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What trees would you put in a small suburban lot?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 34
Location: Skokie, IL
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I have a small lot in the Chicago northern suburbs. I was thinking of putting 2 trees right in my front yard, 1 directly in front of a bow window, 1 off to the side. There's not much room for more than 2. I have a cherry tree in the back and like the idea of producing fruit, and some shade.

I was thinking of a couple service berries, but I'm 100% sure. Anyone have any thoughts? If you could only pick 2, what would they be?

Thanks in advance.
 
gardener
Posts: 789
Location: Ohio, USA
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Oh gee! Only 2?? I have over 30 on mine! Of course I'm a pruner. Espelier is my friend. But, I am fond of apples as a sort of staple crop. You need 2, if you do apples, but they are so useful and highly productive. A standard apple tree can yield 10-20 bushels,  which can be made into apple juice, apple sauce, apple cider, apple jack, apple cider vinegar, eaten fresh, substituted for oil, apple fritters, apple pie, apple crumble, dried apple rings, apple fruit leather, cinnamon apple tea, apple liqueur, apple muffins, apple shrimp,...
 
pollinator
Posts: 331
Location: SF Bay Area
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When working with a small lot, I've always found it best to grow something that I really like, but it's either hard to get or expensive. I'm not sure what would work in your cold climate, but for me, I've grown figs, now have persimmons and avocado, all expensive.
 
Nathan Strumfeld
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Location: Skokie, IL
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Thanks for the replies.
A big consideration for my wife was aesthetics. The service berry I found was said to have nice spring blossoms, and red fall colors. Plus the fruit. Although the ones I've seen at nurseries seem kind of sparse.
But I do love apples and peaches, so maybe I'll look into either of those as a possibility.
 
pollinator
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Location: SoCal USA
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Amit Enventres wrote:Oh gee! Only 2?? I have over 30 on mine! Of course I'm a pruner. Espelier is my friend. But, I am fond of apples as a sort of staple crop. You need 2, if you do apples, but they are so useful and highly productive. A standard apple tree can yield 10-20 bushels,  which can be made into apple juice, apple sauce, apple cider, apple jack, apple cider vinegar, eaten fresh, substituted for oil, apple fritters, apple pie, apple crumble, dried apple rings, apple fruit leather, cinnamon apple tea, apple liqueur, apple muffins, apple shrimp,...



 
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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We picked wild service berries two days ago and I've been missing out!  They're bigger than blueberries, you don't have to reach down to your ankles to pick and they're yummy. 

They do look sparse but I think they tend to send up multiple stems (kind of like a lazy lilac).  So you may end up with a clump of spindly shrubs that fill out and look decent as a group.  I found that they put out decent fruit even in partial shade.  Do you have a corner/edge of your lot that you could put them?  They could frame the lot and leave room for other trees.

Regarding needing two apples, that's only if you don't have a neighbor within a few hundred yards with an apple or crabapple. 

You could also make them into a bit of a guild.  Apple/peach in the middle with a ring of blueberries or honeyberries around the base...
 
Nathan Strumfeld
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Location: Skokie, IL
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Thanks Mike,
Yeah, the service berries do seem to have a nice ornamental quality which I like.
I might still do the 2, with a small guild around each.
 
Posts: 56
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom
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Depending on rootstock you could have more trees. And as has already been suggested, espaliers would also give you more choice.
 
pollinator
Posts: 232
Location: North Carolina, USA Zone 7b
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PEARS for sure!    They're easy to grow, not as vulnerable to diseases and pests as most fruit trees,   Dwarf pears don't take up a huge horizontal footprint naturally (less than 10 ft)   They're attractive and offer nice privacy lined up next to a fence,  but also are 'pearfect'  for espalier.   Very high in nutrition.  

https://www.starkbros.com/products/fruit-trees/pear-trees
 
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If your wife is interested in the aesthetics I'd suggest a Japanese Flowering Cherry as popular in Washington DC. If you want some fruit along with the aesthetics how about a red flesh apple like Pink Pearl and Redfield. They have red blossoms in spring similar to the above Cherry but you get the added bonus of apples. The apples are probably best for sauce, pies or cider. The Pink Pearl is a California apple, the Redfield is a North East USA apple. From my experience at the Great Lakes Naval base near you I'd guess the Redfield is more suitable for you. I grafted a Redfield this spring. It's leafs have a red tinge and when I grafted the cut stem shows red streaks within the growing stem.

 
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