Our breeding program is located in one of the coldest locations in the world where fruit is being bred. We may be the coldest location where some crops, like sour cherries, are being bred. We maintain a collection of over 20 fruit crops most of which we are breeding to some extent.  In recent years we have emphasized breeding of Haskap, Sour cherries, Hazelnuts, and Apples.  We have smaller breeding projects involving pears, grapes, plums, sandcherries, cherry plums, saskatoons and strawberries.  We have also been breeding coleus, ornamental Prunus,  and weeping crabapples.  The last few years we have been gathering germplasm of rhubarb, hydrangea and hops and are considering breeding them. We also have collections of other fruit that we are not currently breeding: chokecherries, sea buckthorn, black currants, and raspberries. 

Located on campus, our breeding program occupies about 50 acres.  Pervious to Covid-19 we held several educational events workshops throughout the year. We plan to make online versions of some of these in the near future.

When people buy our varieties from licenced nurseries, the royalties go back to our fruit breeding program.  65% goes directly to the program while 35% goes into an equipment fund that benefits horticulture research at our University. Over the years we have received strong support from Saskatchewan Agriculture's Agriculture Development Fund.

 

News

updates.

New 2021 plant sale information

We are planning to have a plant sale in early June and in early fall this year (2021). Unless Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, the sale will be very similar to last year. Plant sale - University of Saskatchewan Fruit Program - University of Saskatchewan (usask.ca)

Passing of Dr. Maxine M. Thompson

We were very saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend Dr. Maxine M. Thompson. She contributed greatly to our program. From her vast knowledge that she readily shared, to sharing of haskap genetics she was a great asset to us, but more importantly she was a friend. She will be missed greatly.  The following was written by Dr. Kim Hummer, head of the USDA genebank in Oregon.  Most of Maxine’s breeding work was carried out on the genebank’s land. Kim was an associate of Maxine for several decades.

Emeritus Professor Dr. Maxine M. Thompson, Horticulturist, Plant Explorer (1926 – 2021)

Dr. Bors Russia trip

Video of Dr. Bors' trip to Russia

Bob Bors and Rick Sawatzky, win prestigious Stevenson Award

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Bob Bors and Rick Sawatzky, win prestigious Stevenson Award for their development of sour cherries and haskaps

Full article here

Growing Fruit in Northern Gardens.......

A description of this book is on our book page.  It is available at the University of Saskatchewan bookstore.  The publisher went bankrupt (but not the printer) and we are looking into getting available on Amazon again.  Bob usually brings some along for sale when he is a speaker at conferences, but not sure when those will happen in the near future.    

New research articles on our haskap page

There are links to new research papers arising from Eric Gerbrandt's thesis on our haskap page