yardscaping with fruit apples cherries berries and more by rebecca koetter l.
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Yardscaping with fruit: apples, cherries, berries and more by Rebecca Koetter Our goal for this evening! Definition of what we’ll talk about. Is this something you really want to do? General requirements for growing edibles. Details of specific edible MN species.

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our goal for this evening
Our goal for this evening!

Definition of what we’ll talk about.

Is this something you really want to do?

General requirements for growing edibles.

Details of specific edible MN species.

General pruning recommendations.

General care of fruit trees/shrubs.

Common pests for many of our favorites.

topic for tonight
Topic for tonight

Woody plants




why plant woody plants for fruit
Why plant woody plants for fruit?

Fresh, jam, jelly, pies, sauce, juice, juice concentrate, dried fruit, frozen fruit, wine

To enjoy freshness and flavor of home-grown fruit

To control pesticides used on food consumed

To increase food security

To save on grocery bills

To grow varieties not available at the store

To ensure time outdoors

To lessen your carbon footprint

To produce homegrown gifts

To gain experience with different hobbies

won t it take a lot of work
Won't it take a lot of work?

Photo: Gary Johnson


This is my favorite thing to do and I’m a professional hobbyist!

I have other hobbiesANDI have a social life AND.

It seemed like a good idea at the time….



Tart cherry




Dried fruit












Chart adapted from Jim Luby and Emily Hoover

quick definitions
Quick definitions:

‘Cultivars’ vs. variety (var.)

Dioecious vs. monoecious

Self incompatible- CANNOT fertilize themselves

Self sterile

Self infertile

self unfruitful

Self compatible- CAN fertilize themselves

Self fertile

Self fruitful

general requirements
General requirements

Certain locations!

Spring planting except…

At least 6-8 hours of sun

pH- http://soiltest.cfans.umn.edu

Well-drained soil


Pruning- improve circulation and light penetration

Fruit set improved by cross fertilization

Pollenizer within 100ft

Japanese beetle, birds, rabbits, raccoons, deer, gummosis

half high blueberries v corymbosum x angustifolium
Half-high blueberriesV. corymbosum x angustifolium

Size: up to 5’ high x up to 5’ wide

Pollination: self fertile…but

Fruit: berry

Color: blue

Fruit on two to four year old canes

Pruning objective: renewal

Soil: well-drained, high OM, pH under 5.5

Ammonium sulfate, NOT aluminum sulfate

Location: full sun

Photo: Dave Hansen

half high blueberries
Half-high blueberries

*Northsky (1’ tall x 3’ wide)

*Northblue (2’ x 4’)

Northcountry (3’ x 5’)

Chippewa (3’ x 5’)

*St. Cloud (4’ x 4’)

*Polaris (4’ x 5’)

Superior (4-5’ x 4-5’)

Northland (3’ x 3’)

gooseberry ribes hirtellum and r uva crispa
Gooseberry (Ribes hirtellumandR. uva-crispa)

Size: 2-5’ high

Pollination: self fertile

Fruit: berry with hairs

Color: green to pink to red

Ripen: July-August

Fruit on one-, two-, and three-year-old wood

Pruning objective: improve circulation

Soil: well-drained, pH of 5.5 to 7…but

Location: full sun best…but


Ribes hirtellum- American origin

‘Pixwell’- most common

Ribes uva-crispa or grossularia – European origin


‘Hinnomake’ Red


currants ribes sativum and r nigrum
Currants (Ribes sativum and R. nigrum)

Size: 2-5’ high

Pollination: self fertile

Fruit: berry

Color: red, white or black

Ripen: June to July

Fruit on one-, two-, and three-year-old wood

Pruning objective: improve circulation

Soil: well drained, pH of 5.5 to 7…but

Location: full sun best…but


Red and white currant- Ribes sativum

European black currant- Ribes nigrum

RED- Red Lake

The best cultivar for the Upper Midwest

WHITE- White imperial

BLACK- Consort, Titania, Ben Sarek

4x’s Vitamin C compared to oranges

elderberry sambucus canadensis
Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

Size: up to 10’ tall

Pollination: partially self-fertile

Fruit: berry

Color: dark purple

Ripen: late summer

Pruning objective: renewal

Soil: ideal pH 5.5-6.5

Location: shade tolerant

Problems?: very few!

‘Nova’, ‘Adams’, ‘York’

serviceberry amelanchier spp
Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.)

Size: 4-20’ by 4-15’

Pollination: self compatible

Fruit: berry-like pome

Color: red to purple

Ripen: July

Size: pea-sized to 5/8”

Pruning objective: improve light exposure

Soil: variable, tolerates alkalinity

Location: full sun to partial shade

serviceberry or juneberry amelanchier spp
Serviceberry or Juneberry (Amelanchier spp.)


Amelanchier alnifolia- Saskatoon serviceberry









Amelanchier laevis- Allegheny serviceberry

black chokeberry aronia melanocarpa
Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

Size: 4-6’

Fruit: Pome

Color: dark purple

Ripen: late August- early October

Soil: grows well in alkaline

Location: sun

Landscape value- persistent fruit

‘Autumn magic’, ’Nero’, ‘Viking’

Photo: D. Hanson

black chokeberry
Black chokeberry

ORAC: measurement of antioxidant strength of food items

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture in collaboration with Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, ARS, USDA, Little Rock, AR, November 2007

mulberry morus spp
Mulberry (Morus spp.)

Size: 18’ (up to 80’ in S. MN) by

up to 50’

Wind pollinated

Sex: Polygamo-dioecious

Fruit: Multiple of drupes

Color: reddish-black

Ripen: Mid-summer

Years until bearing: up to 10

Soil: pH adaptable, well-drained, deep loam

Location: full sun

Weeping mulberry

cherry shrub
Cherry- shrub

Nanking cherry (P. tomentosa)

Sand cherry (P. pumila)

nanking cherry p tomentosa
Nanking cherry (P. tomentosa)

‘Drilea’, ‘White’, ‘Orient’, Seedling

Considered dwarf (5-7’)

Can be trained to tree form

2-4 yr old stems most productive

Self incompatible

Soil: pH?

Fruit- ½” diameter

Bright red

Perfect for jams, jellies, pies

Paper clip!

cherry tree
Cherry- tree

Tart cherries, not sweet!

Size: 15’ by 15’

Pollination: self-fertile

Fruit: stone

Color: reds or purple

Ripen: Late June through mid-July

Pruning method: improve exposure

Fruit 1 yr old terminal and spurs

Years until bearing: 3-5

Soil: variable

Fertility: bearing- min 8” growth

Location: full sun- at least ½ day

tart cherry prunus cerasus
Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus)

Evans Bali cherry


10-15’ x 10’

Fruit 1”


Sweeter than Meteor but smaller


10-14’ tall (semi-dwarf)

Eating, baking, sauce



10-14’ tall (semi-dwarf)

Baking, sauce


Not reliably hardy…but


Small fruit (compared to other tarts)

7-10’ (natural dwarf)

Photo: Warren Banks

cherry plums p besseyi others
Cherry plums (P. besseyi + others)



Red diamond



Compass- pollenizer

Deep purple

plum general
Plum- general

Size: medium fruit tree (15-20’)

Pollination: self-incompatible (hybrids) or self-compatible (European)

Fruit: stone

Color: red to purple

Ripen: mid to late summer

Generally fruit on 1 yr old wood and spurs

Pruning method: improve exposure

Soil: not wet!

Fertility: bearing- min 8” growth

Location: full sun- at least ½ day

european plum prunus domestica
European plum (Prunus domestica )


‘Mount Royal’


hybrid plum p salicina x p americana
Hybrid plum (P. salicina x P. americana)


‘La Crescent’

‘Mt. Royal’



‘Red glow’

‘S. Dakota’- good pollenizer

‘Superior’ - good pollenizer?

‘Toka’- good pollenizer



’Compass’ plum or cherry plum?

hybrid apricot p armeniaca x p mandshurica
Hybrid apricot P. armeniaca x P. mandshurica

Size: 15-20’ tall

Flower: tender!

Pollination: self-sterile or self-fertile

Fruit: stone

Color: yellow-orange

Ripen: mid-summer

Pruning method: improve exposure

Produce fruit on 1 and spurs up to 3 yr old


Soil: deep, well-drained soils

Location: full sun

hybrid apricot p armeniaca x p mandshurica30
Hybrid apricot P. armeniaca x P. mandshurica



Plant with Sungold




Plant with Moongold

Eating, jelly





Canning, jelly

pear pyrus spp
Pear (Pyrus spp.)

Not the grocery store cultivars!

Size: 15-25’

Pollination: need cross fertilization

Generally fruit on spurs that areseveral years old

Pruning method: improve exposure



P. ussuriensis- FB tolerant

Old home x Farmingdale- 70% size (semi)- FB tolerant

Quince- found to be short-lived should be used on trial basis only

Soil: pH 6.0-6.8

Location: Full sun

Early bloomers!

apple malus spp
Apple (Malus spp.)

So many cultivars!

Size: depending on rootstock

~30 ft- standard

~15 ft- semi-dwarf

~10 ft- dwarf

Pollination: need cross fertilization

Generally fruit on spurs that are at least 2 yrs or terminals

Pruning method: improve exposure

Years until bearing: 8-10 (standard), 3-5 (dwarf)

Soil: Well-drained

Location: Full sun

Problems: Apple maggot, codling moth, apple scab



Growth control

Soil tolerance

Insect/disease resistance


Less space

Bears fruit earlier

Easier to manage- spraying

No ladders necessary




4 possible choices for apple rootstock
4 possible choices for apple rootstock

1. seedling-


2. M7- semi-dwarf

55-65% of standard

3. M26- semi-dwarf

40-50% of standard

4. Bud9- dwarf

30% of standard





kiwifruit actinidia kolomikta
Kiwifruit (Actinidia kolomikta)

Size: 10’ tall by 3’ wide (twining)

Pollination: Male needed for female fruit

Fruit: Berry

Color: green

Ripen: August-September

Size of grape

Pruning method: Single trunk

Soil: Well drained, pH 5.5-7.5

Location: Full sun to partial, protection


kiwifruit actinidia spp
Kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.)

‘Arctic Beauty Kiwi’ Actinidia kolomikta

Arctic beauty (male) and Red beauty (female)




‘Arctic (Hardy) kiwi’ Actinidia arguta


grapes vitis spp
Grapes (Vitis spp.)

Not fully hardy seedless 

Size: train up to 5-6’ tall

Pollination: Self-fertile

Fruit: Berry

Color: White, blue, red, purple

Ripen: Mid to late summer

Only fruit on current season’s growth

Pruning method: Remove most, leave 2-4 buds per each cane or spur

Soil: Deep, well-drained, pH ~6.5?

Location: Full sun- high temps to ripen

Valiant grapes

grapes vitis spp38
Grapes (Vitis spp.)


‘St. Croix’

‘LaCresent’ (white)



‘St. Croix’










Valiant grapes

Photo: Ben Johnson

general care of fruit trees shrubs
General care of fruit trees/shrubs
  • Planting
    • Dig hole 2 to 3 times the spread of the roots
    • Measure length of bottom roots and top roots
    • DO NOT bury the graft union
    • Prune back excessively long or broken roots before planting.
    • Back fill soil into hole; tamp soil and water with bucket or hose to remove air pockets
general care of fruit trees shrubs42
General care of fruit trees/shrubs

Branch angles

  • Pruning
    • When is the best time?
    • What are your pruning goals?


    • Modified central leader system
    • Open-center system
pruning goals
Pruning goals
  • Eliminate crossing, broken, diseased
  • Maintain uniform light throughout canopy
  • Select evenly spaced scaffold branches (3-4) per tier
    • Search “how to prune trees Forest Service”
    • Search “fruit trees: training and pruning deciduous trees”- University of California, Chuck Ingels
small space espalier
Small space = espalier

Photo: Gary Johnson

Fruit thinning


1 apple per 40-50 leaves

1 fruit per spur


1st- ~June 20th or when fruit is ½” diameter

2nd- after June drop to 4-8” apart

General care of fruit trees/shrubs

cultural controls
Cultural controls
  • Pruning
  • Provide water
  • Mulch!
  • Annually remove fallen fruit
  • Annually remove leaves
  • Protect from rodent damage
common pests
Common pests

Japanese beetle





Apple problems

japanese beetle
Japanese beetle

Photo: Jeff Hahn

deer rabbits birds etc

Photo: Gary Johnson

Photo: Mooter

Deer, rabbits, birds, etc.

Photo: Joe O’Brien

apple problems
Apple problems
  • Problems
    • Apple maggot
    • Apple scab
    • Codling moth
  • Control
    • Chemical sprays
    • Sticky traps
    • Bagging
places to order different plant sizes species and cultivars
Places to order different plant sizes, species and cultivars:
  • Jung Seeds and Plants- order with catalog; www.jungseed.com
  • St. Lawrence Nurseries- order with catalog; www.sln.potsdam.ny.us
  • Fedco Trees- order with catalog; www.fedcoseeds.com/trees.htm
  • Cummins Nursery- order online only; www.cumminsnursery.com/
  • Branch landscape nursery http://www.branchland.com/
further resources
Further resources
  • Search “What’s wrong with my plant?” UMN Extension
  • Search “University of Minnesota Extension Fruit”
  • Search “University of Wisconsin urban horticulture”