Landscape Design

Top 10 Fruit Trees

By Sheereen Othman | March 20, 2017

With the weather warming up in the southern hardiness zones, tree shipping has begun at the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Nursery.  If you’re thinking about adding trees and shrubs to your yard this spring, it’s not too late to order.

Here are the top 10 fruit trees sold from the Arbor Day Tree Nursery , in order of the most popular.

  1. Bing Cherry (Prunus avium ‘Bing’)

When it comes to cherries, the Bing variety tops the list in terms of popularity and production. This hallmark of cherry trees grows in both a standard and dwarf form and can be a major producer once mature. In fact, a standard Bing cherry tree can provide as much as 50–100 lbs. of cherries per year!

The cherries are large and heart-shaped with a firm, meaty, purplish-red flesh and a semi-free stone that is easily removed—making them ideal for fresh eating and preserves.

  1. Red Jonathan Apple (Malus domestica ‘Red Jonathan’)

This late-ripening cultivar produces beautiful, bright red apples with crisp and juicy white flesh has a bold, tart but well-balanced flavor. It’s a great apple for fresh eating, freezing and cooking. The fruit ripens late in the season (mid-September to mid-October) and has a great shelf life, keeping anywhere from 3–6 months in the refrigerator.

When planting these trees, be sure to include other apple varieties such as red delicious, yellow delicious or early harvest to ensure pollination.

  1. Bluecrop Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)

Bluecrop is a highbush blueberry cultivar. It produces all-purpose blueberries that are firm and somewhat tart—great for preserves, baking, freezing and fresh eating. With this shrub, you will harvest as much as 10–20 lbs. of fruit every July. It also provides some nice landscape value with a bloom of white flowers in May and fiery red color in the fall.

Blueberry plants are self-fertile, but cross-pollination produces a better crop—creating larger yields of larger berries. So it is best to plant more than one variety with the same bloom time 4—6′ apart.

  1. Black Tartarian Cherry (Prunus avium ‘Black Tartarian’)

A very popular species of sweet cherry, the black Tartarian makes a great choice for home orchards. It produces large, purplish-black fruit with a sweet, rich, full-bodied flavor that is great for fresh eating and preserves. This cultivar is also the best pollinator for other dark sweet cherries.

If you’re looking to start or add to your orchard, the black Tartarian cherry may be a good option.

5. Golden Jubilee Peach (Prunus persica ‘Golden Jubilee’)

A popular yellow freestone peach, this cultivar is known for its ability to survive in cold climates. It produces high-quality fruit with fine-grained, tender, juicy flesh that is excellent for canning, freezing, and preserves.

The golden jubilee peach is available in standard and dwarf sizes. While it is self-fertile, planting more than one tree is recommended to ensure a good crop. See our Fruit Tree Spacing Guide for more specifics.

  1. Arapaho Blackberry (Rubus spp. ‘Arapaho’)

The Arapaho blackberry is an erect, early-ripening, thornless shrub that produces large red and black fruit. The berries are firm and tasty with small seeds—good for making jams and syrups. And there’s no need for a trellis, as this plant is self-supporting.

  1. Bartlett Pear (Pyrus communis ‘Bartlett’)

Known as America’s favorite pear, the Bartlett variety actually came from Europe. It functions as the standard by which all other pears are measured and is a favorite for fresh eating, canning and preserves.

The Bartlett pear is easy to grow and will reward its owner with beautiful blossoms in the spring, large and luscious fruit in late summer and a continuous crop for as much as 100 years.

  1. Montmorency Cherry (Prunus cerasus ‘Montmorency’)

Meet America’s most popular tart cherry for pies and preserves. The Montmorency cherry tree is a cold-hardy hybrid species that ripens early in the season. The medium-large bright red fruit has a firm yellow flesh; clear juice; and a rich, tart flavor that bakers and jam makers love.

This tree is self-fertile, but planting two or more trees will ensure the best crop.

  1. Kieffer Pear (Pyrus communis x P. pyrifolia)

Said to be an accidental hybrid, the Kieffer pear is a hardy tree. It grows rapidly, lives long, is disease-resistant and bears a large crop. It also tolerates a wide range of climates, thriving in northern states as well as hotter southern states. In fact, the Kieffer pear is the most widely planted pears in the South.

The golden yellow fruit has white flesh that is crisp and coarse in texture—excellent for canning, baking, preserves and pear honey. The tree produces fruit late September to October.

  1. Belle of Georgia Peach (Prunus persica ‘Belle of Georgia’)

The Belle of Georgia peach is an old-time favorite that produces brilliant red flowers each spring and large fruit in late August.  The peaches are very firm and highly flavored, with creamy white freestone flesh tinged with red. While excellent for fresh eating, the fruit is widely used for desserts and canning.

The Belle of Georgia peach is available in standard and dwarf sizes. While it is self-fertile, planting more than one tree is recommending to ensure a good crop. See our Fruit Tree Spacing Guide for more specifics.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Elizabeth Adamson April 13, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Can someone send me a short directive to plant my 3 hazelnut starts. I lost the directions that were in the “mailbag” and need to plant them today! Thanks!
    Elizabeth Adamson, Asheville. N C

  • Reply Christine Hutfles April 13, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Elizabeth, we will get these directions emailed to you today. Happy Planting!

  • Reply Trevor April 28, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    I would personally choose the red Jonathan Apple tree. With all the pesticides in conventional apples you can almost see your reflection on apples in the grocery store because they are so shiny from the chemical sprays! We really loved our apple tree, they were definitely smaller apples but so much more flavor and they tasted amazing and felt healthy.

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