Fruit Trees for Zone 7

“Mature Elderberry” by Renate Dodell is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

We all know how trying it can be to grow fruit trees successfully in zone 7. Our weather patterns can be quite unpredictable at times, making it difficult to maintain a steady yield year after year. But fear not! In this article we will explore valuable tips to keep in mind when growing fruit trees in our zone.

“Cherry…..” by Eric T. Morris is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

There is surprisingly a lot of variety when it comes to the types of fruits that can be grown in zone 7. The most common fruit tree choices being apple, cherry, apricot, peach, pear, and plum. Some fewer common choices are persimmon, pomegranate, fig, elderberry, and mulberry.

The best varieties of these fruits to grow in zone 7 are:

  • Bing Cherry
  • Rainier Sweet Cherry
  • Stella Cherry
  • Cortland Apple
  • Fuji Apple
  • Granny Smith Apple
  • Moorpark Apricot
  • Scout Apricot
  • Contender Peach
  • Ozark Plum
  • Parker Pear
  • Red Gold Nectarine
  • Fuyu Persimmon
  • Russian Pomegranate
  • Turkey Fig
  • David Smith Mulberry
  • Adams Elderberry
  • Black Beauty Elderberry
“Apricot tree with fruits” by Ms. June Franks is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0

Whichever fruit you choose to plant it is safe to say that choosing an open and sunny spot to plant your fruit is essential for it to photosynthesize properly and have enough room to mature to full size. Fruit trees also need rich, fertile soil that drains well to stay healthy.

“Compost, millésime 2007” by wisemandarine is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Amendments like topsoil and cow manure compost are excellent for mixing into existing soil to ensure that essential nutrients for health and growth are present. The way you plant your tree is also an especially crucial step in this process.  When you dig the hole for your tree it is crucial to make the hole twice as wide and make sure to not make the hole too deep. You want the top of the root ball to be exposed above the soil line so that the tree can access oxygen and water and to prevent further issues in the future caused by improper planting.  Once planted, regularly observing the health of your trees improve the chances of not only detecting issues early on but to also resolve issues as well. It is important to know that different varieties of fruit trees have their own ailments that affect them. However, there are some helpful preventative concepts that can be used to care for the overall health of your trees.

“20180828-APHIS-LSC-0445” by USDAgov is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

Pests and diseases coexist with us making it difficult to maintain healthy fruit trees. The easiest way to prevent disease is choosing a disease resistant variety during purchasing and researching that variety to understand fruit ripening dates and harvesting instructions.  Pruning is also an incredibly significant step in attaining a proper yield of fruit during the coming season. You want to prune fruit trees in winter when the trees are in dormancy and avoid fall pruning entirely. This is because it makes it more difficult for the tree to go dormant in winter when there is a lot of new growth that cannot harden off in time and too many fresh cuts to heal. When pruning you want to focus on removing damaged limbs and limbs that are pointed down that will not be strong enough to hold growing fruit. Trees need air and light to thrive and stay healthy. Thinning out the tree prepares it for growing season, so it does not waste energy on broken or diseased limbs when pushing new growth. Always prune with sharp tools that are made for pruning. You also want to clean your tools before and after pruning with rubbing alcohol to avert the spread of disease.

“Deer damage” by wallygrom is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

When choosing a tree to plant you want to inspect it for any obvious signs of physical or structural damage before purchasing. If you purchase a tree that is weak from the start it increases the susceptibility for disease making it difficult for the tree to recover.

“fig tree” by taomancer is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Fruit trees also need to be protected with fencing and repellent that can also be used after planting your trees protect them animal damage and injuries from mechanical lawn devices. When using any animal repellent, insecticide, or fungicide it is important to read the label of the product to insure you are applying it correctly. Improper usage of these products can cause more damage to your trees. Understanding and implementing these helpful steps to properly plant and maintain the health of your trees will increase the longevity of your trees.

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