Learn More

Plant Hardiness Zones

There are nine major hardiness zones that model an area's climate to help select which plant species to grow. Local factors such as micro-climates are too small to be captured on the map. Annual weather variations and gardening techniques can also impact plant survival.

view interactive map | download zones poster

Pollinators

Many fruit trees cannot pollinate themselves, and therefore require a second tree of the same species in the vicinity for pollination. The second tree needs to be a different variety. For example, a Cortland apple tree and a Wealthy apple tree will pollinate each other. However, two Cortland trees cannot pollinate each other, and an apple tree and a pear tree cannot pollinate each other.

Bees do the work of pollinating fruit trees (and in the case of pawpaws, flies). They will easily fly 100m from tree to tree, so it is not essential that the trees be side by side. For example, your neighbour’s flowering crabapple may already satisfy your apple tree pollination requirements.

Occasionally, there are varieties that do not provide viable pollen for other trees. Such is the case with triploid apple trees. In this case, a third tree is required to ensure pollination of all of the trees in the garden. Triploid trees are noted in the variety descriptions.

Here is a chart summarizing fruit tree pollination:

Fruit Type

Pollination Requirement

Apple

requires one other apple tree of a different variety

Triploid Apple

requires two other apple trees of different varieties

Pear

requires one other pear tree of a different variety

Apricot

most varieties are self pollinating.  Those requiring a pollinator are noted, and any other apricot tree will suffice.

Cherry (Sour)

self pollinating

Cherry (Sweet)

requires one other sweet cherry of a different variety

Plum

requires another plum of a different variety but same type, i.e. European plums pollinate other European plums, Japanese plums pollinate other Japanese plums

Peach

self pollinating

Quince

self pollinating

Currants

self pollinating

 

bee hives at Silver Creek Nursery
bee hives at Silver Creek Nursery

Rootstocks

Most fruit trees are grafted onto a rootstock. The rootstock ultimately controls the size and vigour of the tree. Also, specific rootstocks can be used in specific soil situations.
 

Apple Rootstocks

Rootstock Name

Mature Size

Support Required

Soil

Disease-

Resistance

B118

75-85% of full size

no

adapted to all types

fireblight

B9

25-30% of full size

yes

adapted to all types

fireblight

EMLA 26

40% of full size

yes

does best in light soil

 

EMLA 7

50-60% of full size

no

all types

fireblight

EMLA 106

75% of full size

no

does best in light soil

wooly apple aphid

Ranetka

full size

no

all types

 

 

Pear & Quince Rootstocks

Rootstock Name

Mature Size

Support Required

Soil

Disease-

Resistance

OHxF 97

75-85% of full size

no

adapted to all types

fireblight

Quince A

50% for pears,

full size for quince

yes

avoid heavy clay

 

 

Stone Fruit Rootstocks

Rootstock Name

Mature Size

Support Required

Soil

Disease-

Resistance

Bailey (peach)

full size

no

sandy soil

 

Mahaleb (cherry)

full size

no

all types

 

Mazzard (cherry)

full size

no

avoid heavy clay

 

Mustang

full size

no

all types

 

Myrobalan

full size

no

all types

 

Apple Trees

Malus domestica

Apples have been a staple in the human diet since ancient times. Their varied shapes, sizes, colours, and tastes provide fruit that is beautiful to the eyes and pleasing to the palate in many forms—fresh, baked, stewed, dried, and in cider, sauce and jelly. When planning to plant apple trees, remember that to ensure pollination and fruit set, two different varieties are required. For example, Idared and Golden Russet trees will pollinate each other, but two Idared trees will not. Some varieties, called triploids, have sterile pollen and cannot pollinate other trees. A third variety is then required to ensure pollination of all trees.

Cider Apple Trees

Malus domestica

While sweet apples are available in abundance, sharps (high in acid) and bitters (high in tannin) are more difficult to come by.  Whether you make cider on a large scale, or just need a few trees for the backyard, you will find a great selection here of both old and new varieties, particularly sharps and bitters.  Please phone for wholesale pricing on large orders.

English Cider Apple Classification

Flavour

Acidity (g/L malic acid)

Tannins (g/L tannic acid)

Sharp

over 4.5

less than 2

Bittersharp

over 4.5

over 2

Bittersweet

less than 4.5

over 2

Sweet

less than 4.5

less than 2

Crabapple Trees

Malus spp.

Throughout the world there are many different species of apple, and the term ‘crabapple’ is used for several of these species that are generally less sweet and smaller than the common apple, but which provide us with unique flavours, cold-hardiness. When common apples and crabapples are crossed, the results are applecrabs—varieties that typically are more cold-hardy than common apples, but of better eating quality than crabapples. All of these varieties require a pollinator. 

Apricot Trees

Prunus armeniaca

Who can resist the flavour of a fresh, tree-ripened apricot? Yet, this favourite fruit presents some unique challenges to the grower. It is important to consider that the blossoms are very frost-tender and open very early. Choosing a sheltered planting site greatly improves the chance of a harvest. Most of the varieties we offer are self-pollinating, so two trees are not required. 

Apricot Trees

Prunus spp.

Some sweet cherries are self-pollinating, and these are noted in the variety descriptions. Otherwise, two different varieties are required. Sour cherries are self-pollinating. Sweets and sours cannot be depended on to pollinate each other. Sweet cherries are hardy to zone 5, while sour cherries are more hardy, to zone 3 or 4.​

European Pear Trees

Pyrus communis

A pear tree is an excellent addition to the backyard or orchard. Although slow to start bearing, pears are hardy and reliable producers requiring less attention than other types of fruit trees. Each of these varieties requires a pollinator.​

Asian Pear Trees

Pyrus pyrifolia

Resembling their more-familiar European cousins, Asian pears are distinct in their texture and mild flavour. The fruit is often larger, and sometimes round in shape like an apple. Each variety requires a pollinator.