Edible Horticulture

Fruit Trees

Some suggested fruit trees

Apple
Apricot
Cherry
Mulberry
Paw Paw
Peach
Asian Pear
European Pear
Persimmons
Plum

Apple - Apple trees are well known by many people around the country and particularly those in the northeast. There are hundreds of different cultivars that come in all different sizes. Dwarf, semi dwarf, mini dwarf and full size are available for many types. Compared to other fruit trees it is hard to get high quality fruit from apple trees. With careful management or chemical spraying high quality fruit can be obtained. Pruning may be necessary to produce a more productive structure in larger cultivars where less pruning is required on smaller cultivars. Apples are very attractive when blooming. Apples may pose some problems. Yellow jackets, deer and other woodland animals are attracted to the apples that fall on the ground. Also the fruit litter may pose inconvenience to people when around the tree. Apples may be kept with out preservation for many months as long as they are kept cool and dry.

This table contains different characteristics of Apple 
Environmental Characteristics Life Expectancy Size First Fruit Yields
Full sun, well drained slightly acidic soil. Hardiness zone- 4-9 60+ years depending on cultivar. Varies greatly with cultivar 2-3 years Mini Dwarf- 10-20 Lbs.Full Size- Up to 100+ Lbs


Apricot - Apricots are unusual in that after a cold winter dormant period they awake rapidly and begin their fruiting cycle. This characteristic can be problematic in areas with milder winters and areas with late frost tendencies because the tree may awaken to early, begin to flower and then be hit by frost, causing fruit loss for that year. Trees should be pruned to have an open center. The apricot's foliage is a beautiful bronze which turns green as it mature and the flowers are a beautiful pink in early spring. Apricots can be attacked by scale insects and are vulnerable to fire blight.

This table contains different characteristics of Apricot 
Environmental Characteristics Life Expectancy Size First Fruit Yields
Full sun, well drained slightly acidic soil. Hardiness zone- 4-9 60+ years depending on cultivar. Varies greatly with cultivar 2-3 years Mini Dwarf- 10-20 Lbs.Full Size- Up to 100+ Lbs

Cherry - Cherries make very attractive lawn trees. Beautiful white flowers give off a sweet fragrance. Cherries are now available in dwarf cultivars, thus cutting down on pruning. A major problem with cherries is that birds are attracted to the fruit and often eat it before humans can get to it. The dwarf cultivars can help with this problem as it is possible to cover them with netting to exclude birds. Few cultivars are self pollinating so multiple trees may be necessary and inter cultivar pollination may also be limited so a pollination chart should be referenced when selecting the right cherry for your yard. If you only want one tree, be sure to select a variety that is self pollinating.

This table contains different characteristics of Cherry 
Environmental Characteristics Life Expectancy Size First Fruit Yields
Full sun, Avoid wet clay soils. Hardiness zone- 4-9 35+ years depending on cultivar and environmental conditions. Dwarf - 6' Full size - 40'+ 2-3 years Mature tree 20- 50Lbs.

Mulberry - Mulberries are great fruit trees however they pose one serious problem. In most varieties the fruit will stain surfaces in which it comes into contact with, so placement should be far from any surface that will stain. Some varieties can be trained to become weeping in nature for a more ornamental look. The mulberry is self fertile so there is no need to plant more than one tree to insure pollination. The abundant fruit is great for wildlife and it is sufficient so you'll get some too. Several species thrive in our area. Red Mulberry is native and has mature fruit that are black. White Mulberry is not native and different varieties can have fruit that are red, black or white.

This table contains different characteristics of Mulberry 
Environmental Characteristics Life Expectancy Size First Fruit Yields
Full sun, well drained soils. Hardiness zone- 5 50+ years Most around 15' or smaller but some to 50' 3-4 years Yields abundant fruit.

Paw Paw - Paw Paws are small tree with tropical looking leaves and large 3"-6" oblong pale green fruit. The fruit has a banana custard type taste and offers an exotic change from the norm. Paw Paws are not self pollinating so you will at least two trees. They are insect pollinated however hand pollination is more reliable. The tree is slow to develop at first but once the tap root is established growth quickens. Paw Paws will reproduce readily by root sprouts and will form a thicket if sprouts are not cut back.

This table contains different characteristics of Paw Paw 
Environmental Characteristics Life Expectancy Size First Fruit Yields
Full sun, shade. Hardiness zone- 5-9 20 - 30 years Full size-40' 3-4 years Mature tree- Abundant

Peach - Peaches require extensive pruning because they only fruit on first year growth. Peaches should be pruned in a vase or fan shape. Many new varieties are self fertile. Many varieties are very susceptible to leaf curl and even resistant varieties still show signs of the disease.

This table contains different characteristics of Peach 
Environmental Characteristics Life Expectancy Size First Fruit Yields
Full sun, well drained soils. Hardiness zone - 5-9 20 years Full size - 12'- 15' 2-3 years Mature tree- 30-50Lbs.

Asian Pear - Asian pears are an attractive ornamental tree that blossoms little white flowers early in spring. They have glossy leaves which are tinges purple in spring. Asian pears are very flavorful and offer a different taste than typical European varieties. Also if the tree is irrigated during fruit production they can be every juicy. Pruning can be kept to a minimum. Trees are not self fertile so multiple trees are needed and due to different pollination times a pollination chart should be referenced to assure the right match between pollination times. Thinning is needed to produce large juicy fruits. Thinning to 1 fruit per cluster provides for a more productive tree.

European Pear - This includes most of the familiar eating varieties like Bartlett and Seckel. These should probably not be planted in this area because of the great likelihood of early death from disease, plant Asian pears instead.

This table contains different characteristics of European Pear 
Environmental Characteristics Life Expectancy Size First Fruit Yields
Full sun. Hardiness zone - 5-9 50 years Full size-12'-15' 2-3 years Mature tree- 40-60Lbs.

Persimmons - Persimmons are a very easy tree to grow. They have very few pests and can with stand a wide range of soil types and moisture ranges. Persimmons have an interesting greenish flower. They have glossy leaves which turn bright red in the fall months and once the leaves have fallen the bright orange fruit is left hanging. Delayed leafing can be perceived as a problem but is not. Some trees fail to leaf out the first season due to heat requirements. The tree can be pruned to establish desired form but little maintenance is needed. Fruits need to freeze on the tree several times to remove their astringency.

This table contains different characteristics of Persimmons 
Environmental Characteristics Life Expectancy Size First Fruit Yields
Full sun. Hardiness zone- 4-9 50-75 years Full size-35' but can be maintained at 15' 2-3 years Mature tree-Abundant

Plum - Plums are a relatively easy fruit tree to grow. There are many different species of plum that originate around the world. They require limited pruning and are low maintenance. In early spring they have small white to pinkish flowers that are very attractive. Some varieties are not self fertile and thus two trees of differing varieties are required.

This table contains different characteristics of Plum 
Environmental Characteristics Life Expectancy Size First Fruit Yields
Full sun, well drained slightly acidic soils. Hardiness zone- 4-10 20-30 years Full size - 12'- 15' 5 years Mature tree- 20Lbs +.

Last Updated: 2/25/15