Since I’m running low on trees we’ve planted to write about here (and I want to keep up with my regular posting here), I am continuing on with some of the soft fruit we planted as well. You can read about the Nanking Cherries from last week, but this week will be about the Haskaps.

Originally native to northern forests in Asia and North America, they have gone through extensive breeding at the UofS, much like the romance series of cherries (like our Crimson Passion). They are extremely hardy. Also known as Honeyberries or Blue Honeysuckle. If you are wanting to know more about them, check out Haskap.ca as they will have much more informative knowledge than me. I just want a record of what we are growing, and will be referring to that site myself.

I would describe their flavour (from the few berries I’ve been able to taste) as a mix between blueberries and Saskatoons.

I can’t speak to which varieties taste the best or produce the most, but I do want a record here of how they are growing. Hopefully we get some fruit off the plants this year and I can share our findings.

Here are the Haskaps we planted in 2018:

  • Berry Smart Blue
    • Latin- Lonicera caerulea ‘Berry Smart Blue’
    • Pollinator: Aurora, Borealis, Indigo Gem, Polar Jewel, Tundra
  • Indigo Gem
    • Latin- Lonicera caerulea ‘Indigo Gem’
    • Pollinator: Aurora, Polar Jewel
  • Tundra
    • Latin- Lonicera caerulea ‘Tundra’
    • Pollinator: Aurora, Polar Jewel
  • Polar Jewel
    • Latin: Lonicera edulis var. kamthcaica caerula ‘Polar Jewel’
    • Pollinator: Borealis, Tundra

My plan behind having a few (more than just 2) varieties is that they can all pollinate each other throughout their bloom times. We may not get a sizeable harvest from them as they are new plants, but I hope we get enough to have enough for each of us to have a decent taste of them.  I might also have a Borealis tucked into my bed of other over-wintering things. I’m not 100% on if I rescued one or not… or if it will survive this brutally cold winter without much protection.

While I was back home visiting, I was going to get a photo or two to add to this post, but they were completely under snow, so here is 2 of the labels that my dad kept.


Nanking Cherry

I don’t have a tree post lined up for today, but I figured I would start adding the fruit we planted as well. So today is Nanking Cherries. I don’t remember the exact amount of plants we ended up planting, but there was a few. Mostly because they were rescues and would otherwise have been burnt. So the big test will be this spring to see how many have survived. Then I’ll let you know how many we have. Although, I did put one in my own yard, and all the rest out at my parents place.

They are self fertile, but are also a pollinator for the ‘Brookgold’ Plum tree that we planted.  Because of this, we made sure to put one of the Nanking cherry plants near that Plum tree.

Nankings are a nice way to add some beautiful spring colour. They have beautiful delicate white blooms (or pink, if you can find the pink variety). The bees and pollinators will love it in the early spring, and you (and the birds and probably squirrels) will love it later in the summer when you get the wonderfully tart little cherries. The fruit is typically ready in the early-mid summer.

I’ll keep you posted on how they survived the winter (if it ever ends), and how they grow this year. I didn’t find any pictures we took of them after planting, and I would add one of the Nanking Cherry that I have in my own yard right now… but it is under a 3 foot pile of snow, and you can’t really see any of it. So this is yet another boring no-photo post.

  • Latin Name: ‘Prunus tomentosa’
  • Mature Height: 8 feet
  • Spread: 6 feet

If you have any hints, tips, advice, stories or recipes for Nanking Cherries, share them in the comments below .

‘Parkland’ Apple

Like the ‘Brookgold’ Plum, I don’t have a picture of this one. So I’ll try and be extra diligent in getting some this year while it is growing…

Ever since I was little, I wanted apple trees. Finally I had the opportunity to get some, and plant them at my parents house. Someday… Someday I will have my very own orchard.

Quick Notes:

  • Cold Hardiness: Zone 3 (some places say Zone 2, and that it is worth a shot in sheltered Zone 1)
  • Ripens Mid-August
  • Hardy Tree, well rated for the Prairies
  • Introduced by the Morden Research Station in Manitoba in 1979
  • Stores well, good for fresh eating and also cooking.
  • Latin: Malus ‘Parkland’

I read somewhere that this apple owes part of its breeding to the Rescue Apple… So I have a little family in “my” orchard 😉


Previous Tree Posts:

‘Crimson Passion’ Cherry

‘Brookgold’ Plum

‘Rescue’ Crabapple

‘Bur’ Oak

Multi-Graft Apple

Ohio Buckeye



Ohio Buckeye

Yep, another rescue tree. Obviously, given its ugly duckling looks. (Also, another non-edible)

This is another tree I’m looking forward to, so I hope it thrives. If you are curious why I am excited for this one… just look to the background. All we have that is native in the area, are Poplar (Balsam and Trembling Aspen), Willow, Black spruce and Tamarack, along with a handful of pine. This one will just add some interest and hint of something different.

They are said to have gorgeous orange Fall colour. Their leaves are compound, with 5 “leaflets” forming a leaf cluster. Like a leaf hand.

This tree is toxic if eaten, so if you have livestock, or dogs (or children) that might chew on the leaves or nuts, this may not be the tree for you. But if you are looking for a hint of something different, this is one to keep in mind.

Latin Name: Aesculus glabra

Zone 2, and quite rare in our area.

Height will be around 20-30′ with a 20′ spread.

The spring flowers will be another unique addition to the landscape at my parent’s house.

Ohio Buckeye 2018


If this tree doesn’t make it (or it loses a branch or two), I’ll be making buttons out of it, and they will be available on my Etsy shop: Back 40 Woodcraft


These trees have a long tap root and dislike overly wet soil, so depending on the Spring we have, this may or may not like its new home… this is why I wrote “if this tree doesn’t make it” above. Keep your fingers crossed for it, because it will make a beautiful addition if it can survive.

‘Multi Graft’ Apple

This is another save. It struggled all spring and early summer: it got beat up by a huge hail storm, it struggled with irrigation issues, and it was destined to be burnt. But it still had life left in it and I got a little bit attached to having an apple tree. This was the first apple I got last year… The gateway tree if you will.

Hopefully it survives this winter, after all it survived last year. The grafted branches weren’t labelled, so I’ll have to sues out which is which after they have apples (which may not be for a year or so).

The varieties grafted onto this tree are:

  • Harcourt
  • September Ruby
  • Battleford
  • Norland

A little description on each variety from the nursery this tree came from:

  • Harcourt
    • Zone 3
    • Apple is medium, red, crisp, juicy, white-fleshed and mild-flavoured
    • Ripens in Late Summer- early fall
    • Eating, Baking or Juicing Apple
    • no notes on this variety’s storage qualities from the nursery
  • September Ruby
    • Zone 3
    • Apple is large, sweet and bright red
    • Fall apple
    • Fresh eating or juicing Apple
    • Good Storage Qualities
  • Battleford
    • Zone 3
    • Apple is medium, yellow-green with red stripes.
    • Late Summer ripening
    • Eating or Cooking Apple
    • Fair Storage Qualities
  • Norland
    • Zone 2
    • Apple is medium, green with red stripes
    • Fruit drops when ripe in the Summer
    • Eating or Baking Apple
    • Stores well if picked under-ripe


If this tree makes it (and does well), I would love to get another multi-grafted apple tree with different varieties on it. If you have any advice on any of these varieties, or a multi-grafted tree, share in the comments below.

Previous Tree Posts:

‘Crimson Passion’ Cherry; ‘Brookgold’ Plum; ‘Rescue’ Crabapple; and Bur Oak.

Upcoming: ‘Spring Snow’ Crabapple; Ohio Buckeye; ‘Parkland Apple’ and possibly some profiles on the native trees in the area.

My Etsy Shop: Back 40 Woodcraft


Here are the photos I have of the tree. You can see the slight differences in the background. This first one was later in the summer, and you can see a few additions that are not in the 2nd photo.Multi-graft Apple 2018

This is how I managed to get the tree back to my house (going slow on back roads). From my house, it got to recover a few days before my dad came with his truck to take it back to their house.