Saskatoons are a real Prairie success story with over 30 years of commercial and hobby production. They can be propagated by seed or tissue culture. Tissue-cultured saskatoons are more uniform than seedlings with respect to flowering, harvesting and production. Uniformity is important in commercial production when plants are mechanically harvested i.e. they need to be at the same stage of ripening. So for commercial growers, tissue-cultured saskatoons are a must!
Hobby growers, too, can find what they need from our long list of cultivars. Imagine walking through your own private orchard to pick buckets of ripe, tasty saskatoons you can eat fresh or use for pies, jams, and desserts. They freeze well so you can enjoy them all through the year.
All of the saskatoon cultivars grown today are selections found in nature, in some cases several decades ago, and not from any deliberate breeding program. An observant fruit enthusiast might have noticed something superior in a native stand of saskatoon plants and collected seed from those plants. We have perpetuated these superior characteristics by propagating clones through tissue culture.
The University of Saskatchewan has published a comprehensive growing guide for saskatoons, Growing Saskatoons: A Manual for Orchardists so we won’t include many cultural details here.
How to choose which cultivars to grow? Planting several may avoid crop losses that can occur with one cultivar (e.g. inclement weather during pollination or a disease that affects one cultivar more than another). Planting several cvs. will also spread the harvest period over a longer period (e.g. plant early, mid and late season cultivars).
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(a division of the Bonnyville Forest Nursery)