Fruit Trees in the Urban Landscape
Looking for the ultimate multi-purpose plants? If so, it sounds like you need to add fruit trees to your landscape! Fruit trees offer up many seasons of interest: fragrant blooms in spring, attractive and tasty fruit in summer, and often a beautiful fall foliage show. Plus, they provide much needed food for bees and other pollinators, making them a great addition to a wildlife garden. You might think fruit trees are only for those with lots of space for an orchard of trees. But, you can actually pack a lot of fruit into a small urban landscape by choosing the right varieties. Even if you live in a townhome with no land to plant in, many dwarf varieties of fruit trees thrive in large containers.
Fruit trees are usually some of the earliest plants in the landscape to come to life after winter. Cherry and peach trees are famous for their pale pink, bright pink or white blooms. Plum and pear trees have clean white blooms that glow early in the season. Apple trees have white blooms, with some varieties featuring a pink blush to the blooms.
Easy-Start Fruit Trees
Peaches are one of the most popular fruits you can grow. In early spring, bowl-shaped flowers appear in shades of pink, peach or white. Dwarf varieties ‘Bonanza’, ‘Bonfire’, ‘Dwarf Empress’ and ‘PixZee’ are perfect for large pots or as companion plants in your sunny perennial garden bed. Each grows no taller than 10-feet, making them perfect for smaller landscapes. For warmer climates, plant a low chill (200-300 hours) varieties such as ‘Tropic Snow’, ‘SunRed’, ‘Flordaprince’ and ‘Desert Gold’.
Plum trees are more drought tolerant than many other fruit trees; with many also being self-pollinating. Self-pollinating plum favorites include ’Beauty’ that produces bright red, sweet fruit and ‘Santa Rosa’. Other easy-to-grow varieties include: ‘Satsuma’ that produces large, dark-red, very sweet fruit that are best for eating fresh off the trees. The dull green fruit of ‘Green Gage’ may not look very appetizing, but they are some of the best tasting plums available!
Grow Beautiful, Healthy Fruit Trees
Well-draining soil with organic matter is always best for healthy fruit trees. Fruit trees will need to be properly pruned just before spring bud-break; the timing will vary depending on when the given varieties tend to flower. In early-spring feed with a nitrogen fertilizer. Water your new trees regularly in the heat of summer to keep them healthy.