What fruits do best in southern New York State?

Looking for growers in the southern parts of New York. What zone are you and what fruit species and varieties are consistent in your area?


Hi Blake,

I’m in Northern NJ, zone 6b/7a just over the border from Rockland county NY.

Berries have been consistent, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry. My gooseberries are not producing yet, they are young.

Pears and apples are pretty good too.

Plums depended on the spring freeze for me.

I have 5 pawpaw trees, oldest ones planted in 2018, the last two (for now!) planted this year from your nursery. Haven’t produced yet but soon I hope.

My jujubes produced their first crop this year. Only in second leaf, I assume they will be good.

Persimmons are good.

Figs are good protected of course.


Hi Dom,
What plums have been the best for you? And what blackberry and raspberry cultivars?


I’ve had a business called the Home Orchard Co. for about 30 years which includes a bearing age nursery which is mostly varieties I have tested of plums, pears (Asian and Euro), peaches, nectarines, cherries (sour and sweet), apples, crabapples, and chestnuts, but I am also growing or have grown a wide variety of less common fruits and common berries.

You can grow most temperate species of fruit with widely varying degrees of effort, depending of both species and site.

As far as suggested freeze issue with plums, this year was brutal at half the orchards I manage because of a dive to around 20F on the last week of march- everything bloomed beautifully afterwards but embryos were killed for most of them, also for nectarines some varieties of peaches and some sites even pears (like in my orchard). Historically this isn’t a problem with hardiest plums and the rest most years in our region. I’m in Putnam county away from the river near Carmel (Kent Cliffs). Sites I manage in Garrison and Coldspring close to the river were fine. In some sites plums and nects were frozen out but everything else was fine.

What you need to be aware of from the getgo is that wildlife in our area are likely to try to take your fruit before you do. My solution is to have about 5’ of straight trunk before first scaffolds so I can build baffles below that to keep squirrels, coons and possums off the branches- the higher branches also make it hard for deer to reach. Some seasons some sites nets are needed on top of that to control birds. This was a big problem this year probably exasperated by the drought.

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Bingo!, this is my number one challenge especially the birds this year. They stripped every single grape in the hard green stage, they never did that before this year.
Also I had more pressure on the berries this year. I was able to get nets up on the berries in time, but every single day I had a desperate bird stuck in that net.

@Blake , heritage raspberry, Chester and Ponca blackberry have done well for me.

I only have 3 plums. Toka, superior and black ice. Toka is the most productive for me which allows me to get about 1/3 of what it produces to the table .

I ripped our all my euro plums a few years ago. Black knot is a serious issue here and I raised the white flag.


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I’d much rather spend some time cutting out blacknot and get reliable cropping of high quality plums, but the last 4 years have been tough with all the rain in spring, however, in the grand scheme of things I will take my Valor, De Montfort, Castleton, Empress and a few other E’s along with Elephant Heart, the ever reliable Shiro, Satsuma, EarliMagic, Spring Satin, Reema J. plums with the few hours annual removing black knot. I’ve not seen great productivity or longevity from the few interspecific American hybrids I’ve dealt with.

Black mono-filament netting is a bird killer and a patience killer as well. Two strand knitted netting is much easier to deal with and worth the price if your time is money.

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