NDSU Extension - Griggs County


| Share

April 27

The Extension Connection

By Megan Vig

                Happy National Arbor Day!  Arbor Day originated in Nebraska in the year 1872.  Nationally we celebrate Arbor Day on the last Friday of April whereas our state celebration of Arbor Day is the first Friday in May.  The holiday is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and encourages tree planting and care.  Will you celebrate Arbor Day?

                I plan to celebrate by planting a Zestar! apple tree.  The Zestar! apple is an early season apple with a crisp, juicy texture, and a zesty flavor with a hint of brown sugar.  The Zestar! apple tree is one of 15 apple trees listed for growing in North Dakota in the NDSU Extension publication H327 Tree Fruit Culture and Cultivars in North Dakota.  There are so many wonderful apple varieties out there, with varying degrees of sweetness and tartness.  If you are ready to expand beyond the Haralson flavor profile, stop on by or call the Extension Office at 797-3312 to learn more about the many apple varieties recommended for our North Dakota growing season.

                Planting a fruit tree does not mean selecting just from apple varieties.  Think about adding one or two pear, plum, cherry plum, cherry, or apricots trees to your yard.  I mention one or two because many tree fruit cultivars cannot set fruit with their own pollen, so you must select and plant two different cultivars to ensure fertilization.  Apple, crabapple, pear, American plum, apricot and cherry plum will set more fruit if two or more cultivars are present.  Pie cherry and European blue plum cultivars are self-fruitful and can set fruit on their own.

                 Planting a fruit tree will be fun right now and rewarding with bushels of fruit in the future.  However, they require a caring hand.  Fruit trees need to be pruned.  As the trees get older and larger, branches will need to be pruned out to maximize the amount of sunlight and air movement in the canopy of the tree.  This helps to prevent diseases and yields a well-structured tree.  Fruit trees also need protection from wind, wildlife and warming sunlight in the winter months.  Staking trees protects trees from damaging winds and keeps the root system stabilized in the soil.  Wildlife can damage the bark of the tree. Preventing them by wrapping the tree with wire mesh (for rodent control) or installing a high perimeter fence (for deer control) is key.  Protecting from sunscald can be done by wrapping trees with white tree guards to reflect the heat of the sun during the winter.

                Growing your own fruit can be fascinating and fun.  Many different kinds of tree fruits, including apple, pear, plum and cherry, can be grown successfully in North Dakota.  Connect with us at the Extension Office for more information on which cultivars grow well in North Dakota.


Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.