Fruit and Berry Tree Crop Trial Program for Native Alaskan Rural Communities in Interior Alaska

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2006: $193,324.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: Alaska
Principal Investigator:
Kendra Calhoun
Cooperative Extension Service, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Robert Wheeler
Alaska Cooperative Extension Service
Dr. Meriam Karlsson
University of Alaska

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: pears, plums, berries (strawberries)


  • Crop Production: windbreaks
  • Education and Training: technical assistance, demonstration
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures


    This project focused on the feasibility of growing fruit in interior (urban and rural) Alaska using high tunnels. Fruit trees and berries were planted both inside and outside of high tunnel structures in Fairbanks, Alaska. Apples were primarily studied with the testing of 39 varieties. Climate, survival and harvest data were collected from the test site beginning in the summer of 2007 through the fall of 2010. These data will be used for developing publications to detail variety selection, production procedures and management, benefits of high tunnel technology in cold climates and the costs of growing fruit in the interior.

    Project objectives:

    The objectives of this study were to:

    -Establish a fruit tree trial in interior Alaska;

    -Provide outreach and information to the public regarding fruit tree selection, planting, maintenance and winter management through various types of media (presentations, internet, email) and personal communication (in-person, phone consultations);

    -Develop and maintain a website to provide information and results;

    -Develop publications outlining:

    *Apple varieties suitable for interior Alaska including selection, planting and care of trees.

    *Applications and benefits of using high tunnels in interior Alaska, procedures for construction, basic high tunnel production approach and techniques

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.