Plant a Food Producing Tree

As I sit here on the back porch enjoying the fine weather at a friend’s home here in California during our cross-country road trip, I can’t help but notice the fruit producing trees all around the yard – especially the orange trees which are currently loaded with beautiful oranges!

While not all climates are conducive for growing food producing trees (e.g. fruit trees), I can’t help but notice the tremendous benefit for those who do have these fruit trees or other such food producing trees on their property!

Here’s why:


-Self sufficiency

The Fruit Gardener’s Bible


Health Benefits from your own Food Producing Tree

When’s the last time you compared the taste of a grocery store fruit and a homegrown fruit fresh off the tree? As I ate one of the delicious oranges from our friend’s tree, I was amazed yet again to the stark difference in taste! These oranges were sweet, juicy, and downright delicious. A store-bought orange might be comparatively bland, dry, and not so delicious (they are typically picked before ripe and shipped long distances to stores).

You cannot get any healthier than harvesting and eating the fruits produced from trees on your property. You are in control of your food producing tree whereas a store-bought fruit might have been sprayed with all sorts of chemicals and pesticides (not to mention everyone handling them from start to finish).

Tip: Use White Vinegar To Clean Today’s Dirty Contaminated Vegetables

Many varieties of fruits (and vegetables) that you see in grocery stores are grown from varieties specifically tailored for their longevity during distribution and shelf life – perhaps at the expense of their taste and maybe even their healthy attributes.


Financial Benefits from your own Food Producing Tree

It should go without saying that the food you will harvest is essentially free. The costs of all foods have generally been going up (as most all things do), and if you take advantage of an entire harvest of a given fruit tree, the savings will be substantial.

Even if you can’t eat all that food/fruit, you could give it away for beneficial trades or goodwill towards your neighbors (who may return the favor in one way or another). During a time of hardship (or worse) beneficial food producing trees will become an asset for sure.

The Holistic Orchard


Self-sufficiency Benefits from your own Food Producing Tree

When you grow and harvest your own food, be it from a fruit bearing tree or a garden, you are becoming more self sufficient from the system that is designed to keep you reliant upon (the system).

Growing your own food will enable a real and rewarding sense of liberty and freedom while harvesting and preserving your bounty will add to your deep food storage pantry!

Food preservation techniques and equipment are readily available and fairly easy to implement. For example, you might consider dehydrating and/or home canning.

apricot jam

I recall a number of years ago when a friend of ours didn’t want her apricot fruit tree harvest to go to waste. She was elderly and unable to do it herself. She let us pick baskets full of apricots, which we used to make 4 cases of apricot jam during one Saturday. Not only was it fun and rewarding, the comparative grocery store value was about $200!

Take a tip from this example, if you don’t already have fruit producing trees or if you notice that your neighbor does, you might ask them if they would be willing to let you harvest the fruit in exchange for providing them with some of your finished product. Chances are they will let you!


What Fruit Trees Can I Grow Where I Live?

grapefruit cluster
(From our grapefruit tree when we lived in a warmer climate)

Today I live in a cooler northern climate, however we can grow copious apple trees! There are lots of wild apple trees all over, however I did plant a few new varieties last year.

Check out your hardiness grow zone and discover what trees might grow in your climate.

Grow a Little Fruit Tree: Simple Techniques

Set a goal to go out and buy a food producing tree! Don’t wait another year (it takes awhile until they will bear fruit). Do it now, you will thank yourself later.


  1. I think that growing ONLY beneficial trees and other plants makes sense – if you have to care for it, it may as well give the owner something back. We have a lemon and orange tree in our backyard, along with several stands of aloe vera and spineless cactus for medicinal and food. Mesquite and ebony trees provide beans for food as well.

    Absolutely no standard lawn grass, only natural occurring plants which in many cases provide food. Not a pretty lawn that requires lawn sprinkling and fertilizers – its a good thing we don’t live in an area that neighborhood has standards for appearances.

    1. It irritates me to no end that the city has fines if you don’t keep your yard “properly groomed,” which in essence means grass, and you have to buy the water from them. Talk about a monopoly!

  2. If you plant a tree that needs a companion in order to produce you might want to consider planting more than just the two trees. We had two plums trees. When one developed a disease and died, the other could no longer produce fruit without another to cross pollinate. Then before we could replace the dead tree, the other tree was taken down by Mother nature during a bad storm.

    Some fruit trees are self pollinating but not all.

  3. We have several fruit trees in our yard.

    2 pecan trees, 5 peach trees, 3 plum trees, 2 apple, 2 pear and 2 pomegranate trees. Each tree will bear fruit at different times of the year.

    Last week we got a “collard tree”.

    The fruit trees produce so much, that we give half of it to the senior citizens group.

  4. Uh-Oh… Cue the frothy, rabid Cali-hate…. (the line forms to the rear) INCOMING!

    Let’s see..

    Oranges – Dwarf Tangelos – Meyer Lemons – Kalmata Olives – Guavas – Grapes – Pomegranate – Dragon Fruit – Mexican Limes – Cherries – Pluots – Plums – Cherimoyas.

    Yes we suck. Well and truly. Not a single redeeming value in the whole God forsaken place. Enjoy the fresh produce Ken, for time is now short until the collective consciousness has all of us sliding into the ocean. And the weather is awesome this week too.


    1. @ McGyver

      Ok Ok, if I can be at the front of the line I’ll be nice…. HAHAHA

      I will say with all the fruit you listed it proves my point though, all the Fruits are in Calif, Sorry could not resist :-)

      I will admit I’m jealous of your fruit trees, I have a LOT of apples, a few Apricot, and Nectarine trees around that produce rather well, other than that, it’s Sam’s Club for me :-( :-( :-(


      1. EnnArePee,

        I happen to LIKE fruits and nuts and the fact that California is famous for them.

        Gunny Hartman already explained Texas; I’m good!

        Hey, speaking of effed up places, I’m back in New York all next week, out at O’dark-thirty Monday. I’ll be looking for the great New Mexican TP monument as we cross Farmington VOR.

        1. @ McGyver

          I’ll light a few dozen rolls with some shine on them, ya won’t miss it…. LOLOL

          New York huh???? we’ll be praying for ya….. :-)


    2. I dunno,,, Cali has a plethora of leggy blondes, all ages and sizes,, that cant be bad,
      They have Disney land too! Happyest place on earth!
      Lots of beautiful in Cali if you turn of the pessimist,
      How do i know? Its the same here, well, except for the blondes and disney, but if you can turn off the pessimist for a bit every day theres lots to see

      1. Nailbanger,

        Yeah, ummm, about the “leggy blonds”… all the ones God made left California back in the 80’s. The one’s that remain are either remanufactured by Dow Corning… or they are “in-tranny-sition”.

        Disneyland?? At >$100 a ticket and shoulder-to-shoulder masses of stinking humanity, the place is a fetid, irresistible fat target for a terror attack. Last time I went was over ten years ago. I lasted little more than an hour before grabbing some pimple-face in a clown shirt and imploring him to help me find exit-land. .

        1. Well, in my own defence, its been about 30 years since i was in Cali, a lot happens in 30 years

        2. @ McGyver

          Ok you got me laughing and snorting tea out my nose on that one…..

          “The one’s that remain are either remanufactured by Dow Corning…” HAHAHAHA


        3. As one who raised his family in Orange County, I can personally attest to the amount of Dow Corning “specialties” that are STILL out there. Whenever we hit the beach (which was often), it WAS “difficult” to not appreciate the efforts of the entire R&D design team at Dow… that I’m older and gravity is working against me, I do appreciate their designs more and more from a purely art and esthetic perspective of course!

    3. Don’t forget to ad Avocado to your plantings. Excellent source of fat and oils. If you can grow citrus Avocado should work too.

      1. White Cracker: (funny, I’ve been called that)

        So sad, My avocado tree I planted ten years ago finally started to produce last spring… then the hard drought killed it. They need a lot of water.

  5. 4 baby orange saplings and 1 lemon producing tree.
    I live in the north east –
    “How can they grow???”
    I bring them in on Columbus Day, and set them out on the day that taxes are due.
    It works.
    I just keep the lemon tree on wheels. It hangs on the sunny deck in the summer. In the winter, it lives in the south sunny window.
    Meyers Lemon Tree – If you know anyone that has one, you can ask for seeds or order a sapling from many online sellers of said tree.

    The orange trees were started from seed.
    Hint – If you are ambitious enough to start a citrus tree from seed… you must first peel off the waxy coating. This wax is why the seeds slip from your fingers… Once you take those off…. put a few drops of peroxide in a cup and get your paper towel wet – and germinate your seeds in a ziploc bag in a dark warm area (70F will do). After the roots are approx one inch or more in size – for each seed transplant into individual small dixie cups with a few drain holes… and watch them grow.
    I add coffee grounds and egg shells to my composted loam for the seedlings.
    They are doing quite well. I have transplanted into larger pots. This summer, I will put them in a larger container yet again.
    I’m hoping next year I will have oranges…
    Again – Citrus in the North East IS POSSIBLE.

    Mango trees are just too large. I would love a mango tree.
    Banana’s aren’t worth it to me to grow.
    Pineapple is very neat – Look for the pineapple seeds within the pineapple when you slice off the outer skin. You can’t miss them. The size of a dog flea nesting in the little holes of the yellow fruit.
    You can most likely plant them straight away – but, if you want, you could possibly germinate them like the process I mentioned above. I don’t think it would take long for pineapple seeds to sprout.

    Time to plant lettuce and other wonderful greens.
    Happy spring everyone!

    1. Yo3
      Slice the top off the pineapple place it in a good quality growing material. It will take root, before lone you have a pineapple plant that will produce fruit. The time table from cutting to actual fruit production I am not sure of at this time.

      1. I think you have to peel back some of the green to expose the roots. I did some quick research on it – once upon a time.
        (I figgered you meant LONG) :)

  6. lets not forget all the delicious animals that will be drawn to your yard to eat the fruit

    1. Mr. Dog,

      The same fence that keeps my two dogs inside, tends to keep opportunistic critters outside. Those same two dogs (friends of yours?) contained in my yard provide free security against birds that fly over the fence and gophers that dig under the fence.

      Life – balanced.

  7. I ve tried to plant several fruit trees on my property only to find them destroyed by wild animals.. Ill have to invest in fencing around them till they are able to grow tall and strong.

      1. We planted two extra deer apple trees up on the hill behind the house, so that “our deer” would go after those long before venturing down into the yard. Unfortunately, my wife five years ago, during a pariticularly hard winter, put apples out in our deck!, for the baby deer and their mommies.
        So now, they come up on the deck, never mind the GSDs, and DEMAND thier entitlement of apples! I do keep thelittle pellet rifle handy, to sting their flanks when they get “too close ” to the garden or the. , part of the yard the trees are in.
        At least I don’t lure them up onto the deck….

    1. Uncle B, I bought 40 fruit trees a couple of years back (local nursery misordered and got 50 of each type of tree instead of the 5 they wanted… Gave me the trees for cost, so good deal all around!) Apples (3 varieties), Pears and Peaches (2 varieties each) and Damson plums (self pollinating)

      To protect them I put up T posts around the whole orchard and strung 30LB fishing line at 1 foot levels around the perimeter. Deer would hit the line and not being able to see it, back off. Yea, we had some broken lines and replaced them as we went and the Fawns (like kittens, puppies and teenagers) hit it and shrugged off the convenience, so we replace the lower lines more often…

      Ended up replacing line every 3-4 weeks but lost no apple, pear or peach trees to the deer… they DID however eat EVERY one of the plum trees (they were on the edge but they were apparently VERY tasty!) Lost a few to something else too but all in all we have about 32 of the 40 trees blooming this year.

      Looking to replace the dead trees and expanding to 48 or 52 trees this year (we have them ranked 4 deep, so multiples of 4 work for us in this orchard.)

      We also have a lime (Thai), lemon (Myer) Orange and Grapefruit tree that are each about 4 years old and producing (we move them into a greenhouse during the winter (Virginia, zone 7)… not a lot of fruit, but something different and they mature during our winter so makes a real treat.


      1. Try the (self-pollinating) Green Gage plum, unbelievably tasty and can set fruit up to three times per year.

  8. My comments here are in no way intended to discourage anyone. I love fruit trees and the fruit they produce. I’m only posting my experience over the last 25 years. Hopefully this will give some insight into what obstacles lie ahead for newbie’s.

    Fruit trees are a great addition to the self sufficient garden. If you can get UN-GRAFTED, NATIVE heirloom stock and then keep the bugs and disease away without using a smorgasbord of chemicals, and then keep them from freezing in the winter, or keep varmits from ringing and killing the young trees, or keep a hurricane or tornado from blowing them down you might have some success. Also, as Peanut Gallery pointed out some trees require companion planting and that compounds the problem if one of the two trees dies. You need lots of perseverance!. Been there, done that. Over the years, I’ve planted, Orange, Apple, Grapefruit, Peach, Pear, Plum, Cherry, Avocado, Pecan, Lemon, Persimmon, Satsuma, figs and bananas. The only thing I have today are pecans, bananas and figs.

    You will probably have better success if you find UN-GRAFTED, NATIVE stock but good luck with that. I’ve never been able to find any. Today, virtually all of the fruit trees sold by ALL of the big box stores (SAM’s, Wal-mart, Home depot, Lowe’s, etc…) and local nurseries, both small and large, are GRAFTED stock. They do that for several reasons; it’s cheaper and quicker to turn a profit; it keeps the customer from planting the seeds from the fruit and in turn producing their own tree stock, and it keeps the customer coming back year after year to buy more trees that will never produce because the grafts die and all you have left is some bizarre hybrid lemon like monstrosity that produces nothing but thorns, or thorns and some evil tasting fruit that the devil couldn’t even eat, and then you go back an naively buy another, and another, and another. I wonder how many millions of dollars these jerks have made from idiots like me? Planting seeds from a grafted fruit will only produce a foul tasting abomination. Your best bet is to find a neighbor or friend that has achieved some level of temporary success and bum or barter fruit from them during the limited number of years they produce. ;) Planting nursery stock is nothing but a big crap shoot.

    Find yourself some heirloom, un-grafted native tree stock.

    I applaud and cheer for all of you out there that have had success with fruit trees… you should feel blessed and thankful.

    1. I hear this all the time and I MUST put my two cents worth in. Or 3, according to NRP, because inflation.

      Actually most of my fruit trees are seedlings, and the fruit tastes fine.

      My neighbor has one of the best apple trees I’ve ever seen, ungrafted, grown accidentally from seed. About 20 feet tall, spreading, with perfect fruit and as far as I know she doesn’t spray. My sister has a 30 + year old peach tree, also grown from seed, with big juicy peaches. Yes, if you grow fruit from under the graft you don’t know what you’ll get because the grafted tree was bred for certain traits and may not even be the same type of tree as the top. But seeds grow and fruit quite readily.

      The same idiots you mentioned above spread these rumors about seedling fruit tasting nasty, or the trees not fruiting at all, and everybody buys it. The main drawback is that when you buy a tree you’re buying a mature root system so you might get fruit in a year or two. With a seedling you’re looking at five to ten, sometimes fifteen years before they fruit depending on the type of tree.

      Right now I have two seedling apples and a seedling peach that need to be transplanted. I took a root cutting from below the graft on our 40 yo plum and started some seeds to hopefully recreate the grafted tree. Since it’s lasted this long I figure it’s a good bet.

      1. @ Lauren

        Thanks. “The same idiots you mentioned above spread these rumors…”

        I didn’t post something from a rumor. I have actually experienced this several times with both oranges and pears and several of my friends and neighbors have too. Planted several of these and later either the graft failed or the tree wasn’t what it was originally advertised, but either way, the original stock continued to grow nicely, 4-5 years later it started bearing fruit. We patiently waited and salivated all season, gleefully waiting for our bountiful first harvest of luscious tasting oranges (or pears), only to discover after they had ripened that they were the most horrible tasting stuff we ever tasted. Totally inedible. Wound up cutting them down and burning them. 4-5 years or more wasted. We planted a pear tree that grew for 10 years and never produced anything but thorns. Wound up cutting that one down too. One supposed orange tree survived for 10 years producing fruit from hell. We had to wear armor, full face shields and elbow length gauntlets to cut it up because of all the 3” long poison needle like spikes. More like spikes than thorns and one puncture would ache for days. I’m getting too old to fool around with trees that take as much as a decade to produce and when they produce the fruit is inedible. This is a young persons game since the time from planting to harvest takes so long. Anyway, my luck with fruit trees has been nothing but bad.

        Again, I applaud any one who has fruit trees that produce well. I wish I could do the same. If you can find seeds or seedlings from un-grafted heirloom stock then you are blessed or lucky. I’ve never been able to find a true seedling or plant a fruit seed that did anything but take up a lot of my time, only to die or produce hideous tasting fruit. Although my banana trees produce well after mild winters and the pecan trees have done fairly well so far. Just saying.

        1. I was referring specifically to seeds–In rereading I see that you were talking mainly about grafts. The rootstock are never the same variety and are often, as you say, garbage trees, chosen for disease resistance, fast maturity, etc. It’s seeds that I’ve had success with. The tree seeds will follow the scion and whatever pollinator is in the area–the rootstock doesn’t affect the seeds. And yet I’m told every year, usually multiple times, that I’m stupid for growing fruit trees from seed and that they’ll never fruit. When I explain that I have gotten fruit from them, the answer is usually, “Well, you won’t get anything good.”

          Try “trees of antiquity” (as a website) or google “heirloom scion wood (fill in the blank with your location).” Possibly also “heirloom scion wood exchange (fill in the blank).” I can almost guarantee there are old orchards in your area that still have the original trees, but it may take some searching to find them. The treesofantiquity trees ARE grafted. If there are orchards in your area you may find a farmer who’s willing to give you root starts.

        2. @Lauren

          Thanks Lauren, I will check out their website. Did not know about them.

  9. dont’ forget to check out/try planting some of the more unusual trees, that unexpectedly often grow well in cold / odd climates.

    Sea Buckthorn
    Haskap Berry

  10. We have bananna trees, tons of em and going to plant more, at any given time throughout the year we have 10-20 going off, thats a lot of banannas, the birds are a problem with them though, and rats, rats can be poisoned, not so sure what to do about the mynah birds though, they are basicly flying rats as they have a lot of the same habits,
    My stone fruits all produce pretty well, have trouble with the nectarines, theres a blight that affects them causing all the fruit to mildew, and i mean serious kind, this year im going to try spraying the tree from the time the fruit sets, almost there right now, and its loaded, i mean seriously loaded, have wild peach trees that produce quite well too, peaches are decent, a bit tart and smaller but still good, wish there was an easier way to get the skin off, made some bangin peach pies last year even though. My plum trees just dont produce much, but i think thats because i just leave them sorta wild and are not real happy looking, guess i should clean em up, its on the to do list ? Its a long long list

    1. Nailbanger,

      Your fruit trees sound wonderful…
      Love nanas, nectarines, yummy yummy

      Up here in PA on our little homestead
      we have 4 mature apple trees (probably planted in the 1970’s)
      and pear and plum trees (we planted) that produce a lot of fruit especially the plums
      loaded with plums is an understatement :)
      Often the over ripe ones fall off and the chickens eat them
      I make plum sauce and pear sauce (just like applesauce) and freeze it.
      We also have two cherry trees (about 4 years since we planted them as very small trees). We have trouble keeping birdies (I think) from eating the cherries (tart cherries btw)

      Fare the well Nailbanger :)

      1. We have these sad little apple trees, its funny when they put out fruit, look like the branches will break off! Our Avo seems to have fruit year round, think its an anomoly, or maybe time flies and im not observant enough?
        I think im going to clean the plum trees this weekend and tie down a bunch of the branches to train them out,,, we had huge plum trees where i grew up, still remember climbing around in them to pick the plums,,, good memories, mom making plum jam,,

    2. Nailbanger
      When you are ready to make that peach pie or cobbler here is way to get the skins off stone fruit.
      You will need two large pots, one slotted ladle, your paring knife. The pots will have hot water in and in the other one ice water.

      Place the amount of peaches you can peel at one time (4-5)into the hot water one at a time. Remove the peaches same way they went in, first in…first out. About 3-5 minutes depending on how hot the water will be, then the skin should be easy to remove. In order to stop the peaches from browning place them back into a cold water with lemon juice up to 1/4c depending on the size of the bowl.

      Same procedure is done for tomatoes when you want to remove the skins(no lemon juice).

      1. Thanks for the tip!
        I tried the hot water thing but am guessing i didnt leave them in long enough, and think my second pot wasnt cold enough, my bud told me to get a bunch of ice together and keep the water real cold

        1. Nailbanger
          Hot water is to loosen the skins from the fruit, cold water stops the fruit from cooking. If it did not work the first time leave in the hot hot water longer then ice water.

  11. I live at 7600 feet where only Juniper, Pinion Pine and some Ponderosa Pine live. We have had fruit trees here and they bloom in late Feb early Mar and then freeze in Mar and April so no fruit. My husband took our old garden that was abandon and put 15 semidwarf trees in cattle lick tubs, enclosed 4 ft from the ground with tin panels and covered on the outside with dirt, then put on a poly vinyl cream colored roof, and enclosed the sides with removable panels covered with solex. When it drops below 34 he lights off propane heaters on low all night. When it is above 40 he takes off the removable panels so the bees can pollinate the fruit. It is also lined with the original chicken wire to keep out the deer and elk and bridies. They are in lick tubs because we have pocket gophers that seem to be immune to various forms of death! It also keeps out coyotes and badgers, but the bears can be rough on the chicken wire when they are determined. Last year we had peaches, apples, plums, cherries, pears, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and currents. Ken if you would like pix, just email me.

  12. TSC has pear and apple trees this week for $20…I can’t plant here because a neighbor has a fungus on her trees she will probably never conquer.
    It is the verticillium wilt that affected all our tomatoes and only by using Actinovate did I get tomatoes last year after 3 years of not having any.

    I do want fruit trees, but just can’t see buying, planting, spraying(actinovate is expensive!!) when the fungus is just a few houses away.

    Every homeowner should be smart enough to plant fruit trees but it just ain’t happening.

    1. Research which trees are immune to or not affected by that particular wilt. And I’m not suggesting trees that are ‘resistant.” If it affects apples it may not affect stonefruits, or berry bushes. It just depends. Not all diseases affect all plants.

      If it’s actually verticillium wilt, you should be able to plant apples, pears, walnuts, but avoid stonefruits. Identification is the key.

      1. I really was inclined to plant dwarf, fast-bearing trees. I plan to move from this house, downsize soon, and esp. if I am a widow.
        I had pear and peach in my last house in Tn. and those trees bore fruit the second year!

  13. I recall reading somewhere that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

  14. Living in a zone 2, I miss some of the fruits that grew in Illinois. When I lived in Pennsylvania it was a zone 2 on the mountain where I lived, and zone 3 in the valley. I had a friend there who grew miniature oranges inside her home.

    But putting that aside, I have found wild apple trees growing along the National Forest roads which may have been a northern variety apple thrown out of a car window with it’s core. Apple trees have been bred to grow this far north, but I found if you bruise the limbs in late July, the apples will ripen faster. Crab apples bear fruit quicker than apples up here.

    Plums are like apples and take a long time to sweeten, but I only found wild plums in the forest. My red wild cherries ripen late July, and I have to fight off the birds who try to get them before I do, and they are sweet if left to another week of ripening to a dark red. These are the best for eating out of hand.

    The other trees on my property are Juneberry which are delicious raw in red to purple fruits. Some grow 20 feet tall but the trunks are flexible to bend to get the fruits.

    The other fruits that grow well on my land are of the wild variety in shrub size like raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, blueberries, wild rose hips, and wild grapes, while high bush cranberries are found near the bogs. I am still eating the cranberry/raspberry jam I made 2 years ago, and have 3 jars of crabapple/wild grape to open yet, all from the forest around me growing wild or wild varieties.

    I usually find these fruit bearing plants/trees growing where they won’t survive and transplant them in open areas where they will bear fruit. This forest produces a free wild nursery already genetically acclimated to harsh conditions. I don’t trust store nurseries because many of their fruit trees were grown down south and don’t survive the cold temps this far north.

    1. It’s one reason that I really like the trees from seed–each generation is more acclimated to our local environment.

  15. Good and timely article. I am reading the comments with interest. I already made some plans for my new lot and have purchased some trees from our local conservation district (due to arrive May 3.) More about that tomorrow in the Weekend Preparedness post.

    I will watch the “comments” today to see if anyone else has some ideas about Zone 3 fruit trees. I have part of my new lot planned, but there will be room for some more.

  16. I live in the wet side of Oregon where agriculture is big. The new expensive trend up here is Pinot grapes for wine. We are surrounded by hazelnuts, peaches, plums nectarines apples many more. It is a rich area.

    To Nailbanger: Unknown how much rainfall you get and how warm it is year round. Many of my farming relatives grew peaches and nectarine commercially in California’s Central Valley south of Fresno. The climate there was ideal and that is why there is still commercial ag taking place there. Some fruit need the heat of long, hot summers to really increase the sugar content for the fruit prior to harvest. Most of the tall leggy blondes I met and knew were imported from the Midwest or the color came from a bottle (Miss Clairol) Many trying to get into the movie industry.

    To McGyver: Good for you! Every fruit bearing tree you mentioned is another reason that makes California special. My parents home had a lemon tree and a valencia orange tree in the backyard and many of my relatives are still involved in commercial agriculture. Parents next door neighbor had 2 bee hives and a grove of avocado trees. Lastly, the homes of my grandparents and mentors had their favorite fruit trees in their own back yard which were lovingly tended until the day they passed away (persimmons, plums, loquats other citrus varietals-so many out there) and we cannot forget the strawberries still being grown there.

    California was and still has rich land where a non-native can step off a boat or plane and plant just about anything and make it grow. My ancestors did that from japan and the Spanish did that when they set up the mission system up and down the coast. The limiting factors are: access to water.

    Driving around farms and spreading mist netting on trees for birds and popping ground squirrels in fruit orchards was where I got my start in my old side business of pest control an farms and ranches. When all their capitol is wrapped up in the irrigation systems and tractors, sometimes I was paid in fruit, beef or vegetables. (resource rich, cash poor)

    Each region has their specific climate zone where some things do VERY well. I try to grow things that do well in my new home. (been gone from California for 7.5 years now.) My only hunting these days are for animals deemed to be agricultural pests. When I get home from work, i like to watch the deer come to the edge of my yard to nibble on my squash plants. There is plenty for all of us now. My yard is being converted gradually into an edible landscape and kept as chemical free as I know how to do.

  17. I have 3 apples trees, they’re so old they are starting to die. The fruit is really good if you can find some that the birds haven’t already eaten. As I’m reading from the commenters I’m wondering if I should try to save seeds for replanting – as I am no expert.

  18. Due to all the rain the trees will be laden with fruit hopefully this year. Know we will have bugs packing their bags to move for the pic a fruit buffet. We do not use chemicals on the trees so a massive banana supply will be require this year. Have not feed them in the past 4 years so it is now a necessity this year can see the difference in the peach trees and others for stock & leaf health.

    We added 3-apples, 1-necturine, 2-peaches, 2-cheery trees. Now to keep all the critters from lining up for a snack.

  19. We have 6 Pecan trees. Had to cut down 2 dwarf peach trees, and planted 2 fig trees. Trying to figure out what other trees will do well here.

  20. Even on the Canadian prairies we can have a multitude of fruit trees & shrubs. In the past few years the university has even developed apples not just crab apples that do well in our climate. Of course peaches are still out of our climatic reality but we can also grow sour cherries, plums, saskatoons, haskaps, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, grapes, and they have now come out with a pear & an apricot. We have purchased both of those but they have not produces yet so we will see. I hear the apricot only produces every other year. Also in the wild we have a high bush cranberry which is not related to the thanksgiving cranberry & tastes much different but makes a great jelly & a passable sauce, chokecherry, pincherry, & hazelnuts which are related to the filbert. Wild blueberries grow in some areas but not ours. We are indeed blessed even though outsiders sometimes complain.

  21. @oldlady, forget the pics, send us the fruit :) Have not grown citrus, however, I do know of someone who lives in a non-citrus( USDA) grow zone, that is growing citrus trees inside a greenhouse. Has anyone in MSB land tried this?

  22. We have a 2 cherrie, a 5in1 apple, an almond tree, and 2 hazel nut trees outside. On our south facing 7X67 glassed in porch DH and DD have 4 lemon trees, 3 orange, 3 banana trees, 2 lime trees and a dwarf pomagranate tree. DH planted a herd of arkansas black apple seeds, now growing but only about 3 to 6 inches tall. We also move the porch trees out for the bees to visit.

  23. To me: This sounds like tree planting advice from an accountant.

    Tree orchards for fruits and nuts as well as grape vines are planted by land owners as tax shelters because they do not produce marketable crop for at least the first 15 years after planting. The next 15 years are considered the prime production years for a tree, vine or shrub. Everything after 30 years is considered a bonus as most commercial growers will take it out of production. Old vines increase in value because the grapes and wine produced is said to have: “character” I just like it because it tastes good. (I’m a redneck- you could probable tell)

    Many vineyards in the Sonoma Valley were purchased by physicians that work in the Bay Area for this exact reason. Many of the owners can be met in the pouring rooms on the weekends or their days off. I did some pest control work in many vineyards over the years.

  24. Old farmhouse in NJ from the mid 1950s. One of the reasons we bought it was it had 5 established apple trees. I will be planting some more to break up the age for the future. Orchard up the road may have some saplings I can buy. It also had some peach trees that are too old and a huge cherry that dumps a ton of fruit on our deck. The blueberries the previous owner had were lost my first summer here as I tried to get a handle on what I needed to maintain. All on 2 acres, plus my garden.

  25. If you are going to grow fruit trees, consider grafting on other varieties the produce in the spring, mid summer, and fall on the same tree. If you need a pollinator, graft it on the tree that needs pollination. Consider grafting over walnut and/to pecan. Graft persimmon male and female to the same tree. For chestnuts graft the American and Asian to the same tree. For Pawpaw get native root stock grafted to exotic. A sweet cherry can have a pie branch, too.

  26. Consider using old, bare, copper wire/tube twists to keep Fireblight at bay. Hang the wire/tube twists around the upper branches so that the copper oxide drizzles down the tree during rain storms to treat the tree. Careful when pruning so you don’t spread Fireblight.

  27. I have a volunteer Bradford pear (I think) on my property. It has some fruit about the size of a quarter. Can this fruit be used for anything? If so, when would be the best time to harvest? Thanks.

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