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Haskap

 
Max Kennedy
Posts: 478
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
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Does anyone have experience with Haskap, also known as honeyberry. From what I can see the more productive plants are hybrids so the seed won't breed true therefor needing cuttings to propogate and you need at least 2 different varieties to get berry production. i am in NE Ontario and the seem to be sufficiently hardy for this climate but I'd appreciate some feedback.
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 365
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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My experience is limited, so far. I have a half-dozen plants encompassing four cultivars. They are bulletproof hardy, and are unscathed even by interior Alaskan winters. The plants I have are still small, and I've only gotten a few berries so far. I have tasted others grown up here, however, and they are very good. I intend to move mine out of the nursery to their permanent locations this spring. Borealis and Tundra are reputed to be the best, but will need another pollenizer. They look like a winner to me.
 
Max Kennedy
Posts: 478
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
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Taste wise can you describe the fruit please.
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 365
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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It's been described as a cross between a raspberry and blueberry. I've only tasted a few, so I can't comment on the accuracy of that description, but they are quite good and much improved over the wild or ornamental forms. Years ago I mistook some for blueberries growing in front of a supermarket here, and picked enough to make a pie. It was awful, and out of hand they were very bitter. But the new cultivars are quite palatable. I'm stoked about them myself; our climate limits what we can grow for fruit.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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saw haskap in a garden catalog this year, but planted Honeyberries 2 years ago, so they are still babies..not sure if they are exactly the same kind or not.. The Honeyberries I planted were named varieties, the Haskap I saw wasn't named cultivars. I'll try to keep ya'll up on how they grow in future years
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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The term "Honeyberry" was coined by Jim Gilbert, of One Green World Nursery, in Oregon.
They have many named varieties there.
http://www.onegreenworld.com/index.php?cPath=4_112
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 1926
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Flavor is tart. I like them, but I think most people would like them about as much as salmonberries, huckleberries, or thimbleberries=not that much. They are the size of blueberries but more oblong and tart. Their premier virtues are 1) some ripen in May 2) can grow in shade 3)different plant family-different antioxidants, etc.
They are not amazingly productive. I like mine.

Lonicera kamchatka is the latin name. Some come from Japan and some from Siberia. The ones from Japan are called Haskap. It is also a marketing term.
John S
PDX OR
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 365
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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The haskaps I had were sweeter than raspberries, and very appealing. Perhaps terroir is a factor, and cultivar. The ones I had were grown on good loess soil with excellent southwest exposure, and we get hot days and cool nights in summer. These berries were fabulous and yields were heavy. If salmonberries grew here, I wouldn't plant them (well, not for me to eat, anyway; maybe for wildlife), but I will be putting in a bunch more haskaps. I like thimbleberries, too, though, but not their yields.

Sharing experiences is invaluable, but ultimately, local factors trump. I like to experiment to find out what works for me, and that's the strategy I recommend. Fruit varieties can vary drastically in flavor and texture from place to place--even very short distances. Attending an apple tasting, where multiple people bring samples, can be most enlightening. I've had two examples grown within several miles of one another that would have been difficult to recognize as the same cultivar their differences in both taste and appearance were so marked (and one was far superior to the other). Most people don't grow fruit up here because "everybody knows" the trees can't survive in this climate. Well, most can't, but there are some that will, and even in a bad year we get some apples or cherries or plums. And I have a yard full of thousands of earthworms that "everybody knows" can't survive here too.

So give the haskaps a shot.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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one of the main reasons I planted them was that i read that they were nearly seedless, which is a good thing for my husband who gets sick if he eats seeds..mine have not fruited yet, but above mentioned huckleberries, I lived as a child going out and picking pails and pails of huckleberries every summer...we love em
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 365
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Well, there are huckleberries, and then there are huckleberries...the only ones I've ever had were in the Pacific northwest; they were bright red, looked like blueberries, and had almost no taste (kind of like a salmonberry). But I know they're esteemed elsewhere, so there must be better ones.
 
                            
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Morning Max,

The most productive cultivars at this time are the pure Russian cultivars, expect 7 kilograms of berries per plant. The cultivars released from the University of Saskatchewan are hybrids, but less productive, 4 kilograms of berries per plant.

In order to take softwood cuttings, you would require a license from the University of Saskatchewan.

2 genetically different cultivars that flower at the same time are required for the best fruit set.

Hope this helps,

haskapcentral
www.haskapcentral.com
 
Ed B. Honeysuckle
Posts: 2
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Without a doubt, the haskap varieties produced by the University of Saskatchewan breeding programme are F1's and will not come true from seed. Whether or not the honeyberries introduced by One Green World's Jim Gilbert are stable and thus would come true from seed, I don't know. When Gilbert introduced the varieties, he renamed them. The USDA ARS National Clonal Germplams Depository's Kim Hummer in Corvallis, Oregon might be able to shed some light on whether they are stable or not. Availability of USask haskap in the US is limited right now. There are a couple of Canadian growers would have the necessary phytosanitary certification in place to allow shipping without USDA seizure. There are one walk-in and two mail-order US vendors that I'm aware of in the US selling USask haskap. There is also a pick-your-own who is growing Japanese haskap bred by Dr. Maxine Thompson. It's a bit confusing and made more so by the interchangeable use of honeyberry and haskap.

When I asked Bob Bors who heads up the USask edible blue honeysuckle breeding programme if I needed a licence if I was going take cuttings for myself and friends, he said that no license was needed. As long as I wasn't selling them and I wasn't doing it on any commercial scale, I was OK. Unless that has changed, taking cuttings for personal use isn't a problem.

For more info on edible blue honeysuckle including propagation, see http://ediblebluehoneysuckle.wordpress.com/
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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the huckleberries here in Michigan are only red when they are very unripe, then they turn a dark blue and then nearly black, they are ripe when the are black and fall off the bush with nearly no pressure at all, they are like a small blueberry with a stronger blueberry flavor..make really wonderful pies, like them better in pie than big blueberries, they are much more flavorful but take more to make the pie
 
Ed B. Honeysuckle
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The following was relayed to me by Haskap Central from Dr. Bob Bors. Haskap Central requested that I post it here:

This is what I remember saying or at least was trying to convey to him: A person wanting to propagate a few haskap for self and friends would not be given a licence nor would we want to receive a royalty from that person because that would insinuate that that was acceptable. We have only granted licences to bona-fide companies and occasionally to local farmers who have participated in our program as volunteers. I also said that the University can’t afford to sue a gardener or make a big fuss over a gardener who is doing limited propagation and not selling plants. It is not an activity we want to condone or promote.

Being told you won't likely be caught is very different from being given the go ahead to do it. Gardeners often break such rules but that doesn’t mean it is ethical. It is a mixed bag, on one hand it is considerate that Mr. B. offered to pay royalties, but on the other hand by posting such a thing he is in effect taking away even more royalties. I do wonder if Mr. B. really appreciates our plant breeding activities? If he does he won’t post things like this in the future.
 
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