Best Fruit Trees for the Midwest
Back in the old days my brothers and I played in and around the 20 or so odd fruit trees Dad planted in our large back yard. Come spring, however, it was "watch-the-fruit time." There was no playing around Dad's trees, especially when the fruit was ripening.
Types of Cherry Trees
The fruit season started early in May. Cherries ripened first and for "some reason" Dad planted the cherry trees away from the playing area which saved many a cherry. When it was time to pick cherries we fought the birds. We climbed out as far as we could on the thinnest branches and dangled from ladders to reach those biggest cherries at the top. Never could pick all the cherries. I think Dad planted Montmorency. I know they were not Dwarf North Star. His cherry trees were large. I know, because it was a long fall from the top. Dad never had much luck with Bings, Black Tartarians or any of the other sweet cherries. I wonder if we had the right pollinators for the sweet cherries? Pie cherries are self-pollinating while sweet cherries are picky. So check for the correct pollinator.
Uses Of Apricots
We all loved apricots. I'm not sure why we had only one tree. Apricots make great jam and are delicious to eat and especially good fresh off the tree. They are first to bloom which makes them susceptible to freezing. To avoid freeze damage plant Apricot trees on top of a hill if possible ---heat always rises. Apricots are self pollinators. Did you know Apricots have been around for centuries? The Apricot tree is in the Bible (check it out in Song of Solomon 2:3-13) and for many years the seed was considered a cure for cancer but research has proven different.
Types Of Peach Trees
The aroma of a fresh baked peach pie is a summer’s delight, especially when you add a little ice cream. As I matured into a more responsible youngster Dad explained which peach tree produces the first ripe fruit. I waited and watched driving dad crazy with the question ‘Dad is that peach ripe. Once it was ready that is ‘tree ripened’ Dad and I would split the ‘first peach of the season. The day you bite into a tree-ripened peach... Wow! The juice runs down your hand, and the aroma fills your senses... To really enjoy peaches all summer plant early-season, mid-season and late-season peaches. Start with semi-dwarf Hale Haven or Red Haven, then Belle Georgia and then end the season with Elberta, the old standby. If you are living in colder, marginally hardy areas, start with the extra-hardy Reliance. Note: Peaches self-fertile even before the flower is fully opened. Are you are trying to eat healthy? Then eat the peach and skip the ice cream. Peaches are good for you. They contain antioxidants along with Vitamins A, B1, B2 and Niacin and minerals Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron and Potassium.
Nectarines Vs. Peaches
Nectarines are not as popular as peaches, but the two are very close relatives. Nectarines can be used in the same way as peaches and may also be substituted for peaches. Note the differences between the two: Nectarines lack fuzz on their skin and tend to be smaller and more aromatic than peaches. Nectarines have more red color on the fruit surface and provide twice the Vitamin A, slightly more Vitamin C and much more Potassium than peaches.
Apples For Small And Large Areas
There is always something new in the fruit tree category. Here is something different: The Urban Columnar Apple Series. These apple trees grow like a pole straight up and narrow to 8 to 10 feet high and just two feet wide. This is an ideal fruit tree for the small yard. Try planting Tasty Red, Tangy Green, Blushing Delight or Golden Treaf. The Urban Apple will also work great in a large container on your patio. Enjoy the pink flowers in the spring. Enjoy the apples raw or make an apple pie. Don't forget to add the homemade ice cream!
For large back yards, consider an apple orchard. Here are some of my favorites: Gala, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious and Yellow Delicious. For a late-season apple try Arkansas Black or Empire. Pollination for apples is easy. Apple trees just require another apple or crabapple that FLOWERS AT THE SAME TIME.
Benefits Of Plum Trees
Speaking of the back yard orchard, consider pears, plums or nectarines. For cross-pollination, it is important to choose plums classified by Asian, European and North American. Plums are green, gold, red, purple or blue. Plums are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium and fiber. They are also used as a dried fruit and referred to as a prune. Try the Damson plum. It is self-fertile and heavy bearing. Burbank is an early plum that is partially self-fertile. Santa Rosa is another plum that ripens early and is partially self-fertile. Consider the Alderman plum. It is a late-season, semi-free stone and self-fertile.
Popular Varieties of Pear Trees
Fall is the time of the year for pears. Some poplar pear varieties include the Bartlett, a golden yellow that ripens mid-August. Moonglow has yellow skin with a red blush and ripens mid-August. D’Anjou is green with a blush of white and ripens late August. Kieffer is green-yellow with red blush and ripens mid- to late-Fall. These varieties all need another pear to cross-pollinate. Pears are a great snack food. They have no cholesterol, sodium or saturated fat. They offer a natural, quick source of energy due to high amounts of two monosaccharide’s (fructose and glucose) and Levulose (the sweetest of known natural sugars). These monosaccharides are found to a greater extent in fresh pears than in any other fruit.
The old saying and apple a day keeps the doctor away is not totally true. Actually any fresh fruit helps keep the doctor away. It is an active ingredient in keeping the plumbing working smoothly
Have you had your fruit today???!!!
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