Noret Apple Tree- Zone 2
Characteristics of the tree
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The Noret apple measures about five centimetres in diameter on average, and is slightly oblate in shape. It is bright red in colour over a yellow background. Its flesh is white and fairly slow to oxidize (it loses less than 4% of its colour over 10 minutes.) The apple ripens very early in the season, in early to mid-August. All the fruit ripens at the same time and can be harvested in one go.
When mature, Noret has a pleasantly tart and bright taste, somewhat reminiscent of strawberry, and is well-enjoyed for eating fresh. In texture it is crisp and firm, especially when fresh off the tree. In terms of its storage capability, Noret is above average for an early apple: it can be stored for up to about 8 weeks after the date of harvest, retaining a good flavour up until the end of October. Its texture, however, does become softer the longer it is kept in storage.
The Noret apple tree is extremely hardy, growing without problems in the area around Fairbanks, Alaska. It is classified as hardy to zone 2, and has been noted to survive temperatures as low as -45ºC. It has not been noted as sensitive to any disease, but there is very little data available on this at the time of writing. The flowers of the tree are white with a pinkish tinge. The Noret tree has a rounded growth habit and is spur-bearing (that is, it generally produces fruit buds along the branches, rather than at the tips). It is an annual bearer, and in good conditions it is precocious, producing fruit as early as 3 years after it is planted.
The Noret apple cultivar was developed at the Morden Research Station, Agriculture Canada, by Dr. C.R. Ure for the Prairie Fruit Breeding Cooperative. It originated from a cross between Rescue and Mantet. The University of Alberta selected it in 1960, and it was put under test from 1961 to 1975. It was then released to nurseries for propagation in 1976, by the Beaverlodge Research Station, Alberta.
The apple trees we produce are grafted on standard-sized rootstock, so they are ‘full-sized’ apple trees (as opposed to dwarf or semi-dwarf). The life expectancy of this type of apple tree is around 100 years. The illustration shows different stages of its growth up until the age of 20 years (as one rarely plans a landscaping arrangement with a longer time period in mind). At 100 years old, the apple tree will be even larger than shown here – it can reach 7 m in height and spread over 9m – while the house might no longer exist!
You should note that this illustration is meant only to give a general indication of what you can expect, and the growth of your tree might look somewhat different. The development of a tree depends on the soil type, irrigation, fertilisation and climatic conditions. What we show here is based on our observation of observations of the growth of apple trees in zone 4, in rather poor soil. In zone 2, growth will probably be slower, while in a rich soil it would be faster.
All our apple trees are sold bare-root, without pots. They have been cultivated directly in our soil. Bare-root trees must be taken out of the ground and shipped during their period of dormancy, which is why we only ship trees in the spring. A big advantage with these kinds of trees, is that they take up very little space, and can therefore be easily shipped by mail all over Canada!
This photograph shows a 2-3-foot apple tree, just like one that you might receive. Depending on the height you choose at the time of purchase, the tree might be a little smaller (1-2 feet) or somewhat taller (3-5 feet.)
All our apple trees are grafted on standard-sized rootstock, which we grow ourselves at the nursery. Trees that are grafted on standard-sized rootstock will become full-sized apple trees (as opposed to dwarf, or semi-dwarf.) While the life expectancy of a dwarf apple tree is only about 20 years, full-sized apple trees such as those we propagate have a lifespan of around 100 years. We believe it is of the utmost importance to plant for future generations, which is one of the main reasons we prefer these kinds of trees.
Besides this, standard-sized apple trees also have many other qualities that set them above dwarf and semi-dwarf trees in our view. For example, their deep and well-developed root systems allow them to draw water from deep underground during periods of droughts. They are more vigorous and resilient, which in turn also makes them more disease-resistant. They are very hardy, and last but not least, much more productive!
To learn more about grafting and the role of rootstocks, see our article here!