We understand the challenges but also the best methods for success for your apple trees in Southeast Alaska.
Based on years of testing and refining for what works in our climate, we recommend starting with 3 types of apple varieties that are early season, disease resistant, and have incredible flavor, including:
Alaska Williams Pride - Redish early/mid season apple with a floral taste.
Alaska Pristine - Yellowish early season apple with sweet/tart flavor.
Alaska Early Geneva - Pinkish green early season apple that is sweet when ripe.
Please consult with your farmer for availability.
Chestnut Crabapple - Large sweet crapapple.
Dolgo Crabapple - Small but mighty taste and reliable producer.
Lubsk Queen - Pinkish yellow early season sweet and nutty.
Golden Transparent - Golden perfect apples that are sweet when ripe.
Discovery - Awesome apple with complex flavors, early season european varity.
Other varieties are available upon request.
An Alaskan fresh cherry is worth waiting for… We’ve had great success with cherries and would recommend starting with Sam & Kristin for the sweet tooth. If you like sour, try Montmorency.
For other varieties, please consult with your farmer.
We recommend a multi-variety early season plum variation such as Imperial or Laxton. Though plums are less common for Southeast, we are constantly experimenting with new varieties. Plums taste amazing fresh! We recommend growing in a cold hoophouse or a super sunny hillside.
We utilize whip and tongue grafting - a technique different from the summer bud graft which is used by most southern nurseries. Summer bud grafts make a large wound that can take years to heal. “Whip and Tongue” grafts are healed 100% at sale. We want to minimize exposing a large wound to insect damage/fungal disease common to the rainforests of Southeast Alaska.
We take the time to personally give you the maximum amount of roots for a successful planting. Large nurseries utilize equipment that cut large parts of the root system for production, causing a delay in growth. Our potted trees have 100% of the root system. Bare root trees are also available for purchase.
Please see our services and product page for availability.
We sell mostly semi-dwarf trees with recommended tree spacing of 14’-16’ and rows between 20’- 24’. If there is only room for 1 tree, a multi-variety trees is recommended (more than one variety on one root system). Multi variety trees ensure cross-pollination; however, more trees in a smaller space can succeed.
All fruit trees can be maintained at a manageable height by use of rootstocks (rootstocks can dwarf the tree) with use of “air pots” (fabric pots that prevent girdled roots), and good pruning. Alaska Apple Farms produces amazing results (60+ lbs fruit on small trees) in a 4’ x 4’ spot within a cold frame greenhouse. Some apples like “Williams Pride” do great inside and outside. Our recommendation is to try 3 or more trees (early, mid-season and late season) in a cold frame hoophouse and 3 or more trees outside. The results are fresh fruit starting in July and ending in November.
Alaska Apple Farms has been growing fruit in pots for nearly 10 years! It works! We keep trees in 30 gallon “air pots” (we recommend Ruth’s Air Pots) with soil and good drainage. The trick is to keep those pots “bio active”, keep worms thriving with a constant alder leaf and/or seaweed mulch. If you go clamming or crabbing, consider adding shells and composting in your pots. Water well in the summer days and mulch heavy in the winter.
Greenhouse trees are typically 1 - 2 months ahead of outside trees. We harvest hoop house cherries in late June and outside cherries end of July. Apples like “Lubsk” and “Early Geneva” are harvested the end of July in the hoophouse while our early season outside apples begin harvest in August. Our range of harvest is July through November.
Consider your site and observe the environment. If you have voles, add 1/4” mesh 4-6" around first 2 feet of trunk to prevent rodent girdling. Consider painting the first 3' of trunk with diluted white interior latex paint to prevent winter suncald. The US Forest Service has proven electri fences are effective in deterring wildlife; we use them to keep bear and deer away. Keep in mind that all apple trees in Southeast Alaska should be pruned around April.
It takes two to tango! Good pollination from different varieties are the beginnings of big beautiful fruits. “Multi-Variety” Trees (more than one variety grafted on the same roots) can give you good pollination without taking up extra space. Pollination must be from similar fruits: “apples to apples”.