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Silver Creek Nursery Ltd.

Trail (aka Bilodeau) Crabapple

Trail (aka Bilodeau) Crabapple

For the most up-to-date information see Claude Jolicoeur's website here!

History: This particular iteration of Trail, previously referred to as Bilodeau, has a bit of a messy history. A Trail crabapple tree was mislabeled at a Quebec nursery in the 1980s and sold to an unknowing customer named Claude Bilodeau who thought he was purchasing a pear tree. Later on Claude Jolicoeur, well-known Quebecois cider-maker and pomologist, took a cutting from this tree and found that the fruit (definitely not a pear!) was excellent for making cider. Since it was still a mystery what the original variety was, the crabapple was named Bilodeau by Jolicoeur after the owner of the tree - only for Paul Kron from the University of Guelph to confirm that it was actually Trail via DNA testing in 2022. The Trail crab was bred at Ottawa from a cross of Northern Queen x Rideau, it was selected in 1913 and introduced in 1920.

Why We Grow It: Despite the confusion, we are regardless happy to have this apple in our catalogue! This bittersharp cider apple has excellent cider-making qualities and, unlike most crabapples, is also great when eaten fresh or made into jelly! 

Fruit Specs

Recommended Use: Cider, jelly, fresh eating

Fruit Size: Small


Harvest: September - Early

Cider Class (if applicable): Class: Bittersharp
Sugar: Very High, SG 1.070
Acidity: Very High, TA 12.8 g/L
Tannins: Low, <1.5 g/L
Juice Yield: Medium to High
Recommendations: Pairs well with Douce de Charlevoix, can be made into a single-variety cider in years where the acidity is lower
*Information based on Claude Jolicoeur's The New Cidermaker's Handbook

Growing Specs

Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4

Soil Preference: Sandy loam, loam, clay loam. Prefers average to moist conditions, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring. Generally quite adaptable to different soil conditions.

Flowering Time:

Bloom Colour: White

Pollination Requirements: Triploid, requires two pollinators of different non-triploid apple varieties that bloom around the same time

Sun/Shade Requirements:

Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)

General Growth Habits:

Vigorous and hardy. Scab resistant.

General Disease Resistance Rating: Medium. This is a combined rating of how the cultivar produces and grows in our test orchard, along with the cultivar's known disease resistences/susceptibilities. Remember, just because a variety is susceptable to something does not mean it will get it. The microclimate, pests and disease present within your orchard/area will differ from ours too, creating a unique growing condition that may or may not induce certain pests or diseases.

Shipping vs. Pick Up

CLICK HERE to see how shipping compares to pick up.

Shipping: Every year we ship thousands of trees across Canada (except BC due to CFIA regulations). We carefully bag roots in damp sawdust, then box them and send them out via courrier. CLICK HERE to see our shipping policy.

Pick-up: We also have thousands of trees picked up from our nursery each year. The pick-up options is free, though you must wait until you have been emailed a confirmation that your order is ready to pick up, which will have further information such as hours, locations, etc. We really appreciate if you can make an appointment to pick up, then we can be as organized as possible during our busy season.

Size at Purchase

Our grafted fruit trees are graded into three categories, and the size includes the rootstock:

  • 50-80cm whip: may have some minor branching, this grade is like a "b-grade" size tree in industry standards; we include in this price category trees that are over 1m but have some scarring or mild crookedness.
  • 1m+ whip: may have some minor branching, aka feathering. This is like a typical one-year whip in industry standards. 
  • 1m+ branched: these trees must be over a meter and have 3 or more branches 30cm or longer, as well as a central leader. They are essentially a two-year tree in industry standards. 
  • For stone fruits only - 1m+ whip/branched: We have combined these grades based on the way these trees grow and are grafted. Plums, apricots, cherries, and peaches naturally tend to grow more vigorously compared to apples and are more likely to form larger trees with more branches. However, we only chip bud them so they are a one-year old tree by industry standards. Apples and pears are partially bench grafted, and using the knip-boom method the grading becomes more complicated, hence the reason they are split into different grades.
grafted tree grades at silver creek nursery
Please keep in mind, bareroot trees appear small if you are unfamiliar with them. Size can vary year to year due to weather conditions and every single variety has a unique amount of vigor (some varieties naturally are smaller and some bigger, much like humans -and when you propagate hundreds of varieties, there certainly is variation). While we remain competitive in our plant size, it's also worth noting we don't use synthetic chemicals to push vegetative growth, therefore you may find conventional nursery stock larger in some instances comparatively. 
Why plant small? It's best to transplant a tree when it's young so it can establish its roots before it has a lot of vegetative growth. This is much less stressful on it and bareroot trees tend to catch up and even surpass larger potted trees planted at the same time, after a few years.

Orders that are cancelled last minute due to size (being "to small"), will still incur the applicable cancellation fees if the trees are true to our grading standards as per the agreement of sale when the order was placed.

Regular price $48.00 CAD
Regular price Sale price $48.00 CAD
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