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Apples

Treasured Red Columnar Apple

An exciting "New" hardy columnar apple tree - an introduction from the University of Saskatchewan! Super compact with maximum yield! Instead of developing horizontal branches like standard apple trees do, these trees form fruit on short spurs that develop along the main trunk. Tree width is only 1 to 1.2 m (3 to 4 ft)! Mature height is 4 m (15 ft).

The fruit is bright cherry red, large and smooth with a nice waxy bloom. Fruit ripens in Mid-September with an excellent texture and flavour similar to a McIntosh apple, and stores well!

They fit easily into the smallest gardens; you can plant several along a fence or deck. Plant Breeders Rights applied for.  2018 saw us plant trials for the University of Saskatchewan.

Treasured Red Columnar Apples

Treasured Red

Treasured Gold Apple

This is the next columnar apple from the university that will be coming to market.

We have a sublicense pending regarding the propagation of Treasured Red - one of the largest wholesale nurseries in Saskatchewan. These lovely plants will be coming to a nursery near you, soon!

Treasured Gold

Alberta Buff Apple 

Green/blush red apple. Dr. Evans discovered in Edmonton. It is likely from the old prairie breeding program. It is larger and later ripening than Norkent. It has a sharp, sweet flavor like Honeycrisp. It is consistently picked the best apple, for flavor at the Devonian apple group. It has excellent eating and keeping qualities. Zone 2.


Prairie Sensation Apple
Released by: Rick Sawatzky, University of Saskatchewan in 2008. Fruit is large, between 7.3 and 8.6 cms in diameter (average of 10 fruit is 7.63 cms or 3 inches) and roundish to slightly oblate in shape. The flesh colour is white, and the texture is fine, firm, tender (breaking), crisp and juicy. The core size is medium to small and sets as singles or pairs and requires little thinning.

The tree is slightly leggy with an open crown but sets up a moderate number of short spurs. It is not a tip-bearer. It is hardy and continues crop after crop in spite of some tough years. Prairie Sensation has been fully hardy. The fruit stores well, consistently receiving good sensory evaluation scores in January and February.

Some apple experts in Alberta rate this as the best apple for our area. I know we sure think it is exceptional.

Photo Coming Soon!

Bernie Nicholai, the Edmonton area Pear expert: Brand new Russian pears are proving hardy in the Edmonton rural area. These are generally F4 crosses that have taken decades to produce. The Canadian hardy pears are all F1 crosses with Siberian pear, which generally only produces a very tart, almost inedible fruit. The Russians have found you need at least an F3 cross to get size, quality, and hardiness, but this takes decades of breeding, and nobody in North America had the time or interest to attempt this.” There are more pears coming from this program. Keep posted!

Pears

Delicious Pears

At long last, we are getting varieties that produce good fruit. Our trees are 15 to 20 feet tall and are covered in fragrant white blooms, making them a beautiful ornamental (please note that cross-pollination is required for these trees.) Be sure to try our Beedle pears — discovered by John Beedle in St. Albert, Alberta, among a row of seedling Siberian pears. They were introduced and promoted by Dr. Evans and has since become a favorite fruit in the region.

Krazulya (means Beauty in Russian). This is a very good tasting pear, about 80 - 100 grams. It does not keep past a week or two. But truly excellent taste when ripe in early to mid-August. You can eat it off the tree, rare for pears, and no storage is needed.

Krazulya Pear

Loving Pear Variety

Loving Pear
This large, green pear is harvested in September. It will fully soften quickly with a sweet, sharp flavor. It stays green when ripe so it must be watched closely. It is excellent for juice or jelly. Zone 3.


Beedle Pear
This medium size fruit turns soft and yellowish when ripe. Flavour is similar to Golden Spice. The tree has lovely maroon fall coloring that other pears do not have. Zone 2 hardy. It is named after the former Parks Director and Parks Planner for the City of St. Albert, Alberta. Good producing medium size pear as good as or better than Ure. In early September, the pears become soft and sweet with good storage keeping qualities.

Photo Coming Soon!

Simone Pear
This is a very large, and very vigorous pear that ripens from hard to soft fruit, suddenly in September. It has a sharp semi-sweet flavor. It is an excellent cider type pear though not as sweet as Loving. It has more of an apple type flavor. Zone 2.


Photo Coming Soon!

Evans Edible Mountain Ash
Discovered in Calgary by Dr. Evans. This is a very columnar tree with dark green foliage about 15-20 feet tall. Heavy producing, large orange clusters of fruit have a sharp, sweet flavor. This mountain ash makes excellent jams and jellies. Normal mountain ash is bitter and bad tasting. Fruit appears on 3 or 4-year-old wood. Zone 2.


Plums

Plums Grown to Perfection

We carry both Asian (Prunus salicina) and Canadian (Prunus nigra) plums, as well as hybrid crosses between the two. The key to plum production is pollination, and DNA Gardens has perfected the process. Learn more about the plums that we carry below.

 Plum Type Hardiness Zone: Plum Fruit Usage Season of Fruit
H - Hybrid Z0 : Below -50°C E - Eating Early
A - Asiatic Z1 : -50°C to -45°C C - Cooking & Canning Mid
NA - North American Z2 : -45°C to -40°C J - Jam Late
n/a Z3 : -40°C to -35°C n/a n/a
n/a Z4 : -35°C to -29°C n/a n/a
n/a Z5 : -29°C to -23°C n/a n/a

More About Our Fabulous Plums

We do our own grafting which allows us the ability to carry the newest and greatest types of fruit. We may not carry everything, but we do carry quality — all of our plums are dead rock hardy; however, the pollination can be a bit tricky.   The following plants are available on our tree lot:

Fofonoff Plum (Asiatic Plum, Early-Mid Season)
Sometimes called Homesteader, the skin of this plum is lime green with a red overlay. It is firm, juicy, and very sweet. The Fofonoff plum tree is a must for cold climates as it is hardy to zone 2 and produces a wonderful sweet plum. The original Fofonoff plum tree was selected by Wasal Fofonoff in Buchanan, Saskatchewan in 1973.

Patterson Pride Plum (Hybrid Plum, Late Season)
An incredible plum for prairies, this fruit has a brilliant red skin with a bright, golden flesh. The tree is of excellent quality and is a heavy producer with a very unique weeping form. This is a hybrid plum and requires a wild plum to have fruit. Its fruit is large — 4.5 centimeters and slightly flattened. It matures late in mid-September (the latest to ripen of the plums), is sweet and juicy, and excellent for eating fresh. It is also very good for freezing and making jam, good for jelly and canning, fair for pie. It's hardy to zone 2. This tree was developed at the University of Saskatchewan and was released in 1960.

Brookgold Plum — Prunus salicina 'Brookgold' (Asiatic Plum, Early Season)
2.5 to 3 centimeters around, this fruit matures first of the plums in mid-August and has yellow flesh. It is juicy and very sweet and is a free-stone with bright gold skin that has an orange blush. Those that taste it want more as it is excellent for fresh eating. It is, however, poor for canning and jam. Plant them with other Asian plums, such as Ivanovka or Fofonoff. They are hardy to zone 2A and were introduced by Alberta Horticulture Research Centre, Brooks, Alberta in 1979. This is a great early plum for fresh eating.

Ivanovka Plum — Prunus salicina (Asiatic Plum, Early Season)
With a thin, yellow skin overlaid with red, this semi-freestone plum has orange or pink flesh and is firm, juicy, sweet, and aromatic. It's excellent for fresh eating and very good for canning, jams and pies. Plant them with other Asian plums such as Brookgold or Fofonoff for pollination. These plants are hardy to zone 2A. They were introduced by Agriculture Canada out of Morden, Manitoba in 1939; and are one of the standards by which large, hardy plums are measured.

Lee Red Plum (Hybrid Plum, Early Season)
One of the best red early red plums around for our climate according to Dr. Evans, they were developed by Mr. Lloyd Lee of Barr Head Alberta.

Plums On a Tree

Pembina Plum — Prunus nigra x P. salicina 'Pembina' (Hybrid Plum)
Among the best of the large dessert plums, this fruit is about 5 centimeters (2 inches) features dark-red, thick, sour, and astringent skin and Its flesh is orange-gold and is soft, juicy, and sweet. It's very good for fresh eating and fair for jam. It matures in late August and early September. Hearty to zone 2, its tree is upright, spreading, and vase-shaped; and has been one of the prairie standards since the late 1920s.

Pure Wild Plum
These showy plants have yellow or red fruit. They can be very hard to find as they are considered "critical" trees. This is because the plums have been pollinated by other wild plums, not by hybrid plums, making them the best pollinators for hybrids. Perhaps get a neighbor to plant complementary plants as bees know no boundaries.

Tip: Pin their branches close to the ground so both early-blooming and late-blooming hybrids will be pollinated. If space is a consideration, try planting them about 2 feet apart, pining to prevent over-crowding.

Brookgold Plum With a Bit of Hail

Brookgold Plum With a Bit of Hail


Black Currant Plants for Commercial Growers & Market Gardeners

DNA Gardens sells rooted plants and unrooted hardwood cuttings of black currant on a contract basis. We require a year to strike cuttings, grow, overwinter and ship rooted plugs for the following spring. Call us for a quote and to discuss timelines.

  • Ben Alder
  • Ben Sarek
  • Ben Connan
  • Ben Tirran
  • Ben Hope
  • Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis Black Currant

Known for heavy, commercial production, Ben Nevis is a sister seedling of Ben Lomond, with large, firm berries by mid-season. It has good frost tolerance and has fruited well in the Edmonton region with no signs of over-wintering problems. This currant variety comes from the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI), and is made to resist rust, grow vigorously, and yield great production.

Ben Hope Black Currant (New)

This is a popular commercial black currant in England that is known for its winter hardiness. Its upright growth is rapid, and the plant can become quite tall for an ideal harvest. The majority of the fruiting plant is within the "strike zone," making the fruit more likely to be harvested mechanically.

Ben Alder Black Currant

This is another Scottish currant with high yields of medium-to-small berries, which we harvest by machine. These berries produce a juice with high colour stability, making it a top choice for juice extraction. They also flower late, escaping many spring frosts while remaining more resistant to mildew than Ben Lomond currants. Ben Alders are susceptible to White Pine Blister Rust (WPBR), but this rarely affects production, as the rust is usually only bothersome late in the season.

Ben Sarek Black Currant

This is a mid-season cultivar that produces large, firm berries. It is very productive and displays a compact, semi-dwarf growth habit. It grows about one meter tall and is ideal for PYO farms and home gardens. Ben Sarek also fruits ahead of Ben Lomond and is resistant to mildew and WPBR.

Ben Connan Black Currant

Ben Connan is a new black currant variety bred by the Scottish Crop Research Institute and is a cross between a Ben Sarek and Ben Lomond. Its large, dark black berries have a high yield and a compact growth habit, suitable for mechanical fruit harvesting. In the UK, Ben Connan crops are harvested approximately four or five days earlier than Ben Lomond and boast a more uniformed, even ripening. It was also the highest yielding variety in UK National Trials. Though not ideally suited for juice production, it is excellent for canning, jams, preserves, conserves, and consuming fresh. Let them ripen though — North American palettes require this fruit to be very ripe. Dare to compare:

 Measurement Ben Connan Ben Lomond
Berries per 250g 187 206
Ascorbic Acid Content per 100g 130 mg 119 mg
Pounds per Acre 16,684 14,810

Come to the farm and sample the fruit!  Most fruit trees we list here are fruiting well somewhere on our farm. We  graft and grow a lot of our own trees and it allows us to offer items not necessarily sold elsewhere. Unique! That is the word!


Our Cherry Orchard

Evans Cherry — Prunus cerasus
Dr. Evans discovered this incredible cherry and knocked himself out sharing it with the world! DNA Gardens helped the process and the cherry has been selling non-stop since 1995. We were the hub for nursery sales and when folks witness a tree laden with fruit it becomes a must have. Overlooked for years, these cherries have been growing since 1923 in the Edmonton area. These cherries are extremely hardy and withstand -45 degrees Celsius regularly. In unofficial comparisons in Edmonton, Evans out-produces Meteor, Northstar and other contenders by 5 or 10 to 1 margins. . Mature height of 12 to 14 ft. Fruit is a bright red cherry with translucent flesh. Ripe in late July when it pulls easily from the stem, fruit can be left on the tree well into September. In fact, the flavor mellows and sweetens with time. Flavor is bold - a mixture of sweet tartness. Healthy Too! Per 1/2 cup: 25% of daily Vitamin A requirement. (Six times more than sweet cherries) and only 39 calories. Excellent for eating fresh, good for canning and pies are great. Because it is self pollinating, you only require one plant to set fruit. Yields of 50 pounds per tree are easily attained!! Produces in 4th year. This plant is hardy to zone 2A, not 2B - zone 3 preferred. Plant in rows 18 feet apart with 8 feet between plants in the row. Kirsch liquor is made from sour cherries. The strong cherry flavor stands up well to processing and these cherries are often used for pie filling, jams and jellies.

Rose Cherry — Prunus cerasus
The Rose cherry is an early maturing shrub, loaded with dark-skinned, tart cherries. It will be a small tree in more protected locations. Fruits as early as 2-3 years. Large fruit - 5-7 grams. Great for bonsai. Dark brown skin with red flesh. (Evans has yellow flesh) The rose can be grown as a tree or a shrub. It produces fruit consistently at DNA Gardens in central Alberta. This cherry is also known as Lutowka and it was originally imported into Alberta by Kris Pruski from Warsaw, Poland in 1988.

SK Carmine Jewel
Favorite of DNA Gardens! We think of this plant as a little princess - well behaved and beautiful.  Combinations of P. cerasus and P. fruiticosa (Sour cherry and Mongolian cherry) Introduction from the Department of Horticulture Science, University of Saskatchewan. Skin and flesh is dark red. Fruit is abut 4 gm with a small round, hard pit. (desirable when using cherry pitting machines or pressing fruit for juice). High flesh to pit ratio. Superior cold hardiness! Self-fruitful in other words cross pollination is not required.

Fruit is exceptional for pies, cooking, juice, wine or flavoring for ice cream or yogurt. Many like to eat the cherries fresh especially towards the end of the season when the tartness mellows! SK is juicier than sweet cherries and has similar sugar levels but additional citric acid makes them tarter. Near the end of the season, fruit can be collected quickly by shaking tree limbs and using a tarp. Season runs from mid-July till the first or second week in August. It has great potential for landscaping in small yards.  With glossy leaves and crisp white blooms - train to either a shrub or small tree. Plant a flowering and fruiting hedge.  Plant height is 6 to 8 ft (2 m) and has a very low tendency to sucker. 

SK Carmine Jewel is one of six new and exciting cherries released from the University. Carmine Jewel will always stand out for its earliness. Its value will remain because its fruit will command top dollar early in the season. As more information is coming in, it appears that Carmine Jewel will be the workhorse of a new cherry industry. It pits mechanically very well and the fruit makes incredible pie and the juice has very good flavour. This is a winner that is not going to disappear!

Romance SeriesThe New Romance Series!

University of Saskatchewan Cherries — Prunus cerasus SK Tart Cherries
At long last, what we all have been waiting for - prairie cherries! Zone 2 Hardy.

The University of Saskatchewan has released their incredible cherries, the result of breeding work since 1940. These cherries have been tested extensively for the last ten years in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They are growing without irrigation after establishment, in heavy clay soil with a pH of 8.

The U of S cherries are bush fruit with dwarf stature - a mature height of about 8 feet tall unlike eastern tart cherries that are 15-25 feet tall. The shrub like habit makes it suitable for over the row harvesters, the kind used for saskatoons. All of these selections are suitable for high-density plantings which would be a strong competitive advantage.

Another very significant advantage of producing sour cherries on the prairies is the reduced incidence of pest problems. Growers in Ontario or Michigan require from eight to sixteen or more spray applications to control a variety of diseases and insect pests. Experience at the University of Saskatchewan suggests that no more than one of two applications would be needed to control cherry fruit flies and leafrollers. These cherries are good candidates for organic production.

The 5 varieties plus SK Carmine Jewel, offer 6 to 8 weeks fresh fruit consumption because of early and late varieties. Fruit holds well on the bush – doesn’t drop. It will wait, while getting sweeter and sweeter. When very ripe, just give the branches about five shakes to remove all the fruit. Harvest tree in just a few minutes. If fruit is holding on, try again in a few days. High yielding! Mature trees produce from 10 to 15 kilos of fruit per bush. Size of quarters! Dark red fruit high in sugar. As much or more sugar than Bing cherries! Plants are self-fertile and one can expect the first harvest within 3 years of planting.

If you are a commercial grower, give yourself a marketing edge by being the first in your area to grow cherries!

Crimson Passion
This is an exciting one!  Excellent fresh eating cherry.  No suckers!  Fruit size is large at 5.8 grams per fruit.  Highest sugar content – up to 22 brix.

Cupid
Most years, this is the largest of all the cherries weighing in at 6 to 7 grams! Good flavor for fresh eating with a hint of astringency. Blooms 1 week later than the other cherries.
Cupid

 
Juliette
A fresh eating type. The University affectionately calls it “Sweetie”. Large fruit at 4.5 grams with brix up to 20. Few suckers.

Romeo
This is a dark red/black cherry similar to Carmine Jewel appearance but ripens later. Very flavorful. Good for fresh eating and processing. This productive cherry is one of the best for juice.

Valentine
This is the most productive of the selections. It is looking very strong with much heavier flower bud load compared to the other cherries. It fruits heavier and fruits at a younger age. Slight suckering. Fruit size about 4.5 grams.


Nutritionally Speaking, Berry Smart Says:

"Tart is Smart!" Tart Cherries are a rich source of antioxidants which may help relieve the pain of arthritis, gout and possibly fibromyalgia. Antioxidants can also help fight cancer and heart disease. For more info visit www.choosecherries.com/ Check out the health benefit.
Berry Smart

Our Saskatoon Orchard  

We have over 17 different varieties of saskatoons in our test orchard!  DNA Gardens has fancy, large fruited saskatoons that are so desirable. We plant the best being tissue culture where a Martin is a Martin, Honeywood is a Honeywood and a Theissen is a Theissen... You get the idea. The best picking!

Honeywood
Good fruit size at 16 mm with full and tangy flavor. Flowers 4 - 8 days later than most other varieties and also ripens later. We like the vase shape habit of growth and the low suckering. Very productive and consistent yielding. The bush size of 8 ft keeps it in harvesting height. (25 cent royalty)

Northline
Larger fruit than Smoky but smaller than Martin and Honeywood. Good flavor. Shorter shrub than the other 3 toons listed here.

Lee #3
This variety was selected by the late Mr. Lloyd Lee. On our farm, we really like it. It ripens ahead of the other saskatoons and it extends our season. 5 to 6 feet tall, with excellent flavour. Fruit is the same size as Northline. A real winner.

Lee #8
Again, a variety that few grow. This is one of Mr. Lloyd Lee's. The parentage, Northline mother crossed with a Theissen father, created a high quality saskatoon that yields well, has good fruit size and excellent flavour. This one is similar to Northline but it ripens more evenly. About 6 to 7 feet tall but this always depends on the amount of moisture.

Martin
This is a selection of Theissen made by D. Martin of Martin Nursery in Langham, Saskatchewan. Average berry size is larger than Theissen and it ripens more evenly. This is a great berry for U-PIK. People are drawn to this berry because of the great fruit size.

Smoky
This is the Saskatoon everybody knows. Fruit is large, round and sweet. Smoky has the highest sugar/acid ratio of today's varieties. Habit is upright and spreading and suckers freely. An oldy but a goody, it just keeps on producing and producing. Berry size is 14 mm with a shrub size of 8 ft.


Our Chokecherry Orchard

Garrington Chokecherry — Prunus virginana
Fruit size is large - good for processing. (8-10 mm) The bush matures to a height of 8 ft and easily fits inside a mechanical harvester. Garrington performs well in processing tests of Dr. Janet Panford. Delightful syrup can be made!  Check out our farm store where we will soon be selling chokecherry products.

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