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Wedel's Nursery, Florist and Garden Center

Healthy Eating From Your Backyard Orchard

Now is a great time to plan your backyard orchard. Who said that fruit trees don’t belong in the landscape? Fruit trees add landscape interest year-round with sweet scented white and pink blossoms in the spring. The tree canopy provides shade in the heat of summer, with some fruit trees adding fall color in their leaves. And the snow-covered branches in the winter add a unique sculpture to the backyard. Most fruit trees are available as semi-dwarf trees, maturing at 12-15’, thus adding a small tree to the landscape. But best of all is the bonus of growing and eating your own fruit.
Some of the easiest to grow and most popular tree fruits include:
‘Honeycrisp’ Apple
This is the apple everyone’s asking for! This super crisp and predominately sweet modern variety from the USA has striped red medium sized juicy apples that ripen in mid-September. Its great texture makes it excellent for eating & cooking. Plant this mid-season bloomer with another apple tree for cross-pollination.  
‘Gala’ Apple
  ‘Gala’ apple trees tolerate considerable summer heat. This is one of the most widely-grown apple varieties because of its many uses. Ripening in mid-August to early September, this sweet, pleasant flavored apple has good keeping qualities and is excellent both fresh and cooked. Cross-pollinate this apple with another mid-season bloomer.  
‘Bing’ Cherry
    This is very productive sweet cherry with lots of large, dark, and firm cherries. As with most sweet cherries, ‘Bing’ is mostly eaten fresh. It ripens in early July. Plant with another sweet cherry for cross-pollination.    
‘Red Haven’ Peach
One of the world’s most widely planted peaches. This delicious, high quality freestone is excellent for eating fresh, canning, and freezing. ‘Red Haven’ is self-pollinating, and ripens in late July.  
‘Bartlett’ Pear
    This large, juicy pear is most popular pear in the world. ‘Bartlett’ is an extremely aromatic pear, and has that definitive “pear flavor.” Good for eating fresh, canning and preserves. Pick mature fruit green and let ripen in August. This pear is partially self-fertile, but cross-pollinate with another pear variety for better production.
‘Moorpark’ Apricot
One of the best apricots for the home gardener! Its great apricot flavor comes with plenty of juice, sensational for fresh-eating, canning, and even drying. Harvest time spans from late July to early August. It is a self-pollinating tree, but planting two varieties is recommended for a better crop.
See these and many other fruit tree varieties and talk to the experts about fruit tree care at Wedel’s Annual Spring Flower and Garden Expo on March 23 and 24, or whenever it is convenient for you. Fruit tree blossoms provide an early spring food source for our pollinator insects. Fruit trees need full sunlight, good ventilation, and grow best in well-drained soil. Annual pruning and fertilizing of fruit trees improves fruit production. Controlling potential pests is simple, with several organic/natural options available. Plan your backyard orchard now for fruit on your table later in the growing season for happy and healthy eating!
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