Starting a orchard

Looking for recommendations on fruit trees I would love to get the varieties that do well in zone 6B we live in Southwest Ohio apple trees, plums, nectarines , peach and pears thanks for any information and recommendations


Check Adam’s nursery or Grandpa’s in Michigan expensive to ship but they carry what will work in your area. Most are done for the year. Order in winter.
Lots if other nurseries carry stuff that will work. One Green World, Raintree, edible landscaping. They also carry plants that don’t work for you but every plant is zone rated. Look around at least. Isons nursery is another. Google names for web sites.

Welcome! :hugs: Gurneys has a research farm in Tipp City, Ohio. I would choose varieties they sell.

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Ohio gets a lot of rain so peaches could not be your best bet. For apples, plums and pears look for disease and fungal resistant cultivar. Apples like Kindercrisp or Zestar!, pears like Warren or Seckle. I would have to look into disease resistance for plums and even then we would have to narrow it down to are we talking euro plums or asian plums. Try to find websites who will bulk sell them to you. I know Bay Laurel will give a discount if you get 5 and they give another discount on something like 10. Most places have stopped shipping so you may have to wait till fall to order. Know some things sell out fast too.

if you are new to this check out the spray schedules before making any purchases. The most common fruit you get at the grocery store (apples, Plums, Nectarines, peaches, and pears) took a lot of work for a farmer to grow working full time and you might not have the time and energy to invest in making the same types of trees produce reliably. I work full time so I grow only fruit that don’t require constant maintenance and spraying.

I would recommend the following:
Kaki persimmons - I grow miss kim but plenty of great cultivars out there. some aren;t as cold hardy as others so pick wisely. The most cold hardy and easy to find are great wall and techumseh. select American persimmons are more cold hardy than Kaki (asian) types, but make sure to get named cultivars. American/kaki hybrids are an option too.
Figs - Lots of great cultivars. look for cold hardy cultivars like these
Jujube - Lots of great cultivars. I grow Honey jar, Sugar Cane, and Black Sea
Mulberry - I’m growing Girardi dwarf and plan to get a honey drops.
Cornus Mas - lots of great cultivars. I’m growing yellow and coral blaze
Pawpaw - lots of great cultivars. I’m growing Shenandoah and KSU-Chappell


OP claims to live in Ohio. I am unsure if there are many if any pure kaki will live there. I have heard that there may be a lot of pawpaw cultivars but I hear they can taste pretty similar. That being said I have heard wild claims with pawpaw taste. Some claim it tastes like a banana, other a cloying sweet flavor similar to mountain due while others claim vanilla custard.

Yes, Ohio 6b. I took that into account in my response. The Wye research center in Maryland has done extensive testing on cold hardiness over decades. read their work here. I stand by my recommendations.

There are two I’m aware of but are not currently available commercially in the nursery trade.

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For apple tree recommendations, @derekamills at Hocking Hills Orchard was happy to answer my emails about varieties.


I recommend considering options with disease resistance, pest resistant, and generally lower maintenance. That said, I wouldn’t recommend stone fruit in general. The caveat to that, being, that you can probably grow way better stone fruit (cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines) than you can buy in a grocery store, so if you really want them, you’ll likely have to spray.


Even then that depends heavily where you live. Here in CO our local grocery stores sell peach trades grown from palisade for like .99 cents a pound. My peach trees have not produced yet but the local stone fruit sold in stores here is superior because it is grown in as good or better conditions than we grow them in. I have tried others that have produced and they were equal in taste but the ones grown were smaller. The other side to that is you get so many on your own trees size does not matter as much.


You have received a fair number of responses and I suspect you are a bit confused by the wide variety of information you have received. Your question is very general. It’s hard to answer general questions when we don’t know anything about your goals, the space you have available, your soil and what your experience level is with fruit trees and gardening in general.

It’s kind of like me asking what car I should buy and not giving any information about my needs. People will answer with things like a Toyota corolla, a 1965 Mustang, a Corvette, and a Chevy Silverado. They all good choices for someone but not necessarily good choices for me.

In Southwest Ohio apples and pears are very doable. You may be able to get away with not spraying if you bag the fruit and pick good cultivars with wide range disease resistance. I think in many cases even with cultivars that don’t have real good disease resistance a modest spray program will give you good crops. If you plan to spray very little or not at all you need to pick cultivars with good disease resistance from the beginning.

Stone fruits like plums, peaches, nectarines and cherries are going to require a good spray program because of brown rot. Don’t think in the long run you can get away with not spraying, you can’t. You may have a honeymoon period before brown rot shows up but when it does you definitely need to spray or you will risk losing your entire crop.

Now is not really a good season to buy fruit trees. Big box stores and local nurseries are selling trees now but in many cases they sell trees that sell easily because of name recognition rather than trees suited to home growers and local conditions. In most cases it’s best to order trees from a mail order nursery and get trees with the right characteristics for your needs. The time to do that is the Fall and the nursery will then ship the trees to you in the Spring at planting time.

I know you are tempted to go out and buy trees right now since it’s Spring but try to resist the urge. Do some research on the forum and elsewhere so you have some knowledge of how pruning and spraying work and some idea of the diseases and insects you will face. Also not all fruits taste the same even if they are the same species. I like certain apples a lot and others not so much. If you like Granny Smiths which are tart I would recommend one apple and if you like sweet apples like Golden Delicious I would recommend another. So if you tell us what types of apples you like either the names or characteristics (sweet, sweet/tart, tart, licorice flavor, etc.) we can recommend apples that are tailored to your tastes.

Once you know a bit you will make better choices and be happier. Unfortunately, unlike growing vegetables where bad choices are often obvious that year, with fruit trees it may be five years before you know a tree isn’t going to work out. So it’s best to pick a good tree from the beginning. Also the expense of losing five years is high you never get the time back especially if you are older.

Okay now for some recommendations. Of the fruits on your list I only grow apples. With apples generally, you need two trees to get pollination and fruit. I would recommend any of the following if you’re just planting two trees.

William’s Pride

If your planting a larger number of trees. I would include two or more of the above trees and add any of following.

Ashmead’s Kernel
Pitmaston Pineapple
Sweet Sixteen

For places to order from the forum has a nursery list reference list which you may want to look at. Here are a few that I would consider ordering from.

Cummin’s Nursery
Grandpa’s Orchard
Maple Valley Orchards
Heritage Farm and Fruit Trees


Great answer. Starting out, most of us (myself included) didn’t know enough to know how to ask for what we actually want.

If the objective is the best version of something we are already familiar with, that is going to be a very different answer than “I want to plant a tree and come back to harvest thousands of fruits in 5 years”

Not only that but “best” is very subjective. The best fruit can be one that is high producing, tastes the sweetest, least care, easiest to find, most uses out of it etc. This can be said with many things. The best ornament for me is a cute needlepoint ornament that is pillow or gueset shape. Someone else may say a plastic or glass or silver ornament is best. No one can say what the best of any category is without knowing the person or what they value.

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Second this, learned this the hard way. With stone fruit you have to be ready to put a lot of work into it.

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I’m liking mroot’s list & would recommend one more: Sundance. Sundance resists mildew, scab, fire blight & cedar-apple rust, which last point puts it one step ahead of GoldRush (one of my two favorite apples) & keeps nearly as long.

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Not sure where all the No Spray comes in to some replies. I didn’t see that in the OP question.

I live in southern Indiana so close the SW Ohio. We grow Red Haven Peaches with great success.

Growing fruit trees is like most hobbies, it takes some level of commitment.

Will just joined the forum, and most new people I speak with about fruit trees aren’t aware of the level of commitment necessary for long term success. Hence, recommending lower maintenance strategies is a good way to achieve success, especially while learning.



Good points. On the other hand, I wished I had joined sooner so I could get to where I am now.

Peaches do require a lot of work!


I think it also helps to have early successes. If you start with easier fruits and have some success you’re more likely to stay in the hobby. But if all you have are failures you are more likely to move onto something else. You’re better off starting with say disease resistant apples rather than sweet cherries. There is still a learning curve but it isn’t as steep.