Fruit tree popularity by type

It seems like Apples are obviously the most popular fruit for the home orchardist but I’m curious as to what comes next in popularity. I’m sure Dave Willson, Raintree, and the other large suppliers could easily tell by sales volume numbers. As for the online forums like this one or the old GW forums how would you rank the rest of the popular fruits? From general reading I’d say Plum would probably be next in popularity followed in some order by pear, cherry, and peach. I for one have not really been a huge plum fan over the years as they’ve always seemed to be a little too earthy tasting for me. But it sounds like they are one of the easier fruits to grow and my daughter has actually been enjoying them this last year so maybe its something I’ll consider on my next round of planting. I prefer the taste of peaches and nectarines to plums but from what I’ve read they seem to be a bit more finicky to grow and have more health problems than other fruits.

If I were to pick 2 plum/pluot varieties to grow in the mid atlantic region (6b) in medium heavy soil what would you recommend?

Apple, peach, plum, pear, apricot, nectarine, cherry, pluot

After reading GW site and this site for 6 years, I agree with most of Fruitnut’s ranking except for cherry. I think cherry should be rank higher. I’d put cherry after pear and before apricot. Just my observation.

Speed - you should read Scott’s Stone fruit experience 2005 - 2015 post somewhere on this site. He is from Maryland. His reports will be useful info for you to start.

My personal order would probably be nectarine, pluot, apricot, peach, apple, cherry, pear, plum. Not that anyone cares.

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I would say for me, in order of my preference, apples, cherries, pears, flat peaches, pluots/apriums, apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches. Very subjective of course, as this is just my preference, as I am someone who doesn’t like that wincing taste from sour skin with certain stone fruits - I like them sweet but complex. Can’t give you any plum or pluot suggestions for your zone/geography. For me, I would say Spicy NectaZee is pretty awesome, as is Flavor King. But, they grow very well here in my much drier climate, so not sure how they would do for you Think mamuang’s suggestion to check out Scott’s list is a good one for you.

Preference or most popular/planted? I was giving most planted.

I gave my opinion on the most popular fruit trees planted. I am based it on the numbers of questions I’ve seen posted on GW over the years. My memory could off or colored.

No figs? I feel left out! :flushed:. But I bet you are right especially if we just mean Zone 6 and colder.

I was just listing tree fruits not vines, bushes and berries. Besides I’d rather rate what I like most not what I think is most planted. It’s all food for thought.

Pretty interesting stuff. I would have in no way thought that Apricots outsold cherries.

If we ranked what we liked I’d go:


A couple of items I’ve read about that have peaked my interest are Flavor Grenade Plout, Cot-n-candy Aprium, Spice Zee Nectaplum, and Nadia Plum cherry. I regret not adding a couple of these to my raintree order from last month. A lot of places seem to be sold out. I’m not sure which of those are really appropriate for WV but I doubt I’ll find any at my local nursury or Big Box stores.

[quote=“fruitnut, post:2, topic:485, full:true”]
Apple, peach, plum, pear, apricot, nectarine, cherry, pluot
[/quote]That seems reasonable. I did put in two cherries initially, but gave up on cherries once I saw ow much of an effort it would be to actually get a good harvest. Most of the issues are environment related.

I would say that popularity goes down as work load goes up. People naturally go for like the low hanging fruit. :smile:

Depends on the area. If you ask someone in southern California theyll tell you how citrus is the most common type of tree. So common that you cant hardly give them away. Up here in the northwest, everyone has an apple tree and citrus trees are like a rare exotic that you grow just for a wow factor. For that reason, it seems like it would be hard to tell whether, for example, peaches or citrus are more common, when they are grown in different areas

Well, I’m not counting all my (120+) citrus, JImmy. We’re just confining this to stone/pome fruits I think? Or all my figs, either. I am counting what my area seems to find most popular, based on my CRFG experience. And, my preferences as well. Not necessarily most popular as in sales/planted, but more liked. Which, really should be very similar, not counting growing issues. And in my area, we don’t have a lot of growing issues, with the exception of a few diseases and of course, chill hours. Our biggest issue that would be a dealbreaking, is blight with pears.

Patty: Are you saying you like apples much more than nectarine? Nectarines are the king of sweet and complex. Maybe you haven’t had the good ones.

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I really don’t care much for apples. I just took out a very productive Winter Banana apple and stuck in another stone fruit! So my preference is: Peach, pear, fig, apricot, persimmon, nectarine, cherry, apple, and at the very bottom, J plums. But I have just discovered Euro plums, Mirabelle in particular, so they may be headed up the list soon! Pears are so fragrant–what’s an apple that might hit me like a good dessert pear does?

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I can tell you that in orchards I install, peaches are the favorite tree because here they are reliable, establish and bear quickly and produce fruit of quality that is very hard to purchase.

I still sell a lot more apple trees than anything else, and nothing in my own orchard impresses people more than a really good nectarine with dead ripe plums probably coming in second or tied with peaches.

Cherries are just a general PIA in the east where they need an umbrella and a net to be at all reliable. I assume the net is needed most everywhere. The only place I’ve eaten large quantities of unnetted sweet red cherries off the tree was from a terrace over a courtyard in Manhattan. Fruit eating birds just don’t forage in landscapes of concrete and asphalt.

What an amazing treat to enjoy after a night of hard partying in NYC. Definitely the ultimate hangover cure.

I got about 150 fruit trees and counting. My preference are: Peach, Nectarine, Paw paw, Persimmon, Crunchy Asian Pear, Pluot, Plum, Super Sweet Cherry, Jujube, cots, then Apple (PIA To spray or bagging).


If I’m going to talk preferences rather than overall popularity it almost becomes a matter of individual cultivars. For instance I’d put grapes and blueberry pretty far down the list if not for Summer Muscat and Sweetcrisp. Those cultivars vault grapes and bb well up the ladder of what I like.

Overall best to worst:

first tier:

Second tier
Summer Muscat
sweet cherry

third tier:
western trailing blackberry

fourth tier:

Fruits within a tier are pretty difficult to separate. It’s more a matter of cultivar than species.

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Im suprised you speak so highly of nectarines over peaches. When i was a kid, nectarines wete my favorite and i didnt really care for peaches. Everyone tried to convince me that they taste the same

Just guessing, but in my area - Southwest Washington State, maritime pacific NW, I think apples are the big first, by far. That’s based on what I see in people’s yards, and at the stores. Then plums, especially Euro, like Italian Prune or Stanley. Then Cherries. Some folks grow grapes. I have seen a fair number of fig trees in yards, but most people seem surprised they grow here. I’ve seen a few peach trees, not many.

For me, it depends on what’s ripe now. Also, I love some that I have a hard time growing, even impossible. So even though I really enjoy them, they get down-rated in the favorites list.

For me, favorites are probably in about this order

Asian Plums. I have Shiro and Hollywood, and some that haven’t started bearing. I love Toka, and this year it is covered with flowers.
Figs. I have Lattarula, H. Chicago, King, Petite Aubique, Brunswick, and a bunch more. My favorite is Lattarula, for flavor, growth, and bearing.
Asian Pears. I have Hosui, Hamese, Shinseiki, and Mishirasu.
Apples. Many cultivars.
Mulberries. I have Illinois Everbearing.
Peaches, I love them when I can get them to bear. If the PLC resistant ones bear and are nice and peachy, they could pass up the Apples and Asian Pears and rank with figs. Honeybabe is really good, but the PLC is terrible. Trying Q-1-8, Charlotte, Oregon Curl-Free, and Indian Cling or Free - forget which. Also trying container method for a genetic dwarf.
Euro Pears various.
Euro Plums - if they start bearing better, they may go up on my list. Gage and Stanley.
Sweet cherries - various.
Sour cherries - mostly Surefire and Montmorency.
Grapes - various.

Some of my trees or starts are too young to know, include pawpaws, persimmons, and yet another apricot, this time in container. If they start producing this year, the list could change a lot.