Oct 14, 2009
The University of Alaska’s Cooperative Extension Service lost an important member of its team last June. Forest Specialist Bob Wheeler passed away on June 29 following a short battle with cancer.
One of Bob’s last projects was developing cold tolerant apple trees that would grow and thrive in the Interior. His project involved grafting 31 varieties of apples onto rootstock of cold tolerant Ranetka crabapples, a Siberian tree known for its ability to withstand cold winters.
Trees were planted in high tunnel greenhouses near Fairbanks two years ago. Today the AP has good news about the success of Bob’s project.
Fruit was harvested a year before expected.
“They’re a little tart, but they’re good,” said research technician Kendra Calhoun as she bit into a tiny yellow Ukalskoje apple.
Read Bob’s overview of the project here.