Please recommend fruit trees for NJ zone6!

malaec(z6 NJ)January 27, 2009

Hello fellow gardeners,

I finally got unlimited growing space - we purchased this wonderful 10 acres, with lots of full sun and good well-draining soil! A dream come true!

But now I need your expert advice...

I have lots of experience growing various kinds of flowers, I also have some currants and gooseberries, but I don't know anything about fruit trees.

Please share your recommendations for somewhat easy fruit trees for zone 6, New Jersey. I am looking for apples, peaches, pears, asian pears, cherries, plums, may be apricots... Even nuts... Basically, whatever grows, fruits and tastes good. I hope for a decent flavor, relative ease of cultivation and disease-resistance. Nice if it stores well, although not necessary, since I like canning...

I am sure you know what to buy, and where. Please share your favorites!

Looking forward to your advice!



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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

Congratulations on the land!

Paw paws and American persimmons will be easy to grow with very few problems. There are many named varieties of both. One notable thing about paw paw is that deer apparently don't bother with it, and I imagine you will be getting deer. American persimmons can get quite tall.

There are a handful of Asian persimmon varieties that do well in zone 6. Tam Kam, Ichi ki kie jiro, Saijo are a few. They are also pretty much problem free.

Korean pine is good if you like pine nuts.

Hardy kiwi also has a reputation for being easy to grow, but requires a supporting structure, like a trellis or arbor. I'm just getting started with mine.

Some Jujube varieties do well in zone 6, and I think they are also very easy to grow.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 10:23AM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

janna, I don't have to spray Asian pears at all and they are addicting. Also plant some Crimson Passion and Carmine Jewel bush cherries. These ripen mid summer well after the tree cherries are gone. No spray and easy to net. Blueberries are long lived and easy to grow too. Apples, Peaches and Plums require lots of spraying and/or bagging. Good luck

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 10:58AM
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alan haigh

Apples, peaches, apricots, plums may require as little as 3 sprays if you use over the counter stuff. Check thread about apple spray blues. Jap plums are easiest of plums for brown rot problems. Much discussion on varieties in recent thread. It had Green Gage in its title.

Early peaches are easier for brown rot (Red Haven and earlier). Peaches grown in lawn areas just may not need spray to produce well where you are. Harcrest and Elberta are 2 late peaches that are resistant to BR.

European pears can be as easy as Asians if you're lucky. Bartlett, Bosc and Seckel in particular.

Brambles are often no-spray and give you fruit while you're waiting on trees. Start with Heritage for raspberries and Jewel for black rasps. Try Tripple-crown and Navajo for blackberries.

Fruits, Berry and Nut Inventory pub-Seed Savers Exchange is a book with nursery sources and variety discriptions of all kinds of fruit. You can also ask here.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 12:00PM
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malaec(z6 NJ)

Thanks so much guys! I wanted to mention that my entire garden area (over 3 acres) is deer-fenced with 8ft poly fence - this was the very first thing I insisted on doing as soon as we moved in! DH agreed, and boy am I glad we did it when we did it...
All the new fruit trees will be planted in the lawn area, since all there is is a huge sunny lawn. So it looks like I may get away with only few sprayings, which I don't mind. I am used to spraying roses...
We discovered a nice asset - a large mature Butternut tree on the property, I didn't know what it was at first, but there was this squirrel chiseling away the nuts... Also, there is literally a sea of wild blueberries in the woods - so pretty.
I can't wait to order my first fruit trees! Too bad one has to wait so long for the fruit!
Would you recommend dwarf trees or standard ones? Is there a big difference?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 1:58PM
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Before you order in any trees, choose your nursery carefully. My suggestion would the Adams County Nursery in PA. Go online and order in their printed catalog so you can curl up with it on the couch instead of sitting in front of a computer. ACN is a truly professional outfit, and the catalog itself contains a wealth of information, as well as the best fruit varieties grown in the east. Many of the best peach varieties, BTW, were developed in NJ at Rutgers University. The best peach tree in my orchard, a Golden Jubilee, was a 1926 introduction from Rutgers.

Good for you on your deer fencing. That was a very wise, even indispensable move. I hope you don't get any that can leap higher than 8 feet. Some can. These are called Olympic deer.

All of my 65 fruit trees are also planted in the lawn area, but I do my best to maintain a cleared area around the base that is free from weeds and grasses. With the largest trees, this can be an 8-foot circle or more, and I apply thick stable manure mulch to every tree on about a 2-year cycle. It is a lot of trees to mulch, but the soil keeps improving, and the trees are very healthy. When difficult weeds, like deep-rooted bermudagrass show up, I use Roundup (glyphosate) to keep the circle clear.

Try not to plant too close to a large Butternut tree. There could be some toxic juglans in the soil out to the drip line from this close relative of the black walnut family.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 5:50PM
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alan haigh

I like a tree and recommend MM111 for apples, but you may not want to wait so long (5 years, depending on variety). On M9 you can get fruit the second year. M26 might be the nice compromise- it needs staking at first but usually will anchor well enough to stand on its own after a few years.

Citation rootstock will work well for plums, speeding fruit and keeping them in bounds but if you have enough room there's nothing wrong with myrobolan. Jap plums often are quick to bear anyway. Citation definately reduces the wait for Europeans.

The Gisela rootstocks will work for cherries. Avoid dwarfing rootstocks for everything else.

Don't buy from a nursery that doesn't list the specific rootstock.

Adam's County Nursery might be a good place to look first for you. Most of their varieties will grow in NJ.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 5:56PM
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malaec(z6 NJ)

You guys really seem to know your stuff! I am impressed. :)
Looks like I have some learning curve ahead, but this is what I love to do anyway. I've read somewhere that orchard can become such a pain in the neck and total disappointment, so I want to learn here from those who know before buying wrong stuff and then struggling and cursing instead of having fun!
I requested a catalog from ACN today.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 6:30PM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

Harvestman, "Apples, peaches, apricots, plums may require as little as 3 sprays if you use over the counter stuff. Check thread about apple spray blues." This post from you is one of the best on the GW. But I cannot use Imidan. My work requires permits from DEC so I don't mess around. I use registered sprays by the label. I like to spray late winter copper as a bacteriacide for cankers and fireblight. One pre bloom and one post bloom fruit tree spray application. Three more at 10 day intervals. Systemic fungicide for uncontrolled brown rot. For late ripening tree fruit, up to seven sprays except pears.When I add up what you wrote on the apple blues thread using Sevin on stone fruit I get 6 sprays.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 1:27AM
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alan haigh

Ace, my basic spray program only goes to 4 if you use Sevin. I don't need to control fireblight in any of the 100 orchards I manage, I only get small strikes that run their course innocently enough (I don't use full dwarf rootstock). I often have to do more sprays with stonefruit to control BR but on many sites we get adequate control with just 2 sprays if we forsake oil or add it in one of the insecticide sprays. Brown rot control can be maintained most efficiently with Orbit, Indar or Pristine and you can experiment with a single spray in early July to control BR on all your stonefruit. Sometimes this will solve the problem entirely up here.

Mark has recently drawn my attention to Assail which I don't think is restricted in NY and he mentioned research that would indicate that it could protect for as long of intervals as Imidan. Thank you Mark!

Don, it's crazy that you posted within minutes of my last post here and had some similar but more detailed advice. I wouldn't necessarily recommend using composted manure in large amounts however. If she has a deep rich soil with a lot of organic matter already she might want to go easy on enriching it further. I get the best fruit from soil not overly rich. It really depends on the sight, the species and rootstock as I'm fully aware you know.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 7:02AM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

harvestman, I think your knocking out pests and diseases using effective insecticides and systemic fungicides reduces synthetic chemicals needed for fruit. The county extension guidelines tell to use fruit tree spray before and after bloom and every 10 -14 days. That is like double the number of sprays you use. I get moderate PC in early season and they disappear. The problem I have is with OFM in the dog days of summer. During their fiercest nights, frequent 'fruit tree spray' does not control them. That is why folks resort to bagging. Assail, it is unrestricted and registered. How does it fare with OFM.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 8:59AM
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alan haigh

I controlled OFM on my own property with a phermone baited poison, I can't remember what it was called but it came in
a kind of a tube and you squeezed a little on every few peach trees- just about as much as toothe paste on a brush. Just one application a season.

It worked on my property like majic- I haven't even had to use it for the last 2 seasons it actually wiped them out but they came back a bit so I'll use it again next year (I still have some from the original tube. Hope it's still potent). It is expensive. Wish we could kill PC with bait. Very little poson accomplishes a great deal.

Contact or call Darek Czokaijlo at 315 299-2598.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 6:31PM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

Harvestman, thanks for the contact, I sent an e-mail. For this summer I am trying a black light bug zapper that has a tray for mosquito repellent. I am going to bait it with OFM pheromone lures that go in the sticky traps. Then I am going to watch'em fry.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 9:30PM
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I live in Zone 6 as well and I have read that Quince can survive here. It sounds like a really cool tree and I kind of like the fruit. I think the best way to acquire a tree will be by seed as I don't think this tree is really very common. I just bought a quince at the grocery store and cold stratified the seeds for about... a month and a half and I got a few sprouts. I probably should have let them in the fridge longer but I got impatient. Mine is still a sprout, I've only had it for a few months... So I guess I will see if it survives the next winter or not!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 1:14AM
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alan haigh

Subject: Assail and OFM
Cornell gives assail highest raiting for OFM control. However the label is for agricultural use only Mark tells me so legally it is only for commercial production.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 6:26AM
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anyone knows where can buy some fruit trees in New peach, cherry or apple trees.thanks.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 5:05AM
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I did the mail order route for my cherry and apple trees.

I purchased a 3-1 cherry and 4-1 apple along with a Stella cherry. These were purchased from Bay Laurel nursery in CA and shipped out (they are dormant now).

We (NJ) don't need any of the low chill varieties. I bought the hype and wanted a Dave Wilson grown tree (they don't sell retail) and went with Bay Laurel as the seller.

I'll let you know if 3 years or so on how well my purchase went.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 4:11PM
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