I'm staying put for at least 2 years - potentially 5 plus, and am now in the process of buying a house in practically tropical zone 6a! Tropical by Canadian standards anyway- particularly a gardener whose only ever grown perennials in Zone 3b!!!
My question is - are there any perennialfruit trees/bushes that could be expected to produce within 3 years? Does anyone have favourite varieties that produce earlier, or management practices (like heavy pruning or espalier) people have had success with?
I'm definitely planting raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, grapes, and black berries (mostly from free family cuttings).
Other plants of interest would be saskatoons, haskap, apples, crab apples, medlars, quince, asian pears, persimmons, hardy kiwi, mulberries, sour cherries, sweet cherries, apricots, nectarines, hazelnuts, chestnuts ...
Any of these known for being early bearing? My whole life feels like it's been a series of "plant this, then move before it bears fruit", so knowing what produces early would be wonderful.
Your plans for planting berries sound great. I don’t think many types of fruit trees would be likely to produce more than a coupe fruits in two years. You could probably get good peaches and cherries in 5 years.
I probably would plant fruit trees in pots. I don’t really like to plant dwarf trees, but in your situation, it might be best. They don’t live as long and aren’t as hardy. You could plant standard sized trees in pots if you think you can plant them in the ground in a few years.
Blueberries seem to like Earthboxes planters. I’ve had one in a planter for three years.
Most other berries are really easy to dig up and replant when you move.
Mulberries can produce as early as one year after planting, depending on the variety, some can take longer. One of mine made fruit just a few months after I planted it, but the fruit didn't develop fully, as the plant was still adjusting to being transplanted.
As was already mentioned by others above, berries and the Prunus genus (plums, cherries, peaches, and others) have fruited earliest for me. Most plums and peaches bloom really early here in zone 7b, so in zone 6a you may want to look for varieties of plums and peaches that bloom later to avoid early Spring frosts. My Prunus fruit trees that were planted in rich, well draining soil, have exploded with lots of growth and some have grown more that 4 ft. their first year in the ground.
I've heard that training the tree branches of fruit trees that normally take longer to fruit, to droop down and also limiting their nitrogen can help them produce fruit earlier.
I prefer to plant standard size trees in the ground if possible. They seem to grow fast and be very low maintenance that way. If you moved, you could take cuttings with you to start new trees, and maybe potential buyers would be looking for a home with some good fruit trees and bushes!
Hope you get some tasty fruit soon!
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Location: Ontario - Gardening in zone 3b, 4b, or 6b, depending on the day
So it sounds like other than berries, stone fruit might be my best bet for getting to see a harvest... Awesome, because that's what I am most excited about -I had homegrown apples growing up, but PLUMS?! PEACHES? CHERRIES?! As a kid, I visited relatives in Europe every couple summers. I fondly remember reaching and plucking a peach, hot from the sun and so ripe it exploded into juice in my hand - i held the peach above my mouth to catch every delicious drop. Now THAT's the dream.
I'm not a fan of keeping trees in pots - I don't trust myself to keep them watered. I would rather plant trees now, and then take cuttings later if I end up moving.
We are in zone 6a. We started planting our orchard 7 years ago, it's mixed with all. The fruit that we have gotten the earliest was Dwarf Cherries (Carmine Jewel). It took about 3 years for us to get a small harvest. Next were the Asian Pears. We harvested a few of those about 4 years after planting. Additionally, we have almost no disease or pest issues with our Asian Pears. But even so, I think it took about 4 years to start getting a harvest.
Maybe you should consider growing dwarf fruit trees in containers. That way you could take them with you when you move. :)
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. -B. Franklin
I bought most of my fruit trees from starkbros and onegreenworld and they fruited quickly some the very year I got them.
Strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, currants, gooseberry, blackberry, jostaberry, elderberry, juneberry, jujube, seaberry, silverberry, goumi
mulberry, grapes, columnar apple, sweet-kernel apricot, bush cherry, beach plum, chicargo hardy fig does great, and maypop fruited the 1st year too. akebia (a vine), schisandra vine and it's relatives.
Ooh! Figs! I have (or had) a potted Chicago Hardy Fig I bought 3 or 4 years ago. I gave it to my dad to look after when I was away for a few months 3 years ago, and he's refused to give it back because he likes the look of the foliage in his greenhouse. It starts to produce figs 2x/year, and then they all die. Great to know that they might propagate from cuttings and produce fruit in one year, as cuttings is the only way I can see getting that plant back.
So - figs, mulberries, peaches, plums, bush cherries - all things I've never successfully grown before.
One of the houses I looked at had mostly dead, half rotten peach/cherry/stonefruit trees (I am bad at identifying bark and they were heavily pruned). Very tempting, but not the right house for me.
Here’s some weird fruits for you. Hansen and Nanking cherries. I planted some in the fall of 2018 and will get a sizable harvest this year. I took a chunk of root from my neighbor last spring. It’s small but has cherries as well. His wife called it a sand cherry so I’m not sure if that’s it’s actual name or not.