Best Place in America To Grow Deciduous Fruit Trees

I Wanna Be the Next Nick Botner because fruit trees are like Pokemon you gotta collect em all. I’m planning to move away from Florida some time in the 12 month hopefully when I land a developer job and wondered what is the best place in North America (the lower 48 states) to grow the following fruit trees European Pears, Asian Pears , Apples, Plums, Apricots, and possibly cherries. I would like a place where they grow well require little to no spray on the fruit or trees for disease or pests and the blooms won’t get killed off most years for early warm weather then a hard freeze. Also Cheap farm land would be a MAJOR plus too.

I’m not qualified to answer but you have to find places where Japanese beetles are not prevalent. They will destroy all Prunus and do significant damage to Malus as well. That’s four of the six you list.


The places you don’t get frozen out are by and large the places where there are large commercial orchards. For the crops you mention that would be eastern WA. Pests are less in areas with dry summers: CA, WA, AZ, and OR.

There have been discussions here before on this subject. CA can’t be beat for the range of fruits you can grow and the relative lack of pests.

If by developer you mean software I’d think CA would rate high on the list. But there are many negatives in CA: crime, taxes, air quality. Those issues would be less in the other states I mentioned.

1 Like

Yes I meant software / web developer. But, forget about the frozen out part would that open up some better states with more fertile soil?

Don’t forget about the Boise Idaho area.

Fertile soil ranks far down on the list of fruit growing priorities. All the states have good enough soil if you know what you’re looking for.


Zones 5,6,7 I would think.

i agree, cali comes first on my list as well.

Rural Northern California (e.g., the area between Highway 99 and Sierra foothills north of Sacramento in El Dorado, Placer, Yuba, and Butte counties), Oregon Willamette Valley, and Eastern Washington (e.g., Yakima Valley, Columbia Basin, Wenatchee Valley, Lake Chelan area, Methow Valley, and Okanogan Valley).

One thing about Washington is that in fruit growing counties local regulations require all home owners/small orchards to spray their fruit trees with pesticides.

Another important thing is that most of these areas require irrigation for about six months per year. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you have access to water on your property. If your well dries up, your trees will die.


At least in the west it needn’t reduce the quality of fruit, in the humid regions, fertile soil can be detrimental to producing the best quality, highest brix fruit. Great for vegetables and grains though.

Sodic western soils can be a pain, as I understand it. That is one soil-type I’ve never had to deal with. But it is in the valleys and not the sloping hills that produce the best fruit.

1 Like

Out west all you need for fruit soil is something that drains well, holds a decent amount of water, and has a reasonable pH, preferably below 7.5. Then take a soil test and add anything that’s low. Get the nitrogen rate right and you’re set up.

do you add the low nutrients to the soil every year? Or Just a bunch before you even plant and then till it n?

1 Like

Nitrogen leaches out of a well drained soil. So that is something you add once a yr in spring if needed. But fruit trees don’t need a lot. Just enough to have moderate vigor. That’s usually 40-120 lbs per acre per yr. A few soils and situations won’t need any if mulched with some green material.

The nutrients that don’t leach which is most everything besides N, can be applied according to the soil test recommendations and are good to go for at least 5 yrs usually longer.

1 Like

As you know, I advocate high N stimulation for establishing trees. “Moderate” vigor is something to strive for in bearing trees. The sooner to size the more likely to survive- and rapid establishment can take a lot of time off the wait for first real harvest.


was going to ask this question here but I see I already did a few years ago. I currently live in Saint Louis now working as a software engineer. With the 1000’s of trees I hope to have I think I’m still not too concerned about maximum fruit production just good growing conditions for the trees so if there good locations other than the mainly west coast options previously mentioned I’d like to hear them.
My orchard / house would probably have to be in a rural area to keep the land cost down. The area must have has decent internet (20 mbps+) and of course water and electric not be off the grid. It would be nice if it were with in 1-2 hours of a tech hub (I’m a software engineer) and the cost of land is fairly reasonable. Where should I look?

My biased vote is oregon. For example hood river area.

1 Like

The area must have has decent internet (20 mbps+)

daddy elon has gifted us the space internet now. i don’t see connectivity as a limiting factor. your area is zone 6 that’s good enough for any deciduous trees, you have more pest / disease pressure than WA, CA, OR, AZ. i say stay where you are or do east WA / Phoenix, AZ / or Austin, TX. East WA if you can find a remote job, otherwise Phoenix and Austin are both tech hubs.

You have not specified any other objective other than collection of ‘everything’ like the USDA or Nick Botner. Collecting can be done just fine in rural Missouri. Or any of 40 or so states. There are several collections in Kansas, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina.

Now, if the objective is a commercial orchard…with a national or worldwide marketing or product…go where others are already doing it. If you want a local (roadside) operation, most anywhere near a good sized town…but far enough out to have decent land prices.

McMinnville, TN is the “nursery capital of the world”…they grow trees like they used to grow tobacco. Everywhere there is some good clear land. But they are growing to sell trees…not fruit.

The main objective is collecting. I care more about trees than getting fruit though I would still like some fruit, possibly for a road side stand possibly for baking fruit based sweets. Not having to irrigate the trees would nice too. Now Phoenix and Austin are tech hubs but wouldn’t they be too warm to grow fruit trees?

1 Like

Not enough chill hours in metropolitan Phoenix for most deciduous fruit. Warm weather means early (winter) blooms and vulnerability to inclement weather including frosts.