The Aesthetics of Fruit Trees - Which Tree Deserves a Front-Yard Spot?

I had ordered a Matsumoto Wase persimmon rom OGW, and it just arrived! I also ordered a honey jar jujube from Gurneys, and it has not yet shipped but is scheduled to arrive sometime in April.

I have smallish suburban yard in zone 7A with two spots planned for these trees. Which tree should go in which spot?

  • SPOT 1 There is one spot in my front yard. It’s a mostly full-sun spot, right next to the walkway that goes up to my front door. There is a paw-paw that is about 10-15 feet away from this spot, and a peach tree that is also about 10-15 feet from this spot. The spot is also about 10 feet away from the corner of my front porch. As of right now, it’s a full-sun spot, but that might change as the peach and the paw paw grow? But I intend to keep them pruned to around 10-15 feet tall, so it shouldn’t be too bad?

  • SPOT 2 I thought I’d only have room for one tree in my yard, but I’ll be removing/moving a largeish gooseberry to make room for the second tree. The second spot is in my side-yard, in the space in between my and my neighbor’s houses. There’s maybe 15-20 feet in between the houses. The spot will be about halfway between the two houses, and maybe 6 or 7 feet away from my fig trees (which I planted near the south wall of my house to make a microclimate). This is more of a part-sun spot, because of the shade of the two houses. But the spot still gets decent sun in the summer, because the “alley” between the houses is roughly east-west, so the sun passes roughly overhead over the space.

Which tree should go in Spot 1, and which tree should go in spot 2? Is one tree “prettier” than the other, and so more worthy of front-yard status? Will the slight differences in sunniness make any difference to one tree more than the other?

Well, not exactly what you are asking, but for the one near the walkway, I would avoid anything that might not get fully harvested. I have a hatred of paw paws because, growing up, a neighbor had one over their front walk. My memory of paw paw is tainted by the smell of dropping, rotting paw paws and yellow jackets.

The paw paws are already planted, one on each side of my driveway. I’m going to keep them pruned fairly low though, so as to avoid just such a scenario. Hopefully they’ll be harvestable from the ground.

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Persimmons are lovely trees, very ornamental.


+1 for the persimmon being ornamental. Jujubes look kind of scraggly and weird once all the leaves fall. Also bear in mind the jujube will likely eventually send up prickly suckers.


Somewhat related comment- I am in the process of rooting a bunch of gooseberries, some of which to plant amongst my fruit trees as part of my edible landscape.

Do you have a way to deter deer from eating your trees? Keeping the gooseberry in place may provide protection for the tree with its thorns, along with a second crop of fruit within the same space.


Definitely the persimmon in the front. There are several front yard persimmons in the neighborhoods in my area and they are quite lovely, especially when all those lovely orange fruit are ripe in the fall.

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Scraggly AND suckery?!? It seems like the jujube will be in the side yard then! Plus the consensus is that persimmons are pretty, so that works out.

For the persimmon in the front yard, should I prune that to an open vase shape like I do the peach tree?

@disc4tw: do gooseberries grow well under fruit trees? If yes, could I just plant the jujube like 1 or 2 feet away from the gooseberry, instead of moving the gooseberry?

My area is fairly dense, and I’ve never seen a deer in my neighborhood. So deer protection had never been an issue for me. Bunnies are another matter though! They chew my roses and azaleas down almost every winter! And they have zero fear of my big 70lb dog. If gooseberries deter bunnies, I’ll definitely leave it in!

Your best bet might be some homemade liquid fence and/or some protection at the trunk for the bunnies. Honey Jar will probably have a few thorns, and you’ll want to situate it with plenty of sunlight for good fruit set (you’ll also need a second variety for cross pollination, I put a sugar cane branch on mine last year and am adding more varieties this year).

I’m not sure how the gooseberry will set fruit but mine are currently under trees. Someone else might be able to help with that information.

It will mostly take care of itself. Most non-astringent persimmons in a sunny spot will have a fairly natural spreading form. There are some astringent varieties that tend to shoot up, but that’s not your situation.

Honey Jar indeed has few thorns, but the rootstock suckers will likely be very thorny. They can pop up quite some distance away from the actual tree.

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Plantskydd is the best deer repellent on the market. It’s animal blood and gross. The deer think wolves killed something. You have to spray again after rains. But after a month of treatment they will not be back all season. Always exceptions I never seen them feed after I started spraying.
The contorted Jujube is fantastic looking. You should get a second Jujube for pollination. Shipova is another beautiful tree. Never seen a tree that looks anything like it.

I won’t have room for another jujube tree, but I’m going to graft some pollinating branches on next year after it grows a bit.

Funnily enough, I actually got some shipova scions for this spring! I have a random aronia bush in my backyard next to my fence line that I plan to top work over to shipova. I was going to do it this weekend, but with the random 25 degree predicted lows on Sunday and Monday nights, I’ll probably do it next weekend instead. I’ve never actually grafted before, so fingers crossed it works out!

Personally, I find the red-fleshed apple Redfield very attractive. The foliage is deep red / burgundy over green. The blooms are deep pink / purple. The skin of the fruit is reddish-purple. And, if you are interested, the juice makes a great addition to a cider.

I do not have room for an apple tree, but I do have a Hollywood plum in my front yard, and it sounds aesthetically similar to what you described. The leaves are purplish over green, the flowers are a nice pink, and in the winter the young branches are a pretty burgundy. The fruit are a bright purplish red, with bright red flesh. Probably one of the prettiest trees in my yard!

I’m bad at it. So I stick to simple grafts. The videos helped. The grafting threads here are good. It takes some practice You need to find what works for you. Many techniques and equipment. I would practice before you do the real grafts. Cutting scion correctly is an art form. Practice on scrap. Watch the videos.

A dwarf apple tree can be maintained in an 8’ square. I’ve got 24 trees in an area 24 x 64’. Most are on G.41.

Maybe someday I’ll go full suburban orchard! But for now, I have three young kids at home, so I keep a good bit of the backyard grassy for them to play in.

I try to have “my garden” mostly in the front and side yards (which are not large), and a I have a few plants/trees around the edges of the back yard. That way the kids can play in the back yard without ruining “my garden.” But, even sectioning out my yard into growing space vs kids space, my kids have still managed to kill a few trees/plants by running into them, knocking them over, trying to climb them and breaking off branches, picking off all the flowers/blossoms, etc.

So I hesitate to add any more trees now, because I already have as many as I can fit while still having room for my kids to play. But someday, when they’re older and don’t want to run around the yard so much, I hope to plant more fruit and veggies!

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@dpps … blink your eyes… and they will be grown up and moving out. On average we get to keep our kids at home 7000 days and wow that goes by fast.

Hug them and kiss them and love them… all you can while you have them at home.

When I think of kid friendly fruit… a nice raised bed strawberry bed come to mind… a gerrardi mulberry and wowza bush cherry…

Things that the kids can just pick and eat all they want by themselves. Some of my fondest garden memories are 20 years ago when my daughter was 3 and I had a huge strawberry bed and sugar snap peas in the garden… and every evening when I got home from work… I would take her out to play… and she would first raid the strawberry bed and pea patch eating all she wanted.

Perhaps in your sunny spot a dwarf mulberry… and in your part sun location… a nicely maintained raspberry patch. Both produce kid friendly fruit for extended season especially if you do everbearing raspberries and double crop them.

Gerrardi mulberry produces fruit for near 2 months late spring early summer … and my everbearing raspberries fruit late May to end of June… then the fall crop late Aug - Nov.

Here is what a mature Gerardi Mulberry looks like. This one is in North GA.

This one is in my basement… rooting 3 of them now. They are so quick to fruit… it already has mulberrries developing right after buds opened.


I planted a peach tree in front yard. I like its flowers. I am planning on plant two more red baron in front yard this year to make a row of peach tree that I am going to keep around 6+ feet

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If you’re willing to do the extra work, get a few of those trees a bit early and grow them in pots, then plant them out where you want them once the kids lose interest in the yard. As others have said, the kids will grow up fast. But, the trees will take their own time to bear fruit.