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Fast growing fruit trees.  RSS feed

 
Greg B Smith
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Do Yall have recommendations for fast growing trees that will fruit.  I am primarily looking for tree growth for shade over our deck and gazebo. Fruit would be a bonus but not necessarily a must. This area will be surrounded by a food forest so at some point the full size fruit and nut trees will take over. 

I am in zone 8 and could transplant some willows and empress trees if no fruit trees will work.  Those are good for the bees and chop and drop once the big trees are established.
 
Michelle Bisson
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What about loquat or a vine like passion fruit or grapes?
 
Stephen Layne
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Location: NE Ga, Zone 7b/8a
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what about peach trees on a non dwarfing rootstock or ungrafted ones? I've transplanted volunteer peaches and had them grow 3' a year with some urine application and they can produce dense shade if left unpruned.
 
Greg B Smith
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It is a large deck and gazebo.  To big to span without center supports for a trellis and pergola. I want to keep the deck open.  I have lots of loquat seeds sprouting and cuttings started. I don't think they will get big enough to shade the deck.  I think the biggest they get is 20 to 30 feet. Are loquat trees fast growers?
 
Greg B Smith
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Stephen Layne wrote:what about peach trees on a non dwarfing rootstock or ungrafted ones? I've transplanted volunteer peaches and had them grow 3' a year with some urine application and they can produce dense shade if left unpruned.


I was thinking most if not all fruit trees should grow 3 feet per year in the right soil.  Is that not actuate?  I was thinking maybe pears as they grow upright and can get tall but not sure about the fruit on the deck. 
 
Greg B Smith
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I guess I should also add we already have 100 plus fruiting trees in the ground. So these don't have to be fruiting and could be support trees. 
 
Greg B Smith
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Here is a pic.  The steps face due west. The deck area is about 25 x 25. All the oaks will be removed and replaced with a food forest with the overstory being pecan and sub story being fruit trees but this will take years to establish.  Need shade for the interim.
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Casie Becker
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Not needing it to be a fruit tree opens the possibilities more. How about mimosa as a short lived nitrogen fixing tree that will help the other trees grow faster. The falling blooms can be a bit messy, but I don't think they stain anything. In one of the homes of my childhood our front yard was completely shaded by some mimosas at the end of their life cycle. The shade was bright enough for the grass to grow, but too dense for flowers.
 
Mike Jay
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Maybe honey locust?
 
Casie Becker
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I've never been able to decide whether honey locust and honey mesquite are the same plant with multiple common names, or just similar plants. Regardless, my experience, at yet another house, (We moved a lot when I was a kid.) is that long thorns of hard wood trees can punch through inch thick soles of shoes. I have a nostalgic love of mesquite, but I'd never recommend planting a thorny tree in a recreational area.
 
Mike Jay
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I'm talking about a thornless honey locust.  They have dapple shade, a spreading horizontal crown and seem to grow 3-4' per year.  National Arbor Day Foundation
 
Tom DeCoste
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Greg B Smith wrote:Do Yall have recommendations for fast growing trees that will fruit.  I am primarily looking for tree growth for shade over our deck and gazebo. Fruit would be a bonus but not necessarily a must. This area will be surrounded by a food forest so at some point the full size fruit and nut trees will take over. 

I am in zone 8 and could transplant some willows and empress trees if no fruit trees will work.  Those are good for the bees and chop and drop once the big trees are established.


For your application I would suggest some nice grapes for fairly quick shade.  You could inter-plant with a nitrogen fixer of your choice and use bear berries as a ground cover.  For your zone I would suggest Somerset Seedless grapes,  male an female seaberries, buffalo berries, and the bear berries as the ground cover.  http://www.jiovi.com still has bare root, dormant plants and is shipping now. 
This would work if you want to add an arbor or wires to train the vines.  Just a thought.
 
Casie Becker
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Oh, I didn't know there were thornless varieties. I'm not kidding about having a love of mesquite trees. Turns out, when I look into it that they are different species. But the dappled shade and all the growing charateristics described match my experience of mesquites.

It was truly pleasant sitting under the mesquite in summer. I don't even remember having much problem with mosquitoes, despite living near a lake. I suspect there is better airflow under trees that don't have dense canopies.
 
Marco Banks
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Apricot and Aprium on non-dwarfing root stocks grow like crazy.  They top-out at 12 - 15 feet or so, but I'm always surprised how quickly they grow.  You can prune them accordingly for shape and shade.

Lemon trees get huge.  They send up up a lot of growth already in the second year.  You'll need to thin the lemons or the branches tend to droop as the fruit gets heavy.  Its hard to prune a lemon.  As with most citrus, you just shape them, not really prune them for structure.

Avocado trees eventually get big enough to provide shade, but not for 5 years or so.  But they are evergreen and a beautiful deep green color for much of the year.

Nut trees provide a lot of shade.  I've got a couple of almond trees on the south side on my house for that purpose.  Plus, they like the summer heat that comes off the house -- it helps the nuts to ripen.  In good soil and with a bit of attention, they grow pretty fast.  I've got and All-In-One that jumped 4 feet in the first year, and it's well on its way to doing the same again this year—plus all the almonds that are getting fat even as we speak.

Pecan trees get very very tall.  I don't know how they'd do in zone 8. 

Pears and apples are SLOW growers (at least in my experience).  I wouldn't recommend those for shade unless you've got a 10+ year timeline --- and even then, they aren't much of a shade tree.
 
Greg B Smith
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Sorry guys,  haven't responded due to out of town work. I like the idea of mimosa trees. How fast do they grow?  I was looking around our place and if I mix in willow and empress with mimosa that should do it in two to three years.  The empress in the following pic is 12'6" tall and is about to be 1 year old.  The willow is 20 feet and is 2 years old.  Both of these are on our place. I think this will cover is and both native and honey bees like all three tree blooms. 
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William Bronson
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Mimosas spread,with multiple trunks unless you train/prune them. The shade is dappled and pollinators love the blooms. Bubbles and humming birds especially, so nice!
The seed pods are prolific and produce lots of little trees. The seeds of the shrub like prairie mimosas are edible, but there is no evidence of edibility for the seeds from the tree variety.
The blooms are beautiful,  edible,  but not tasty.

They seem to resprought over and over from stumps.
My tree was 30' x 30' ,very old for a mimosa.
It lived a long time in an otherwise unoccupied backyard.
My arrival brought lots of tromping around and piles of lumber.
This soil compaction plus a particularly rough winter is apparently what killed it back 😔
I miss that tree. We are nursing a few of her many daughters into maturity.
 
Todd Parr
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Mulberry grows super fast for my and has very good tasting berries pretty quickly.  Some people don't like them because the birds eat the berries and shit purple stuff all over, but I love them.
 
Greg B Smith
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Todd Parr wrote:Mulberry grows super fast for my and has very gong berries pretty quickly.  Some people don't like them because the birds eat the berries and shit purple stuff all over, but I love thiem.
I have mulberry planted already but don't think I want them over my deck.
 
Todd Parr
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I'm wondering if a male mulberry would work for you.  No berries, no mess, but still a very nice looking tree that grows super fast and provides nice shade.
 
Alexandra Clark
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Stephen Layne wrote:what about peach trees on a non dwarfing rootstock or ungrafted ones? I've transplanted volunteer peaches and had them grow 3' a year with some urine application and they can produce dense shade if left unpruned.


Hi Stephen, I JUST found a volunteer peach tree that was growing up through bramble. It needs to be moved. Any suggestions for the transplanting? Also, does it have to be in FULLLLL FULLL sun or is most of the day full sun and then the rest dappled ok? I have full grown oaks with the canopy starting at 80 feet up so there is a lot of light, but with the sun moving, there is the occasional period of light shadow. I was so excited to find this peach tree because I have always wanted one. Any help would be great!

As for the original question, I always tend towards native plants and Empress is a big invasive issue here in the east, but if you are using it to chop and drop just make sure it doesn't go to seed because it will end up all over the place and shades out EVERYTHING with those mammoth leaves. Wild black cherry grows fast and is a host plant for swallowtails and has delicious fruit, so that would be my suggestion. Good luck!
 
Luka Bee
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What about a fragrant tree like the night Jasmine or the ylang ylang that will perfume your home?

Greg B Smith wrote:Do Yall have recommendations for fast growing trees that will fruit.  I am primarily looking for tree growth for shade over our deck and gazebo. Fruit would be a bonus but not necessarily a must. This area will be surrounded by a food forest so at some point the full size fruit and nut trees will take over. 

I am in zone 8 and could transplant some willows and empress trees if no fruit trees will work.  Those are good for the bees and chop and drop once the big trees are established.
 
Cris Bessette
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As for fruiting trees, I have sour cherry trees that spread by runner roots under ground.   A new tree will pop up from one of these runners from an existing tree, and within 3-4 years they start producing some fruit.
Fig trees can grow pretty fast given the right conditions.

Mimosas grow very fast. At my place they grow 3-5 feet a year. They also drop lots of leaves and flower buds that can be messy, so around a deck/gazebo, it would be a trade off for fast growth of a somewhat exotic looking/ nitrogen producing tree -vs- time cleaning up after them.
I'm planting some precocious hazelnut trees around my property, I've read they can grow pretty fast, and produce nuts far sooner than most nut trees.
 
Wayne Mackenzie
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Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
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Mulberry. I use the leaves for mulch. The worms love them.
 
Chris Barrows
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Mike Jay wrote:I'm talking about a thornless honey locust.  They have dapple shade, a spreading horizontal crown and seem to grow 3-4' per year.  National Arbor Day Foundation




Look out!

I seem to remember a story from either Mollison or Lawton about how they planted some.

The seeds reverted back to a thorned variety.
 
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