Food Producing Trees

Food Producing Trees – The Most Popular That People Grow

Do you have any food producing trees on your property?

Scroll down for the list of most popular food producing trees.

“The best time to plant a tree was ’10 years ago’, and/or ‘today’.”

If you’re even a little bit into the concept of self sufficiency, I highly recommend planting a food producing tree (or several) on your property.

Why? Because it’s free food! How about that for a bit of self sufficiency?!

Are you a procrastinator? Have you put off the idea because it might take many years before a new tree bears fruit?

It’s Never Too Late To Plant A Food Producing Tree

Well, don’t procrastinate. Like I said a moment ago, the best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, and today!

Years ago we lived in a climate where just about any fruit tree would grow (Zone 10). We planted more in the yard during that time and eventually enjoyed the fruits of our labor. It was well worth the effort. We had apple, fig, and pomegranate already in the yard. Then we added grapefruit (by accident – see below…), orange, and I grew a mini (grape) vineyard (made my own wine).

Funny story: One tree that we wanted to plant was an Orange tree. So we went to Home Depot and picked one from their garden section, brought it home and planted it. It thrived. However when it finally produced some fruit, guess what? They were grapefruits! That was the last time I trusted the labels on fruit trees in that particular store! Went to nurseries after that…

Having since moved away from that region and now residing in a northern colder climate (Zone 3b), my choices are limited.

However I haven’t let that stop me… Can you say, Apple trees? There are lots of ‘wild’ apple trees around here – but they don’t taste so good (our chickens will peck them and eat them!). Some years ago we did plant Honeycrisp and McIntosh. Yum!

my chickens devouring an apple

Fruit Tree Climates

Tree Climate Zones

Hardiness zones are used as a guide in selecting appropriate trees for particular areas. The climate zones are determined by average minimum yearly low temperatures.

That said, one ‘trick’ is to look around your neighborhood. See what others are growing. Then you’ll know what works in your zone.

average minimum low temperatures

(1) Below –50° F
(2) -50° to -40° F
(3) -40° to -30° F
(4) -30° to –20° F
(5) -20° to -10° F
(6) -10° to 0° F
(7) 0° to 10° F
(8) 10° to 20° F
(9) 20° to 30° F
(10) 30° to 40° F
(11) 40° to 50° F
(12) 50° to 60° F
(13) 60° to 70° F

[ Read: Hardiness Zone Map & Frost Dates ]

Based on a poll conducted on this site back during 2018, we had a total of 163 votes for food trees.

Here are the results for the most popular food producing trees:

Top 5 Food Trees

(based on your previous comments)

1. Apple
2. Plum
3. Cherry
4. Peach
5. Pear

With that said, if I lived in a perfect climate where any of the trees listed below would grow… My top five might be apple, avocado, pecan, banana, and peach! The only place I’ve ever seen banana trees was in south Florida. So that’s not happening up here in northern New Hampshire ;-) The food producing trees thriving here are apples! And of course top-quality syrup from our Maple trees (but that’s not a fruit tree – so kinda cheating…)

paw paw4
coconut palm1
key lime1

[ Read: Frost Damage on Fruit Trees – Critical Temperatures Chart ]

[ Read: How to Keep Deer Away From Eating Your Young Apple Trees ]


  1. Have Apple, Pear, Cherry, Sea Buckthorn, Crabapple, Honeyberry (all producing for number of years. Planted and growing, but not yet producing much/any—-Plum/Blueberry.

  2. Ken,
    It is fun. I worked all day in my orchard and now here is topic about fruit trees. Plum and apple are my favorite fruit trees. They are easy to plant and to care for it. Cherry is next one. It is on the third place only because I more prefer first two. It is the easiest fruit tree to care for it.

  3. We are in zone # 6 and have 2 small orchard spaces on our property.Orchard #1 has 2 peach trees, 2 apple trees,1 plum and is 4 years old . Orchard #2 has 2 peach,1 apple,1 pear , 1 apricot and was planted last year.
    These 10 trees should provide our needs as well as some for trading to folks. I am not an orchardist , but am thankful to have a friend who is. He has given great advice and guidance.

  4. Zone 2 we have apple,pear,plum,cherry, haskap,currants and my favorite by far saskatoons. Second favorite is cherry-plum very prolific 2″ fruit( cross of plum wuth sandcherry)Raspberries also grow great we have 10 varieties.

  5. Here in Willamette Valley, Oregon my wife planted a “non-fruit bearing plum tree” ( so labeled on the tree.) that generates the sweetest golden fruit that has me racing with my dog to gobble up due to their sweetness.

    Most of the time, the dog wins the race so I have resorted to test-tugging the fruit on the tree when I am out in the yard.

    The area I live in is surrounded by cherries and berries of wide variety. I do miss the citrus trees and the lemon tree I used to have in my backyard in California though. A lemon tree in the backyard encouraged me to catch and eat more fish.

    I have been thinking of growing a Meyer lemon in a big pot and putting it in greenhouse during winter frosts up here.

    1. With you on the meyer lemon in the greenhouse to winter-over. Also a key lime and a fig! We shall see about success. We can get to -30 here…and over 85 by day in summer. strangest zone “5” I have ever experienced!

  6. Cherries and apples and plums, oh, my! : ) I planted almond seeds last year, transplanted the apple seedlings (ranging between two and three years) and got the last peach transplanted a few weeks ago. Two pears in the front yard that are into their second year, and three apricot trees, one that should bear this year. We have one mature almond, a walnut, a nectarine, and two plums. I’m going to keep all the new trees pruned below 8 feet.

    I need to prune the grapes and plum trees this week. Adding to my list-that-never-ends.

  7. Zone 8b near-coastal WA. Planted apples, pears, Asian pears, peaches, apricots, plums, and sweet, semi-sweet, and sour cherries. Golden fig that’s trying but was tip burned this winter. Have had to replace some that the elk ate. Crab apples go in this year. Limes in pots in the house. Also have filberts and hope to get hardy pecan and Persian walnut in this year too.

    YouTube has a video of Nebraska farmer that grows citrus in greenhouses. Uses constant temp of the ground to heat and cool. Food for dreams . . .

  8. Thanks for the article, Ken.
    It reminded me to beat the trunks of our fruit trees. (Just came in from doing that)
    I had read that beating the trunks of fruit trees will stress them and put them into a survival mode, end result is for them to produce more fruit.
    We have an apple, which did an extremely great job last year in production.
    A peach which produced 4 peaches last year. A pear that has produced nothing and a cherry that needs a pollinator partner. These are very young trees.
    Granny used to have a plum and they were the best tasting, of course it has been cut down a long time ago.
    We also have numerous Walnut trees along the roadside and a few on brother’s property, along with a few scattered apple trees.

  9. I would really like this more if everyone would say what zone and then be more detailed.
    Example zone 5 apple…Cortland or Honey Crisp
    zone 5 plum Early Blue

    Also standard or dwarf..semi dwarf.

    Just a suggestion.
    Regards, Dannyg

    1. Although I can give you the zone, the rest won’t help you in my case.

      I’m in zone 6. I grow most of my trees from seed. The English walnut was purchased, one of the plums was purchased (Stanley, I’m unsure of the rootstock) and the almond was purchased (I can’t remember the variety, but it’s self-fertile and blooms over an expended period. The other almond trees are its seedlings).

      All the peach trees, apple trees, pear trees, and two of the three apricots were from seed. The other apricot was a rescue and I have no idea of the variety.

    2. Danny
      Zone 5
      Cresthaven peach
      Bartlett pear
      A three variety apple
      All dwarfs…. although we must have some pretty tall dwarfs running around these parts.
      Peach and pear were a farm store purchase. Family Farm and Home
      The apple was a mail order from Gurney’s. Umpteen yrs ago.

      1. Joe c
        Our Bartlett Pear trees do well for us here. The dwarf peach trees are both Reliant. Apples are early blaze, cortland, lodi, rome , the Honey crisp is still struggling.
        I have room for another peach and I will give the Cresthaven a try. Thanks for the tip.
        Regards, Danny

  10. I am currently laying out and planning for planting of my orchard. I am in zone 7 and plan on planting two of each tree. I have been to my fairly local university extension and have taken a few classes on this, so hope the info has stuck. For now I am planting 2 D’Anjou Pears, 2 Utah Giant Sweet Cherries, 2 Italian or Blue Damson Plums, 2 Reliance Peach (my FIL grew these in Idaho near Boise and they did well, and were yummy), and hopefully 2 Harcot apricots. It is very important to look at chill hours and get the variety that has the longest chill hour requirements. I know apples are very easy to grow, but for now, I am not interested in planting any. We will see if I have any room! I also am going to plant various berry bushes as well. Unfortunately, it looks like I will have to wait 3 years or so for some bounty, but if I am not around, hopefully these fruit plants will nourish those who come after me.

  11. I don’t have much room to grow trees where I’m at, but I’ve still managed to have two fruit trees in front, and two in back. I have a petite plum in front, and a 4-way apple tree, that produces loads of apples. The apple tree has red delicious, yellow delicious, john-a-gold, and winter banana, all grafted on one tree. In back I have a large Italian plum, and a yellow transparent apple. Now, that front apple tree gave me an idea, and I read up on grafting. So, one spring I decided to give it a try, and grafted two john-a-gold starts, and one winter banana start on to the transparent apple tree. I got lucky, and all 3 grafts took. After 3 years they started producing lots of apples. It’s not as hard as it seems to graft apples. Doesn’t hurt to give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose. Plums are a little harder though.

  12. Zone 5 here. We first put in apples – honeycrisp and spye. Then added red Bartlett pear and cherry. Then more apples – matsu, black Arkansas, red prairie, another northern spye, sweet sixteen (nice apple). Then another pear – Anjou. Then Reliant peach, another cherry, and plum. It appears the plums can pollinate with cherry trees and vice versa. More apple Fuji ( small and growing really slow), and a winecrisp. Our favorites are honeycrisp, wine crispand sweet sixteen we have tasted, but not from our trees yet as they are young.

    We hope to produce enough to feed us, family and friends and the animals. We have the pigs clean up the ground for us so we don’t have the rot sitting there. Eventually, perhaps we can trade some apple harvest for something someone else is growing that is labor intensive like potatoes.

    I just read an article on Grit about the Mirabelleheirloom plum tree that sounds interesting so we are sewrching for this tree to add.

  13. We are in zone 6 at 7600 feet and everything around would eat a fruit tree if planted in the ground outside. We would get near to nothing. Some people with apple trees get an occasional apple. Old man made a green house where the trees could bloom and then be kept warm with a propane heater. They usually bloom March to April and also freeze the same months. It is a lot of work, but worth it. Now our only fight is with the ground squirrels.

    1. old lady
      This may sound cruel to some but it does work. We have water troughs that have a wide lip on the edge. Fill it with water enough that the ground squirrel can not reach up to the lip of the trough and enough water they can not put their feet on the bottom to survive.

      Yes, it may awful but we discovered this by accident. The rodents kept getting into the horses water after they had drank it down to certain level an of course by the time I would find them they have dispatch themselves.
      Fish them out toss them on the road for the buzzards to have a meal. I refer to it as mother natures recycling program,,,,buzzards have to eat.
      Hence the survival of your fruit trees so you can have a harvest every year.

  14. in Southern Middle TN:
    2 apple
    2 pear
    2 chestnut

    Pear trees are everywhere down here. So many that people just drive over the fallen fruit in driveways and country roadsides. I even collect fallen ones from a churchyard up from my house. No one every gathers this fruit. Such a shame :(

  15. Zone 9-10

    Production trees
    I have several Mago, 2 Tangerine (spring producers), Lemon, 1 orange, 1 Lime, 3 different varieties of Avocado (year round production) Jack Fruit, Sugar Apple (tropical fruit you suck on), Bananas.

    Trees are essential to level 4 sustainability. Key benefit most unwanted visitors just can’t walk away with your trees. Like the raccoons around here you have to be up on your game to grab the fruits before they do.
    Also make sure to plant a variety of trees of different Genus of Family. Disease can spread quickly through an orchard. There are viruses out there that can spread from peach to plum to cherry. All are in the Prunus x Family. Plum pox virus is spread from sucking insects.. Difficult to control the spread. It was recently found in the Hudson Valley NY. This is a heavy commercial fruit production region with orchards established throughout. Now entire farms are being quarantined.

  16. Only trees that will grow where I’m at is Pinion or Juniper, good got Pinion Nuts or Gin I guess, other trees would need a LOT of watering.
    The lower valley does have quite a few “unclaimed” fruit trees that would be come a good source if/when TSHTF.
    I do harvest a lot of friends trees that they have no use for the fruit, Peaches and Apples galore.

    1. Maybe try grapes? A lot of growers don’t water at all, so it’s worth a try. Find someone who has grape vines and get a branch. Coil it up under the ground and in the spring you should have several starts. Or just stick it in the ground where you want the vine. They do need to be deeply watered for the first year or two.

      1. Im going to try grapes this year,
        Actually planting, grapes, blackberries and strawberries

  17. Thanks for the post Ken! I’m hoping to put in 3 honeycrisp trees next month when we visit the property (zone 6a). The issue is they will be left on their own for extended periods of time so I’m not sure if this plan will work… does anyone have any experience with that? I can isolate them with a fence easy enough to keep wildlife from enjoying my work, but will the trees survive without occasional attention? Also… should I wait for the fall to plant or is the spring time better?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    1. CA_EX_2B:
      Springtime is better to plant for new trees. They need a little time to get established, and grow some new roots, and put on a little new growth. Do not prune the first year or two. They need that new growth to get strong. Definitely isolate them with a fence the first year. Water them very good when you plant them, as the roots need to settle. Also, if your going to be gone for a while, and can’t water them, you might consider a good mulch for a couple of feet around the tree if the weather is going to be dry. I think that covers it. Maybe.

    2. CA_EX_2B,
      I agree with BB Cat on spring planting. Thing is new trees need to be kept watered, unless you are planting in a continually damp area, then you might be able to plant an forget. I disagree with BB Cat on pruning. Once you plant, you might want to cut them back about 1/3. Ask at the garden center where you buy your trees, or the local County Farm extension service about what is recommended for your area. Also, when you put those trees in, you want to “Mud” them in. Dig your large hole, with a mound in the bottom to support the root ball at the correct height. Fill the hole with water, put the tree in letting the water push the air out of the root ball.Slowly start back filling the whole with dirt, allowing it to turn to mud and settle around the roots. The idea is to have the water and then mud surround the roots and drive all the air out. I’ve done this for years, and have had very few of the thousands of trees/vines I have planted die. Mulching to hold the moisture in is a good idea. Remember though, rodents will live in this mulch in the winter, and may feed on the bark during the winter. I would consider protective wrap for the trunks to prevent this, as well as sun scald in the winter. heavy wire cages around the trees to protect them from deer. Might want to consider making friends with some of your new neighbors, and maybe offer to pay one of their kids to haul some water over to the new trees during the summer if you can’t get in there. Other than this, the only other thing you could do is wait until you are on the property permanently to plant, water and tend to them. good luck

      1. Minerjim:
        You are correct on the planting. Guess I should have been more specific. Was in a hurry.


          I will use the suggestions for sure. Especially the idea about hiring one of the neighbors to haul up some water in the summer!

          Sometimes the most obvious is the hardest to see!

        2. CA_EX_2B
          When you are digging the hole make it large enough to hold both bucket & fruit trees ball. Leaving enough room when & if you ever have to remove the bucket it will be out far enough without being entangled in the trees roots during its growing spurts. The bucket you will be shopping for is a one with strong sides so you can drill holes in the bucket for slow watering to the trees roots. We used ours this way in our raised garden beds, since our water availability was limited. We only had to water every few days. This could be way to keep your trees alive without wasting water.

          The other solution is the wicking method but the bucket which the water will be stored in should have the smallest opening so you do not lose a lot of the water from evaporation.

  18. We are zone 6 and have one honey crisp apple tree. It is 2 years since I planted it and it has not bloomed yet. The neighbor has an apple tree to pollenate. I am thinking about getting one of the 5-n-1 plum trees from Burgess. Also wanting to get a pecan tree. We live on a city lot so there is not much room for trees.

    1. Actually yes you can grow trees on small lots look up espalier techniques for fruit trees. You can train fruiting trees to grow narrow along fence lines and train on heavy gauge wire similar to grape production in vineyards. This technique is becoming popular in commercial apple orchards as an efficient way to grow harvest and maintain fruit trees. I implement this technique on my citrus. It does take time and know how to prune and train the trees. A good Apple variety should give you 10-15 years of excellent production.

      1. I want to do this with apples, but in large tubs. Would that make a difference? They seem to die on a regular basis. It’s just unused space at the back of my garden…

      2. White Cracker:
        I prune my apple trees every year, and spray them with dormant spray in the spring. I prune them down to one or two buds, sometimes three, depending on which way I want the limb to go. I prune every limb on the tree. When they bloom, they look almost round. They have been producing heavy for the last 25 years, and still are very healthy trees. I also fertilize them every spring with a good compost. The moral is, if you learn to prune and take care of the tree, it will serve you for a long time. It is well worth learning to prune, and it’s really not that hard.

    2. Car Guy,
      If that apple doesn’t bloom, it could be a late frost killing the buds. If not that, might want to do a soils test. Lack of boron, manganese, iron can cause issues. I have found that these can be corrected by micronutrient foliar sprays very easily. Might ask at the county extension service about getting a soils test done.

  19. We have peach, plum, apricot and pecan. Would love to have some pear and apple. Not many people have apple around here. They don’t do very good.

    1. – Texasgirl,
      At the old house, the one which burned ,we had an Asian Pear that stood about 20 feet tall fully grown and averaged around fifteen gallons of fruit per year. The new owners bulldozed the damaged tree when clearing the lot, but I noticed that there a several volunteer plants coming upon a neighbors untended lot. I believe I may go retrieve a couple and plant here, as they are very apple-like when they are still a bit green. All of the volunteer trees that I have seen from similar trees have been fertile, and they are very sweet. My great-grandmother’s house in Corsicana, about an hour south of Dallas, had five pear trees growing out back. They did quite well, although apples did not.
      i can remember as a child my great-grandmother crying because her Quince tree had died, and she didn’t think she would be around to wait for another to grow old enough to bear. A member of the apple family, it was the source for pectin for her jams and jellies. and she would now have to buy boxed pectin.
      She also had old world fig and apricots growing in her yard.
      – Papa S.

        1. – Lauren,
          Oranges work too. Unfortunately, neither one grows there.
          – Papa

      1. When I lived in north Texas on 30 acres we had Keifer pear trees which are a native variety, one was about 30’ and halfway up the trunk was a old brick completely encased in the main fork, learned later that in the late 1800 there was a schoolhouse on the property and at some point somebody placed a brick in the tree. For ten years it would either give me bushels of pears or nothing if a late frost got the blooms. Great memories

        1. Realist,
          i have three kiefer pear trees and they produce well in my zone, 8b. brown turkey figs and blueberry’s. i planted two pomegranates this spring. we’ll see. i have given up on the apples here, it just doesn’t get cold enough in our area. the kiefers are perfect for canning. they are very hard but when you run them through a pressure canner in jars for an hr they soften up to like that of a Bartlett. a lot you can do with them, pear jelly or pear butter are two. anything you can do with an apple you can do with a pear.
          every old homestead in our area has at least one in the yard. they’re everywhere.
          Realist, i shot a squirrel out of a pine years ago and noticed a horse or mule bridle hanging from a branch about 20 foot up. i went and got my climbing tree stand and got it down. it’s on a nail on my porch now.

        2. Scout don’t forget pear pie! Squirrels like pears too and can be real pests in that respect.

  20. We made two orchard areas close to the creek and near my poultry pens; however, we have planted other fruit and nut trees throughout our land land in groups of three. Lots of American chestnuts and mulberries were planting doing this. The mulberries are also from local trees so I know they will do well. The American chestnuts are two varieties. One is from an original tree that my husband had survive on his parents’ home property. We try to grow out seeds each year. The other is a hybrid developed from these original American chestnuts that were developed here in NY by s guy that now sells them to nurseries. It is supposed to be a hardier strain. By planting in groups of three, I am hoping I have time to get a third pollinator growing out again without loss of production since two are (hopefully) still standing. I need to consider doing this (planting throughout the property) with the apple trees too I think. I have scouted an area that would be good to attempt in the next year or so.

    Next tree project is getting in the hickory trees that my son is having sent to me this spring…they were a Christmas gift. I love gifts like these!

    We have many things that will eat the trees and the fruit so all are fenced until they get big enough to withstand the deer and chickens and occasional free roaming pig. We get super high winds regularly where we live so that is another issue to be mindful about.

    The serviceberries seem to grow wild here as we have tons of them on the property, along with several wild and good tasting apple trees.

    The soil here is wonderful too even though we do have lots of rocks. The only downfall is our tyrannical governor.

    1. DamedinNY,
      re: your tyrannical governor. Like a bad lunch eaten, he too will eventually pass.

  21. How many of you that have orchards also have bears? I was told don’t even bother planting fruit trees if you have bears because they will eat it all, wreck the trees and it encourages them to stay close. I’m already going to take a chance with having chickens and I just wonder if I’ll have permanent bear residents if I provide chickens and fruit.

  22. MontanaHome,
    I agree both with Tommboy and SMG. We have a small orchard, and 6 acres of wine grapes. We are surrounded by farms that grow sweet corn. Yes, we do have bears, but in ten years have not had them come in close to the house or orchard adjoining it. (deer on the other hand will walk right through and help themselves. Have to control them.) You can buy a box of rubber-buckshot shot shells to use as “persuaders” with the bears. Once they get swatted a few times they will learn not to come into the orchard. You will have to keep this up for a few years. The Mama bears here teach their young where to go, and where not to go. I do just let the bears eat whatever grapes are left after harvest. They are a trouble in the sweet corn fields for my neighbors though. May have to try Tommyboy’s linguesa sausage idea. BTW, rendered bear fat is the best for flakey pastries and baking.

  23. Papa S.- That is really cool to have the volunteer plants coming up! How exciting. I hope they work out. Keep us updated, would love to know how that works out. My grandmother had a couple of fig trees in her yard when I was a kid. We would go out and eat figs fresh off the tree. I really miss that. I think I will give the pear trees a go.

    1. – Texasgirl,
      So far no luck on my transplants. they all keep dying as I cannot keep them watered well enough in our current drought. I do have 6 Pecan trees which are bearing & two American figs which I need to figure out how to prune so they will bear again. My little potted Meyer lemon seems to have sympathy leaf drop for the drought-stricken trees outside.

      I have tried several different plantings, but I seem to have a bigfoot problem (with the boys). That, and they have killed a couple of young trees (apple and cherry) when they get out with the mower.

      I’ll just have to keep trying. We’ll see.

      – Papa S.

      1. Papa Smurf
        When transplanting your garden plants, fruit trees or trees. Mix up Vitamin B1, it is for transplanting those plants which will lose their root hair and die from shock. Those trees/plants you are believing may not survive, you use this product on them to keep them alive.
        What I have done to keep those plants/trees alive is to plant them in extra-large flowerpots. When I realize that they will survive, I then prepare them for the fall planting. In the fall transplant them into the ground when I know that that watering them will not be taxing on the watering system.
        Not knowing if you are on a well or local watering system can make the difference in what you plant and what receives water.
        You may have to layer your plants/trees with extra compost material to keep the ground moist and not having to water all the time.

        1. Papa Smurf
          Something which I had not given much thought too. The water–if it is well water, it should be fine for watering your trees.
          If it is city water, you are dealing with the chemicals that they put into the water for making it potable to drink. yuck…
          Something for you to consider. It may not be your plants but the water they are drinking to stay alive.

        2. – AC,
          Nothing but well water, even when we lived in town. it’s just that we live in the “Saudi Arabia of wind power”; we have about two days per week with less than 20 MPH winds. Add a RH of around 20%, and all of our water evaporates and heads east for everyone else’s rainfall.

          – Papa

        3. I do not have a well but I do have barrels on my gutters. Rain water from the barrels does help the plants much better than city water. It’s a lot harder to carry the water to the garden but it is worth it.

  24. The bears you have in Montana are not the bears I would like to meet. Even in rural CA where I just moved from, the black bears come into yards, destroying fences, and eat the fruit. My gal pal had a black bear jump a fence and kill a couple goats last year. Since you will have livestock, consider fencing with energized fence and do it for the trees too.

  25. We have 1 honey crisp apple, 1 crabapple and 2 McIntosh apples. I have 2 hazelnuts and want to plant blueberries this year. Already ordered strawberry plants for a bed.

  26. My favorite is our little tangerine tree, sweet seedless and prolific for a small tree, our bananas are the best though, apple banana and produce year round, have 2 different patches, and they put out way more than we could ever eat

  27. Goumi is a good one not previously mentioned, full of vitamins. Makes good jelly but you might need to add red food coloring otherwise it looks like dirty dish water. The jelly tastes real similar to mayhaw and it fixes it’s own nitrogen so it doesn’t need fertilizer.

    Disease resistance is important. All of my fire blight resistant pears got it last spring during a extremely lengthy rain episode. They are recovering this year with only one or two pears each. Luckily we canned pears two years ago enough that we have some this year until next harvest. This could happen to you with any tree or bush so put up extra when you have it.

  28. Our zone 10A – we have meyer lemons (fantastic producer) fuji apples (5 years old and very prolific) x 2 and 1 surviving peach tree that made it through the fire; all are dwarf. We have to battle the birds, ground squirrels, rabbits, deer, coyotes and bear for the fruit. The deer jump the fence and eat our thompson grapes like it is a buffet for them; the coyotes can leap the fence but they tend to rip the grapes off from outside the fence. We have to cage the fruit we want to keep from the wildlife but it seems like if we go away for the weekend they all gang up and make a pitched assault.

  29. I have been slowly grafting over two male persimmon trees to female. All of my apple trees have been grafted each year to late fall cultivars. The pawpaw had many suckers sprout from the root system and I have been busy grafting all different varieties to each sprout. This is my third attempt at Jujube tree. The rabbits have taken out the last two attempts. I have had success growing a Medler tree and grafting over the black walnut to pecan.

  30. We moved here 2 and a half years ago and began planting trees. Here in Zone 8, we have planted apples, plums, pears, satsumas, Meyer lemons, oranges, Japanese persimmons, figs, mulberries, blueberries, muscadines and mayhaws. The mulberries are planted just outside the chicken pen, because they can get messy. Most of ours are planted in our yard or outer yard, so they are close to the house. The deer pruned our plum trees last winter. We hope to plant peach trees and pecan trees, too. Japanese persimmons may be my favorite. I am not too optimistic about enough chill hours for apples, but there is climate change!

  31. Not the best setup here on the side of the hill in wooded area. Zone 5b. I still managed to keep adding a couple of fruit trees a year for the past few years. Apple trees are the most plentiful in my mini orchard – a few Galas and then a Fuji for cross pollination, which as somebody had mentioned earlier, grows very slowly. The new addition is apple variety called EverCrsip, combination of Honeycrisp and Fuji, stores well and happened to be Gala cross pollinator as well. Gem of the orchard is a Sunglow nectarine – it’s truly outstanding, taste, growth and hardiness wise. I’ve added new Shiro plum, which is early blooming variety but I’m just gonna take my chances on that. And have a RedHaven peach tree, which is supposed to be hardier. It’s just starting to produce a little. And the last plum tree is Santa Rosa, which was supposed to be semi dwarf or dwarf and it growth like crazy. I easily get 5-6′ shoots every year. Can’t keep it in check. Its fruit is so so and larger than your typical Santa Rosa. A crazy though had crossed my mind the other day is just taking it down and replacing it with something less vigorous before I loose control of the situation. Its trunk diameter is about 5-6′ or so. I like the orchard though, more so I find than garden. Garden I suppose has no staying power where as orchard is in for a long haul.

  32. This is probably the MOST hostile environment I have ever lived in….for growing anything! We have planted apples, pears, peaches, cherries, Aspens, Spruce, Pine, Lilac, Barberry, Spirea, Russian sage, Sand cherry, cypress,,,,and managed to kill some of each despite being a VERY seasoned gardener. If it doesn’t die during the -26 degrees, it dies during the 85+ with 50+mile an hour winds during either degree. Freeze dried you say? Wind burned anyone? sheesh!
    Planted TWO rounds of tomatoes and lost them all again. DH says buy a bunch of canned and make my sauce from those. (sad) he is tired, so am I….but NOT entirely defeated just yet.

    1. PioneerWoman,
      You live just over the “divide” from me, but I am subjected to same conditions. Spring/summer wind and sun take a high toll. I started making scrap osb board wind/sun screens for my trees/ lavender/ everything.Two 12-14″ x 10″ nailed together at 90° (bigger if needed to match seedling size) and placed with joint facing south. Mortality dropped by a huge amount. Put stuff on drip irrigation too, watered once a week spring/summer/ fall first season. Then several times during winter depending on snowfall. All this took my successes to in the 85% range. Just my experience and 2 cents. Hope it helps.

    2. pioneer woman
      Read what you had to say about trying to keep your trees alive with such major swings in the local environment.
      Let us go back to the place where you once resided to where you reside now. Major changes as in you no longer have the hills to break the winds from causing temperate swings.
      You may have to set up covers or wind breaks along your property in order to give the trees a chance to survive in the area where you now presently reside. The next step is to keep the water down to the tree’s roots, which means you will need larger circles around the trees. You will require holding areas with a good top covering of compost materials in order to maintain the moisture. You may have to give them the Vitamin B1 we had discussed before but more often. As it appears that the soil for the plants/trees they are not adapting to their environment as expected.
      Tell your dh not to be discouraged, as I have traveled through that area where I believe you reside. Have been there in summertime/fall so I know it can be hard on those plants to thrive.
      You may have to build a plastic grow house to give the plants a chance to survive in the area where you reside. In other words, a place that gives them time to adjust to the environment before putting them in the ground.
      Know it is hard expecting them to adjust to the area where you want to put them in the soil but sometimes, we have to give them a chance to climatize before putting them in the ground.

  33. Tmac
    It may not be the plants’ fault; it could be the water you are using on your trees. Take a look at what I posted to Papa Smurf about water, it does make a difference.

    1. AC, Tmac,
      i did maintenance work at a water treatment plant in our capitol city for a long time. O.B.Curtis. they drew water out of a river that is a major watershed just below a reservoir and spillway stirring that stuff up, they treated it with arsenic, cyanide and chlorine to kill the bugs before it went into the pools for UV treatment, the chemicals did not leave. i have been there and seen it. that water would eat the bottom out of a water heater in 8 yrs. it was good for business. thank God i don’t live anywhere close to that place. it can’t be good for anything. no telling how much roundup and other chemicals have washed into it.

  34. PioneerWoman,
    Should have said, ” watered trees” once a week. Tender plants will likely need daily watering as you know. It’s a fight to prevent dessication.

  35. If you have a wet area, and don’t get heavy frosts, try planting a macadamia orchard. They love wet feet, and they will turn a wet patch into a dry patch quickly enough.

    You can keep them in the shell as a natural preservative, and nothing beats them as a source of oil. You can cook with macadamia oil, or make biodiesel with it.

    If you have an acre of swamp land off in the back that you don’t drive your tractor to for fear of getting it stuck, start putting macadamia’s in.

  36. Will,
    Mac’s do love cool and higher altitudes along with the wet feet. My uncle owned an orchard, he invented the tree shaker to harvest the nuts.
    Royal Hawaiian Macadamias finally bought him out.

  37. Living in the Puget Sound area, we have our own microclimates. We planted apple, pear, plum, and cherry trees twenty years ago when we bought our land, but hadn’t yet built. We’ve fought apple maggots (they’re awful!), but still harvest a lot of good fruit. Our cherry trees apparently are reserved for the birds, because we rarely get any. As a child, we had large harvests of queen Anne cherries in our home in a residential neighborhood.

    Our Bartlett pears are ready in August/September and our Bosc pears in September/October. We eat fresh, canned, and dehydrated. Our Italian prune has been a good producer, but what I’ve learned is that plum varieties are susceptible to rotting. The tree trunk on our yellow plum is half rotten. Same thing happened to our neighbors Italian prune when I was a child. Around 20 years seems to be their lifespan here. Frost free peach is the one variety recommended for western Washington. Ours has been prolific and is self-fertile. We also have a fig tree, but the one we had at our old house in town was much more prolific. This area grows an abundance of varieties of berries, both native and planted. Our fruit trees and berries have provided the bulk of what we’ve been able to grow on our place. And they’ve been less labor intensive for us.

  38. Last month we planted two apple, two cherry, two pear, and two blueberry bushes. They were all purchased from a tree farm. We also added two more maples. I am working on plants for under the trees to help them thrive, such as lupines. We have them all individually fenced in, as we’ve had some deer issues around here, more than normal this year. One of the pear trees has red/black spots, with little holes appearing, so I will be researching that and treating it accordingly.

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