide shelter from the wind and plant against a South facing wall.
    Hope that this helps.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Realfood. Thanks for your reply
      I am indeed in Iceland and we are experimenting a bit over here. I lived in Aberdeen for a few years (and Edinburgh for a bit as well - sorry ) and after looking at a lot of Norwegian (and other Scandinavian) and Canadian info, I felt that very often their weather extremes are too different from ours. Here in Reykjavik, SW Iceland, we've had quite wet summers lately, but most notably we don't get very high summer temperatures (twenties for a while, sure, never high twenties though) nor do we get very hard frosts in winter, usually.

      The Aberdeen weather, for instance, was a few degrees warmer than over here and the growing season a bit longer, but otherwise very similar, really.

      Pears were a long shot sweet cherries don't do too well here, but the tart/sour ones do okay it seems. Plums... people were optimistic, but I haven't heard of a good crop unless it's grown under glass, actually.

      Discovery and Katy I was wondering about, will look at Sunset now. Some time ago I think I ruled out Bramley, but not sure why, will give it a second look.

      Thanks

      PS do you get much spring frosts in Glasgow, affecting the flowering?
      Last edited by Iceland_Kris; 19-10-2014, 07:50 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Here are some that I would try (in no particular order):

        Gladstone, Irish Peach, Worcester Pearmain, Katy, Early Victoria, James Grieve, Scotch Bridget, Coul Blush, Gravenstein, Gascoyne's Scarlet, Bramley's Seedling, Blenheim Orange, Ashmead's Kernel, Grenadier, Reverend Wilks, Annie Elizabeth, Laxton's Epicure, Discovery, Scrumptious, Ellison's Orange, Tower of Glamis, Bloody Ploughman, Oslin, White Transparent, Emperor Alexander, Tydeman's Early Worcester, Egremont Russet, Lord Derby, Lord Lambourne, Antonovka.
        Last edited by FB.; 19-10-2014, 08:46 PM.
        .

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        • #5
          I would try to get them on MM111 or Antonovka rootstock.
          .

          Comment


          • #6
            The pear varieties Jargonelle, Williams and Hessle are supposed to grow and crop well in cool, dull climates.
            Peculiarly, despite Jargonelle being triploid it also is claimed to be partially-self-fertile.

            For some reason Marguerite de Marillat, Marie Louise and Baronne de Melo also stick in my mind as varieties which are thought to do well in cooler and duller regions.
            .

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the reply FB, full of info as usual much appreciated. I think I will probably end up focusing particularly on the apples for now. Cherrys, plums and pears are something I wouldn't mind trying more later on, but better to get the apples more established first, I think.

              The varieties you listed, was the criteria generally hardy trees? Or varieties that you know are (or should be) doing well in Scotland?

              As for the rootstock, I'm dealing with a soil that is somewhat clay based, on it's own not sufficiently free draining or fertile, so I always have to do my best to improve it before planting and with ongoing feed etc. Also the watertable it somewhat high unfortunately. Do you reckon M9 would be a bad choice for me?
              I've also been curious about the MM111 after reading your previous writings about it, so quite keen on that one. Moisture-wise etc I thought we might have the conditions that MM106 is actually suited for, but given that it's not well draining enough at times, I've revised that opinion. Basically, we don't get floods etc but last couple of summers in particular have been very wet and a very large portion of the summer in the 10-15c temperature range, intermittently rising to the 15-20c.

              Basically, these last 2 summers have been particularly unfortunate for fruit growing, which is why I was curious to see if I could find varieties better suited to those conditions, in the hope of (one day) getting crop from them, when the rest fails for those particular reasons. So disease resistance is also a big focus for us. If it happened to be a Scottish Heritage variety that would be a bonus
              In general we have too look for varieties good for short growing seasons and spring frosts by default.

              Current rootstocks are Antonovka (grafted last spring, if memory serves, scion was Transparent Blanche/White Transp. and starts off really well at least), Ranetka Crab (does quite well) and the only other rootstock that we have documented is just listed as "MC" and I've never been sure what that really is. Outside of the apples, we also have a Montmorency sourcherry on Colt, which we are very happy with, if that gives any more info.

              So far I'm liking the look of Irish Peach, Bloody Ploughman, Keswick Codlin and Scotch Dumpling.
              Wondering about Spartan as well and possibly Worcester Permain and Katy. Discovery has been on the list for a while, but it's such a default "safe bet" that I wanted to explore other options first

              Thanks again!

              Comment


              • #8
                Could you contact any of the people mentioned at the start of this artical ?
                Strange Fruit - The Reykjavik Grapevine

                This extract:
                To name one variety, Emneth Early, which I examined yesterday:
                it didn´t have frost damages nor signs of disease, and the buds are swelling, and seemingly it will flower after 10 days. I can say the same about another variety, George Neal: it is healthy and looks strong. Canadian varieties Carol and Mantet are fine.


                Comes from: Icelandic Apples - Joan Morgan's Fruit Forum
                It mentions rating Icland's climate as zone 3, so a search for Z3 or Z4 (??) varieties may be productive.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Iceland_Kris View Post
                  The varieties you listed, was the criteria generally hardy trees? Or varieties that you know are (or should be) doing well in Scotland?
                  There were a variety of criteria, although not many of the varieties have all the criteria.
                  Criteria include:
                  Cold-hardiness.
                  Blossom frost-tolerance.
                  Blossom quality in cool spring weather.
                  Fertility.
                  Varieties which ripen quite early and/or in cool/dull summers.
                  Strong, vigorous, disease-resistant varieties which cope well with a wide range of conditions and don't die easily.
                  ........and a bit of 'gut feeling' about varieties I've grown or encountered which might do well.

                  If apples are not common in your area, disease might never be a problem.
                  .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We do not usually get late frosts in Glasgow.

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                    • #11
                      I am just south of Glasgow and the best variety for us has been the james grieve, a good dual purpose apple for this cool dull climate..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kirk View Post
                        Could you contact any of the people mentioned at the start of this artical ?
                        Strange Fruit - The Reykjavik Grapevine

                        This extract:
                        To name one variety, Emneth Early, which I examined yesterday:
                        it didn´t have frost damages nor signs of disease, and the buds are swelling, and seemingly it will flower after 10 days. I can say the same about another variety, George Neal: it is healthy and looks strong. Canadian varieties Carol and Mantet are fine.


                        Comes from: Icelandic Apples - Joan Morgan's Fruit Forum
                        It mentions rating Icland's climate as zone 3, so a search for Z3 or Z4 (??) varieties may be productive.


                        Kirk, thanks for that, somehow both of those had passed me by unnoticed. However, the Grapevine article mentions some things I am familiar with. It was also written in 2011, which along with 2012 was a particularly good summer for fruit here. Last 2 summers have been quite different, so I am now aiming to try out varieties that might suit those types of summers better.
                        The 2 guys mentioned in that article are very familiar to us growers over here, in fact 3 of my fruit trees were chosen by one of them and also sourced by him. The other one - also mentioned by Joan Morgan - is also a true pioneer over here.

                        But this is very much an ongoing process over here still and some of us are still hunting for various varieties to try out and see if and/or how well they adapt over here, hence my current quest of seeing which varieties may have been doing particularly well in Scotland for a long time
                        Last edited by Iceland_Kris; 21-10-2014, 08:26 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FB. View Post
                          There were a variety of criteria, although not many of the varieties have all the criteria.
                          Criteria include:
                          Cold-hardiness.
                          Blossom frost-tolerance.
                          Blossom quality in cool spring weather.
                          Fertility.
                          Varieties which ripen quite early and/or in cool/dull summers.
                          Strong, vigorous, disease-resistant varieties which cope well with a wide range of conditions and don't die easily.
                          ........and a bit of 'gut feeling' about varieties I've grown or encountered which might do well.

                          If apples are not common in your area, disease might never be a problem.
                          Apples are getting more and more common, which is good for pollination, but may be bad w. regards to diseases. My main concern at the moment is fungal infections due to wet summers, but in the long run it's always better to have given the selection some good thought from the start

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BUFFS View Post
                            I am just south of Glasgow and the best variety for us has been the james grieve, a good dual purpose apple for this cool dull climate..
                            Ok, that's good to know. I have heard and read conflicting things about the hardiness and disease resistance of James Grieve, so a bit unsure. As yet I haven't identified what might be the determining factor between those conflicting experiences.

                            Actually, I'm probably heading to Glasgow in about 6 weeks time, I wonder if you and realfood have any recommendations about nurseries or even garden centres you are particularly keen on?
                            It'll very much be dormant season by then, but I always enjoy a good browse

                            Thanks.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There is a booklet "Apples in Scotland" published in 2001 by Langford Press, written by John Butterworth. It may no longer be in print, but the Mitchell Library in Glasgow should have a reference copy.
                              He did a survey of the old apple varieties that have survived growing in Scotland. For the North West, wet and windy, he most frequently found Charles Ross, Discovery, Ellison's Orange, Sunset, Lord Derby.
                              John Butterworth used to have his own organic traditional tree nursery, but it does not seem to be trading anymore.
                              He used to supply apple trees to the Children's Orchard at the Glasgow Botanics Garden, but many of the apple trees their have lost their labels.
                              John@weegarden.co.uk may be able to help you with his experience of planting various traditional apples in the Children's Garden and other places in Scotland.

                              I have had James Grieve at my allotment for 20 years, and it is not my best performer as it is very prone to canker. Discovery and Sunset are better tasting and more reliable in my opinion.

                              Hope that this information helps you in choosing apples for Iceland.

                              Comment

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