saskat
Saskatoons

Saskatoons

(Amelanchier alnifolia)

Saskatoons are a real Prairie success story with over 30 years of commercial and hobby production.  They can be propagated by seed or tissue culture.  Tissue-cultured saskatoons are more uniform than seedlings with respect to flowering, harvesting and production.  Uniformity is important in commercial production when plants are mechanically harvested i.e. they need to be at the same stage of ripening. So for commercial growers, tissue-cultured saskatoons are a must!

Cultivars

Compare Cultivars

Honeywood

Unavailable until Fall 2017

(Origin: Parkside, Saskatchewan).

*Blooms later than other cultivars making it less susceptible to spring frost.

Fruit:

  • Characteristics: Deep blue, full flavored tangy fruit up to 16mm
  • Yield: Very high yield, very good, consistent productivity
  • Ripening: Uneven ripening makes it more suitable for u-pick
  • Uses: Good for fresh eating, processing

Bush:

  • Height: 5m (16ft) tall
  • Spread: 4m (13ft)
  • Growth Habit: Upright, spreading
  • Suckering: Low suckering

Lee#3

(Origin: Barrhead, Alberta).

*Believed to be a cross of Northline and Pembina, selected by Mr. Lloyd Lee.

Fruit:

  • Characteristics: Intense flavor, and bouquet with few seeds up to 16mm
  • Yield: Good productivity
  • Ripening:  Early ripening
  • Uses: Good for fresh eating, processing

Bush:

  • Height: 3m
  • Growth Habit: Compact with slow spread
  • Suckering: Low suckering

Lee#8

Unavailable until Fall 2017

(Origin: Barrhead, Alberta).

*Cross of Northline and Thiessen.

*Unique to PrairieTech Propagation.

Fruit:

  • Characteristics: Exceptional flavor up to 16mm
  • Yield: Good yield and productivity
  • Ripening: More even ripening than parents
  • Uses: Good for fresh eating, processing

Bush:

  • Height: 2m
  • Growth Habit: Compact slow growing
  • Suckering: Low suckering

Martin

Unavailable until Fall 2017

(Origin: Langham, Saskatchewan).

*Seedling selection from Thiessen by D. Martin.

Fruit:

  • Characteristics: Deep blue fruit with excellent flavor 14 mm or larger
  • Yield: Medium yield
  • Ripening: More uniform ripening, ripens early
  • Uses: Good for fresh eating, processing

Bush:

  • Height: 3m (10ft)
  • Spread: 4m (13ft)
  • Growth Habit: Large round shrub
  • Suckering: Moderate suckering

Nelson

(Origin: Bradwell, Saskatchewan).

*Flowers 3-7 days later than other cultivars, so it may avoid spring frost.

Fruit:

  • Characteristics: Deep blue, tangy flavor, acidic, fleshy fruit with few seeds up to 13mm
  • Yield: N/A
  • Ripening: Uneven ripening
  • Uses: Good for fresh eating, processing

Bush:

  • Height: 1.5m
  • Spread: 1.5m
  • Growth Habit: Compact with uniform growth
  • Suckering: Moderate suckering

Northline

Unavailable until Fall 2017

(Origin: Beaverlodge, Alberta).

*Very productive at a young age.

Fruit:

  • Characteristics: Deep blue, excellent, full, sweet flavor up to 16mm
  • Yield: Very high yield
  • Ripening: Ripens evenly
  • Uses: Good for fresh eating, processing

Bush:

  • Height: 4m (13ft)
  • Spread: 6m (20ft)
  • Growth Habit: Upright, arching spreading
  • Suckering: High suckering
  • Other:
    • Suitable for mechanical harvesting
    • Long lived (50+ years), crown expands indefinitely
    • Flowering and fruiting is a bit later than Smoky

Smoky

(Origin: Peace River, Alberta).

*Flowers in middle of bloom season.

Fruit:

  • Characteristics: Deep blue round, sweet fruit with a high sugar to acid ratio up to 14mm
  • Yield: Very high yield, good producer with a consistently high pollination rate
  • Ripening: Ripens evenly
  • Uses: Good for fresh eating, processing

Bush:

  • Height: 4.5m (15ft)
  • Spread: 4.5m (15ft)
  • Growth Habit: Upright and spreading
  • Suckering: High suckering
  • Other: Long lived (70+ years), crown expands indefinitely

Thiessen

Unavailable until Fall 2017

(Origin: North Saskatchewan River, Saskatchewan).

*More suited to u-pick orchards.

Fruit:

  • Characteristics: Deep blue fruit, with excellent flavor, juicy up to 17mm or more
  • Yield: High yield
  • Ripening: Uneven ripening
  • Uses: Good for fresh eating, processing

Bush:

  • Height: 5m (16ft)
  • Spread: 6m (20ft)
  • Growth Habit: Tall and upright
  • Suckering: Moderate suckering
  • Other: Difficult to mechanically harvest
    • Flowers a few days earlier than other cultivars
    • Long lived (70+ years), crown expands indefinitely

Details

ABOUT SASKATOONS

Hobby growers, too, can find what they need from our long list of cultivars.  Imagine walking through your own private orchard to pick buckets of ripe, tasty saskatoons you can eat fresh or use for pies, jams, and desserts.  They freeze well so you can enjoy them all through the year.

All of the saskatoon cultivars grown today are selections found in nature, in some cases several decades ago, and not from any deliberate breeding program. An observant fruit enthusiast might have noticed something superior in a native stand of saskatoon plants and collected seed from those plants. We have perpetuated these superior characteristics by propagating clones through tissue culture.

The University of Saskatchewan has published a comprehensive growing guide for saskatoons, Growing Saskatoons:  A Manual for Orchardists so we won’t include many cultural details here.

How to choose which cultivars to grow? Planting several may avoid crop losses that can occur with one cultivar (e.g. inclement weather during pollination or a disease that affects one cultivar more than another). Planting several cultivars will also spread the harvest period over a longer period (e.g. plant early, mid and late season cultivars).

Yield varies from year to year (from Saskatoon Berry Production Manual)

Low yield 2,250kg/hectare (2,000 lb./acre) High Yield 6,730kg/hectare (6,000 lb./acre)

PRUNING

Pruning from University  of Saskatchewan

In April (before plants begin to leaf out)

Remove suckers

Best way:

  • Selectivere juvenation
  • Remove some of the older less productive branches and dead branches to promote new growth
  • For experienced growers: Can also be rejuvenated all at once

PLANTING & SPACING CHART

In Row Spacing 3ft

Between Row Spacing12-18ft

View price chart