Michaels Apples Releases March 2014 Fruit Tree Care and Gardening Newsletter


Michael's Apples The trees are budding out…tell them to stop, it’s too early! I have several classes coming up, the schedule for the grafting classes in April, and bare root trees for sale.

Here’s the newsletter:

MARCH 2014 FRUIT TREE CARE and GARDENING NEWSLETTER BARE ROOT FRUIT TREES- I still have bare root fruit trees for sale.  If you need trees this spring, let me know. This year, the trees are scheduled to arrive the first week in April. The price availability list follows the newsletter in this email. Email me to reserve your trees or if you have any questions. I label my trees in the garden using aluminum tags; don’t affix to the tree (it will grow into the wire and harm the tree, but put it on a stake supporting the tree. The tags can be purchased from CGS a geological supply company in Sparks: http://www.cgsmule.com/7_8_x_3_Aluminum_Double_Faced_Tags_p/1575.htm. I also make a sketch map of the area as a backup.

UPCOMING TALKS- Tuesday, March 4, I’ll be giving my Selecting and Growing Fruit Trees talk, at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, Reno, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The talk is free and part of the Gardening in Nevada Series, coordinated by UNR Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners (I have been a MG volunteer since 1996). I will cover recommended varieties, pest control programs, and cultural practices. Hope to see you there. For the complete schedule for the Gardening in NV series, go to:  http://www.growyourownnevada.com/horticulture-programs/gardening-in-nevada-bartley-ranch I’ll also be giving my class on Winter (Dormant) Pruning of Fruit Trees at Rail City on March 8, at 11:00 and again at 1:00. This is the basic beginning class on pruning fruit trees discussing tools, plant response to pruning and damage. For more information, go to: http://railcitygardencenter.com/events.

GRAFTING CLASSES- I will give 5 grafting classes this year. Participants will go home with 6 grafted apple trees. I will have a good collection of scions available from heirloom/antique, gourmet, and cider apple varieties. I’ll provide 6 dwarfing rootstocks (ELMA 26) per participant, scions, grafting rubbers, and parafilm grafting tape. Each participant will provide a grafting knife—I recommend a quality (like Stanley) utility (sheet rock) knife and new blade (the old-style straight, fat-handled, utility knife is better/safer than the ergonomic, curved types). BYOB (bring your own band aids). Class will last about 2 hrs. Dates, times and locations are:

  • Saturday April 5, at 10:00 a.m. at Rail City Nursery, Sparks, NV
  • Saturday April 5, at 2:00 p.m. at Rail City Nursery, Sparks, NV
  • Saturday April 12, at 10:00 a.m. at 901 Gordon Avenue in Reno
  • Saturday April 12, at 2:00 p.m. at 901 Gordon Avenue in Reno
  • Saturday April 26, at 10:00 a.m. 165 Bridge Street in Paradise Valley, NV

Classes will start promptly at the appointed times. Classes will be limited to a maximum of 10 participants per class. To register and attend any of the classes, email me to reserve a spot. The cost for the class is $40 per person: please send your check to: Michael Janik, 901 Gordon Avenue,  Reno, NV, 89509. (Register at Rail City for the Rail City classes). I’ll send the scion list and instructions via email when you register. If you would like to graft an apple tree from your grandpa’s farm or the tree over the fence in you neighbors’ yard, you’ll need to collect a scion now while the tree is dormant.  Find a fruiting limb; cut a shoot of last years’ growth. Ideally, the shoot (now a scion) should be about 10 – 12 inches long and the thickness of a pencil; shorter and thinner won’t matter—we’ll make it work. Do not collect last year’s water spouts or any root suckers. Dip the cut ends of the scion in hot candle wax, wrap loosely in a moist paper towel or newspaper page, and put that in a plastic veggie bag. Roll up the bag loosely and place on a tray in your fridge (not in the freezer or the crisper drawer). Oh yes, and label the scion—I use freezer tape and permanent marker. Bring the scion to the class.

WATER- Check you soil moisture and water accordingly; with the warmer weather, plants are sucking up the available water. Although we are getting some rain now, check the soil moisture to be certain that the soil is moist.

PRUNING- If you haven’t inspected your fruit trees for a while, now is a good time to do so. Usually, fruit trees here at this time of year are still dormant, but as the weather warms up (which it has), trees will enter the delayed dormant stage. During the delayed dormant stage, buds—especially the flower/fruiting buds—begin to swell. If you haven’t had time yet, now is the time prune your young (< 5 – 7 yrs old) apple and pear trees. I’m pruning stone fruits (peaches/nectarines, plums, cherries) now as well.

VEGETABLES- In other gardening notes, now is the time to start your spring garden. My peas, fava beans, lettuce, spinach, kohlrabi, beets, and parsley are on the windowsill and sprouting. I’ll be putting them out in a week or so. In mid to late February, I sprout peas and favas inside in moist paper towels and transplant into the garden when the seeds have split and the root is about ½ inch long. Early planting (now) will allow peas to start producing in May and yield several pickings before they burn up in the June heat. I also start lettuce, cabbage, and spinach from seed in potting soil on the windowsill and transplant the seedlings when they have their second set of leaves.  I plant lettuce about 3-4 inches apart in early march; in April, I start to thin the plants when they begin to touch their neighbor by pulling every other one for ‘spring’ salads.  As the spinach grows, remove the lower or outer leaves a few at a time. In past years, 8 spinach plants provided us salads twice a week through May. Michael 3/1/2014 mgj

2014 Price/Availability List of Retail Bare Root Trees This year, I have ordered trees from only one supplier (Cummins Nursery) http://www.cumminsnursery.com/available2013.php. By ordering in bulk, I think I can offer them at prices less than you could get them on a small, individual order (if you order over 20 trees from them, you will beat my price). Another good source for fruit trees is Burnt Ridge Nursery in Onalaska, Washington, http://www.burntridgenursery.com/fruitingPlants/index.asp?dept=7. I have ordered many plants from them in past years. If you order 2 or more trees from them, the cost plus shipping will be less than what you would pay me, so go through them. Ask for delivery in late March through April to fit your schedule; if you plan to espalier the trees, ask for small caliper. Of note, they have pears on a dwarfing rootstock (OHxF 333), apples on M26 and B9, and their stone fruits are mostly on Colt (~75% of full size). A list of their offerings that should produce in northern NV follows my Price/availability List. I’ll have the list of my grafted trees from Paradise Valley out in March, but it will be a short list…. Prices are $25 per tree unless otherwise noted; the price is affected by and includes royalty payments, tree size, shipping, and handling (including mine). I have to charge Nevada sales tax for Washoe County (7.725%). To reserve your trees, send me a list by email. I’ll send out the bills in early February and will ask for payment by March 1. I will have the trees in mid to late March ready for pick up at our house at 901 Gordon Avenue, Reno, NV. I can also arrange delivery between here and Paradise Valley. Rootstocks I have noted the % of standard size by each rootstock. Size will also vary depending on the vigor of each variety. I have chosen the apple rootstocks to be a mature tree of 7 – 10 ft in height. # Available, VarietyRootstocksize % of standard Apples

  • 4, Esopus Spitzenburg, Geneva 16, 40%
  • 2, Fuji, Rising Sun, B9, 30%
  • Sold out, Granny Smith, B9, 30%
  • 4, Grimes Golden, B9, 30%
  • 3, Honeycrisp, Geneva 41, 30%
  • 1, Mustu, B9, 30%
  • 2, Newtown Pippin, Geneva 11, 35%
  • 4, Orleans Reinette, Geneva 202, 30-40%
  • 3, Zestar!, Geneva 11, 30-40%


  • 4, Debbie’s Gold, Manchurian, Standard
  • 5, Hargrand, Manchurian, Standard
  • 5, Harogem, Manchurian, Standard
  • 5, Westcot, Manchurian, Standard

Sweet Cherry

  • 4, Black Gold, Gisela 6, 50-60%


  • 4, Contender, Krymsk 1, 50-60%
  • 2, Veteran, Colt, semidwarf


  • 5, Blue Byrd, pumiselect, semi dwarf
  • 1, Green Gage, Colt, semi dwarf
  • 4, Opal, pumiselect, semi dwarf
  • 5, President, Myroblan, Standard
  • 4, Victory, pumiselect, semi dwarf

Recommended trees available from Burnt Ridge (BR) Nursery Apples- Most apples will work here….go for it! Their dwarf is on EMLA 26, or on B9; their semi dwarf in apples is large (>10’). I’d stick with the dwarf trees.


  • BR,Bartlett, OHxF333, 50-70%
  • BR, Blake’s Pride, OHxF333, 50-70%
  • BR, Bosc, OHxF333, 50-70%
  • BR, Conference, OHxF333, 50-70%
  • BR, Comice, OHxF333, 50-70%
  • BR, Highland, OHxF333, 50-70%
  • BR, Seckel, OHxF333, 50-70%
  • BR, Moonglow, OHxF333, 50-70%
  • BR, Ubileen, OHxF333, 50-70%


  • BR, Montrose, semi dwarf

Sweet Cherries

  • BR, Gold, Colt, 50-7%
  • BR, Kristin, Colt, 50-70%

Pie Cherries

  • BR, Evans Bali, natural dwarf
  • BR, Montmorency, Colt, 50-70%
  • BR, Northstar (genetic dwarf tree), mature about 6-8 ft tall


  • BR, Redhaven, semidwarf
  • BR, Veteransemi, dwarf


  • BR, Harko, semi dwarf


  • BR, Green Gagesemi, dwarf
  • BR, Imperial Epineuse, semi dwarf
  • BR, Italian, semi dwarf
  • BR, Stanley, semi dwarf
  • BR, Superior, semi dwarf
  • BR, Toka, semi dwarf



  • ARKANSAS BLACK- Benton County, Arkansas ~1870 Probably a Winesap seedling. Beautiful, dark red to black, crisp, firm, juicy with yellow flesh. Excellent for eating out of hand, cooking and cider blends.Ripens in late October to early November.
  • CALVILLE BLANC d’HIVER- France; introduced in 1598. Grown for Louis XIII; a favorite of Thomas Jefferson and still served for desert in fine Paris restaurants. Pale green fruit; tender, sweet, spicy, and favorable. More vitamin C than an orange. Excellent keeper that turns yellow and more flavorful with storage. Ripens Oct to Dec. Zone 5.
  • FUJI, RISING SUN- Developed in Japan 1962, a cross between Ralls Janet x Delicious, Fuji is a now popular eating apple that is crisp, juicy, and with a great texture. Rising Sun is an early ripening sport that ripens 5-6 weeks before regular Fuji.
  • GRANNY SMITH- New South Wales, Australia. Well know commercial apple in the US. Large, green fruit with crisp, juicy flesh. Long growing season, but I know several folks in Reno that get apples almost every year. Classic story of discarded seeds sprouting in the compost pile of Mrs. Thomas Smith; the tree was moved to the orchard and at maturity produced a great apple. The tree was propagated and the rest is history. Hardy in zones 5-8.
  • GRIMES GOLDEN- Originated with Thomas Grimes in Brook County, West Virginia, 1804. Possible parent of Yellow Delicious. Medium to large, bright yellow fruit. Crisp, distinctive, aromatic, spicy flavor. Great for desert; excellent for cider. Ripens midseason, keeps until January. Hardy in zones 5-8.
  • HONEYCRISP- University of Minnesota 1992Macoun x Honeygold One of UM’s cold hardy developments; is currently being widely planted commercially. Very crisp, excellent for fresh eating. It ripens in Late September to late October. Hardy to Zone 3. Keeps up to 5 months in common storage. My honeycrisp produced after 3 years and has cropped annually except 2010 (weather).
  • HUDSON’S GOLDEN GEM- Oregon 1931. Discovered as a fence row seedling at Hudson Nursery in Tangent, OR. A large, high quality russet desert apple: sugary, juicy, nutty flavor with crisp flesh. Ripens in late October and hardy to zone 3.
  • MUTSU (also Crispin)- Japan 1948Golden Delicious x Indio. Large, round, crunchy, juicy, tart, spicy flavor. Good desert and cooking apple; excellent for apple sauce and cider. Ripens mid to late September. Zone 5.
  • NEWTOWN PIPPIN- Newtown, Long Island, New York early 1700’sBen Franklin had some sent to him in England in 1759, the British loved it and the subsequent demand launched the US fruit export business. A great all around apple including cider. Ripens in October, but is and excellent keeper that develops full sugar and rich flavor when stored until March.
  • ORLEANS REINETTE- France 1776 Medium-sized, orange to red flush with short red stripes over gold. At best, aromatic and nutty. Firm sweet rather dry flesh. Windfalls and early fruit can be cooked; keeps shape and makes a sweet pie. Needs a warm spot for good flavor. Pick in late October, can be eaten from Nov to March.
  • SMOKEHOUSE- A seedling of Vandevere that grew near the smokehouse on the farm of William Gibbons in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Introduced in 1836. Red-striped, yellow fruit with firm, very juicy, yellow tinged flesh. Very good for eating, cooking, and juice. Ripens late August through October; will keep a month or so after picking. Zone 3; hardy to –40 F. One of our favorites; has cropped annually in Reno.
  • ZESTAR! (aka Zesta)- Another University of Minnesota release (1997). Red color over yellow background, good sweet/tart flavor. Stores for 6 weeks. Hardy in Zone 4 and ripens in late August to September.


  • BARTLETT- A standard for pears, it comprises 75% of all US and Canada production. Ripen off the tree for several weeks to develop flavor; keeps up to 3 months in storage. Annual producer in Reno.
  • BLAKE’S PRIDE- See BR website
  • BOSC- Brown, russeted skin, white flesh; a late blooming variety that keeps up to 6 months in cold storage. Introduced from Belgium in 1807.
  • COMICEA- green-yellow fruit with a red blush and light russet. Needs a month of cold storage to properly ripen. Risky, with a lower chill requirement, but an outstanding gourmet winter apple worth the risk.
  • CONFERENCE- see BR website
  • HIGHLAND- See BR website
  • MOONGLOW- A Comice seedling introduced in 1960, Moonglow is a dull yellow fruit with a pink blush, excellent mild flavor and almost no grit cells. It ripens a couple of weeks earlier than Bartlett and ripens to perfection in cold storage after 10 to 14 days.
  • SECKEL- Not pretty, small, but an excellent dessert pear, it was introduced from England in 1790 and has been a favorite for eating fresh, spicing and canning whole since colonial times. Also called the honey or sugar pear, it ripens in September.
  • UBILEENA- relative newcomer to the US, Ubileen originated in Bulgaria and is an early ripening, summer pear the size of Bartlett with a red blush and buttery-textured flesh.
  • SHIPOVA- See BR website

Apricots– Note: All Har.* varieties were developed at the Harrow Research Station, Canada and were developed for northern climes.

  • Debbie’s Gold- From the Prairie Provinces, winter hardy to -40, just recently commercially available, fruit up to 1 ¾ “ and good fresh or canned.
  • Harcot- Medium to large, oblong, orange fruit with a slight red blush. Firm, smooth, fine-grained, flesh; freestone. Early ripening fruit hangs on tree when ripe without dropping. Ripens late July in upstate NY. Introduced in 1977.
  • Harglow- Medium sized, bright orange fruit, freestone. Ripens in July. Introduced in 1982.
  • Hargrand- Very large (2.25-2.5 inch diameter), dull orange skin with speckled blush, firm, smooth, orange flesh; freestone. Ripens in late July to early August in upstate NY. Cold hardy. Introduced in 1982.
  • Harlayne- Medium fruit, orange with a red blush; a freestone with good tasted and texture. Ripens in late August. Introduced in 1980.
  • Harogem- Small to medium size, glossy orange fruit with a bright red blush; very firm, orange freestone flesh with good texture and flavor. Cross pollinates with Hargrand. Ripens in early August. Cold hardy in zone 4. Introduced in 1985.
  • Harval- Freestone with a 30% red blush over bright orange background, it has firm, melting flesh of good quality. Introduced in 1985.
  • Jerseycot- A very productive (needs thinning for good fruit size) and self-fertile, it has a 1.5” diameter fruit. Developed in New Jersey, it cropped 20 out of 22 years in central New Jersey and ripened in early July for Bob Purvis in MN.
  • Westcot- Popular commercially variety in Manitoba, released in 1982, self-fertile, hardy to -40, yellow orange skin, sweet, good for fresh eating and canning.

Sweet Cherries

  • Attika (Kordia) Large, black fruit with juicy, dark red, firm flesh. Blooms late. Originated in Czechoslovakia. 
  • Black Gold Developed in Geneva, NY, it’s a cross between Gold and Stella, blooms late, hardy in zone 4 and has withstood -30 temperatures in MN. Dark red, firm fruit, that resists cracking; it is self fertile and a very good pollenizer.
  • Gold (aka. Golden Sweet, Golden Cherry) Fruit is relatively small, but very sweet and juicy. An excellent pollinizer and heavy producer, Gold can be canned in light syrup and is used commercially for maraschino processing.
  • KristinLarge (1”), purplish black fruit with a sweet, richly aromatic flavor; heavy cropping, and proven hardy in Zones 4-5. Introduced in 1982, tested in Norway, Montana, and at Geneva, NY, Ag station.

Pie or Tart Cherries

  • Evans Bali- Large 1” fruit, good for pies, jams and fresh eating, mature tree 7’tall, ripens in late August, hardy to zone 3, discovered near Edmonton, Alberta.
  • Montmorency- The standard for pie cherries, and can be eaten fresh, produces (almost) annually in Reno, originated in France in the 17th century, grows to about 15 ft mature.
  • North Star Large- fruited Morello-type pie cherry with light red skin, red flesh, and small freestone, very tart, great for pies and jams.Ripens from mid June to early July self fruitful, a natural dwarf that grows from 6 to 12 ft tall. Developed in Minnesota from a seedling discovered in Yugoslavia, hardy to -40 degrees. Our tree fruited the second year after planting in PV; fruit is very tart—another grower recommended 1.5 parts sugar to 1 part juice for jam.


  • Harko- Medium sized (2.5”), red skin with yellow flesh, almost freestone, reliable producer. Zone 5-8, self fertile, ripens 4 days after Red Haven in mid August. Developed at Harrow Station, Ontario, Canada.
  • Hardired- Another Harrow Station introduction, hardy to -30 F…90% red skin with yellow, freestone flesh.
  • Red Gold- Large, almost all red fruit with firm, juicy, deep yellow flesh; a free stone that holds its firmness. Ripens 14 days before Elberta, it requires 850 chill hours. Originated in California and introduced in 1960.


  • Contender- Large round fruit with a red blush over yellow and firm yellow flesh that resists browning. Freestone. Ripens 9 days before Elberta. Requires 1050 chill hours. Developed at North Carolina State University.
  • Elberta- Most popular American variety. Large, yellow fruit with a light red blush. Freestone with juicy yellow flesh. Excellent for canning and eating fresh or freezing for pies. Self-fruitful and a good pollinizer. Ripens early September. Hardy in zone 5, it needs 800-950 chill hours. Reported a near annual bearer in Reno.
  • Redhaven- The standard for early peaches, it ripens a month before Elberta. Medium-size, nearly fuzzless, bright red skin and firm yellow flesh becoming freestone as it ripens fully. Excellent fresh and for canning and freezing. Abundant fruit set requires early, thorough thinning. Requires 800-950 chill hours.
  • Veteran- Large, round, golden yellow fruit with a slight red blush; freestone when fully ripe. Yellow, firm fresh is easy to peel and excellent fresh, canned, or frozen. Ripening 8-10 days before Elberta, it is self fruitful, one of the hardiest peach varieties that requires 1000+ chill hours. Reported to be an annual producer in Reno.
  • Vivid- Medium to large, bright red, early ripening, free-stone fruit; recommended for general planting in Ontario, Canada.


  • Blue Byrd- Recent introduction from USDA breeding program, 2” long, ripens 10 days before Stanley, blue skin with yellow flesh. Bob Purvis reported a heavy crop and great taste in southern Idaho.
  • Castleton- Blue, slightly ovate fruit with green to yellow flesh. A dual purpose plum, it is a fine early dessert plum and is and excellent processing European variety (prunes). A consistent heavy producer, thinning is recommended. Self-fruitful, it ripens 2-3 weeks before Stanley (Stanley ripens mid-September). Developed at Cornell in 1993 as an improved Stanley.
  • Empress- Deep blue skin over firm, fine-textured yellow flesh, Empress is a European plum that is popular commercially in Idaho. Cross pollinates well with President and ripens in early September a week before President.
  • Green Gage- (Reine Claude) An old European plum and an American favorite since colonial times. Small to medium (1 to 1.5 inch diameter), yellowish green with juicy, smooth textured, amber freestone flesh. Ripens in August to September. Productive and self fertile (will cross pollinate with Italian). Hardy in zone 4. Mine has annual crops in Paradise Valley.
  • Imperial Epineuse- Found near Clairoc the famous French prune district, mottled dark and light purplish red skin with meaty, greenish yellow clingstone flesh, highest quality, and hardy to zone 4.
  • Italian- (Italian prune) Old European plum. Medium to large fruit, purplish black fruit with juicy, greenish yellow flesh. Rich, sweet flavor fresh, good for cooking or drying. Self fruitful and will cross pollinate with Green Gage. Ripens from late August to September. An annual producer for me. Requires 800 chill hours and is hardy in zone 4.
  • Opal- Self fertile, hardy to zone 3 (-30), Swedish cross of Oullins Gage x Early Favorite, productive and precocious, fruit round to 1 ½ “, reddish purple with amber flesh, complex sweet flavor, excellent fresh and dried, ripens late July in central WA.
  • President- Large, round to oblong, blue-black fruit with a fine textured, yellow freestone flesh. Pollinates with other European plums, it is a heavy producer that ripens in mid- to late September. Mine bore 3 dozen fruit the 3rd year in Reno.
  • Stanley- European medium to large, oval, dark blue fruit with yellowish green, freestone flesh. Requires 800-900 chill hours, hardy to zone 4, it was introduced by Geneva station in 1926. Our Stanley produces a good crop almost annually in PV.
  • Toka- A cross of the American wild plum P. americana and P. simonii an apricot plum from China, it is a pollinator for American, Japanese, and hybrid plums. It is a reddish bronze fruit with firm, yellow, flesh; a freestone that ripens form late August to early September. Developed at the South Dakota Experiment Station and introduced in 1911. Reported to produce most years in Elko!
  • Victory- A large attractive European plum that ripens 5 days after Stanley, it was developed at Vineland, Ontario.

Revised 3/1//2014 mgj