Frequently Asked Questions
We are a home-based business located just outside Fredericton but don’t have a storefront open to the public. Being our residence as well as business we prefer to keep the traffic down as well as the fact we have a small staff with limited time to tend the nursery and orchards! We strictly take orders online and have pickup dates in locations in Fredericton!
When ordering you will be given a rough time frame your trees will be ready. An email will be sent out well in advance of the estimated time with exact pickup dates and locations!
The earlier the better!!! The sooner you place your order the more selection we have. Generally, if a particular tree isn’t available when you order it is probably sold out for that season already. We are a small nursery and only produce so much of each variety…
Our trees might be smaller than the large potted specimens you find in garden centers (they are also younger when we sell them), but they are vigorous and strong, and have well-developed root systems, which older potted trees can sometimes lack due to the heavy root pruning they receive before being potted.
We grow our trees at their natural rate with the help of compost, mulch and other natural mediums. Most commercial nurseries push the trees growth to the max (to optimize turnaround time) with high nitrogen commercial fertilizer to maximize production. The slower natural method allows the trees to form dense strong wood and better roots!
Our trees might surprise you with how quickly they will match the size of any tree from a garden center when planted!
Smaller trees are much easier to plant and establish better than larger ones. You will find that in a couple of seasons small trees will be much larger, have better root anchorage and produce fruit earlier than bigger trees sold in large plastic pots. Due to the heavy root pruning larger trees receive before being sold they need to be staked to support them while the necessary roots grow back to stabilize the tree!
As is standard practice with most nurseries, we require a 50% non refundable deposit to secure your order with the balance due at pickup. We have limited stock and don’t want to turn away potential customers if people aren’t committed! Orders are not finalized until deposit is received to secure your order!!!
Rootstock selection can be very confusing for the small-scale apple grower, so we are going to try and break it down as simply as possible! Currently we graft most of our apples onto G969 which is a semi dwarf rootstock. This means if you don’t prune your tree from us it will max out at 14’ tall vs a full sized tree that could reach over 30’ tall! We do graft some apple varieties onto ANTONOVKA rootstock which creates a standard size apple tree…
Apple trees are grafted- meaning the bottom part of the tree (root system aka rootstock) is fused with the top part, which is the variety you desire. The rootstock controls the size the tree gets as well as disease resistance and hardiness.
Due to cross pollination, if you grow an apple tree from a seed you won’t get the same apple as the trees the seeds came from. For this reason all apple trees are “cloned”-every variety is re-created from a piece of the original tree! These cuttings are called “scions” and are grafted to the rootstocks.
For apples, different trees of the same variety are unable to pollinate each other because they are genetically identical as grafting is like a cloning process. The blooms will simply not accept the pollen from another tree of the same variety for this reason, so two varieties must be planted to introduce new genetic material.
If you do not have another apple/flowering crab tree within 50 feet of your apple tree location, you will need to plant at least one other variety that blooms at the same time as your apple tree nearby to get proper pollination.
Most apple trees are diploids, meaning they have 2 sets of chromosomes. Some are triploids – with 3 sets. Triploid Apple trees are often referred to as “pollen sterile”. Without getting too into the nitty-gritty science of it, what’s important to remember is that triploid apple trees are unreliable pollinators for other apple varieties. They are receptive of pollen from other apple trees that bloom at the same time, but they are not good sources for providing viable pollen to other varieties for fruit production. For this reason, you need to have 2 different varieties of diploid trees in order to pollinate each other!
Examples of triploid apple varieties: Bramley, Jonagold, Gravenstein, Winesap
Like all fruit trees, apples need to be pollinated if they are to set fruit. This involves the transfer of pollen from the stamen (the male part of the flower) to the stigma (the female part). Pollinating insects such as bees work hard at this job, which is one reason why it’s so important to plant pollinator-attracting flowers in among our crops – to keep them on side and coming back! Wind will also help to pollinate apple blossom. In all cases, however, a higher rate of fruit set will be enjoyed when trees are cross-pollinated, so a small group of trees is always better than one lonely specimen!
You might think that making sure an apple tree produces fruit is as simple as having two different apple trees in your yard, but there is one important variable to take into consideration: those two trees must be in bloom at the same time in order for either of them to be pollinated. It’s all very well and good if your Jerseymac is covered in flowers and there are bees all over it, but if the Spartan at the other side of the yard hasn’t even opened its flowers yet, then all that pollen is going to waste. The two trees cannot pollinate each other in this scenario.
Early varieties: New Brunswicker, Jerseymac, Redfree
Mid season: Alexander, McIntosh, Wealthy, Honeycrisp, Williams Pride, Dudley Winter, Gravenstein, Wold River, Novamac, St.Lawrence, Coxs Orange Pippin
Late season: Orenco, Northwestern Greening, Cortland, Spartan, Sandow, Princess Louise, Tangowine, Bethel, Tolman Sweet, Enterprise, Liberty, Bramley, Greensleeves
Depending on how cold & harsh your local climate is, certain trees/shrubs will thrive on your property and others will languish, die or not have time to mature their fruit for harvest. Canada is divided into hardiness zones that indicate how harsh the climate is in that region as a way to simplify what trees/shrubs are suitable for your area. Each species of tree/shrub are given a number which dictates the coldest zone that tree can grow it-for example a tree labeled “zone 3” can be planted in zones 3-9 but not zone 0-2.
You can check out the most up-to-date zone map at: www.planthardiness.gc.ca
Most importantly avoid fertilizer applications after August 1st so your tree/shrub can harden off properly for winter. Lush young growth that hasn’t properly hardened off is susceptible to winterkill and can set your tree back! Protect the trees trunk with a white plastic spiral guard or hardware cloth cage to keep rodents from chewing the bark and killing the tree. Also keep in mine that as food gets scarce in winter deer will eat the nutrient dense new growth/buds from your trees so keeping them at bay is important as well!
If your fruit tree is producing flowers but no fruit your tree probably needs a cross pollinator(see FAQ about pollination).
If your tree doesn’t produce any flowers at all it may be “spur bound” and need a hard pruning to rejuvenate the tree so it starts putting on new young growth that will produce fruit again!
In general, our fruit trees should have some blossoms on them in a couple years but its best to pinch them off and allow the tree to focus its energy on new structural growth rather than fruit production the first few years. Some species of berries will produce fruit the following year!
All apple cultivars are propagated using a technique called grafting. The ROOTSTOCK is the lower part of the tree below the graft which controls the growth rate/size of the tree as well as assisting in disease resistance and hardiness. The SCION or BUD is then grafted to that base to give you the desired cultivar.
MOST of our apple trees are grafted on G969 rootstock which creates a semi-dwarf tree (14’ish tall) which doesn’t require staking or additional supports. G969 is also resistant to fireblight, collar rot, and woolly apple aphid.
WE do graft some apple varieties onto ANTONOVKA rootstock which creates a standard size apple tree…
Unless you have heavy clay soil or all rock there isn’t much you need to do in terms of soil prep. You can add amendments such as peat moss or compost to the hole and mulch around the tree to help retain moisture and keep mowers away from your new tree! DO NOT use granular fertilizer or fresh manure in the hole when planting your new tree!!! Fertilizer/manure in close contact to the roots can chemically burn the roots and potentially kill the tree!
Every plant has its own preferred growth habit-you can work with it or fight it the duration of the tree/shrubs life! Pruning is typically done for the grower’s convenience-whether it be to maximize fruit production, create strong structure or aesthetic value. We are happy to help you with your pruning whether it’s a tree you purchased from us or an overgrown 100 year old apple tree that’s been around longer than you have!
As is standard practice with most nurseries, we have a 50% non refundable deposit to secure your order. We have limited stock and don’t want to turn away potential customers if people aren’t committed. Any product shortfalls on our end will be refunded in full. We ensure our trees are in good health at pickup and as such don’t warranty trees for death due to the various factors beyond our control once they leave our care. If your fruit tree has graft failure we will replace the tree at no cost.