My wife and I are hoping to close on some land we are buying outside of Crossville, TN on the Cumberland plateau. It's elevation is 1900 feet and it is in zone 6a. We won't be able to move onto the land for another five years, so I was thinking about planting some trees and giving them a "head start." The problem is that we won't be there to tend to them until I retire in five years. Are there any fruit trees/bushes/plants that grow well if left untended for an extended period of time?
If you don't mind "wild" there are a lot of things. Research the native species that grow in your area that provide fruit/nuts. I am in 6B and for us those are blackberry, black walnut, black cherry, some forms of raspberry, wild strawberry, elderberry both red and black, white oak, chokecherry.
If this is completely no tend then look to spend some time originally cutting out invasive species that could overwhelm the ecosystem and cause natives to struggle. Best of luck!
The real world is bizarre enough for me...Blue Oyster Cult