Q: Where can I buy U of SK varieties?
A: Our more recent cultivars (since 2000) can be purchased from our licensed propagators. Sometimes propagators prefer to sell in wholesale quantities, in which case you might try asking the propagators closest to you which nurseries or garden centers they sell to.
But the U of SK has been breeding fruit for almost 90 years. There are dozens of fruit varieties including apples, pears, plums, and cherry plums that were released decades ago. We don't keep track of those.
Q: Can I buy seedlings from the U of S Fruit Program?
A: Sometimes we have extra plants which we can sell to those who are willing to help us determine potential future varieties. We do this at our one day plant sale in early June at the Horticulture Field lab. Check our calendar of events for details.
Usually we do not sell our our new varieties; we let our licensed propagators do that.
Q: What fruit crops does the Fruit Program breed?
A: Our main emphasis is on crops that can be mechanically harvested or grown organically on the prairies. In recent years we have emphasized sour cherries, haskap, grapes and apples. But we are also breeding raspberries, pears, plums, saskatoons, sand cherries, currents, strawberries, hazelnuts, apple rootstocks, flowering crabapples, and ornamental cherries.
Q: Can I drop by sometime to see the fruit program?
A: Please don't! If we allowed this we wouldn't get anything done. In a typical year We have 4 or 5 tours or workshops throughout the growing season designed for people to see what we are doing. Please check out our calendar of events which we update in January for the upcoming year. Special Horticultural tours can be arranged for larger groups by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Can I buy seeds from you?
A: Usually not. The U of S fruit program exchanges seeds with other breeding programs and genebanks around the world, but not the general public. Most fruit plants are not true from seed and the average grower would be quite disappointed with the results. Also many woody plants require complex treatments such as scarification and stratification. We don't save seeds of all the things we grow, most time we only save seeds if it's been requested for a research project.
Q: Are your Sour Cherries available in the US?
A: The USDA has strict guidelines for the inportation of Sour Cherry plants into the US. In order to make our Sour Cherries available south of the border, they must first go through a lengthy, and expensive, federally controlled certification process.
So far only Carmine Jewel and Crimson Passion have been certified for sale in the US. Scroll to the bottom of our propagators page to see our US propagators.
Thankfully, representatives from Gardens Alive have also taken interest in some of our other cultivars which may be propagated for the US market when they become certified. Read more about it here.
Q: Who are your licensed propogators?
A: Depends on the plants you want to buy. We have compiled a list of licensed propagators based on their location, but many of these will ship across Canada.
Q: Will Haskap grow in Ontario?A: We're not sure how far south our varieties can be grown. I did see some Haskap being grown in Niagara-on-the-Lake but the farmer wasn't prunning or taking good care of it. We're working on new varieties with Japanese parents which are likely to be more adapted to southern climates. Check here for updates.