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Super late pollinator varieties

Posted by Stuart Madany 
Super late pollinator varieties
January 16, 2018 11:19AM
We have 7 Bedan trees. Bought some pollen last spring and finally got enough of a crop to make a test batch of cider (put some on a pollen tray on bee hives, but also got out there with a paint brush). It was too good to write off the trees, so I'm back to looking for a pollenizer that blooms SUPER late (May into June). Any thoughts?
Re: Super late pollinator varieties
January 16, 2018 12:42PM
Bedan is a very common variety in France, so, looking at some French infos about pollinator varieties, those most recommended for Bedan are: Avrolles, Binet rouge, Pomme de Boué (local var in Perche, syn Bouet de Bonnetable), Doux vérêt de Carrouges, Tesnières.
Of these, I guess Binet rouge would be the easiest to procure in the US.
Some English varieties are also known to bloom very late, like for example Stoke Red, but I have no information as to if effectively it works with Bedan...
Claude

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
Re: Super late pollinator varieties
January 16, 2018 05:21PM
Let's set the stage here, Stuart. You are in central Virginia, . Could you specify the bloom times of a few better known varieties that you grow . . . and then spell out how much later Bedan is than those varieties?

These late blooming varieties often make such a list in whatever bioregion: Arkansas Black, Bedan, Boskoop, GoldRush, Haralson, King David, Melrose, Michelin, Nittany, Northwest Greening, Queen Cox, Rome, Spy, and Winesap. Then there are commercial varieties like Gala and Golden Delicious whose extended bloom period can sometimes help. Similarly, a flowering crab like Malus sargentii seemingly blooms forever.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Super late pollinator varieties
January 18, 2018 09:50AM
Thanks Claude! Pollinators commonly planted with Bedan seems like great info.

Michael,we're zone 7a here. A lot of the relatively late bloomers seemed to be at peak bloom around 4/19 including Bramley's, Wickson, Golden Russet, and Harrison. Newtown Pippin was a little earlier at 4/10. The latest other than Bedan is Dabinett. Maybe peaking at 4/26(?) For us Dabinett has a very protracted bloom time. It's the only variety with some overlap with the Bedan (pretty far away though and pretty few blooms by then). The Bedan started blooming around 5/15 and was also a protracted bloom, extending well into June. Peak was maybe 5/25.

Castle Hill Cider
zone 7, Central VA
Re: Super late pollinator varieties
January 18, 2018 04:53PM
I knew you were going to amaze us with these bloom dates, Stuart. Bedan apparently thinks its in the southern hemisphere! I wonder if this cultivar blooms a month or more later than late dessert varieties in France as well. Or if this is juvenile rebellion, since your planting at Castle Hill would be relatively young trees. A plug from you for Bedan as a cider apple means a lot (call that a noteworthy hint, cider producers). Given it must be that much warmer again by the time Bedan blooms, is fire blight a huge concern?

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Super late pollinator varieties
January 18, 2018 05:06PM
Thus far, fire blight has not been a major problem. For us here, Michelin and Medaille d'Or were huge fireblight problems (also very protracted bloom periods). Pulling those trees made an enormous difference in overall pressure.

These trees did go in in 2009, so not that young at this point -do you think?

So, about Malus sargentii, do you think that might work?
Re: Super late pollinator varieties
January 25, 2018 02:33PM
It may be helpful to look at the following lists :

[waldenheightsnursery.com]

[waldenheightsnursery.com]

These are both from our orchard in 2014. The first gives cultivars in order of blooming, the second is a larger datasheet showing various timing elements (like king bloom, petal fall, etc). There is limited hard cider varieties in that year, but enough to find compatible pollenizers. The second sheet also has phenological markers in local wild species.

We hope to have updates to these this season.

Walden Heights Nursery & Orchard
Zone 3 in Vermont
Re: Super late pollinator varieties
January 25, 2018 10:34PM
Nice bloom time sheets Todd

I want to share a possible crab apple for consideration. A true North American Native from the West known as Pacific Crab Apple, Malus fusca. It is known to be hardy to zone 6 for sure and depending on exposure it might hold bloom until mid may as you hope for. If you are looking for a large, standard sized, crab, that can grow with a minimal of care, and can grow slowly up to 35ft tall at full maturity, this might be the one.

One of the aspects of this variety that catches my attention is that it is sometimes also called "swamp crab" because it is said to tolerate near wetland conditions. Could be useful in that wet or swampy location on any of our given properties. A place that might be set aside for wildlife with a tree variety that also helps with pollination of our apple orchards . . . sounds kinda nice doesnt it? Plus it has potential for grafting some of our favorites over to it's rootstock that is exceptionally water tolerant. Another potential plus for this North American native.

Here is a couple sites to learn more about this one . . .

[dendro.cnre.vt.edu]

[nativeplantspnw.com]

[www.mountpisgaharboretum.com]

[www.bcliving.ca]

Plus one source I have worked with for purchases of several other speciman varieties of the years -- good quality, good pricing.

Burnt Ridge Nursery
[www.burntridgenursery.com]

Stuart, I think a crab apple, Zone 7 trial might be in order. Cheers to giving several varieties a go!

Good luck!

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
Re: Super late pollinator varieties
February 06, 2018 10:17AM
Hi Todd,
That's a fantastic couple of tables! Thanks so much. Translating from zone 3 to zone 7, though, I don't think anything on it will be late enough sad smiley

Paul, I went ahead and ordered 2 Malus fusca from Burnt Ridge. Certainly worth a try...
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