Did you know that Vermont is home to over 6,800 farms, producing everything from dairy to maple syrup?
With such a rich agricultural history, it’s no surprise that Vermont is also a great place to grow your own fruit trees.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at 10 wild fruit trees that thrive in Vermont’s unique climate and soil.
- Popular fruit trees in Vermont include apples, pears, plums, peaches, cherries, nectarines, apricots, and mulberries.
- Proper care such as well-draining soil, regular pruning, disease prevention, and fertilization are crucial for successful growth of these fruit trees.
- Choosing the right variety is important for ensuring success in Vermont’s climate and soil.
1. Apple Tree
If you’re looking for a wild fruit tree to grow in Vermont, you can’t go wrong with an apple tree. Malus domestica, also known as the common apple tree, is one of the most popular fruit trees in the state.
They can grow up to 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide, with a rounded crown and grayish-brown bark.
The leaves are oval-shaped, with serrated edges, and can grow up to 5 inches long.
Apple trees require full sun exposure and well-draining soil to thrive, and they prefer a slightly acidic pH level between 6.0 and 7.0.
Growing tips for apple trees include proper pruning techniques, disease prevention, and using the best fertilizers.
Pruning should be done in early spring before the tree starts to bud, and it’s important to remove any dead or diseased branches to prevent the spread of infection.
Fertilizers high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium should be used to promote healthy growth and fruit production.
Apple trees can be harvested from late summer to early fall, depending on the variety.
With proper care and maintenance, an apple tree can provide delicious fruit for years to come.
2. Pear Tree
You might be surprised to learn that growing a pear tree in your backyard can be a fruitful endeavor, providing you with a bountiful harvest of juicy, sweet fruit.
The Pyrus communis, commonly known as the pear tree, is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide.
Its leaves are shiny and oval-shaped, with toothed edges, while its flowers are white and fragrant, blooming in early spring.
When planting a pear tree, it’s important to choose a location that receives full sun exposure and has well-draining soil.
Soil preparation should include mixing organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, into the planting hole.
Pruning techniques should be used to shape the tree and encourage fruit production.
Disease prevention can be achieved through regular maintenance, such as removing dead or diseased branches and applying fungicides.
Companion planting with herbs, such as basil and thyme, can also help deter pests.
When it comes to harvesting, pears should be picked when they’re firm but not hard, and then allowed to ripen at room temperature for a few days.
3. Plum Tree
Get ready to enjoy the delicious taste of plums straight from your own backyard by planting a Prunus domestica tree in a sunny spot with well-draining soil and using pruning techniques to encourage fruit production.
This deciduous tree can grow up to 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide with a rounded canopy of green leaves.
The fragrant white flowers bloom in early spring before the ovate green leaves emerge.
The fruit is a juicy, sweet, and slightly tart drupe that can be harvested in late summer or early fall.
When it comes to growing tips, it’s important to choose the best varieties for your area, such as the Italian Prune, Stanley, or Santa Rosa.
Plum trees require regular watering, especially during dry spells, and fertilization in early spring.
Pest control is also crucial for a successful harvest, as plum curculio and black knot can damage the fruit and branches.
Harvesting techniques include picking the fruit when it’s ripe and slightly soft to the touch, and storing it in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks.
Culinary uses for plums include making jams, jellies, and pies, or simply enjoying them fresh off the tree.
4. Peach Tree
The peach tree is a must-have addition to any backyard with its mouth-watering, juicy peaches that are so heavenly, you’ll think you’ve gone to paradise.
The scientific name for the peach tree is Prunus persica, and it’s a deciduous tree that can grow up to 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide.
The leaves are lance-shaped, glossy, and dark green, and the flowers are pink, with five petals and a yellow center.
When it comes to soil requirements, the peach tree prefers well-draining soil that is slightly acidic, with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.5.
It’s important to prune the tree regularly to promote healthy growth and fruit production.
Pruning techniques include removing dead or diseased wood, thinning out crowded branches, and shaping the tree to encourage a strong framework.
Pest control is essential to protect the tree from diseases and insects that can damage the fruit.
Harvesting tips include picking the peaches when they are firm but slightly soft, and gently twisting them off the tree.
Popular peach varieties include Redhaven, Elberta, and Georgia Belle, all of which are ideal for growing in Vermont’s climate.
5. Fig Tree
Oh my goodness, the fig tree is a true marvel with its delectable and succulent fruit that will leave your taste buds singing with joy!
This tree, scientifically known as Ficus carica, has a unique appearance with large, lobed leaves that are a vibrant green color.
The fruit, which can be green or purple depending on the variety, grows directly from the trunk and branches of the tree, making it a stunning sight to behold.
If you’re interested in growing a fig tree, it’s important to know that they require specific growing techniques and care.
These trees need well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight, but can also benefit from occasional irrigation during dry spells.
Winter care is also important, as fig trees are not cold-hardy and should be protected from frost and freezing temperatures.
Pest management is crucial as well, as figs are prone to insect infestations.
When it comes time for harvest, it’s best to wait until the fruit is fully ripe and soft to the touch before picking.
With proper care and attention, your fig tree can be a reliable source of delicious fruit for years to come.
6. Cherry Tee
If you’re considering planting a cherry tree in your backyard, you’ll be pleased to know that they’re relatively easy to grow and care for.
The most common types of cherry trees that grow well in Vermont are the sweet cherry tree (Prunus avium) and the tart cherry tree (Prunus cerasus).
These trees can grow up to 30 feet tall and have a spread of up to 20 feet wide.
They have a beautiful, white/pinkish blossom in the spring, and the fruit ripens in early to mid-summer.
The benefits of growing cherry trees are many. Cherries are a great source of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. They’re also high in vitamin C and potassium.
The best time to plant cherry trees is in the fall or early spring. You should always pick cherries when they’re fully ripe, and they should be stored in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.
Common cherry tree diseases include bacterial canker, black knot, and brown rot.
Cherry tree pruning techniques involve removing any dead or diseased wood, thinning out the tree to promote air circulation, and shaping the tree to your desired form.
7. Nectarine Tree
To grow a healthy nectarine tree in your backyard, you’ll need to choose a sunny, well-draining spot and ensure regular watering during the growing season.
Here are some care tips to help you get started:
- Soil: Nectarine trees prefer well-drained soil with a pH between 6 and 7.5.
- Fertilizer: Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring and late summer.
- Pruning: Prune in late winter to shape the tree and remove any dead or diseased wood.
- Disease prevention: To prevent common diseases like brown rot and bacterial spot, keep the area around the tree clean and dry, and avoid overhead watering.
- Harvesting techniques: Nectarines are ready to harvest when they’re slightly soft to the touch and have a sweet fragrance. Pick them gently by hand to avoid bruising.
- Culinary uses: Nectarines are great for eating fresh, adding to salads, or making into jams and desserts.
When choosing a nectarine tree variety, look for ones that’re adapted to your climate and have good disease resistance.
Some popular varieties include:
- ‘Redgold’: A high-yielding tree with yellow flesh and red skin.
- ‘Fantasia’: A late-season variety with large, juicy fruit.
- ‘Arctic Jay’: A cold-hardy variety that produces large, sweet fruit.
By following these care tips and choosing the right variety, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious nectarines from your backyard tree.
8. Apricot Tree
You should consider planting an apricot tree in your backyard, as it can provide a sweet and juicy addition to your summer fruit collection.
There are many apricot varieties to choose from, such as the Moorpark, which has a tangy flavor and is perfect for making jams, or the Blenheim, which is sweeter and can be eaten fresh.
When it comes to growing apricot trees, it’s important to choose a location that receives full sunlight and has well-draining soil.
These trees can grow up to 20 feet tall and have a spread of up to 15 feet, so make sure to give them enough space to grow.
When planting, make sure to dig a hole that’s twice as wide as the root ball and slightly shallower.
Water the tree regularly, especially during dry spells, and fertilize during the growing season.
As for pest control, aphids and spider mites can be a problem, so regular spraying with insecticidal soap can help keep them at bay.
When it comes to harvesting, apricots are ready when they’re soft to the touch and have a deep orange color.
They can be eaten fresh, canned, or used in baked goods such as pies and cobblers.
9. Mulberry Tree
Moving on from the Apricot tree, let’s talk about the Mulberry tree.
This tree is a great addition to any Vermont garden, as it can thrive in a wide range of soils and is relatively low-maintenance.
Plus, it produces delicious fruit that can be used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
Here are some things you should know about the Mulberry tree:
- Scientific name: Morus spp.
- Physical features: Mulberry trees can grow up to 30 feet tall, with a spread of up to 35 feet. They have rounded, dark green leaves and produce small, sweet fruit in shades of black, red, or white.
- Growth habits: Mulberry trees are fast-growing and can produce fruit within their second or third year. They prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
- Environmental needs: Mulberry trees are adaptable to a wide range of soils but prefer well-draining soil. They are also somewhat drought-tolerant.
- Culinary and medicinal uses: Mulberries are rich in antioxidants and have been used for centuries in traditional medicine. They can be eaten fresh or used in jams, jellies, pies, and other baked goods.
To ensure your Mulberry tree is healthy and productive, here are some growing tips and pruning techniques:
- Mulberry trees are best planted in the spring, after the last frost.
- They should be watered deeply once a week, especially during dry spells.
- Mulberry trees don’t require a lot of pruning, but it’s a good idea to remove any dead or diseased branches in the winter.
- To encourage fruit production, you can also prune in the late winter or early spring, removing any branches that are more than three years old.
- There are several different varieties of Mulberry trees, including the black Mulberry, red Mulberry, and white Mulberry. It’s important to choose a variety that is well-suited to your climate and soil.
10. Lemon Tree
If you’re looking for a way to add some zing to your garden, consider planting a lemon tree!
Growing lemons in Vermont may seem like a challenge, but with proper care and attention, you can enjoy the delicious fruit right in your backyard.
The best lemon tree varieties for Vermont include the Meyer lemon tree and the Lisbon lemon tree.
The Meyer lemon tree is popular for its sweeter taste and smaller size, while the Lisbon lemon tree produces larger fruit with a tangy flavor.
When it comes to lemon tree care, there are a few tips to keep in mind.
Lemon trees require well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight, so choose a location in your garden that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight a day.
They also do best in a humid environment, so consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near the tree.
To prevent lemon tree pests and diseases, keep an eye out for spider mites and scale insects, and use insecticidal soap as needed.
Finally, pruning lemon trees is important to promote healthy growth and fruit production.
Prune in the spring and summer, removing any dead or damaged branches and keeping the tree at a manageable size.