About Prairie Plant Systems Inc


Saskatoon Berries (Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt.)

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Saskatoon Berries Saskatoons can be found growing on a broad range of soil types; however, the preferred location appears to be on deep, sandy to loamy soils which are well drained. Saskatoons do not like hard-pan layers or solonetzic soils. Saskatoons are adaptive to a wide range of pH levels. However, a pH of 6 - 7.5 is most desirable. Saskatoon berry trees should not be planted within 2 kilometres of native junipers due to problems with juniper-saskatoon rust.

Shelterbelts: Shelterbelts protect crops from dry winds during both the summer and the winter seasons. They shelter the orchard from the prevailing north and west winds and should be planted perpendicular to the planted orchard area. Shelterbelts are very important during every phase of orchard establishment.

Location: The general recommendation for fruit crops is to plant on slight north-east or east facing slopes. This allows the soil to warm more slowly in the spring and results in delayed blooming of the fruit crop which may protect the blooms from late spring frosts.

Berry good!Planting: Saskatoon orchards should be established on weed-free fields which have been adjusted to recommended fertility levels. For the best results and survival rates, Prairie Plant Systems recommends that the trees be planted in spring, after the risk of frost has passed (May and June) and again in the fall, usually no later than September 30th. Fall planting requires as much care in terms of irrigation as do spring plantings.

Plant Spacing: Plant spacing is based on space requirements of mechanical harvesters currently in use. The recommended plant spacing is about 6.2 metres (20 feet) between rows and a minimum of 1 metre (3 feet) within rows. This will provide a solid hedge of saskatoons which can be efficiently harvested with existing mechanized technology.

Orchards used for u-pick markets may have different spacing requirements. These spacings may be 3.5 metres (12 feet) between rows and 2 metres (6.5 feet) between plants, thus allowing space for hand harvesting of single bushes. However, this spacing would not lend itself to mechanical harvesting. The list below provides the number of plants per acre for several spacings:

Fruit Tree Spacing Chart (plants per acre calculations)

Space Between Rows
  Feet 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
  3 1815 1613 1452 1320 1210 1116 1037 968 907 854 806 764 726
  4 1361 1210 1089 990 907 837 777 726 680 641 605 573 544
Space 5 1089 968 871 792 726 670 622 580 544 512 484 459 435
Within 6 907 807 726 660 605 558 518 484 453 427 403 382 363
Row 7 777 691 622 566 518 478 444 414 384 366 345 328 311
  8 680 605 544 495 453 418 388 363 339 320 302 287 272
  9 605 538 484 440 403 372 345 322 303 285 268 255 242
  10 544 484 435 396 362 335 311 290 272 256 242 229 218


PPS offers a number of varieties of Saskatoons. Their characteristics are outlined in the following document:


FRUIT ATTRIBUTES - 16 mm berries with 9-15 berries per cluster. Deep blue when ripe. Full tangy flavor.
PLANT CHARACTERISTICS - Blooms a few days later than other varie-ties—helps to avoid spring frost damage. Possibly resistant to powdery mildew. Saskatchewan selection.
MATURE HEIGHT - 2.5m (8 ft) Upright and spreading.
PRODUCTIVITY - Very productive. Produces fruit earlier than other selections.
HARVEST - Fruit ripens somewhat unevenly. Matures later.
FRUIT ATTRIBUTES - 15mm berries. Deep blue when ripe. Exceptional flavor.
PLANT CHARACTERISTICS - Average bloom time. Highest shoot growth (21.4 cm). Saskatchewan selection.
MATURE HEIGHT - 3m (10 ft) Upright and spreading.
PRODUCTIVITY - Consistently high production.
HARVEST - Very uniform ripening within cluster.
FRUIT ATTRIBUTES - 14mm berries. Deep blue when ripe. Exceptional flavor.
PLANT CHARACTERISTICS - Average bloom time. Thiessen parentage. Saskatchewan selection.
MATURE HEIGHT - 3m (10 ft) Round bush.
PRODUCTIVITY - Consistently high production.
HARVEST - Very uniform ripening within cluster.
SUCKERING - Moderate
FRUIT ATTRIBUTES - 17mm berries with 6-12 berries per cluster. Deep blue when ripe. Exceptional flavor.
PLANT CHARACTERISTICS - Blooms earlier than other varieties making it more susceptible to spring frost damage. Fruit favored among fruit processors. Saskatchewan selection.
MATURE HEIGHT - 4m (14 ft) Upright, oval shape.
PRODUCTIVITY - High productivity.
HARVEST - Ripens some-what unevenly resulting in a longer harvest. Ideal for UPick.
SUCKERING - Moderate
FRUIT ATTRIBUTES - 14mm berries with 7-11 berries per cluster. Sweetest cultivar. Good, mild flavor.
PLANT CHARACTERISTICS - Flowers in the middle of bloom period. Usually avoids spring frosts. Very common variety. Quickly forms a hedge. Northern Alberta selection.
MATURE HEIGHT - 2-2.5m (6-8 ft) Upright and spreading.
PRODUCTIVITY - Consistently high pollination rate resulting in food production.
HARVEST - Very uniform ripening within cluster.

JB30 – Exclusive to PPS!

This Saskatoon was included in the 5 year replicated cultivar trial conducted by the University of Saskatchewan from 1991 to 2003. It was propagated from a wild plant found near Langham, SK.

This shrub is exceptionally high yielding, with fruit produced reaching up to 15mm in diameter. The berries are deep blue when ripe and have an excellent flavour. JB30 grows approximately 3.5m high in an upright, spreading form.

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Tree Care LogoCare & Maintenance of New Fruit Trees

Prairie Plant Systems has grown significantly through development and acquisition of our key subsidiary companies:

CanniMed Ltd.

CanniMed Ltd. was established in 2013 to provide Canadian patients with access to a standardized and trusted supply of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) governed by Health Canada.

SubTerra LLC

Sub Terra LLC is a plant-based pharmaceutical manufacturer committed to the production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) such as high value proteins and phytochemicals.

PM Power Group Inc.

P.M. Power Group Inc., located in White Pine Michigan, includes a clean energy natural gas power generation plant, a copper refinery as well as an alternative energy supplier (AES) company that sells energy direct to commercial customers.

PRairie Plant Systems Inc.

Prairie Plant Systems retains the research and development oversight of the company, houses the bioproducts division along with contract research and propagation.