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Gardening Fruit

Hardy Apples

Growing Apples in Cold Climates

by (author) Bob Osborne

photographs by Beth Powning

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
May 2022
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2022
    List Price

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An essential guide to growing apples at high latitudes and altitudes.

Hardy Apples is both a practical guide and a loving tribute to the wonderful abundance and diversity of apple cultivars available to the northern gardener and orchardist. Full of tips, facts, beautiful photographs and fascinating stories about apples both popular and obscure, this book is sure to inform and entertain in equal measure.

Drawing on over 40 years of experience propagating and selling apple cultivars from his nursery in Corn Hill, New Brunswick, author Bob Osborne walks you through the basics of how an apple tree grows and the ideal conditions needed to cultivate a successful crop. Osborne also includes vital information about planting, pruning, harvesting, storing and propagating apples, and he devotes an entire chapter to preventing and dealing with the pests and diseases that plague so many growers, plus the challenges of hard winters and unpredictable weather.

Following the section on growing apples is an extensive catalog of over 90 apple cultivars. Here are just a few of the apples you will find:

  • Ashmead's Kernel
  • Bottle Greening
  • Cox's Orange Pippin
  • Fameuse
  • Red Astrachan
  • Seek-No-Further.

Each profile features a brief history and description of the apple as well as information and photos to help identify cultivars you might already have in your yard. With the growing popularity of hard-cider making, Osborne includes a special section dedicated to excellent cultivars that cideries across North America should seek out. The guide also features North American hardiness zone maps, resources and a handy table of hardy cultivars -- a great at-a-glance reference when shopping for trees.

With over 200 exquisite photographs and illustrations, Hardy Apples is an elegant, educational and entertaining reference that is equally at home atop a coffee table or a propagator's station.

About the authors

Bob Osborne's profile page

Beth Powning grew up in a small New England town, where her family has lived since the 1790s. In 1972, she and her husband Peter Powning moved to Canada and bought an 1870s farm in New Brunswick, where they established a pottery business.

In 1995, Beth Powning published a book of photography, Roses For Canadian Gardens (written by childhood friend Bob Osborne). She later found her voice in Home: Chronicle of a North Country Life. Over the next fifteen yaers, five books followed: another book of photographs, Northern Trees and Shrubs; two works of non-fiction, Shadow Child and Edge Seasons; and two bestselling novels, The Hatbox Letters and The Sea Captain's Wife.

Beth Powning's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Part guide, and part homage by longtime CBC gardening columnist from Cornhill Nurseries.


If you enjoy apples and are considering growing some apple trees you may want to get a copy of Bob Osborne's book... And all of this interesting apple information is complemented with more than 200 photographs and illustrations.

Osborne's book, Hardy Apples: Growing Apples in Cold Climates, which profiles of 90 winter hardy apple varieties, is a great resource.

Orchard People Blog

Canadian farmer Osborne (Hardy Roses) condenses more than 40 years of experience nurturing apple cultivars into this book covering everything from ancient apple seeds to the art and science of grafting, as well as site planning, soil, pests and diseases, and harvesting. He offers details on more than 90 cultivars, with notes on each fruit's size, shape, flavor, and uses (cooking, cider), accompanied by Powning's photos of trees and mature fruit. Also useful: maps of plant hardiness zones and the ability to cross-reference apple cultivars by name or trait. Practical for Northern Hemisphere libraries, with mouth-watering, often amusing descriptions that will have readers everywhere sourcing Ambrosia apples and Granite Beauties.

Library Journal

An absolute 'must' for the personal reading lists of novice and professional fruit growers, Hardy Apples: Growing Apples in Cold Climates is impressively comprehensive, well written, beautifully and profusely illustrated with full color photography, exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, and unreservedly recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, and academic library Gardening and Horticulture collections.

Midwest Book Review

Other titles by Bob Osborne

Other titles by Beth Powning