There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is today.” At Sarilia, we happen to agree with that, so on the Victoria Day long weekend several of us got together and planted 17 fruit trees near our community garden.
We kicked off the day with a visit to Dieter Martin Greenhouse. The owner, Nancy Martin, told us that Sarilia is located in Zone 2b for plant hardiness and advised us on the types of trees that flourish in this particular zone. She also gave us tips on how to plant the trees and what types of soil to use. Together, we selected a variety of apple, cherry and plum trees. Some of them are already bearing fruit, and the rest should bear fruit this summer.
Two of our trees are “combination apple” trees — something we hadn’t heard of before. Essentially, it’s one tree grafted with several different varieties. One of our combination apple trees will grow three varieties and the other will grow six, including Harcourt and Honey Crisp.
We brought our trees back to Sarilia, where we had a 150-foot long trench waiting for us. We spent several hours together digging in the dirt and we were joined by a few more families from the community who were happy to lend a hand. A couple of Sarilia kids planted their first tree and a family who just joined our community came out and planted a tree with their young daughter. Watching them literally put down roots at Sarilia was heart warming and reminds me of another saying: “To plant a tree is to believe in tomorrow.”
At the end of the day, we were all caked in dirt. It was on our clothes and in our ears. It was physically exhausting, but incredibly worthwhile. I can already smell the apple crisp baking.
If you happen to live in plant hardiness Zone 2b (Saskatoon, Warman and Martensville are all in this zone) and are interested in what types of fruit trees will thrive in your yard, here’s a list of the trees we planted. They’re all appropriate for Zone 2b climates.
- Hardi Mac Apple
- Red Sparkle Apple
- Romeo Cherry
- Cupid Cherry
- Combination Apple (Hardi Mac Apple, Harcourt Apple, Parkland Apple)
- Red Plum
- Pembina Plum
- Honey Crisp Apple with Red lake Currant and Western Sand Cherry
- Brook Gold Plum
- Combination Apple (Heyer #12 Apple, Harlston Apple,Parkland Apple, Harcourt Apple, Hardi Mac Apple, Honey Crisp Apple)
- Crimson Passion Cherry
- Juliet Cherry
- Dolgo Crab
- Rescue Crab
- Battleford Apple
- Goodland Apple