I'm moving to a new property in Zone 5b. I'm brand-spanking-new to permaculture. I really want to spend a year with the land and doing some more learning before I make any major decisions regarding layout of the homestead. However, one thing I do want to do this summer is get in some fruit-bearing trees. I figure every year counts, and the faster I get to delicious apples, pears, peaches, and cherries the better!
Can anyone point me in the direction of good resources to start learning about this topic? I literally know nothing. Varieties, timing, determining soil type... Of course I've done some Google searching, but feel overwhelmed. My biggest question is how do I site the trees in such a way that I'm not later going to regret the decision if I want to do other permaculture projects around the property?
I suppose what I'd really like is an answer to the siting question, and 1 good book or 1 good website with excellent science behind it that can help me figure out planting fruit trees and placement. Thoughts?
Hi Christina I'm new, I live in zone 4, you should be able to plant apples, plums possibly even peaches. My bf knows a lot more about fruit trees, when he's home I'll ask him for a link to the site he uses
Sounds fun. I'm zone 5a. You should be able to plant apples, plums and contender peaches. You should also be able to grow mulberry, maybe an almond, medlar and pawpaw. I find most nut trees to be irresistibly tasty to all rabbits and ground animals.
Goji berries should grow. blackberries. elderberries. osage orange. I've had awful luck with raspberries but everyone else can get them to grow. Seaberries too.
Here's what I can recommend to get started off right. Everything one needs to know about building and nurturing healthy soil can be found here: https://permies.com/wiki/redhawk-soil Regardless of what anyone wants to grow, it all starts with healthy soil.
I have a permaculture homestead in 5a/b. I grow peaches, apricots, 5 different plums, apples, pears, pawpaw's, quinces, mulberries, sweet cherries, pecans, kiwis, Concord grapes, goji, goose berries, raspberries, blueberries, walnuts, Hardy orange, Osage orange (not for fruit although you can graft che on to it). I plan to grow cornelian cherry and kousa dogwood as well as chestnuts and persimmons. The best and cheapest online nursery I have used is coldstream farm. I've bought over two hundred bare root apricots for around 1.00 a piece from them.
You are right to get your trees in now. The best time was yesterday and the second best time Is today as the saying goes.
Best of luck, and if I may give you a piece of advice try not to overthink tree placement, just plant where it feels natural. Forest edges, near stumps and boulders, slopes, just outside the drip edge of another large tree...etc.
Michael Moreken wrote:I heard in a Master Gardener class to not plant Bradford pears, they turn into 'calibor' plants pollinated into an invasive at least in TN. This invasive has huge long thorns too.
Ahh, but for those that just pop up in the landscape, or are already a few years old, can be grafted with yummy fruit. Voila! No more proliferation of callary pears from that root system!
For those unfamiliar, in their natural form, Bradford Pears are about 3/4" in diameter and are useless.
purposefully pursuing the perfect perennial permaculture answer: It Depends