Battle-Royale: Late Season Fruits

I have room for exactly one more tree in my yard, and conveniently I have a credit for one more tree from OGW (they had sent me a mislabled peach tree last year, and so gave me a credit for a replacement tree). I’d like to add a late-season tree, since I have early and mid season trees pretty much covered, and since my kids don’t really like the late-season fruits I currently have in my yard (paw paws and issai kiwis).

If you had to choose one and only one late season tree from OGW to add to your yard, what would it be? I live in zone 7A, just outside of Philadelphia, so input from any nearby members would be greatly appreciated!

Here are my thoughts so far:

Emerald Beaut plum:

  • Pros: I’ve read great things about how it tastes, and how long it hangs. I also like the idea of it being a green plum, just because I’ve only tasted red plums before. I have a J plum and an aprium in my yard, so pollination should be covered (i think?).
  • Cons: I’m not sure of any maintenance/disease issues for an Emerald Beaut. I have relatively few fruit trees in my yard, and so far disease pressure has been low, and maintenance has been low. If I add another stone fruit, would that make my yard more of a target for insects/diseases?
  • Other Considerations: I already have a hollywood plum, and a summer delight aprium in my yard, so theoretically I could just graft a scion of Emerald Beaut to one of those, and not get a whole tree of it (although I have never grafted before so this makes me nervous).

Some Kind of Persimmon:

  • Pros: A long and late season. People who love persimmons really love them. My mom loves them. Relatively easy to maintain. There are a few persimmon trees in my neighborhood, and those trees look beautiful and thriving (although I do not know their owners so I cannot ask questions about varities/maintenance/etc).
  • Cons: I do not know how much I like persimmons, or how much my kids would like them. I’ve had non-astringent persimmons from the grocery before, when they were hard, and I thought they were just meh. Mildly sweet and somewhat insipid. But, from what I’ve read, home-grown and tree ripe persimmons are a whole different ballgame. I just don’t know that I want to devote the last spot in my yard to something I’ve thought was just meh the few times I’ve tasted them.
  • Other Considerations: I also don’t know anything about varieties, and which variety I would choose. My impulse is to go non-astringent, because I don’t think my kids would have the patience to wait for a fruit to get super soft before eating, and also because I have a feeling I wouldn’t like the texture of a fully ripe astringent (although I have never had one, so that’s just an educated guess). Based on the OGW descriptions, I was considering either Cardinal or Sweet Fuyu. What are your thoughts?

Some kind of Jujube:

  • Pros: I’ve read great things about them. I have seen exactly one tree in my neighborhood, and it looks healthy and thriving and covered with fruit. Unfortunately, I do not know the owner, so cannot ask for a sample or any other questions. I have read that they are fairly maintenance free.
  • Cons: I really know nothing else about them. I’ve never tasted one. I don’t know if I would like them. The variety I was considering (Honey Jar) is very expensive! More than my store credit, and much more than the other trees I was considering.
  • Other Considerations: I have no idea what variety to pick. My inclination is Honey Jar, based on what I’ve read. But since I’ve never tasted one, that’s just a guess. Honey Jar is expensive, but OGW has other varieties that cost less. I just do not know whether it is worth it to get one of the less expensive varieties, or whether Honey Jar is really worth the extra money.

Any other late-season stone fruit: I already have a peach (saturn donut), a plum (hollywood), and an aprium (summer delight) in my yard, so I was not super interested in another stone fruit tree (except the emerald beaut because it seems different enough from the plum that I have that I thought it might be worth it). Are there any other late-season stone fruits that would really wow me that you think are a must for my one last tree? Or should I just learn to graft and graft a late-season stone fruit on to one of my existing trees?

Apples: From what I have read, I do not think I am interested in apples. I do not want to worry about cross-pollination. And I think there might be too much disease pressure for apples here. I used to have a saskatoon in my yard, but it got really bad CAR and died (or the saskatoon equivalent). There are tons of cedars/junipers/cypress/etc in my surrounding neighborhood, and I just don’t think I’d have it in me to keep up with the maintenance.

Am I missing anything? If it were you, what would you choose and why?

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Plums are nothing more than SPRAY SPRAY SPRAY AND THEN THERE DEAD. I am Cincinnati inner city and all mid season and later fruit is destroyed by animals and diseases.

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Can’t you just knock on the door and ask questions?

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Unfortunately I cannot. It is what it is.

Did your kids egg and teepee their house or something? :stuck_out_tongue: Knock a baseball through the window? Guard dog on property?

If your kids don’t care for paw paw or hardy kiwi, I’m going to wager an educated guess that persimmon and jujubes are going to be another polarizing fruit. If the neighbor is not an option, there are members on the forum that should be within an hour drive of you that might be willing to share persimmon and jujubes to try.

If not apple, maybe pear? How about maypop?

You probably need to decide first and foremost your number one priority. Right now you’re trying take into consideration your kids and the issues of disease pressure. Which one is MOST important to you?

Most people on this forum say to hell with disease pressure and work to manage it for their favorite fruits. Some even go as far as large greenhouses to grow citrus and tropicals in cold zones. We tend to grow what we like and adapt circumstances. Others let the circumstances adapt their choices. Whatever you choose will come easier to you once you decide which way to go.

If you are worried about disease pressure with apples, then consider a disease resistant variety, like Liberty. I don’t actually grow Liberty myself, but it is supposedly pretty much disease free, and naturally grows into a very nice form. Looks like OGW also has Enterprise, which may ripen a little bit later and is also disease resistant.

For apple pollination, if there are no other trees nearby in your neighborhood, you can always graft another variety onto your tree to help pollinate.

Disease free apples are plague with insects and worms. I have liberty and I get gnarly worm filled apples if they don’t all suffer from May drop, June drop, July drop and august drop. The trees are disease free. Nothing bothers my persimmon, lemons, kumquats, or figs. Get a Chicago Hardy fig.

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The kids like the taste of paw paw when I cook with it (paw paw muffins are a big hit in my family), but they don’t like the taste/texture fresh. And sometimes they like the kiwiberries, but sometimes no. I think its because the kiwis go from sour to overripe and almost fermented tasting really quickly, so it can be hard to eat them right in the sweet spot (especially since they don’t ripen all at once). But they’re little kids, they’re pretty fickle. Who knows what they will like in a year or two?

I think for me, I’m the most worried about disease pressure and manageability. I just don’t have the time/effort/energy to build greenhouses or really push the circumstances of what I grow at this point in my life. Maybe that will be different when my kids are older and/or my employment circumstances change. But for now, I just want what I grow to be tasty and “worth” the effort of growing them, if that makes any sense. I don’t have much land, or time, so everything in my yard has to earn its keep, so to speak. That means that some things that are super easy to grow, but don’t taste great, aren’t worth it to me (like guomis, etc).

The stonefruit that I grow have been manageable so far. Like I said, I only have the three of them, so maybe that’s why? I love the pawpaws, and the kiwis, and figs (I forgot to mention I have chicago hardy figs!), and those are super easy, too. I was hoping for something tasty that will fit into my relatively low-maintenance routine.

What kind of persimmon do you grow? How’s it taste? Is it worth growing?

I forgot to mention, I do have a chicago hardy fig! I really like it, and the kids do to! It’s been relatively slow growing for me, so we only got maybe a dozen figs this year.

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I don’t taste much of pawpaw when it goes into cooked bread products (that’s just me though). You might want to just put in more figs then. Persimmon texture is either gooey for the super sweet astringent type since you need to wait till they are basically mush to get the astringency out. Or they are the firm less sweet nonastringent type.

How about grapes?

Really it is about how much effort you are willing to put into it. Stone fruits are going to have you out there spraying on a regular basis and will still have issues. If you are looking for easy your persimmon and jujube idea is the way to go. Neither need anything. Pears are pretty easy as well. Apples need a little more, but I find their problems to be better or worse by the year. Figs need nothing. On the east coast stone fruits are really where you are going to have to work.

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I am about an hour+ north of Cincinnati and I agree with you. Lots of work, work, work to try and get fruit from them and then either the animals get the fruit or the tree up and dies. A wasted space for me here. I do remember years ago people growing plums in the area.

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I have a friend who lives about a block from me who has two fully grown peaches in her yard. They are unknown age and variety, because they were already there fully grown when she bought the house. She has lived in the house for 7 years, and had never, not once ever, never ever sprayed those peaches. And they bear giant crops for her every year, right around the end of July/early August. She begs her friends to pick some every year because she has so many. It was those two mystery peaches that inspired me to grow stone fruit in my yard, because I figured I must just be in an area with super low disease/insect pressure if she can grow peaches spray free for so long. Maybe her varieties are just unicorns? If I ever learn to graft, I can graft some onto my Saturn peach. In any event, there is some anecdotal evidence at least that stone fruit can be grown low-maintenance in my neighborhood, but I wonder if I plant too many in my yard if that would create the disease pressure that has not already been there.

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Nice, if your neighbor has peaches that do well in your area try and get some grafted. I have a peach tree planted by previous owners at my home that just isn’t happy, and after at least 5 years in the ground has barely grown and always drops the few peaches it has ever produced. However, when I was growing up just a few miles from where I live now, we had a peach tree for many years that had giant crops like your neighbors, never sprayed, never pruned, etc. So finding varieties that do well in your area is half the battle. Eventually the peach trees borers found it and pretty much wiped out all our stone fruits. But it was great while it lasted.

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If she would let you take a few scions to graft learn how to graft. I have never heard of peaches not needing any spray to get delicious peaches. Get some peach trees and re-graft them to some of her varieties. If she will let you.
Sounds like great some great peaches.
It must be in a great location.

Have you picked your neighbors peaches? It’s one thing to bear giant crops without disease, it’s quite another to bear giant crops without disease or worms.

Have you considered berries? Quicker return, possibly lower maintenance.

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So sad that we have become a nation full of people who don’t know their neighbors.
:slightly_frowning_face:

#TeamFig or #TeamPersimmon Easy and low maintenance. Let us know what you choose. :slight_smile:

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I have! She has one yellow and one white tree. My personal preference is the white. Her trees are so tall we have to use the claw-baskets on poles to pick them. I usually get a bucket from each tree when they’re ripe. They’re not all perfect. A handful will have insects or insect damage. Often it’s minimal and I can cut around it. But, a handful of imperfect peaches out of a bucket is still pretty good, I think. I have a Saturn peach in my yard, so maybe I’ll try and graft some of my friend’s into it to see how it does? I love my saturn peaches so much, though, that I hesitate to mess with the tree.

Incidentally, my Saturn peaches were planted in March 2020, and have given me some really beautiful spray-free peaches this summer, delicious and sweet. Very minimal plc, no rot or cankers or other issues yet. I really lucked out, because I had ordered something else but OGW sent me the Saturn by mistake, and so far I love it. So maybe my area is just good for fruit? But, the Saturn tree is so young that the problems might just not have found it yet? My Hollywood plum and summer delight aprium are also thriving and large, also planted in March 2020, but they haven’t started bearing yet so it’s too early to tell with those.

I have some berries: blackberries, gooseberries, and black currants. They all ripen fairly early, though. The blackberries were done by the first week of September, and I’m hoping to extend into October or beyond.

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I think it’s just the nature of my area…

Notice I said the persimmon and jujube trees are in my neighborhood, but I didn’t say they were my neighbors’ trees? It’s because me neighborhood is still fairly urban, even if I live in a suburb. The trees may share my zip code, but so do many many thousands of people within a one or two mile radius. There are apartment buildings, and row homes, and businesses, etc., in between me and the trees I mentioned. Some of them are on major roads with multiple lanes of traffic. I have noticed the trees as I drive around, but I could not just walk over and ring a doorbell. I would not feel safe doing so, and I would not expect anyone to open the door to a stranger.

I do know and am friendly with the people I consider my neighbors (and not just people in my neighborhood). One of my neighbors was the inspiration for my fruit growing adventure, as she has beautiful spray free peaches in her yard. But, the neighbors that I know are within a few-block radius of my house (which is still a couple of hundred of people). The persimmons and lone jujube are outside of that radius.

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Sometimes you just have to take the cold calling initiative. It’s better to have tried then to have never done so (for me at least). Think of it this way, a moment of social discomfort may yield you an opportunity for friendship, the opportunity to try fruit, and the saving years of growing something out to only discover you didn’t like it.

Had I never pinged @IL847 directly I would have never discovered she lives 5-10 minutes away. Who knows, it’s certainly possible those people are on this forum too and have headaches with their trees you may not know about. Or they are people who are planning to completely remove those trees because they don’t like the fruit (loads of these posts lately).

Alternatively, if you don’t feel like blindly knocking on someone’s door is appropriate, write a brief blurb on a postcard explaining you were interested in buying a similar tree and would be interested in hearing their experience and shove it into their mailbox with your contact info. They can choose to contact you or not if they feel comfortable and it’s not on the spot.

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