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Northland Blueberry

Posted by Todd Parlo 
Northland Blueberry
February 24, 2013 08:22PM
Northland Blueberry is referred to as a half-high. Technically it is a cross between the highbush blueberry (V.corymbosom) and a lowbush species (V. angustifolium) : Berkeley x 19-H (lowbush x Pioneer seedling) .Developed at Michigan State University in a program to develop a more cold hardy commercial blueberry. Bluehaven is another cultivar from this program, and a sister of Northland. Stanley Johnston and J. E. Moulton cultivar release cross made in 1948, selected in 1952, introduced in 1967. Its name refers to northern areas of the northern hemisphere where it is intended to find good use.

The general form is a moderately spreading 4 ft bush, at maturity. The branches are a bit more limber than many other varieties, which lends itself to survival in areas of heavy snow weighting. This does not mean it is immune to such damage, but we have seen fewer broken branches here (we see 5 feet of snow cover most years). Very cold hardy, rated at zone 3. Hardiness is due to the actual toughness of the plant, but additionally all low stature bushes will often be covered with insulating snow in the coldest climates. Has performed well both in the northernmost US and in Canada. Blossoms can tolerate light frosts. Listed as an early midseason, here in Walden crops begin typically by the first week of August and produce the entire month. Bush is vigorous, spreading, medium height, extremely productive.

Fruit is about medium is size (translates to 136 berries per cup on average), firm, and with only a small picking scar . Grow on long and loose clusters. It is more flavorful than the typical highbush blueberry fruit, having some of the flavor characteristics of the wild lowbush species. It is a good compromise between the two, having full taste and a commercial sized berry. We use the smaller ones for the muffins and pancakes due to the smaller berries ability to let batter cook around it (unlike the big boys). Freezes well. The higher flavor also helps it stand up to culinary expectations. One of the heaviest producing varieties grown, with higher yields nearing 20 pounds per bush at maturity.

Walden Heights Nursery & Orchard
Zone 3 in Vermont
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