Saturday, April 19, 2014
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Take home bare-root stock fruit trees for a $5 suggested donation. Shade tree stock will also be available at wholesale prices. Come early for best selection! View the event on Facebook.
Dreaming of a fresh fruit harvest from your own yard? Many fruits grow well in the Pacific Northwest with enough sun, space and care. However, it’s worth taking time to choose the right fruit tree for your lifestyle to ensure that come harvest time, you’ll be saying “oh joy” instead of “oh boy.”
So… which statement best describes you?
I love fruit, but I’m pretty busy.
Choose: Fig or persimmon
In general, fruit trees are more susceptible to pests, fungus and disease than regular trees. But the fig and persimmon have few of these problems. Figs grow quickly and are very forgiving to less-than-expert pruning regimens. You can even grow a fig bush. Persimmons grow slowly, are fairly easy to maintain and put on lots of bright, orange fruits in the fall. King fig and Fuyu persimmon are good choices.
I’ll do a little work for some jam.
Choose: Italian or Asian plum
These plum varieties usually have abundant, healthy crops in the summer, with only a few pests to worry about, though trees require regular pruning and harvesting. This semi-dwarf Italian plum can be kept to a manageable height and has large, purple fruit.
I’m a beginner but want a ton of fruit.
Choose: Asian pear
Asian pears produce huge crops but are less susceptible to disease than typical European pears. You’ll need a little knowledge about pruning to maintain a healthy structure so the branches can hold loads of fruit without breaking. You’ll also be harvesting a lot—but you can do it!
I make my own pie—bring it on.
Choose: Apple or European pear
Though popular, apples and pears are more challenging to grow in our area—though certainly feasible. The reason? Pests and fungus. Depending on the season, you may have to battle pests like maggots or codling moths—the proverbial worm in your apple. In our wet climate, outbreaks of scab (a fungus) can show up as brown spots on leaves and fruit.
But don’t be discouraged—if you don’t mind a worm or two, we suggest choosing a semi-dwarfing variety (12-15 feet tall and wide without pruning) that is resistant to scab, such as Akane and Liberty.
A well-pruned semi-dwarfing apple tree.
I want to grow something weird.
Choose: Paw paw.
Full of potassium, the paw paw is like the banana of North America (it’s native to the southeast). The common paw paw can be a fun addition to your garden and table, with custardy flesh that some people say tastes kind of like a cross between a banana and a mango.
Want to dig deeper? Read these four things to consider before choosing a fruit tree for your yard.
And we’ll see you at the 2014 Fruit Tree Giveaway Saturday, April 19! Check out the event on Facebook.