Apple trees from Montana Heritage Orchard Program available for purchase
Apple trees from the Montana Heritage Orchard Program will be available for purchase this spring beginning in mid-May at nurseries across Montana. The Montana-grown fruit trees have been grafted from some of Montana’s oldest trees and most rugged orchard locations, according to Katrina Mendrey, orchard program manager with Montana State University’s Western Agricultural Research Center.
“These trees are a great way for apple enthusiasts to have a little piece of Montana’s homestead history,” said Mendrey, who administers the program. “They were chosen for their ability to survive Montana’s rugged climate with little care.”
Trees available in 2019 include Transcendent Crabapple and McIntosh from Wild Horse Island in the Flathead; an unknown apple similar to the once-lost Gideon Sweet from Crow Creek Ranch near Pryor; an Alexander apple; and a large green apple of unknown variety from Ray Ranch in the Bitterroot Valley. All the apples were grafted and grown in Montana, Mendrey said.
A Transcendent Crabapple. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.
Six nurseries in Montana will carry the trees, including Good Earth Works Co. & Nursery in Billings; K&S Greenhouse in Corvallis; Delaney’s in Polson; Gardenwerks in Helena; Tizer Gardens in Jefferson City; and Cashman Nursery in Bozeman. Trees will also be for sale at a pop-up market to be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 27, at Missoula’s Tower Garden located at 3340 S. Seventh St. W.
The purchase of the trees helps administer the Montana Heritage Orchard Program, which provides heritage orchards across Montana with resources to preserve apple genetics, document Montana's fruit growing history and propagate heirloom and lost apple cultivars for backyard and commercial production.
For more information about the trees, participating orchards and where to find them, visit www.mtapples.org/grow.