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

I have an Illinois everbearing mulberry in the back yard! When I planted it, I did not anticipate how fast and big it would grow! That is one of the trees my older kids climb, and break branches (my kids are 9, 6, and 3). I don’t get too stressed about that one though cause it grows back so quickly. They climb to get all the out-of-reach berries!

I had Romeo and Juliet dwarf cherries in the yard, but the kids accidentally killed the Juliet, and it never came back (my toddler accidentally drove over it in his Fischer Price pedal car). But the Romeo is still going strong! It’s only it’s second year in the ground right now, so I don’t think it will fruit this year, but maybe next year? I planted a lapins cherry in the Juliet spot, but so far it’s sickly and small. Maybe I’ll replace the lapins with a wowza or another Juliet? Do you know if one is noticeably sweeter than the other?

I don’t have raspberries, but I do have thornless blackberries (Primark freedom and triple crown). The kids love those a lot. For some reason I thought raspberries would be harder to grow, so I picked blackberries as my cane fruits. Are raspberries similarly easy? Although, I don’t know where I would put raspberries at the moment.

I would love to have a strawberry patch, but I never put one in because of the bunnies. I figured the bunnies would just eat them all. How high do you think a raised bed would have to be to be bunny-free? Or maybe I could do strawberries in containers on my front porch?

Ps: you sound like a really great parent! I hope my kids have happy garden memories like that when they grow up!

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I never thought of potted trees!!! How long can a fruit tree stay in a pot before it has to get planted?

I am in TN and out in the country… acres of fields and woods around my home… lots of wildlife including rabbits.

I have had several strawberry beds over the years and I have grown them in borderless raised beds, mulched with fine pine bark mulch… A patch usually last 3-4 years, and then mine have always started going down hill… then I take them out and plant something else there for a few years… and make a new bed for strawberries in another location.

Right now I have strawberries in a 10x4 bed with my younger blueberry plants…
Then I have several more in my much larger food forest bed 90x4… planted along the sunny side of the borderless raised bed.

I have never really had a lot of trouble with rabbits eating my strawberries… but to be honest almost every spring when my sweet corn starts coming up… those nice little rabbits will eventually start snipping my corn starts off… and well when a critter starts messing with my stuff… I am a very skilled hunter.

If I were in a more urban location and had a serious rabbit problem… I think I would try growing strawberries in something like the Birdies Raised beds.


There are other brands out there too… but I have heard of the Birdies brand for years now (youtuber Self Sufficient Me) has been using them for a long time… and really likes them.

They come in different heights, and the taller ones sure look like they would be difficult for rabbits to get up into.

Yes… everyone’s kids should have a big strawberry patch.

Good Luck !


You’ld really have to look at each prospective tree separately. Bonsai literally keeps trees in potted conditions for decades. Most will be more forgiving when they are young, but if you are buying them now so that they are fruiting age when you put them in the ground, you can do the waiting now while you are prioritizing the space for other things anyway. A lot of your shaping efforts can still be done while it is still potted as well.
Things with taproots don’t tend to do as well as things without. You’ve got to mind the water, nutrients, and freeze potential a little more attentively with pots.
The rub is that the bigger the pot, the bigger the hole you’ll dig to plant it.

That 3 year old daughter I mentioned earlier is married and 25 years old now… she lives about 2.5 hours away. Last spring I helped her get a little strawberry bed going at her place (and raspberries that I propigated)

Today she sent me these pics…


You’ve convinced me my kids need strawberries :yum:

I’ve never grown them before, what kind would you recommend? If I hear went to home depot or something like that, could I just pick up some there?

Those are seascape, and they get very good reviews… several on here have mentioned them positively so I tried them last year. I also have some eversweet and sure crop, and they have done well for me. My daughter got some ripe berries last fall from hers and reported that they were very good.

sure crop is a june bearer… seascape and eversweet are everbearing, and the eversweet are known to keep producing thru the heat (our south eastern heat) and they have done that for me here. My eversweet berries have been on the small side, but I do not baby them either… they are out in the food forest bed and I do not water them… but from late spring thru to October… when I make a food forest run I almost all ways come back with some eversweet strawberries. Smaller berries usually but taste just like a strawberry should.

I have earlyglow on my list of strawberries to try next time, at the recommendation of some here… ripen earlier than most. I think it was Blueberry that recommended those and I will try them soon.

Good Luck !

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Check out this post… and the fire pit ring options mentioned for a smaller perhaps less expensive raised bed option.

A 12- 14 inch tall fire pit ring with a small rabbit fence might work.


Did those strawberries freeze? I notice the blossoms have black centers, which often indicates frost damage. I hope that is not the case.

@northwoodswis4 … I am sure they did recently… here where I live we had 23 24 degrees a short while back… my daughter lives up on the cumberland platough near Cookeville… and it generally gets colder up there than at my place.

[quote=“Drew51, post:11, topic:44116”]
But after a month of treatment they will not be back all season. Always exceptions

The exception certainly occurs in my orchard. I use it, but have to keep spraying new growth, which seems more the problem than rain- 2 weeks of new growth and they begin browsing, almost on the clock. Even when plants stop growing you need to spray in late summer to prevent buck rubs.

Over a quarter century of defending a fenceless nursery gives me a lot of evaluation experience, but I can only speak for my deer on my location. I don’t use deer repellent anywhere else.

I only have light deer pressure on Russell island. As the areas are occupied by humans most of the time. They can only feed early in the morning. Also dogs help. As the urine smells like wolf. My dogs have chased deer right off the island before. It’s amazing how well deer can swim.

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If dogs have access to an orchard at night they sometimes exclude them, depending on the dogs. Variations seem to be both environmental and behavioral. My deer don’t browse above 4’. Nearby, the browse line goes as high as 8’. And then there are some dogs who ignore deer and other fruit tree pests I like them to discourage. Chasing squirrels in particular varies from breed to breed and I suspect from various dogs within the same breed.

I have experienced different results at different sites with deer repellents as well- back when I had a nursery in another country.

LOL – I have three Gerardi bushes in a fenced area. Well, only two now because the local woodchucks burrow under the fence and climb the tree in order to strip the foliage. The weight caused one to break at the graft. And local deer will massacre any mulberry, so a 6-7’ fence is mandatory.

Re repellents: Two years ago one morning, there were three deer (doe, yearling, fawn) munching on my young apple trees. I shot the yearling with a bow. The other two ran away in disbelief, but returned later that same day.

Deer will come into an area even if dangerous if they are hungry enough.
They will eat deer resistant plants too. Only a few are poisonous enough to leave. Like daffodils which have been known to kill horses.
My dogs love chasing them but even more so squirrels. I did have to train them to chase robins. And not to chase sparrows. It took some time but soon my dog knew the chirp of robins. My second dog only took a day as my first dog really trained him not me. He’s younger and better at getting robins. I love to watch them work. They are Aussies and will jump at flying robins to catch them right in the air. My father and son team.


I’ve been using Bonide ‘Repels All’ mixed with water and spraying my apple trees that are most likely to get deer browsed. Has resulted in only one tree having very much damage this year. (But, as new gowth appears, gotta spray it too…as the deer really love the limb tips. Also, rain reduces the effectiveness and means more applications for control.)

@TNHunter You would still have to protect them from birds, squirrels, chipmunks, etc.

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@Vlad… seems like there is always some freeloading critter trying to eat all our fruit.

I had more trouble with squirrels this year than ever.

Squirrel season is open here now… time for some pay back.

I also just ordered a GAMO Raptor Whisper .22 cal break barrel air rifle… squirrels, rabbits… time for a batch of Brunswick stew.


Hey if you kill more than necessary…the crows and buzzards will thank you!