Hooray! Our local conservation catalog is here..?

I am always excited when our local conservation catalog arrives, as it usually lists new fruit tree and bush varieties, etc. each year. This year they are selling an apple named SnowSweet. The description states it was developed at the University of Minnesota, and it is grown on rootstock MN-337 (true dwarfing rootstock). The flavor is described as "sweet with a tart balance and rich overtones, almost buttery. Flesh is slow to turn brown. Mid season bloom time, and ripens in mid-September. It sounds like a great apple variety, but, I wonder if anyone in my area or zone 4b has grown it, and what can you tell me about it’s habits good or bad? Is it a biennial, or will it set fruit yearly providing the conditions are right. I assume this is a good fresh eating variety, but does not officially say if the texture of the apple is crisp or soft for baking etc…

Another new fruit tree they have listed is the Stardust Sweet cherry. It is described as the fruit having blush colored skin and white flesh. Trees are known to be hardy to zone 5, with reports of success in zone 4 (probably in a good protective location.) Blooms late compared to other sweet cherries, increasing your chances of getting a good crop. Ripens mid-July. Rootstock is Mgisela. Has anyone in my location (Midwest zone 4b) successfully grown this variety, and what are the pro’s and con’s? It sounds like it would be good to try here.

They are also selling an old heirloom variety English Morello Tart Cherry. I have heard of this one, but, have never grown it.

Peach tree: Canadian Harmony. Developed in Canada in the 1960’s. Freestone variety, delicious and juicy. Has some resistance to bacterial spot and peach leaf curl. Hardy to zone 5. Ripens in early to mid-September. Grafted onto seedling rootstock. They are winter hardy, but will show damage at below -17. What can anyone tell me about this variety??

I would like some input before we place our order soon. Any help would be appreciated. :smile:

I am hoping our BlackIce Cherry and Plum (second time trying) make it through the winter this year. The temps have been more mild so far this winter, compared to last season. We shall see what late winter and spring bring. Last year, our trees died back completely. They are planted in a more protected area this time around.

Thank you everyone.


Interesting. Our local conservation catalog just sells natives.

When they describe an apple as “buttery”, I think soft, that’s not appealing, except maybe for some cooking applications.

Murky, that was my exact thought on the “buttery” description. Soft. Hmmm.

Our local conservation catalog lists many native plants, trees, vines and shrubs, along with strawberry plants, grapes, blueberry and raspberry bushes, horseradish, rhubarb and asparagus crowns. The fruit trees are all grafted and sold bareroot. They are really excellent quality trees. 5 feet tall with a stem diameter of 3/4 inch.
All trees, shrubs, small fruits and vegetables etc. are supposed to be hardy in our county. They also sell various seed mixes for wildlife habitats , dryland pollinator honeybee seed mixes and pollinator houses. ( tree cookies made by a local 4H club. They sell a different mix of planting aids also.

Nice catalog
Thank you,


Here’s a review & photo of SnowSweet. Actually sounds not too interesting to me. It’s also reviewed on Orange PippinSweet with a slight tart balance and rich overtones. Firm, snow white flesh is very slow to oxidize when exposed to air. 3-inch oblate shaped fruit, 70-85% bronze-red blush over a green-yellow background

The first reviewer states, relatively tasteles, but discusses various qualities of the apple. I sometimes buy a fruit tree based on the catalog and then afterwards do a search on it. It would be smarter to do it the other way around, of course.

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English Morello tart cherry is a very old variety; some sources describe that it was grown in Holland in XVI century. It is widespread in Europe, resulting in multiple clones and names (Schattenmorelle in Germany, Lutowka in Poland, Lotovaya in Russia). The flavor is on the sour side, so fruit are more useful for processing rather than fresh eating. It is partially self-fertile and quite productive in areas with mild winters; however it is not particularly winter hardy. Flower buds are easily damaged during harsh winters, which can significantly reduce yields in colder regions.

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Thank you for the link Bear.
I read the review from the ‘Amateur Backyard Fruit Grower.’ For taste he/she said “Sweet, only slightly tart. refreshing, fairly juicy. Faintness of green wine grapes.” Bottom line: “Good fresh eater. Solid apple, a bit more flavor than honeycrisp.”

I did a few more searches and found out SnowSweet is an apple hybrid between ‘Sharon’ and ‘Connell Red.’
Hardy to minus -30 degrees.

The tree is moderately vigorous with a somewhat droopy character. The tree is an productive annual producer. Early to bear. Very hardy.

Attributes: Very juicy, sweet, very crisp
Uses: Good for pies, sauce, canning and freezing. Juice or cider, cooking, baking. High dessert quality.

A lot of nurseries that sell it have the same usual description. That is why I wanted to see if anyone on this forum is growing it and has an opinion.
It does not sound like a bad all around apple. I will do more thinking on this before placing an order.

Thank you Stan.

I already have two, sour Montmorency Cherry trees, and the husband would like to add a few more varieties for pies and tart juice. Everything I read about the English Morello say’s that it is a winter hardy tree for zone 4 and it blooms a bit later than Montmorency. The fruit ripen about ten days after. The tree is a bit less vigorous than Montmorency also.

I have to think about this one also. :smile:


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I would think any of the Romance series cherries would be perfect for your location,


I’ve tried SnowSweet before. Big pretty apple, but texture is pithy. There are better apples.

I can tell you that the Canadian Harmony peach is an excellent yellow freestone with balanced sweet-tangy melting flavor. It was bred in Ontario and is cold hardy. Definitely worth trying.

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Thank you Matt! I will skip the SnowSweet. I do not like pithy apples.

I will be ordering the Canadian Harmony peach. Your description is just what I am looking for! Thank you a bunch my dear!! :smile:


Harmony ripens in August near the Maryland/ Pennsylvania border.

In wet years, they balloon up; ripen in early Aug; and the flavor is slightly dilluted, but still good.

In dry years, they remain small; ripen in late Aug; and taste sublime-- among the very best.

They can bruise and get spotty. They need to sit on the counter to soften and ripen properly.

DWN has a photo of the fruits, which is exactly as I remember them. Yes, they are as juicy as they look:


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Thank you for the link and the tips!

They look and sound great. Late blooming helps. I will need to keep them in a large container the first year, and then plant them out the following year to give them a good chance here.


Just realized this is an old thread, but for what its worth:

I haven’t tasted SnowSweet but a large commercial orchardist in E Iowa recommended it to me saying it was sweet, crisp and had good flavor (in zone 5A). I prefer a more sweet/tart apple but will graft onto my Frankentree this spring for trial.

Morello cherries are more of a class than a variety, but the English Morello is by far the most common. I harvest lovely morello cherries from a neighbors tree every year for fresh eating, juice and pies. I am okay with eating at least a fair amount of tart cherries out of hand, but I find morellos to be particularly sweet and good fresh when harvested toward the end of the season. And of course they have beautiful deep, dark color when compared to Montmorency (which I eat less of fresh). Morellos seem well-adapted and trouble-free anywhere tart cherries grow well (which is, well, most of temperate America) and I highly recommend them. My Carmine Jewels and Crimson Passions haven’t produced yet so I can’t compare their flavor yet.

BlackGold sweet cherry is recommended for your area and is hardy to -33F.

For your 4B climate you ought to consider some of the widely acknowledged cold hardy peaches like Contender, Veteran, PF-24C and Reliance (all should be hardy in wood and bud).


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