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  • Writer's pictureJessica Corner

Fruit Trees You Can Actually Grow Here

I often thought I’d like to grow a fruit tree, but then I couldn’t imagine growing anything other than apples where we live (not that that’s not a good option). Now that we will be grinding the stump from our front yard, it’s time for me to work on convincing Johnny to plant some fruit trees! Especially now that I know I have so many options. Apparently the weather’s not as big of a concern as I thought, but if anyone knows how to keep the squirrels away, let me know! Here’s a quick summary of our options below:

Apple trees - my first go-to since I know that it can be done! However, since I’ve already asked someone down the road if we can pick their apples rather than see them smushed on the road, I’m less inclined to try to grow any of my own. However, if this is right up your alley, keep in mind you’ll need at least two or three trees that bloom at the same time for successful pollination. I’m not sure we’ll have room for two at our place, in which case apples will become our only option and we can hope they’ll pollinate with the tree down the road.

Pear trees - apparently these trees are generally insect and disease resistant, which is a plus, however this one is pretty much off the table for us since we don’t eat pears that often. But it’s interesting to note that pear trees can survive even in areas with winter temperatures as low as -47° Celsius!

Plum tree - this is a contender at our house for sure, since having our own plum tree would mean we could wait to pick them when they are fully ripe and as sweet as they can get (rather than taste the inferior plums from the grocery store which have to be picked before they are ripe to avoid spoiling). But there are draw backs: they spoil fast so we’d have to eat them quickly (or share with our neighbours of course) and then wait patiently until next year, the flowers bloom early so there’s always a risk they could freeze and we’d get no plums that year (I’ve heard to expect one good year out of every three), and unless the tree is self-fertile it will require another plum tree near by to pollinate it (usually a Canadian plum, or if it’s a European plum it would need another European plum).

Cherry tree (sweet) - this would be my first choice since we love cherries, but I’m not sure we have room for more than one at our house. There are some trees that are marked as self-pollinating but even they do better with another tree nearby. They also thin themselves naturally so that’s less work for me. I’ll have to be patient though since they take about 4 years to produce anything, and just like the plums, we’ll have a lot to eat in a short amount of time or I’ll have to pick them early to freeze.

Grapes (Muscadine - North American) - Ok I know technically these are on a vine, but I love grapes, and don't often see people growing them in their gardens. The bonus of these is that they can usually self-pollinate, but I could fit more than one vine in our yard so that’s not an issue anyway. The draw back is the maintenance, as grapes require a trellis, and strategic pruning, and the vines won’t be as visually appealing as a tree would be. If you think grapes might be for you, make sure you have a sunny spot with deep, well-drained soil. One bonus for grapes is the extended shelf-life, as they can last up to 6 weeks in a cold cellar.

So that’s that. I doubt you’re on the edge of your seat waiting for my final decision, but I’ll post an update once they’re planted anyway.

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