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About kasmus-oikostreecrops

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    Founder of Oikos Tree Crops, native shrubs, trees and vines
  1. There are two native species of hazels that grow really well here that fruit good under cultivation. In full sun the American hazel is very productive and produces thick shelled small nuts encased in a husk. The beaked hazel is not as productive under cultivation at least in southern Michigan but the nuts are easier to crack. It is just that the nuts are deeply wrapped in a long husk hard to get out. Corylus avellana is completely hardy here but it suffers from a disease that destroys the plants completely within 2-3 years. The same disease on the American hazels has little or no effect. Corylus avellana is found all the way into zone 2 in Europe. The hybrids are many. These usually have much larger nuts are much easier to fruit and use for eating. There are seedling types and newer types from Oregon that are immune to that disease. You will see them listed Gamma, Theta and Jefferson are a few. For me I have enjoyed growing the many seedlings of these crosses and they make a nice hedgerow. On serviceberries-suprisingly there are many good ones in Michigan that can be found. We seem to have an infinite variety here. Of the named varieties, Success, Regent, and Kurath have been the most productive here. They are the smaller shrub types and produce in 2-4 years from seed. The majority of the saskatoon types are not as easy to produce as the yields fluctuate year to year. Part of this is the disease and insect problem they have. I think if I were to raise these for eating I would try a neem spray 3 times after petal fall up to harvest. This seems to prevent black spot on the fruit and lowers the bug population including those stinky stink bugs. (Nature seems to have a sense of humor, if you accidently bite into one of these along with a handful of saskatoons.) Everywhere I went on vacation in Michigan, I would collect Amelanchier and then made plantings of them at my farm. Most of the time those trees were very clean with few problems. But growing them in groups at my farm, it did not turn out that way every year. You really need to do some light protective spraying to really get the fruit to come out clean although some years it does not seem to matter and you will have a lot of fruit in a small area. I like to make sauce out of them.
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