About Plants :
Prairie Plant Systems is one of the longest standing propagators with a history of producing the highest quality plants in the industry. We take the time to nurture and grow up our plants to field ready size to give you the best possible chance for success. We want the plants to flourish for you so we never force them out our door before they are ready. Don’t risk disappointment, choose Prairie Plant Systems when only the highest quality plants will do.
All plants are grown and shipped in square vacuum deep pots that are perfect for growing a plant up to field readiness. The pots are small enough to be easily transported while large enough to give the plant roots plenty of room. Each pot measures about 2.5 inches in diameter and about 3.5 inches deep.
The height of the plants at shipping can range from six to 16 inches depending on species, variety and the age of the plant. Although height is useful in determining overall vigour, more important is the overall health of the root system. We inspect each plant individually, whether you order 10 or 10,000 plants. We look at each root system to make sure the plant is field ready. If a plant that is six inches tall has a more developed root system than a plant that is 12 inches tall, we will always ship the shorter plant with a more advanced root system. This reduces transplant shock and increases your likelihood of success.
No. All of our fruit trees are propagated from a collection of cultivars (varieties) developed at the University of Saskatchewan Fruit Program. These cultivars have been selected through controlled breeding specifically for their cold hardiness, superior quality, yield as well as ease for mechanical harvesting.
No genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. All of our fruit trees are propagated under sterile conditions, where plant material is sterilized before being placed in a sterile gel-like nutrient medium that supports plant growth.
Also known as tissue culture, micropropagation is a process in which tissue from one exceptional plant is used as the basis for every plant of that type. Every Boreal Blizzard haskap plant is genetically identical, for example, and this is true for all of our cherry, saskatoon berry and haskap varieties as well. The cloning process comes with a long list of advantages for orchard and home growers alike.
Tissue culture plants provide the best possible quality. They are produced in a sterile and clean environment where varieties are true to form and disease free. The slightly higher cost associated with producing plants in this way ensures you are get superior plants and superior fruit. Orchard growers demand consistency and uniformity in quality and growth. Tissue culture (micropropagation) is the only technique able to yield these exceptional traits in a large numbers of plants. Other propagation techniques have limitations and are not generally recommended.
Some do and some don’t. Both saskatoon berry and dwarf sour cherry plants have flowers that are self-pollinating. This means they can pollinate themselves and their neighbours without the need for an additional polinizing plant. On the other hand, Haskap flowers are not self-pollinating and a successful orchard will require at least two varieties to pollinate each other. The ratio of compatible varieties can be anywhere from 1:1 to 1:5. A lower ratio can lead to poor pollination.
Most plants will take a year or two to establish a healthy root system deep into the ground. Once the plant feels it is strong enough, it will begin putting more energy into flowering. This typically occurs in the third year. Most PPS plants reach full maturity five to seven years after planting. It is not uncommon, however, to begin receiving small amounts of fruit as early as the second year.
The amount of fruit that a plant can bear changes from year to year, depending on conditions.
- Mature Saskatoon Berry plants will produce between five and 10 pounds.
- Mature Dwarf Sour Cherry plants will produce between 15 and 20 pounds.
- Mature Haskap plants will produce between 10 and 15 pounds.
Fruit trees are considered mature once they are between five and seven years old. These plants can live a long time and they will continue to produce fruit for decades to come.
We only sell the hardiest plants which were selected and bred for the climate of Canada and the northern United States. Saskatoon berry, haskap and dwarf sour cherry can all withstand winter temperatures below -35 C.
Most of our plants are highly adaptable. That said, we specialize in northern species that are adapted to cold climates. We have customers in horticultural zones one through seven that have been successful. Most of Canada and the northern United States fall in these zones. We do not recommend planting these cold hardy fruit trees if you live in a zone beyond zone eight. Please see the links below to find your hardiness zone:
About Care & Maintenance :
Spacing requirements differ depending on several factors. Species, harvesting method and land availability are some of the main factors at play when deciding on spacing. Planting density can range from 218 up to 1,815 plants per acre, but most orchards fall somewhere in the middle, usually between 750 and 1,100 plants per acre. Please see our spacing chart for the recommended spacing of each species depending on their method of harvest.
Saskatoon berry and dwarf sour cherry plants prefer a well-drained sandy loam soil. Adequate moisture is required for both, but standing water is not well tolerated.
Haskap prefer a soil higher in organic content (five to 10 per cent) and higher moisture, but it should still be well drained. A pH just under seven is preferred so that nutrients are readily available. Don’t fret if your soil does not fit this model. Haskap are highly adaptable and can tolerate soil conditions outside of this ideal.
Not likely. Haskap are a northern species, which adapts to its environment. They are often among the first plants to bear leaves and flowers in spring. This adaptability allows them to withstand environmental stresses. The most common stress damaging haskaps is due to heat and light intensity in the middle of summer. When this is combined with low rainfall, haskap plants have a tendency to shut down and turn brown. This allows the plant to withstand the drought by losing its biggest user of water, the leaves. Once favourable conditions return, the plant will resume regular growth.
Birds can be a source of frustration for some growers but generally they take relatively few berries and sometimes none at all. The only way to ensure your plants will remain undamaged by birds is to set up bird netting, and this can be expensive and unpractical. While some orchards go the expense of setting up a bird-proof site, most will accept a small amount of loss due to birds and other fruit loving animals. If you find your losses are above acceptable levels, bird netting may be worthwhile option.
An integrated pest management program (IPM) is critical to the health of your orchard.
- 1. The first step is to buy plants from a propagator like Prairie Plant Systems that supplies top quality and disease-free stock.
- 2. The second step is to monitor your plants for issues.
- 3. Step three is to implement disease/insect control methods. Disease/insect/pest concerns should be dealt with immediately to reduce the risk of further spread. It is often much easier to control a small outbreak than to correct a major problem once it has fully developed.
All observations and applications should be recorded for future reference. We recommend all of our customers, large or small, implement an IPM system.
About Ordering :
Anyone and everyone. We regularly sell plants to customers ranging from backyard gardeners to the large-scale orchards. Our minimum order requirement is 10 plants, but that can include any combination of available species and varieties.
Yes we do. Any order of 50 or more plants qualifies for a discount. We have additional price breaks on orders that exceed 100, 500 and 1000 plants.
A royalty is a small fee that is collected and submitted to the plant breeder or organization that developed the cultivar. Most of our plants were bred at the University of Saskatchewan located in Saskatoon, Sask. Royalty revenues allow the researchers to develop new varieties and also reward them for past successes in plant breeding. All species and varieties are protected under Plant Breeder Rights and are grown under licence from the plant breeder or organization. Any purchase of our plants comes with the condition that they may not be propagated without a licence.
Yes you can. However, we require that all pickups are pre-arranged prior to the pickup date. That way we can have all the plants cleaned and prepared for transport.
Shipping costs have not been factored into the individual price of our plants. To streamline the shipping process PPS will arrange the shipping of your plants, and the amount will be added to the total cost of your purchase.
Most orders under 500 plants are sent via Canada Post Expedited Service. Since we ship a lot of boxes, we get a favourable rate with Canada Post. Orders over 500 plants are typically sent on skids shipping via trucking service (LTL freight).
Shipping is very safe. For all orders sent by courier, we package the plants into a snug cardboard sleeve to reduce interior movement. All boxes are clearly labelled as fragile/perishable so handlers can take the necessary precautions.
Although there is no set date, our shipping season typically begins in early April for select locations. We ship throughout the spring, summer and even into the fall. In a typical year, our shippping season ends in late October for most locations.
Yes, we do. We ship select species and varieties to the United States. All saskatoon berry varieties and nearly all haskap varieties are authorized for U.S. bound shipments. Please note that as of Fall 2015, dwarf sour cherry is not listed on our U.S. order forms. All U.S. bound orders have a minimum purchase requirement of 25 plants. You can combine any number of available species and varieties to achieve that number.
Yes, we do. All saskatoon berry varieties and nearly all haskap varieties are authorized for shipment to Europe. Please check your local import regulations to see what species are allowed and which are restricted. All European orders are sent “in vitro” which means they come as plantlets in jars or test tubes. We also have a minimum order requirement of 2,000 plantlets for sales to Europe. Contact us for more details.