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Old 05-04-2012, 09:03 PM
delacruz delacruz is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1
Default Alaska recommendations?

I put up 2 high wind tunnel type greenhouses last summer in Kodiak, Alaska. I would like to plant some apple trees in the larger greenhouse. Nobody here has had any luck with apple trees producing that are grown outdoors. I'm hoping that growing in a greenhouse will be successful. I would also like to espalier the trees. Does anyone have recommendations on varieties that might grow well here? I'm also debating whether to grow them in containers or plant them in the ground. Our summers are fairly short with some very long days in June and July. It's unusual for outdoor temps to exceed 65 degrees during the summer.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:09 PM
dmtaylor dmtaylor is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Two Rivers, WI - one mile from Lake Michigan
Posts: 16

According to the new USDA Hardiness maps, Kodiak is listed in Zone 6!? See for yourself:


Does this make sense? How cold would you say is the coldest winter day in Kodiak, for a normal average winter -- 10 below? 20 below? 30 below? Zone 6 means the very coldest it usually gets in an average winter is not much colder than 10 below. Here in Wisconsin, we usually get temperatures as low as 15 to 20 below, so that puts many of us in Zone 5. Just examples.

If you truly are in Zone 6, then I think you're safe to grow most any variety of apple that you want in a greenhouse. What I'm guessing is that late frosts tend to kill your fruit buds, which are tender to temperatures in the 20s. If you routinely see late frosts in the ~May timeframe, this is probably killing the fruit buds, and maybe even killing the tree altogether. But in a greenhouse where you can keep temperatures above 28 F, your trees should be fine. I would think they'll get much more than enough sunlight. They just need that protection from the occasional frosts that would otherwise kill the buds.

So, try out whatever varieties you like. In a greenhouse, I think you'll be good to go. Outdoors... yeah, I can see how you might have issues if there are late frosts.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:57 PM
Fascist Nation Fascist Nation is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ 9b/13ahs12BWh
Posts: 758

I agree with DMTaylor. You are zone 6a. Apples should do OK there if the right varieties are selected. Like said, late blooms avoid freeze. Early production avoids freeze. This represents a short growing season for potentially growing outside. Unfortunately, usually the two don't coincide---but maybe some varieties have been bred that have both traits AND both produce and taste good. Obviously, local experience, local nurseries counts a lot. Thanks, I love extreme environments (challenges). I wonder if massive composting inside your greenhouses will help keep the temps up? Cold water aquaculture--humidifies and stabilizes thermal mass, besides providing fish and fertilized water?




It looks like Anchorage has the only MG program. edit: thankfully I'm wrong and here is the MG Manual

http://www.uaf.edu/ces/districts/kenai/ I assume this is the closest to you and hopefully similar weather. May 19 tree sale!





Last edited by Fascist Nation; 05-09-2012 at 03:10 PM.
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