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exotic cool climate/temperate edible trees

Paula Edwards


Joined: Oct 06, 2010
Posts: 411
Who grows "exotic" cool climate/temperate edible trees+ shrubs?
Plants like aronia, amelanchier, aralias, toona, torreya...
1.) do they taste good?
2.) how much do they yield?
3.) have you grown them from seed and does it take ages to fruit?
4.) are they trouble free?

There are not many of these plants in Australia, some might be found in the ornamental section. We can improt some seeds though.
I recently bought three Aronias (black chokeberry), they stood around in the pot for several month and I planted them out maybe two weeks ago. They seem to be more than trouble free as they start to flower yet and they are only 30 cm high. They were not sold as edible plants.
Alex Brands


Joined: Jul 25, 2011
Posts: 52
I have grown a single Aronia melanocarpa plant for 6 or 7 years.  The variety is 'Nero' and it is about 5 feet tall.  The berries do not taste good fresh, but make a nice jelly with a distinct flavor.  Last year it produced about 6 liters of berries.  This year it was just as loaded, but for the first time, birds took the berries!

It has one problem.  It gets infested with lacebugs.  These are small sucking insects that hang out on the underside of the leaves.  Each place they pierce the leaf turns into a small brown spot, so by the end of the season, the leaves look pretty ugly.  it's a shame, because the leaves turn bright red in the fall otherwise.  If I hose them off using a nozzle, once or twice a year, that helps a lot.

The habit of the bush is open, so I can grow chives and sorrel underneath.

Alex
Paula Edwards


Joined: Oct 06, 2010
Posts: 411
I imagine that all cultivators are raised from cuttings and not from seed. That means that we can't get cultivators of anything because we cannot import them. I guess therea are similar restrictions in America, but the total number of plants and cultivators is far bigger than in Australia. Is your cultivator a variety for eating or ornamental?
Kirk Hutchison


Joined: Feb 05, 2010
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Alex Brands


Joined: Jul 25, 2011
Posts: 52
ediblecities wrote:
I imagine that all cultivators are raised from cuttings and not from seed. That means that we can't get cultivators of anything because we cannot import them. I guess therea are similar restrictions in America, but the total number of plants and cultivators is far bigger than in Australia. Is your cultivator a variety for eating or ornamental?


'Nero' is certainly propagated clonally, probably from cuttings as you say.  Last year I easily rooted a few.  I'm sure 'Nero' was selected for berry production.

As a self fertile plant, it may breed reasonably true, like peaches.  IIRC, one of the mail order nurseries sells their own variety that they raised from the seed of one of the common named varieties.  If you raised several from seed of a good variety, I bet at least some of them would be quite productive.

Alex
Paula Edwards


Joined: Oct 06, 2010
Posts: 411
If yours is bred for fruit, how will mine taste which are no cultivator at all?
I grew some seabuckthorn from seed last year, the fruit seem to be incredible healthy. The plants are only an inch at the moment, I hope the advance a bit this summer. You need male and female trees to set fruit.
Alex Brands


Joined: Jul 25, 2011
Posts: 52
ediblecities wrote:
If yours is bred for fruit, how will mine taste which are no cultivator at all?


It's hard to imagine they will taste worse!  I really think the selected varieties weer chosen for productivity rather than flavor.  I have only eaten them fresh by blending them into a smoothie...I'd never eat them raw on their own.  Aronia jelly has a distinct character that is winey to me, maybe some tannins?  I don't actually like wine, but I really like this jelly.

Alex
Paula Edwards


Joined: Oct 06, 2010
Posts: 411
I bought 3 cranberries from our food coop. They are sugary coated. Maybe they germinate if I wash the sugar away. Hopefully they didn't cook them in the process.
 
 
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