My attempt to move from Southern California and create a happy and sustainable urban homestead in North Dakota, with some musings on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Who Survived The Winter

This is my second winter here in North Dakota and my first real experience with anxiously awaiting to see which trees and shrubs survived the winter.  Last spring/summer I planted 8 bare root apple trees:
  • 2 Ashmead's Kernel
  • 2 Lodi Apple
  • 2 Red Gravenstein
  • 2 Honeycrisp
Each varietal is supposed to survive/thrive in North Dakota (Zone 3).  Some I admittedly have more confidence in, like the Honeycrisp, which was created at the nearby University of Minnesota, but the others?  I'm pretty sure they'll be OK, but really I just don't know.

We're in the Red River valley in North Dakota.  Essentially the entire state is USDA Zone 3, but along the Red River on the Eastern edge of the state is a bubble of Zone 4 which follows the Red River the entire length of North Dakota.   Theoretically I should be able to plant a Zone 4 hardy tree and have it survive.

The fruiting shrubs I planted are also supposed to able to survive Zone 3 (Red Lake Currants/Ben Sarek Black Currants as well as handful of blueberry bushes).  It'll still be another couple of months before the snow and cold abate and tree buds begin to swell with the anticipation of spring, so I need to be patient.

I did everything I could to help, mulching heavily in autumn the shrubs and staking and wrapping the apple trees to guard against the wind (a serious issue here) and munching bunnies (also a fairly serious threat in the area).  Hopefully everything comes through unscathed and we're able to see apple and berry blossoms come spring.  Fingers crossed.

4 comments:

Sara said...

What are Red Gravensteins like? I'm super jealous that you've got currants planted!! Dried currants and currant jam are my latest obsession!

El Gaucho said...

It's a tart, firm apple, on the smaller side, mostly for eating fresh or juicing. They're popular in Northern CA, my Dad grew up north of SF and always remembers the Gravenstein apple juice.

The currants should be delicious. I;m hoping that once they survive the winter we'll get some currants this year, though I'll probably have to wait another year or two. There's nothing like a tasty currant or currant/blueberry jam.

lifeshighway said...

I have never had a Red Gravenstein either. I don't believe I have seen them in the local markets.

Sounds like you put your plants to bed well for the winter. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you but all sounds well to me.

Take pictures of the blossoms.

Todd @ Dreaming From Scratch said...

I'll thinking of planting a couple of apple trees this spring/fall. I'll look forward to hearing how yours handle the cold.

I'll probably be putting in 3 or 4 if I do go for it. I've got a lot of things to plant this summer!