Hello all, first time post and new to the fruit tree obsession. My wife and I are looking to plant a tree in our front yard (roughly 20’x20’ space). We live in NE NJ, zone 7a. I’m hoping to find some recommendations on a fruit tree that can meet a few criteria we’re looking for:
-Self-pollinating as we’ll only be planting one tree…for now
-Blooms beautifully in spring
-Bears tasty fruit (or nuts), I think picking fruit would be a fun thing to do with our newborn daughter as she grows up.
-I’m really liking cherry trees, but there doesn’t seem to be many options for self-pollinating trees with sweet cherries (never eaten a tart cherry personally)
-Mature size can be up to 20’ width and maybe 20’ height, but smaller is perfectly fine and maybe preferred.
-Ideally we can purchase one at a decent height, maybe 7’ or more…what is a typical height for readily available fruit trees? I’m seeing a lot of 4-5’ and 5-6’.
As you can tell I don’t even qualify for novice status yet, but I’d appreciate any info and recommendations. I’ll be doing my research in the meantime. Thank you very much.
Hi, I recommend planting a persimmon tree. It doesn’t require a pollinator, and the orange fruits are beautiful and unique. The look is stunning in the Fall when the leaves fall and the fruit remains. You can get a nice sized one at Corrado’s in Clifton NJ. I would recommend the Fuyu variety and the Tamopan varieties that Corrado’s usually carries. These two varieties thy corrado’s sells are surprisingly cold hardy. The Tamopan can become quite a large tree. In terms of fruit quality, I would recommend the fuyu but the Tamopan is not bad.
Most fruit trees are hard to maintain. You mention cherries, almost impossible to grow without sprays, and yes self pollinating sweet cherries exist. All stone fruit requires lot’s of work to obtain fruit, and not for 3-5 years either. Start with something simpler with little care, like raspberries.
Mulberries are care free, but no fancy blooms. Quince can have very nice blooms, but the use of the fruit is limited, and best NOT eaten raw. Service berries like Autumn Brilliance have OK blueberry like fruit, decent but small flowers, excellent fall color, and don’t require sprays, but may require netting, as the birds love these.
You will need to adjust your expectation. The closest tree that meet your expectation is what @RUenvsci mentioned, a persimmon tree. Much less trouble than anything else you may have in mind (apples, peaches, plums, cherries).
Like Drew said those typical fruit trees are hard to maintain esp. in NJ where climate is hot and humid which will bring a boatload of diseases. Also, there are so many pests that like our fruit and fruit trees, too.
Some may suggest pawpaws, a beautiful, tropical looking tree but it has acquired taste, like persimmon but I think more people prefer persimmons to pawpaws. Maybe, I am biased.
You want a tree, not a bush so blueberries will not work.
You should spend time reading these thread and learn more about growing fruit tree before jumping it. Growing fruit can be fun and addictive but it’s not for a casual fans.
Thank you all for the great feedback, it’s given me lots to think about. I guess I’d like to understand a bit more about why most fruit trees are difficult to maintain. For example
-If seasonal spraying if required, that doesn’t seem too bad…this is overwinter oil, no? Any concerns about the spray getting into the fruit?
-I saw that sour cherries are much more humidity tolerant than sweet cherries…are sour cherries still considered “difficult”
-Any other feedback on whats really required to keep a fruit tree alive is much appreciated. I’ll probably purchase at 6’ tall or so if that helps my chances (or hurts). I’d really like to give it a try.
-Regarding persimmons, do they have a spring bloom? Since this tree will be on our front lawn, that is an important thing for us.
Thanks for the suggestion of Corrado’s, I didn’t know they have a garden center…I called and they have many diffrent fruit trees. I’m going to check them out soon.
I guess my question is, if they’re selling these difficult-to-grow trees, are most just dying out after a year or two?
I agree. The only reason I didn’t recommend JT-02 and the hybrids is because they’re looking for a tree already in decent size. I love the hybrids and the work Cliff has put into them. The best place to find a decent size tree (5-7 feet) would be at a local nursery where you can go pick it up.
I think there will always be people who want to grow fruit trees. Many of those buy first and learn about it later. They will either learn to deal with it or abandon it. I have two friends who were gung ho about growing fruit trees about 10 yearsago. After five years, they learned that there were more pests and diseases, not less, they gave up. They did cut some badly diseased down. Kept a few for spring flowering.
In my neighborhood, there is a beautiful apples tree that bears fruit every year. No one from that house cares for it. Fruit that fall to the ground or hang on the tree are mostly damaged. A ugly sight for passers- by.
Dolgo seems to meet criteria regarding diseas resistant. All crab apples bloom profusing and are a beautiful sight.
Another beautiful tree is Kousa dogwood. The variety Milky Way is supposed to bear fruit that can be used for jam. Absolutely beautiful white star shape flowers and plentiful red fruit.
I’ll add that unless you live in a parallel universe the chances that an apple or pear would get pollinated are pretty good. There’s gotta be bradford/cleveland pears or Crabapples in the neighborhood and most likely fruiting varieties as well.
I like the crabapple idea. (but the PC term is “lunch-box apple”). My Summercrisp pear fills most of the bill. I’ve read that its self-polinating, but color me skeptical about that. It is beautiful. Its as pretty as any ornamental, except for the fruit issue.
The main thing is it has amazingly wind-resistant blosssoms for some reason. I don’t know why.
It produces small, Seckel type pears—perfect for a small child, but plan on some branch-bending to put it in toddler reach.
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I opted for a dolgo crabapple from tyty in GA. I called Cummins in NY and he was sold out. I got it in the ground this Saturday, so we shall see.
Is a bareroot any different than a burlapped tree in the beginning. I’ve just give it ample water. Any risk of overwatering? It’s a 7’ tree and I have 3-1gph emitters running every other day for 45 min… so roughly 9 gallons per week if no other precipitation (sprinkler system has a rain sensor on it).
Friends don’t let friends buy from TyTy. They are not a credible source of plants. With that said— I sincerely hope whatever you bought turns out to be a Dolgo apple tree.
If the planting fails, or if you ever want to expand…
A peach tree in full sun would do well for you. Redhaven is a reliable and delicious variety. Boyer’s Nursery of PA has excellent peach trees. Get it on Halford or Lovell rootstock. Planting area should be raised like a berm, and comprised of a loamy or clay soil.
If you have sandy soil, blueberries and beach plums (P. maritima) grow well in Jerz.