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How many Fruit/nut trees

 
pollinator
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How many fruit/nut trees would you plant if you had space for as many as you want?

Looking at a new property which has some large trees (beech, horse chestnut, sycamore) several elder, two hazelnuts, 4 apple trees,(could be a pear in there) what looks like a Mirabelle plum and many other small trees like holy, sumac etc.  (it's winter my identification might be off)

I'm just wondering how many trees I want to leave space for, I have already (in pots or in the ground for 2 years that can be moved)

3 cooking apples (mm106)
2 eating apples (mm106)
2 pears  (quince A)
2 plums (St. Julien)
2 cherries (unknown roots)
1 Quince (quince A)

I most certainly want to add

2 walnuts
2 sweet chestnuts
1 Victoria plum, mine is too old to move.

But then what maybe
8 hazelnuts (10 total)
1 Eating apple (late keeping type)
4 more cherries (so possibly I get some as well as the birds)

So that would come to 18 fruit trees and 14 Nut trees, I'm not counting elderberries as they are all over anyway, and I don't count things like sea buckthorn as a tree it comes in under 2m tall round here. I'm also thinking about a long layed hedge on one boundary, that would include other edibles, crab apples, hawthorn, sloe etc. How many fruit trees would you like to have? And how many people is that for?


 
pollinator
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Without knowing what you want to do with your proposed bounty, it's hard to determine what the right number should be.

However, I would grow a bit more than I thought was ideal, to account for eventual losses(weather, pests, disease, etc).
 
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I like the idea of grafting several varieties of a fruit onto one tree - apples and citrus are particularly good for that.

Unless the goal is to sell or give away LOTS of produce, I'm more inclined to only grow a few such trees in preference to space for vegetables, herbs, spice plants, and animals.

The more rare and unique tropical fruit trees/vines interest me for personal consumption and sale - almost all vendors sell the typical tropical stuff at markets (bananas, mango, passion fruit, guava, etc) but few sell the more exotic stuff like sapote, etc.
 
Skandi Rogers
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Dustin Rhodes wrote:Without knowing what you want to do with your proposed bounty, it's hard to determine what the right number should be.

However, I would grow a bit more than I thought was ideal, to account for eventual losses(weather, pests, disease, etc).



Just eating, I'm not counting any sales off of these trees that's why there's only two pears on the list, we have two smallish pears at the moment, and they produce all we need for a year, however they are at least 15 years old so will stay here. I'm more wondering what other people would consider a good number of "standard" trees, space as I say is not an issue here.
 
pollinator
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This topic is near and dear to me, and I've tried to research it extensively over the last few years. Many answers on the internet are "it depends" (on soil, rainfall, heat, personal/household eating preferences, etc). But that doesn't mean it's not a question worth talking about. My thoughts:
Excess can be fed to animals or given away (so overplant)
A friend told me that an old rule of thumb is one standard fruit tree per family member per serving of fruit per week. So, a family of four would need four apple trees (theoretically) to eat one serving of apples per week. Or something like that.
 
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With no limitations on space (or, presumably, money, water or time to tend the trees), I would plant one of each named varietal I can grow here (limited options due to my cold dry climate), and at least three or four four of anything that comes from seed (like butternuts or black walnuts - I don't think any of the named ones grow in my zone).  

Actually, we're on our way to that anyhow, though it's incremental, and will probably take the rest of our lives.  At the moment, we've got something like a dozen apples, a couple dozen grapes, half a dozen pears,  and probably a dozen each of sour cherries and plums.  Then there's the small fruit and a few nut trees and bushes.  Our general thought is that whatever we don't eat or store, we can, share, trade, feed to livestock, or let the wildlife clean up.  I'd much rather grow trees than grass and invasive weeds.  Only a couple of our trees are bearing fruit so far, though, so it may be that I feel differently in ten years when I'm up to my eyebrows in surplus.

If you were trying to keep it to just what you would be able to utilize for personal use, one or two of each type of fruit is probably enough.  I had two mature apple trees at my last place, and was never able to use up as many apples as they produced, even though I made wine, canned gallons of applesauce, dehydrated apple rings, and ate as many as I could straight off the trees.  The birds loved the remainder, though, and watching the birds gave us great joy.  
 
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As many as possible. Keep planting and keep collecting cultivars or planting seedlings. If you've got the space just keep planting trees.
 
garden master
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I really like your list, it covers a lot!

I love fruit trees so much, if I had unlimited space I would probably plant way too many!

I would probably plant seedlings too, to experiment with some new flavors and locally adapted varieties.

I love pomegranates, although that could be considered a bush I guess. I've been trying to grow some hardy varieties where I live, but the recent cold winters have killed them down to the roots each year. Maybe I'll get some fruit one day!
 
pollinator
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I would plant a full acre of fruit+nuts, which is about 100trees.
25 Nitrogen Fixers (Adler, etc)
30 Nuts
45 Fruits

Why so much nut, because wildlife will get alot, but you can also make oil and nut flour for baked goods.
4 plants from each species gives about 11 different type of fruit trees. (44=4*11).

I don't think that 11 or 12 different types of fruit is a ridiculous amount of diversity, it seems just about right.
 
Skandi Rogers
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S Bengi wrote:I would plant a full acre of fruit+nuts, which is about 100trees.
25 Nitrogen Fixers (Adler, etc)
30 Nuts
45 Fruits

Why so much nut, because wildlife will get alot, but you can also make oil and nut flour for baked goods.
4 plants from each species gives about 11 different type of fruit trees. (44=4*11).

I don't think that 11 or 12 different types of fruit is a ridiculous amount of diversity, it seems just about right.



I have to say I hate alders, we have them here and they do not help anything growing under them at all, we have red currents growing in a long hedge, part of which comes in under the drip line of a large alder, the redcurrants under the tree produce noticeably less and later than the ones away from it. Annual veg show the same pattern, and even the grass on the other side grows poorly the closer to the tree it gets. They also sucker everywhere and drop twigs like they are going out of fashion! I think you could be right on the nuts, after all while a mature walnut will give all the nuts I need that won't happen for 50 years so maybe 4 of them instead of 2.
 
James Landreth
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If you have space I think four walnuts would be great. As mentioned they're a real, caloric staple, and I think we'll definitely need more of them this century as industrial agriculture declines. Chestnuts too would be good if you have space and there are varieties that will do well that far north

In case you don't already know, walnuts release juglone, which is said to harm growth of certain other plants. But some (butternut, black walnut) release way more than others. I've never found anything on heartnut's outline load. That being said here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States it doesn't seem to be much of an issue, so maybe it depends on climate
 
Skandi Rogers
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James Landreth wrote:If you have space I think four walnuts would be great. As mentioned they're a real, caloric staple, and I think we'll definitely need more of them this century as industrial agriculture declines. Chestnuts too would be good if you have space and there are varieties that will do well that far north

In case you don't already know, walnuts release juglone, which is said to harm growth of certain other plants. But some (butternut, black walnut) release way more than others. I've never found anything on heartnut's outline load. That being said here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States it doesn't seem to be much of an issue, so maybe it depends on climate



Walnuts I know do well here, I have enough room that I can make sure it's not near to any area I might want to grow veg in. I have seen one decent sized chestnut say 70 years old or so, I don't know if it produces any nuts, but I guess they are good timber trees if not! I remember reading somewhere that at one point (in france I think?) A mature chestnut tree was considered to be worth two acres of plough land.
 
pollinator
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I've got about 60 trees on a 1/3rd acre lot, and it's not too much.  We eat (or give away) almost 100% of what we grow, and there are certain things that we'd eat more of if we had them.  I'd say that for a family of 4, 100 trees would be adequate to supply the majority of your fruit and nut needs.

The way I look at it, I want something bearing throughout the year.  In my food forest, we harvest fresh fruit every month.

January:  cherimoya, avocados, navel oranges, Satsuma mandarin oranges, lemons, limes

February:  blood oranges, naval oranges, Golden Nugget mandarins, avocados. lemons

March:  blood oranges, Valencia juice oranges, mandarines, avocados, lemons fall to the ground by the hundreds

April:  nectarines, avocados, juice oranges (and whatever other citrus are still hanging on the trees -- oranges tend to hang around for a long time)

May: early peaches, early apriums, nectarines, any remaining avocados that are still on the tree, pineapple guava

June: nectarines, peaches, early plums, passion fruit, cherries, early apples (Anna and Dorsett Golden), apricots and apriums

July: passion fruit really start to produce heavily, plums and pluots, ripe papaya (green papaya is available all year long), early apples (still), cherries, early figs

August: figs (check them daily), apples, late pluots, passion fruit, Asian pears

Sept.  apples, Asian pears, figs, persimmons, early pomegranates, last of the passion fruit, early nuts are starting to fall (almonds, pistachios)

Oct.  more pomegranates than we can give away, the last of the figs, late season apples (Fuji, Gala, Cripps Pink), persimmons, lemons, limes, almond trees are ready to harvest

Nov.  first avocados are big enough to pick, Satsuma mandarins, pomegranates, tons of lemons and limes falling to the ground, mandarins

Dec.  cherimoya, mandarine oranges, a few remaining pomegranates, lemons, limes


Papaya continue to grow, year round.  We eat green papaya salad 12 months of the year.  Avocados and oranges tend to hang on the tree for a long, long time -- upwards of 6 months in some cases.


If I were you, I'd think not only in terms of what you like to eat and how much you think you'll need, but also the idea of keeping a harvest coming in 12 months of the year.  Obviously, the summer months also have a ton of veggies, but we grow cool season veggies throughout the winter (salad greens, cabbage, broccoli, kale, etc.).  Beets and carrots grow 12 months a year.  Potatoes tend to grow at least 6 months of the year.  Ginger and tumeric are out there in the ground 12 months of the year, scattered throughout the food forest.  You should be able to walk outside and find something fresh for as long as possible, and if you live in a cool climate, try to extend your growing season with a green house or other means.

Best of luck.

m
 
Skandi Rogers
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Marco Banks wrote:

You should be able to walk outside and find something fresh for as long as possible, and if you live in a cool climate, try to extend your growing season with a green house or other means.

Best of luck.

m



I am extremely jealous of your crop list there! Tree fruits (or nuts) are only available from late July to early October here so 4 months. (obviously some apples can be stored fresh until January) berries come in mid June, and some will hang around until Christmas but they are only really fit for birds by then.

I'm a lot lot further north, nothing grows here from October until Mid April, not even weeds. We don't get much if any snow and although we will get down to -15C for a bit it mainly sits around 0 to -5 but.. we just don't get any light (6hrs 50mins daylight today) I haven't seen the sun since Christmas day! (statistically I can see that December/January get an average of 1hr of sun per day which translates to an average of 0.3kwh/meter/Day meaning winter greenhouses are the same temp in and out).
Right now I have another problem, which is I live in a very damp area, so even things that 50miles down the road can last in a field over winter, things like kale or winter hardy cabbages, can't. They rot with the constant freeze thaw I'm hoping that we will move soon and not be so damp!
Outside now I have some leeks which are almost dead, high winds and constant freezing and defrosting is not doing them any favours, in the greenhouse there is some chickweed (the outside weeds are all dead) I've tried three years to get sprouting broccoli through the winter, and I have managed a total of 3 plants, all last year but that was 3 from 9, it's a shame as I love the stuff. However on the flip side, I never water, nothing needs watering here we get 35 inches of rain spread throughout the year, but because humidity is normally around 80-90% and it never gets warm, evaporation is minimal. I don't even water the tomatoes in the greenhouse, they get enough water from the ground.

One of my customers invited me in this year to show me his pride and joy.. some ripe figs! While the plants survive here they do not fruit we don't get warm enough, but as we had a record hot and early summer his actually had managed to produce some ripe fruit. It has an ideal spot against a south facing wall in a corner with stone all around and it still took an exceptional summer to get anything from it! Figs and Apricots (also peaches and nectarines) are greenhouse only trees here.
 
Jess Dee
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Skandi Rogers wrote:Figs and Apricots (also peaches and nectarines) are greenhouse only trees here.



Like you, I can only wish to harvest something (outside) 12 months (or even 8 months) of the year.  Our ground is frozen solid by November, and the snow doesn't usually melt off until March or April.  Our frost-free season is from early June until early September.  Still, we are able to store and eat our own potatoes, onions, and some types of squash from September's harvest until June when the asparagus and rhubarb are up.  It'd be slim pickings from January until June, though, if we had to rely on our root cellar alone.  

We're a little south of you in latitude, but much colder I think (our coldest winter temperatures normally drop below -40 C).  While we can't grow figs, nectarines, or peaches, there are apricots that will survive our winters.  I don't know how you would get your hands on them, but thought you might be interested to know they exist.  We've planted the cultivars 'Scout', 'Westcot', and 'Debbie's Gold'.  None have started bearing yet, so I can't attest to fruit quality, unfortunately.  

(edited for spelling)
 
Marco Banks
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And I'm jealous of your chill hours!

It's Jan 4, and we've only gotten 35 chill hours so far.  Tonight's low will be 47 F, which is too warm to chill my trees.  It's almost impossible to get enough chill for the apple trees to break dormancy in the spring when they all still have green leaves and they need 300 chill hours to produce well.  

Denmark!  Well, you've got a nice long break to relax and get ready for next growing season.
 
Jess Dee
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Marco Banks wrote:And I'm jealous of your chill hours!

It's Jan 4, and we've only gotten 35 chill hours so far.  Tonight's low will be 47 F, which is too warm to chill my trees.  It's almost impossible to get enough chill for the apple trees to break dormancy in the spring when they all still have green leaves and they need 300 chill hours to produce well.  



That's hard for me to imagine.  We probably had close to 300 chill hours by Halloween.  Definitely by mid-November.  Of course, I'm jealous of your growing options...I guess the grass is greener and all :)
 
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