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Wanted: Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes for Hardiness Zone 5b - Racine, Wisconsin  RSS feed

 
Will Harvill
Posts: 20
forest garden hugelkultur urban
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Hello all, I am very new to these forums, and I am looking to purchase semi-dwarf fruit trees and berry bushes for hardiness zone 5b (-15°F to -10°F). To see what type of set up I have in mind, please refer to this video: Permaculture Project in Racine, WI I would also like to inoculate my hugelkulturs with mycellium, so the fruit trees can work symbiotically with a fungus that works well for my location. If there are particular varieties that you would recommend that work well with mycellium, I would definitely love those recommendations! I am hoping someone can also suggest a distributor that offers high-quality products at a wholesale price. I would like to get a root stock that is ideal for my climate, so I would need advice on that as well.

I am also not quite sure what fruit trees I will purchase, so I am open to recommendations. Some things I had in mind: an apple tree with four or five varieties of apples grafted onto it. A couple paw paw trees. A plum tree. cherry tree(s), A few hardy kiwis (males and females). A pear tree. Any other fruit or nut tree (semi-dwarfs) that would work well being planted near the previously mentioned cultivars.

For the berry bushes, I am open to recommendations on those as well. Some things I had in mind: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries, any other berries that you think will do well in hardiness zone 5b.

Last but not least, is there any particular type of fungus that works particularly well in my area? I know I am asking a lot, and as my knowledge and experience develops, I will regularly come back to the forums to give back what I have taken. I appreciate any insight anyone can offer and thank you in advance if you are able to assist. Grow on...
 
Steven Kovacs
Posts: 217
Location: Western Massachusetts (USDA zone 5a, heating zone 5, 40"+)
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For fruit, what about American persimmon?  I find it much tastier than the Asian ones you can get in the store.

For berries, you might consider the various currants.  A wild food organization in zone 5 writes that juneberries, honeyberries, and mulberries are options.

PFAF.org also has a great search function - you can enter your zone, specify trees and shrubs, and specify that you're looking for plants with edible fruit, and it will give you a lot of results.  There are multiple serviceberries, chokeberries, barberries, hackberries, etc.

Hardy kiwi is a vine, not a tree; it is delicious but can be invasive.

Grapes (European or native fox grapes) are another fruiting vine that might work.
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 406
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I go for the most species that I have room to plant. I started with mostly apple and pear trees for fruit. Fireblight killed most of them. Now I have apple, pear, peach, cherry, plum, fig, apricots, autumnberry, seaberry, mulberry, and persimmon.  I have 4 kinds of nuts and all the common berries and some uncommon.  They aren't all susceptible to the same diseases and insects. Some will have great years when the others produce nothing. Most aren't big enough to produce yet. If they ever all have bumper crops the same year, I don't know what I'm going to do.

I also carefully select each variety and rootstock for disease resistance and suitability for my site.
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 159
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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-15 F is pretty cold. For kiwis, maybe go with the kolomikta family instead of arguta.

Maybe this is also helpful: Cold climate fruit trees - http://perrysperennials.info/articles/coldfruit.html
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Most (though perhaps not all) varieties of arguta are fine down to -20 farenheit (some lower)

Though blossoms can be vulnerable to late frost.
 
Will Harvill
Posts: 20
forest garden hugelkultur urban
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Here is an update with what I have in mind to plant and things that have already been planted. For the dark-green circles next to the fruit trees, I intend to plant seaberries there. I am wondering if the current arrangement will provide too much nitrogen for the fruit trees or two next to each of the trees will be okay. I appreciate any insight anyone can offer.
Permaculture-Project-Harvill-Homestead-Backyard-Bird-s-Eye-View-Color.jpg
[Thumbnail for Permaculture-Project-Harvill-Homestead-Backyard-Bird-s-Eye-View-Color.jpg]
Overview of Permaculture Design in Backyard - Zone 5b
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 159
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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By seaberry you mean hippophae, right? What's the distance between fruit trees and what height do you expect of them when fully grown? I ask because the seaberries will a) grow big b) not like being shaded.

Are you in need of a windbreak? You could use the seaberry bushes for that purpose also.

 
Will Harvill
Posts: 20
forest garden hugelkultur urban
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Yes, Hippophae rhamnoides. The distance between the fruit trees is ten feet. They are on dwarf and semi-dwarf root stocks. When fully grown, the apple trees should be between eight to twelve feet. The apricot plum hybrid should grow twelve to fifteen feet, and the Cornelian cherry redstone fruiting dogwood should grow twenty feet tall and seven to eight feet wide. For some reason, I thought the Hippophae rhamnoides tolerated shade. Since most of the nitrogen fixing plants with be on the north side of trees, is there something else you would recommend? Maybe Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)? I need something that is shade tolerant and preferably would like something edible, but it doesn't necessarily have to be fruit. In regard to the wind break, that was not something I was thinking about, but since you asked, the wind most often comes from the east. However, the food forest is in my backyard and a house and garage obstruct much of the wind coming from the east.
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 159
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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10 feet is not really much... I think this will get crowded as the seaberry bush can easily grow to 10 ft x 5 ft (and will also send up suckers eventually). Elaeagnus can also grow to a large size, in my experience at least as tall as the seaberry and wider. Fruit that can take shade... Well, there's always soft fruit -- currants and gooseberries will be quite happy with some shade. But if you want something that grows a bit larger than those, then how about aronia?
 
Will Harvill
Posts: 20
forest garden hugelkultur urban
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Thank you Crt Jakhel for the recommendations! I appreciate your feedback.
 
Will Harvill
Posts: 20
forest garden hugelkultur urban
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Here is the most recent update of what I've got growing here in my piece of paradise. The rain this spring has been unusually frequent, so I'm excited to see what this looks like in two months.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0b3hkpu13x-7fzmrumfrezuvkuee/view?usp=drivesdk
 
Mike Jay
Posts: 534
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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All I get when I click the link is an error from Google saying "Sorry, the file you have requested does not exist."  Hopefully it's just me...
 
Will Harvill
Posts: 20
forest garden hugelkultur urban
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I used GoogleDrive on my phone and it must have defaulted to "link sharing off". https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3HkpU13x-7fZmRuMFREZUVKUEE This should work now. If it still doesn't, that gives me an excuse to start up a YouTube channel. Haha - Will
 
Mike Jay
Posts: 534
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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The link worked!  That's a nice layout with lots of good perennial berries.  I have raspberries in my garden and they spread like weeds on steroids.  They send runners up to 6' underground and pop up all over the place.  I bet for each raspberry I started with, we've pulled out 20-40 babies.  And they're only 1.5 years old.  Hopefully yours are more tame.  Mine are the variety Caroline. 
 
Will Harvill
Posts: 20
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That's good to know about the runners, Mike. With all those baby raspberries sprouting up, you might just have to start an on-line store and sell your surplus. I gave most of mine space, but I will be sure to reel them in a bit if they start taking over. Thanks for the heads up.
 
Mike Jay
Posts: 534
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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I do pot up about 30 of them each spring and sell them locally.  You'll have the same opportunity.  Lots of your plants are dividable or propagatable.  Good luck!
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 159
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Mike Jay wrote: Lots of your plants are dividable or propagatable.


... And many of them will not be waiting for you to propagate them
 
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