Derry's Orchard & Nursery


In May of 2007, Traas Nursery of Langley, B.C., closed. Traas Nursery had been producing rootstocks for over 50 years.

This meant propagators of fruit trees have had to find other sources. Some of the replacement rootstock came from Holland and some from the USA.

As of December 22, 2011, Many rootstocks cannot be imported from Europe . Malus, Pyrus, Prunus, Citrus, Olea, and many more are ALL restricted from the EU and many other countries because of the threat of a fairly serious wood-boring pest. The exception is any material that is 10mm or thinner at its widest point.

Take a look at the links below (particularly the appendices of the Directive 11-01) for more information.

Malus spp. has been restricted entry into Canada, as it is a host species of Anoplophora spp. A directive to prevent the entry and spread of Anoplophora will be implemented on December 22nd, 2012,

Phytosanitary Requirements for Plants for Planting and Fresh Branches to
Prevent the Entry and Spread of Anoplophora spp.

Please find below the weblink to the directive as well as the industry
bulletin that was sent out in November.


Industry Bulletin
http://inspection/english/plaveg/protect/20111122inde.shtml .

February 2015. There is a source of apple and plum r/s, full bundles only, at Neufeld Brothers Nurseries in the eastern Fraser Valley. Right now they are sold out of root stock until Spring 2016. They propagate M9, B9, B118 for apples plus St Julien A for plums.

Spring 2016 orders accepted now, with deposit, to maintain your priority in availability.

The Neufeld Brothers are propagating rootstocks here in the Fraser Valley. They are focussing on hardy r/s for the Prairies.

Contact them at 604-796-3806 or 'behringera' and the symbol for 'at' and ''

April 29, 2015, I received a note from Anita at Neufeld Brothers:

We have found ourselves with an abundance of the sometimes hard to find St. Julian A rootstock this year. Our early rooting beds showed poorly so we tried another method. Both methods were quite successful in the end, so we now have 750 excess.

St. Julian A rootstock, semi-dwarfing understock used for plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots.
Grown in 2 7/8" dia. band pots ready for transplanting in early summer to bud July through August. Could be overwintered and used for spring grafting. $1.50 per rootstock.

Please contact Neufeld Brothers (see above).

In Ontario, there is Ken Roth of Wellesley, Ontario 'ken' and the symbol for 'at' and '' will be taking orders for rootstocks for those living in the East..

Ken Roth can deal only with customers in Ontario, Quebec, the Prairies, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. For Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulations, he does not take orders from B.C., or Newfoundland/Labrador.

On January 25, 2015, Ken told me his deadline for accepting orders for 2016 was December 31, 2015.

For 2015 (deadline for ordering December 31, 2014) he expects to import Ranetka, B118, B9, OHxF 97, Prunus cerasifera, Prunus mahaleb, and Quince A,

$3-4 per rootstock. It is cheaper if you buy a full bundle of 50 rootstocks of one kind. Prices will vary each year.

The price is dependent on the base price plus fumigating, packaging, shipping, handling, brokerage, HST, and the value of the Canadian $ vs the US $. Ken won't know the exact price until the rootstocks arrive and the bills are paid.

Another source of small numbers of rootstocks is the B C Fruit Testers Annual General Meeting (March 19, 2016). See 'Events' on this website page 7 and

The final size of your tree on any of these rootstocks will depend on the vigour of the scion, soil type, amount of care given to the young tree (hours of sunlight, fertilizer, water, lime), pruning (summer versus winter) and whether it was staked properly.

An apple variety on M9 rootstock will produce a tree approximately 35% of a seedling tree, a tree on Bud 9 will produce a tree approximately 40% of a seedling tree, a tree on M26 will produce a tree approximately 55% of a seedling tree, a tree on M7 will produce a tree approximately 60% of a seedling tree, and a tree on MM106 will produce a tree approximately 70% of a seedling tree, a tree on MM111 will produce a tree approximately 80% of a seedling tree, and a tree on Antonovka will be 65-85% of a seedling tree. Assume a seedling tree will grow to 30'. Sometimes I graft M9 interstems on the MM106 and MM111 r/s to reduce the size and to have a free-standing tree.

But remember, as I stated above, estimating the final size of a grafted tree is a bit of a crap-shoot!!! There are so many variables.

Rootstock characteristics: the following information is from 'Intensive Orchard Management' by Bruce Barritt, Washington State University. 1992.

M9: dwarf, precocious (sets fruit early), brittle roots, must be staked for the life of the tree
Bud 9: dwarf, hardy, precocious, must be staked for the life of the tree.
M26: semi-dwarf, not as precocious as M9, more winter-hardy than M9, susceptible to collar rot.
M7: semi-dwarf, not as precocious as M26, less winter-hardy than M26, better for wet soils.
MM106: 3/4 x standard, no staking needed, not good for wet soils.
MM111: 3/4 x standard, more winter hardy than MM106, best for dry soils, also good for wet soils, no staking needed.
Antonovka: 3/4 x standard, hardy, no staking needed.

Quince A will need an interstem of Old Home or Beurre Hardy between the rootstock and many pear varieties. For a list of pear varieties compatible with quince A rootstock, see the NCGR Corvallis Pyrus Catalogue:

Old Home Farmingdale (OHF) does not need an interstem and is suitable for European pears and Asian pears

I graft the rootstocks in March and April, put them into two gallon pots (using West Creek Farms potting mix) in raised beds and fertilize them with Osmocote (slow-release 15-9-12 plus minors 5-6 months). The raised beds have an automatic watering system.

By September, these grafted trees are ready for sale as one-year whips (near right). A one-year whip is sometimes called a 'maiden'.

If I grow it for a second year, it will be branched (far right).

Collecting your own scionwood

The apple tree must be dormant (no leaves) and the buds must not have started to swell – December to February in south coastal B.C.

Ideally, the tree should be free-of-disease.

The earlier you cut the scions, the longer you have to store them so in zones 6-7-8 February is a good time to cut scions and you can graft in March.

Wait for a dry day!

The best scionwood is the wood which grew last year (2015). If you look closely at a branch of an apple tree – start looking at the very tip of the branch! Let your glance move slowly down the branch – first you will see the buds are quite far apart then they get closer and closer together and you will see a ring or rings around the branch. This is the ‘annual ring’ (also known as ‘bud scale scar’) and marks the point where growth started last year.

If you continue to glance further down the branch, you’ll see another annual ring - this marks the start of growth in 2014. Keep doing this and you will be able to tell how old the branch is.

Your scionwood should be wood which grew last year (2015). Now some scionwood is better than other scionwood.

The best scionwood is wood which is growing on the sunny side of the tree, up in the canopy, coming UP off the main branch at about 45° to 60°.

Wood hanging down is not good scionwood; wood growing horizontally is not good scionwood; wood growing straight up (water shoots) is not good scionwood.

The year’s growth should be 6-12” long and about pencil thickness (5/16”)

Cut the scion at the annual ring. Cut off the top bud and discard it. Label the scions with the name of the apple variety (using waterproof ink).

Barely moisten a paper towel – just a few drops of water scattered around the paper towel and wrap the scions in it. Put the wrapped scions in a plastic bag, close the bag tightly with a tie and store the bag in the bottom vegetable drawer of the refrigerator or similar cold, dry environment (1-3°C/33-37°F). Do not store apples or other ripening fruit in the fridge while you are storing scionwood.

Some reasons: watershoots have a lot of auxins and auxins will slow down the fruiting of your new tree plus they are too vegetative and contain too few carbohydrates.

Terminal buds produce auxin (a hormone) so cut off the terminal bud and don’t make it part of your three-bud scion.

Horizontal branches have lots of FRUIT buds and you want LEAF buds to make your new tree grow in the first year.

Wood which hangs down is weak wood.

If the new growth is only two or three inches, this will be weak wood and it is difficult to get a good three-bud scion.

A three-bud scion gives you three chances for success – you only need one bud to grow, so one of the three buds must grow to make your new tree. You can use a two-bud scion, but you’ve reduced your odds for success. You can even use a one-bud scion, but if that bud does not grow you’ve had it!

If your paper towel is wet rather than barely damp, mould will grow on your scion.

The bottom vegetable drawer of the fridge is least affected by the frost-free cycling. An old non frost-free fridge is better for storing scionwood if you have one. The cooler, the better, but don’t store scionwood in the freezer!

Ripening fruit produces ethylene and ethylene will kill the buds on the scionwood. The union will heal, but the buds will not grow.

If you have a friend or a relative who has a really good apple tree, just ask if you can collect some scionwood. Graft the scion on to an apple rootstock and you’ll have a tree which produces apples exactly like the one you admired … and you’ll have a new hobby!

A year in the life of a grafted apple tree.

Following is a description of how I deal with my newly grafted trees. Feedback is welcomed.

I do my grafts and bundle each variety together and store them in damp sawdust out of the sun, out of the wind, out of the rain, ideally at 7-9°C (in a room in the barn). I use the plastic milk cartons/crates 13” x 13” x 10.5” high and put a black plastic bag inside the crate and inside the plastic bag I put my grafted trees upright in bundles packed with damp (not wet!) sawdust.

I tie the black plastic bag over the sawdust so the unions are covered, but the scions are not. This increases the humidity around the unions and also prevents the sawdust from drying out.

I’ve read that some people cover their unions for this first month. There is often not enough depth in the milk crates for the sawdust to cover the unions, but if you found a deeper container, it would be a good idea to cover the unions.

I don’t want them in the dark or the leaves will open up white (etiolated).

I’m in south coastal B.C. and I try to finish my grafting by the end of March.

Before the end of April, I pot the newly grafted dwarf trees into two-gallon pots (larger rootstocks into 3 gallon pots) in a commercially-prepared bark mulch/sawdust/peat mixture (West Creek Farms in Fort Langley) .

I have six raised beds about 12' x 4' x 16" high. These beds were originally made for vegetables and they are in a compound surrounded by deer fencing.

There are about ten raised beds and I have commandeered six of the beds for my grafts. The soil has been removed so my pots are on the ground surrounded by 16" walls. There is an automatic overhead sprinkling system and a layer of metal hardware cloth (1 cm x 1 cm holes) on the ground under the pots to keep the meadow mice (voles) out. The hardware cloth is attached to the sides and a tight hole has been cut for the irrigation risers so the voles cannot get in!!!!

The height of the beds seems to deter the rabbits. I've never had rabbit damage, but I don't leave the pots in the beds over winter (anthracnose canker loves cold wet bark) and rabbits usually do their damage in the winter.

I use slow-release fertilizer.

In 2015, I used two teaspoons (15 gms) Osmocote 15-9-12 with trace minerals (5-6 months) for every #2 (approx 2.5 gallon) pot and one tablespoonful for every #3 pot (approx 3-gallons).

This works out to 1.5 gm nitrogen per two gallon pot and 2.3 gms nitrogen per #3 pot.

It has been my experience that the root growth is better in pots than in the ground - more fibrous and more roots. In the ground they seem to produce one or two thicker roots and almost no fibrous roots.

For the last five years, we have had very hot dry summers, so I have put a lot of time into manually watering my nursery trees at least every two days and sometimes daily if it is very hot in July and August.

Bits and pieces: My MM106 and MM111 and M26 go into 11 L (2.5 gallon) pots and produce a very nice root system.

The MM111-9 are two year olds by the time I add the variety so they go into #3 pots.

In September I start selling them.

Those that remain in mid-November are moved to my car-port. Here they are out of the rain and away from the rabbits.

In mid-February, I take them out of the carport, water them, and fertilize with two teaspoons of Osmoform per #2 pot and one tablespoon Osmoform 15-8-13 per #3 pot. I start my selling season with Seedy Saturday at VanDusen Gardens. I cut the whips back to 27” from the soil level. The branches should form in the 6-8-10” below the cut. There should be no branches below about 18”. 30" would be a better height, but my truck canopy is 27" high and I transport my whips in the back of my pick-up truck with canopy in place.

By early May I am usually almost sold out. The remaining trees are 'potted up' into larger pots and go back into the raised beds, but with more space between them because in the second year they will put out branches.

If I have a grafted tree that I want to plant in my orchard, I have been waiting until they are two-years old. Meadow mice (voles) love the roots of one-year old apple trees. If they happen to run a tunnel next to a young apple tree they will eat absolutely every root and leave only a pointed stick where the roots were.

In November, 2005, I did plant about 15 one-year old trees, but I planted them in an open-bottomed cylinder of hardware cloth. The diameter of the cylinder is about 10”, the depth is about 10”. The holes are 1 cm x 1 cm. I plan to remove this cylinder of wire mesh in about November 2008 (I never did!). This has been well worthwhile. The roots of the nursery trees have not been eaten by the meadow voles. (In January, 2016, the wire mesh is still around many of the whips!).

My hope is that by having the mesh around the roots for three years, some roots will get big enough that the meadow mice won’t eat them. By removing the mesh in November, some small roots will be broken, but they should grow back quickly in the rainy months of November-December-January. Stay tuned to see how it works. (Later) The roots are fine, but I now think it is not a good idea because it is so difficult to take the wire mesh off the tree after three years.

Friends have told me that 'bridging' should occur when the root grows through the 1 cm hole and then it grows thicker. The wire should become surrounded by root and after time, the wire will be embedded in the root. It may not be necessary to remove the wire mesh. I don't know.

Apple Varieties for sale in February 2016.

My nursery opens each year in mid-February just in time for Seedy Saturday at the VanDusen Gardens.

If there is a variety you would like, let me know. I can make almost anything if I can get scionwood. The ideal time to let me know is in January so I can find the appropriate scionwood. A good source of scionwood (and rootstocks) is the B C Fruit Testers Annual General Meeting in Saanich (March 19, 2016). See 'Events' on this web site.

If you would like me to send you this list, please email me.

The following is a chart giving more information on all of these varieties. The information was taken from Martin Crawford's Directory of Apple Cultivars (references)

January 26, 2016. I just cannot seem to copy and paste my 2015 list of apple trees for sale to here on my website. I have left the old chart (2011) until I can figure out what's happening.

If you'd like a copy of the apple trees for sale in February 2016, just email me:

'derry' and the symbol for 'at' plus ''



Variety Fruit Skin Flesh Flavour Vigour Bloom Pick r/s disease?
Antonovka  Russia before 1900 large, round yellow milky white, sweet-sharp, juicy, crisp becomes sweet, good high, very hardy, good cropper early-mid   Day 8 Sept- Oct M9 very res to scab
Ard Cairn Russet Ireland c1890 medium, round orange red flush under golden russet deep cream, sweet, dry, firm banana-like flavour high vigour, upright, good cropper mid     Day 12 late Sept M26 resistant to scab 
Bramley's Seedling  Notts  1809 very large greenish-yellow white, tinged green, sharp, juicy, firm sharp, for cooking, juice, and cider high vigour, heavy cropper mid      Day 12   *triploid* early Oct M26 slightly susceptible to scab
Chisel Jersey Somerset 19th Cent medium, conical red flushed, prone to russeting and cracking firm cider= full bittersweet, very astringent mod vigour, upright, bears young late     Day 22 November M26 for cider: good quality, full of body
Dabinett  Somerset, UK small-med, round greenish-yellow, flushed dull red firm, aromatic cider = full bittersweet vintage low, shade-tolerant, bears young mid     Day 15   sf late Oct-Nov M26 resistant to scab, cider apple
Duchess of Oldenburg Russia c1700 large, round, hangs well pale yellow, striped and mottled red deep cream, sharp, juicy mod vigour, very hardy early     Day 4 mid Aug M26 MM111 with bloom, suitable for pot
Easter Orange       UK 1897 medium, round  orange flushed scarlet, russet dots deep cream, sweet, chewy, crisp aromatic, flavour rich, intense mod vigour, good cropper mid    Day 12 early Oct M26
Etter's Gold California c1942 med-large, round golden yellow light yellow, sweet-sharp, crisp excellent eating apple good cropper October M26
Fortune     Beds, UK 1931 medium, short, round, conical greenish-yellow, striped and flushed red, thin cream, sweet, juicy, firm sl aromatic, flavour rich if fully ripe mod vigour, bears young, good cropper mid      Day 9     psf early Sept M26 resistant to scab
Golden Nugget        NS 1932 small, conical yellow, streaked and splashed orange sweet-sharp, juicy, crisp aromatic, flavour rich, intense, acid mod, bears young, good cropper mid     Day 10 late Sept MM111 spur-bearing, res to scab
Gravenstein    Europe      1873 medium-large, oblong greenish-yellow striped red cream, sweet-sharp, juicy, melting, crisp excellent high vigour, spur-bearing,  often biennial early   *triploid* late August M9 M7
Greensleeves   Kent        1977 medium, oblong pale greenish-yellow, occ pinky -orange flush deep cream, sweet-sharp, juicy, firm flavour pleasant low vigour, hardy, bears young, heavy cropper early      Day 7   psf lete Sept- early Oct MM111 resistant to scab
Hidden Rose Oregon  c2006 med yellow-peach deep red M26
Ildrød Pigeon Denmark   1840 medium heavily flushed red, smooth white, juicy, crisp sl aromatic, hint of strawberry low vigour, good cropper mid    Day 10 early Oct M7
Ingrid Marie Denmark c1910 medium-large, flat-round greenish-yellow striped red, flushed dk red pale cream, quite sharp, juicy, soft sl aromatic, flavour quite rich mod vigour, good cropper mid     Day 14 late Sept MM111 Cox O x
Irish Peach   Ireland    1819 medium, round-conical pale yellow, flushed brownish-red pale cream, sweet-sharp, juicy, crisp sl aromatic, flavour rich, excellent high vigour, upright, very hardy early     Day 5 mid Aug MM111
Jupiter       Kent           1981 large, round-conical gr-yellow, striped and flushed orange-red white, sweet, juicy aromatic, flavour intense, robust high vigour, heavy cropper mid     Day 14   *triploid* early Oct M9 resistant to scab
Kidd's Orange Red             NZ 1924 medium, conical pale yellow/gold, stripes, russeted deep cream, sweet-sharp, juicy, crisp, aromatic flavour rich, balanced mod vigour, upright, good cropper mid    Day 12 mid Oct M9 resistant to scab
King of Tompkins       NJ 1804 large, flat-round, ribbed yellow, carmine red flushed and striped deep cream, sweet-sharp, juicy, crisp, aromatic sl aromatic, some watercore high, spreading, slow to bear, good cropper mid       Day 10 *triploid* mid Oct M9 B9 resistant to scab
Kingston Black Somerset small, conical yellow orange, flushed dark maroon cider: bittersharp, of vintage quality aromatic, full bodied, distinctive mod vigour, poor cropper mid     Day 15 early Nov M9 B9 111
Laxton's Superb          UK 1897 medium, round-conical green-yellow, fl deep red-purple, striped red white, sweet, juicy, soft nutty, quite rich high vigour, often biennial, heavy cropper mid      Day 13   psf early Oct M26 prefers wet climate
Lemon Pippin        UK? <1744 medium, oblong lemon yellow, dotted yellow, sweet-sharp firm moderate vigour, upright, heavy cropper mid-late  Day 15 early Oct Ant
Liberty         NY           1978 med, round-conical yellow, flushed burgundy whitish-yellow, sweet-sharp, juicy, crisp flavour good high vigour, spreading, bears young, heavy cropper mid (long blooming)  D9 psf M26 scab-free
Lord Lambourne UK 1907 medium, flat-round green-yellow, bright red flush pale cream, sweet-sharp, juicy, crisp some strawberry flavour mod vigour, bears young, good cropper early-mid  Day 8    psf mid Sept MM111 partial tip bearer
Melrose      Ohio           1944 large, flat- round yellow-green, shiny red flushed and streaked cream, sweet-sharp, juicy, crisp flavour brisk, refreshing mod vigour, bears young often biennial mid      Day 10 mid Oct M9 M26 susceptible  to scab
Newtown Pippin  NY 1759 medium, flat-round greenish-yellow flushed lt orange-brown pale cream, sweet-sharp, juicy, crisp aromatic, flavour brisk, very good mod vigour, slow to bear, good cropper mid       Day 10 mid Oct M9 also used for cider
Northern Spy         New York    c1800 med-large, round conical green turning yellow, flushed dark red cream, sweet-sharp, juicy, crisp rich, intense, fruity, also for cooking mod vigour, upright, slow to bear, good cropper late    Day 17 mid-late Oct M9 tip bearer
Pink Pearl California  1941 medium, round pink bright pink, juicy, crisp rich Sept MM111
Pomme Gris St Lawrence Valley 1803 small, oblate-round yellow-green, russeted, thick skin yellow, firm, crisp, juicy, rich, subacid aromatic, rich, excellent dessert mod cropper Sept M26 stores well  aka Swayzie
Rtte Rouge d'Etoile       Belg 1830 medium, round-conical gold, flushed dark red, stars of russet white, stained pink, quite sharp, juicy, firm intense, raspberry high vigour, upright, heavy cropper late     Day 17 late Sept-early Oct M9 aka Sterappel
Ross Nonpariel Ireland 1802 medium, flat-round pale yellow flushed deep orange, russeted cream, sweet-sharp, flavour intense, very good mod vigour, upright, good cropper early    Day 8 late Sept MM111 very resistant to scab
Roxbury  R Mass early1600s medium- large, conical russeted with red flush cream, tinged green, sweet, aromatic flavour good moderate vigour, often biennial, good cropper mid           Day 12 mid Oct M9 MM106 resistant to scab
Stoke Red  Somerset small-medium yellow, flushed bright red cider category: medium bittersweet sharp, some astringency mod vigour, spreading, heavy cropper late     Day 25 late Oct M26 very res to scab, shade tolerant
Suntan     Kent           1956 medium, flat-round gold flushed orange-red, striped red deep cream, sweet-sharp, juicy, firm aromatic, rich, very good high vigour, spreading, good cropper late     Day 20 *triploid* early oct M9 M26 scab-free
Tumanga Germany 1930s medium yellow, smooth sweet, crisp, juicy sl aromatic, quite intense rich flavour moderate vigour, heavy cropper mid     Day 15 Sept MM111 stores to Feb
White Sinap Russia medium yellow MM111


three apples

Recommended List of Cider Apples from my Langley, B.C., experience

by Derek Bisset phone: 604 888 7867
e-mail: 'derekbsst' and the symbol for 'at' plus ''

Yarlington Mill

Somerset vintage late mid season bittersweet cider apple.grown in modern bush cider orchards.
Fruit medium-large , conical , yellow with dull red flush here in BC.
Blossom mid to late May (Day 15).
Tree has moderate vigour making a mid size tree on M26. Growth is spreading with strong side branches which can easily overtake leader . Heavy crops every year .
Relatively disease-free with no evidence of scab . Some resistance to canker.
Fruit drops in early to mid October but can hang later . Can be milled immediately but stores into November
Juice is superior for cider with good sugar , mild tannin and earthy aroma for those who like a very full, strong flavour.

Somerset vintage late bittersweet cider apple highly recommended for modern bush orchards
Fruit medium but can be small, flattened round always coloured dark red .Regular crops
Blossom mid to late May (Day 15 self-fertile).
Tree is a very weak grower and needs at least MM106 to make a moderate size tree .Trees have spreading branches and leader can be lost .Potash fertilizing recommended .
Disease free with some resistance to canker .
Fruit is late dropping mid to late October and stores well for milling later in November .
Juice is excellent for cider , fruity with good aroma and pleasant , mild tannin. Low acid needs to be blended with sharp juice for balanced cider. Cider is light, soft,and with a fruity aroma .

Chisel Jersey
Somerset vintage late bittersweet cider apple grown extensively in modern orchards .
Fruit is small to medium, conical with bright red colour . Heavy, regular crops.
Cracking and russetting reported in England not observed here .
Blossom mid to late May (Day 22).
Excellent tree form , mid size on M26 with upright growth making a neat christmas tree shaped centre leader tree with very little pruning or shaping required. Good for hedgerow .
Disease free with some resistance to canker .
Late fruit drops in late October, can hang later and stores very well for milling in November.
Juice has a pleasant tannin and produces cider with a light floral aroma .

Other Varieties:

Muscadet de Dieppe is commonly available It produces well for me although there are numerous reports of poor productivity.It blooms early (Day 5). It makes good full, astringent cider although it has a couple of drawbacks ; it is very biennial , alternating heavy crop with no crop at all ; it is ready in August and doesn't store so that fermentation must take place fast in warm conditions , not the best for good cider .
Michelin and Tremlett's Bitter are available and often recommended as good producers . I have found disease to be a problem with both . Michelin blooms Day 15 and produces very well but is a weak grower and has been canker prone The juice is good for blending although not considered vintage .Tremlett's Bitter blooms early (Day 5) and is reported by others to produce well but without spraying develops severe scab to the point that all leaves are lost midsummer and the tree weakens . The juice has a hard tannin suitable for blending .
Stoke Red looks promising . It blooms late (Day 25). It is a vigorous grower with large crops of small to medium fruit of vintage quality .
Marechal blooms late (Day 25) and is turning out to be a large, vigorous tree also with heavy crops and with fair resistance to disease.
Kingston Black blooms Day 15 and produces what is considered the most valuable juice. It has a reputation as a canker-prone variety but avoided disease for a surprising length of time
Brown's Apple (blooms Day 18) and Sweet Coppin (blooms Day 15) so far have not grown well .
Foxwhelp as it appears locally has come to be called Fauxwhelp as it bears no resemblance to the true English variety which is a small, red, early apple. Fauxwhelp is early, but is large, green-yellow with some red striping . One suggestion is that it is from an interstem variety which got out of control and came to be propagated as Foxwhelp


cider – is apple juice fermented somewhat in the manner of a white wine. It can be made with any apple, but traditional cider varieties give special qualities to the cider.
bitter - tannin in juice from these apples gives cider with good colour and a fullness to taste not found in cider made from dessert apples only.
bittersweet – has high sugar content as well as high tannin. Most of the best cider apples are in this group but juice requires blending with sharps to produce a balanced cider .
sharp – often cooking or crab apples are used to blend and provide sharp flavour in cider since many of the best cider apples lack acidity, Acidity gives cider a brisk, refreshing quality and helps with preservation. It can be overpowering in new cider but reduces over time and what was thought to be an unpleasant sour apple cider kept for two or three years can improve remarkably.
bittersharp - relatively uncommon has bitterness and acidity
hard/soft tannin – differentiates between qualities of tannin in different apples . Dabinett has a full, soft pleasant tannin while Tremblett's Bitter tannin is is harsh and has to be used carefully .
Early/mid/late – is used to refer to blossom, picking and ripening dates .
biennial - older varieties of cider apple all tend to become biennial bearing heavy crops one year and none the following. Unfortunately this appears to be related to climate and all varieties with the tendency will come into phase over time with the same on and off years. In most cases experiment has shown that thinning does little to help. Modern varieties mentioned as being suitable for bush orchards are chosen to avoid biennialism .
blossom - most cider apples blossom around mid-May in the Lower Mainland
falling date - most cider apples unlike dessert apples are not picked from the tree, but are allowed to fall or are shaken down and picked from grass sward..To do this a date when most apples drop is useful.
ripening date – may not coincide with picking. It is important to allow maximum sugar to develop before milling and late varieties are stored until testing shows full ripeness.Dabinett may drop in October and be kept several weeks into November before milling. Waiting may also be useful to cool cider-making conditions since most cider makers want slow fermentations .
tree size - results from a combination of rootstock effects and vigour . Thus a weak grower like Dabinett produces a very small tree on M26 and a moderate size tree on MM106 while Yarlington and Chisel Jersey produce moderate size trees on M26 . Larger trees are recommended for cider apples since the fruit tend to be numerous and smaller to be shaken down for picking They require less pruning since size and appearance of fruit is less an issue compared to dessert apples.
disease – canker is the main concern because of tree losses. All the cider apple trees get canker and none have complete resistance . However some trees like Michelin become cankered very quickly in our conditions while Chisel Jersey and Dabinett appear to resist infection for longer . Yarlington has avoided infection longest for me . Scab is less of a concern although I have found I could not grow Tremblett's Bitter well because scab caused it to lose leaves so badly it went into decline . Presumably spraying would correct this although clean culture alone did not .
single variety – none of the cider apples used alone produces a rounded, full cider. They are best in a blend which has juice with tannin acid and sugar in balance as well as some apples chosen for aroma .
blending - is required to produce a balanced cider with suggested one third of each : cider apples for bitterness , crab or sharp cooking for acid , and dessert for sweetness and aroma .
milling – apples varieties selected for cider have milling qualities not found in dessert or dual purpose apples . Unlike most apples which tend to mush to a puree when milled, these apples come out of the mill as chips with almost a sawdust consistency . A puree is very hard to press since there are no channels for the juice . Think of trying to press applesauce . Cider apple pulp appears to be drier but actually produces more juice because it runs more freely .

New Publication from Washington State University:
Hard Cider Production & Orchard Management in the Pacific Northwest. PNW 621.
G.A. Moulton, C.A. Miles, and J. King. 2010. 40pp.

The New Cider Maker's Handbook (October 2013) by Claude Jolicoeur, Quebec City, Canada. Claude teaches at Laval University in Quebec City.

For more information, see his web site

or the publisher's site,

"I would like to thank NAFEX for the great discussions we have had. Many discussions here and in other cider making forums gave me ideas and informations, and all this evolved into one or another of the articles of the book".

Claude Jolicoeur

Perry Pears are here!

As of January 2016, I have 44 perry pear whips/small trees:

For pear rootstock, OHF 87 is smaller than OHF 97. Some say there is not much difference in size, but both r/s as they arrive from the Oregon are difficult to work with. I think the power-washing prior to fumigation destroys the root hairs. One suggestion is that you take these OHF rootstock in March, pot them up and grow them on until August, and then 'bud' them. In March they have no roots or root hairs, but in August, they have a very nice root system.

OHF 87 Barland
*Barland (syn Bosbury): England ca 1600. Early mid-season. Bittersharp (high acid, high tannin). Vigorous tree long-lived.

OHF 97 Butt
*Butt: England 1884. Bittersharp (medium acid, high tannin), Very firm fruit that does not rot readily. Juice ferments slowly; moderately vigorous, narrow crotch angles

OHF 87 Rotkotiig Frau Ostergotland and OHF 97 RFO

OHF 87 Sang Vinelle

OHF 87 Summer Blood Birne

OHF 87 Yellow Huffcap
*Yellow Huffcap: England prior to 1884. medium sharp (high acid, medium tannin). Very productive, but often biennial. Excellent quality perry. Large vigorous tree.

The above varieties and the following five are available on OHF 87 rootstock

Gin: England. Medium sharp (medium acid, medium tannin). Late mid-season harvest. Heavy conspicuous spur systems on vigorous tree. Scab-resistant.

Gelbmostler: Switzerland ca 1700. no specific classification

Hendre Huffcap (syn Hendrik’s Huffcap): England. Sweet (low acid, low tannin). Excellent orchard and perry-making qualities. Mid-season harvest. Small fruit, vigorous tree with wide crotch angles

Romanian perry pear: Romania Medium sharp (medium acid, medium tannin)

*Thorn: England prior to 1676. Antique variety. Medium sharp (medium acid, medium tannin). Good quality for perry, dessert, and cooking. Early mid-season. Not precocious

*On the list of Best Perry Pears as designated by Dr Robert Hogg in his Fruit Manual of 1884

Last updated on January, 2016.

By Derry Walsh


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