I’m sorry to hear of the demise of Bear Creek Nursery. I never ordered from them, but I kept hoping to. They had quite a selection of apple trees. One that I always wanted to get was Chenango Strawberry, because it was discovered fairly close to where we live. I notice all the mail order nurseries you mention are west of the Rockies. Do you know of any nurseries in the east that specialize in fruit trees for colder climates? The only one I know of is St. Lawrence Nurseries, and since everything they sell is hardy to zone 3, they don’t carry most of the trees you mention. They do have Chenango Strawberry, but my son decided to buy a ‘Purdy’ apple instead. Besides having an attractive name, the apple is described as “Large apple with tart but pleasant flavor. Apples ripen over a long season and, if left, will hang on the tree into Nov. Discovered in the Adirondacks in a cold Zone 3.” Doesn’t sound like a good applesauce apple, because they don’t ripen all at once, but, if it’s hardy in Zone 3, I hope the blossoms will open later and not get hit by late frosts as often as our current apple trees do. They were here when we moved in and I have no idea what variety they are, and the daughter of the former owner didn’t know either.
Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.
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