Late Flowering Fruit Trees to Avoid Frost Damage

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Hello Fruit Tree Enthusiasts…

Why late flowering fruit tree cultivars?
We have a couple of clients with South facing slopes in Missouri. These slopes warm up much faster than North facing slopes and as such will tend to flower before the last frost thus killing the pollinated blossoms and eliminating the crop. So I emailed our Plant Guy, Bryce Ruddock, to make some recommendations.

Late blooming fruit tree cultivars can greatly minimize frost damage.

His response was so helpful we thought many of you might appreciate what he shared with us as well.  Here is the email from Bryce. Enjoy.


These two links are to cultural and pollination data from U of Missouri.

And here is good list from Farming Gardens for apple pollination periods.

If early blooming with resulting frost damage to the flowers is going to be a major issue then I would suggest going with the mid-season to late season bloomers. The nursery catalog from Raintree Nursery also has a very nice list of bloom times along with appropriate pollination partners.  Lots of possibilities and you know me, I will always push heirloom cultivars before the new ones. Better flavor, reliable hardiness, better storage for the late varieties. Stay away from Honeycrisp as on dwarfing rootstocks it is highly prone to windthrow and breakage. 

Henderson and Iowa are good late blooming apricots.

Check with Stark nursery catalog from Missouri for cold hardy cvs, such as Contender, Intrepid, and Reliance. Be sure to use Lovelle rootstock to avoid canker blight rot for all the peach, nectarine, and apricots.

Need to be resistant to fireblight so try ones such as Starking Delicious, Seckel, from Stark. From Raintree try Blake’s Pride, Warren, Harrow Delight, and Ayers.

Check with Raintree as they have many cvs.

Try North Star, and Danube. Many other fruiting species are in that catalog and also at One Green World.

Hope this helps Bill.

Happy designing… Bryce

7 thoughts on “Late Flowering Fruit Trees to Avoid Frost Damage”

    1. As long as you make sure the rootstock is appropriate for where you’re planting the varieties should be fine.

    2. Reliance and Intrepid work well for me near Denver. They mostly got zapped this year but a great crop last year.

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