• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Easiest fruit tree for NE Illinois that grows like a weed?

 
Kayla Wildflower
Posts: 11
Location: North Central Florida 8b
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just planted a food forest in Gainesville, Florida, and would like to share the joy of fruit growing with my 9-year-old niece and 11-year-old nephew in DuPage County, IL, near Chicago.

I want to send them a fruit tree to plant. What will grow easily organically, with no need for cross pollination, and that will bear soon enough for these children to appreciate homegrown fruit?

Here in North Florida loquats, kumquats, figs and mulberries will grow and produce quickly with little attention. In fact, you could have figs growing in your backyard before you notice you have a fig "tree!"

What is there like that? I'm afraid their parents will not be much help, besides the initial planting. On top of all that, their yard is not large and it's pretty shady! Thanks in advance!
 
Mike Cantrell
Posts: 530
Location: Mid-Michigan
28
bee books duck food preservation forest garden hunting solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Neat idea, I like it.

Southern Michigan is not so far from NE IL, so I'm going to assume what works here will work there.

Mulberries would probably be my first pick. They grow wild, kids love them, seems like a winner.

This is a real good climate for apples, so that might be plan B.

After that? Hard to say. Good luck!
 
Troy Rhodes
Posts: 572
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The Methley plum. Nothing stops it. Here in S. michigan, we had a couple of very cold winters that nearly killed my peach trees. The plum didn't even notice.

I have never failed to get a crop. It should start producing in the 3rd year, especially if you get one of the bigger trees.

It never has fungal problems.

It's self fertile, so no need for a pollenator, and it is an excellent pollenator for many other varieties of plums.

Not too big, not too small, pretty blossoms, bugs don't bother it. The japanese beetles eat some of the leaves, it just bounces right back.

Widely available. Not expensive. Breeds ~true from seed, so that's fun as all get out.



 
John Wolfram
Posts: 632
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
17
trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd go with a peach or plum, and stay away from pears and apples. The nice thing about peaches and plums is that they become ripe when it's hot out, and decompose quickly when they hit the ground. That means eight years from now, your brother/sister won't hate you because their lawn looks terrible due to the rotting apples on the ground for the whole month of October.
 
Kayla Wildflower
Posts: 11
Location: North Central Florida 8b
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for all your great input! The DuPage County Cooperative Extension suggested apples, peaches and plums and sent links, but they seemed like a lot of trouble. For instance, they said without pesticides, etc, up to 98% of the apple crop will go to pests and animals! Someone else mentioned needing to net peaches. I am leaning toward mulberries right now, because they seem so easy and relatively pest-free. Birds love them, but reportedly there's enough for birds and humans to share. Someone else mentioned serviceberry. I will have to look into that and Methley plum.

Regarding mulberries, I've been hearing great things about Black Beauty - best tasting berries and smallish tree. Can anyone confirm, deny, or recommend an alternate mulberry? Will it do ok in a somewhat shady yard? Also, my initial search shows a lot of places have stopped shipping mulberries because presumably they have to be shipped dormant and it's too late. Does anyone know any workarounds or if there's any place still shipping? Up until a couple of weeks ago, my brother said the ground was still too cold to plant, so it didn't occur to me to hurry!

Thanks, y'all!
 
Troy Rhodes
Posts: 572
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Also note that many fruit trees require a certain minimum of chill hours, which you might not get in florida.

Methley plum is still on your list though. It has a low requirement for chill hours.


troy
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 129
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
8
bee dog forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Serviceberry sounds like a good idea, yes. It might however not be to everyone's taste. The very small seeds, usually eaten together with the rest of the fruit, have a slight flavor like marzipan... Which means somewhat almondy. On the definite plus side - early flowering, very pretty blossoms.

Mulberries are great in resiliency and taste but if there's a possiblity of someone getting annoyed by their whatever getting stained from the falling fruit -- in that case black mulberry is a bad move. (Mulberry fruit is awesome in the fields of dropping freely and leaving stains. Serviceberry would stain but doesn't really drop so not a problem.)
 
Kayla Wildflower
Posts: 11
Location: North Central Florida 8b
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Troy Rhodes wrote:Also note that many fruit trees require a certain minimum of chill hours, which you might not get in florida.

Methley plum is still on your list though. It has a low requirement for chill hours.


troy


Troy, I'm looking for a tree for my niece and nephew in DuPage County, IL, zone 5a.
 
Troy Rhodes
Posts: 572
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh yeah, plenty of chilling there...


 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic