By John Christianson
We are fortunate to be able to offer the finest fruit trees in the country, grown right here in the Skagit Valley. The W.S.U. Mount Vernon Research Station has trialed hundreds of fruit tree varieties over the years to suggest the best ripening and disease-resistant types west of the Cascade mountains. Our selection of fruit trees is inspired by that list and can be trusted as the best for growing in the northwest.
Most fruit trees require two varieties for cross-pollination, so plan to purchase a pair of each type of apples, pears, plums, and cherries. ‘Frost’ peach, introduced by Skagit Valley’s Biringer Nursery is entirely self-fertile. Our most popular varieties of apple trees include ‘Liberty’, ‘Chehalis’, ‘Spartan’, and the antique varieties ‘Gravenstein’, ‘King’, and ‘Yellow Transparent.’ Newer to the northwest are ‘Honeycrisp’ and the latest ‘Cosmic Crisp.’ The best pears include local discoveries ‘Rescue’ and ‘Orcas’, and the classic ‘Bartlett.’ You must try apple pears ‘Chojuro’, ‘Nijisseiki’ or ‘Shinseiki.’ Top-rated sweet cherries include ‘Lapin’, ‘Sweetheart’, and ‘Stella.’ By far, the number one plum is ‘Italian’, and it pairs nicely with ‘Green Gage’ or ‘Yellow Egg.’
All our trees are on semi-dwarf rootstocks and should be spaced 20-feet apart. The best time to plant is while they are dormant, now through March, which coincides with our bare root season that offers the best selection and savings. The enthusiasm for “growing your own” is strong, so visit the Nursery now while the selection is the best!