help with apple and peach trees in Chicago area yard?

miradearaAugust 30, 2013


I'm thinking about planting a couple dwarf apple trees in my Evanston back yard. Also considering a peach tree (or two if cross-pollination is needed) and/or possibly a cherry tree.

Would highly appreciate any suggestions for a good landscaper in the area as we'll have to pull out some bushes to make room and I don't trust myself to plant them properly. Also, should I order the trees myself from a nursery? Or let the landscaper do it?

Am a newbie so am also trying to figure out what makes sense -- do peach trees even come in dwarf varieties? Do I need to have two trees for cross pollination or is it possible to have two graphs on one tree so it will pollinate itself? Is it possible to buy an older tree so I don't have to wait 3-4 years for fruit? Would dark cherries even work in Chicago?

Ideally, would like to have trees that produce at different times to spread out the harvest.

Found this list of what works in Illinois from UofI

but would be grateful for suggestions on what works well in the area. We're a big fan of honeycrisp, braeburn, jonagold, fuji (basically firm, crisp and not overly sweet but not too tart)

thanks so much,


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I'm in your area. Apples need a pollinator, so you'll want two. They do well here. Peaches don't need a pollinator. They tend to be prone to disease around here. Be sure to look for a disease-resistant variety. Cherries - do you want sweet or tart cherries, for eating fresh or for cooking? Most sweets need a pollinator, most tart cherries don't.

I think it's best to order bare-root trees from a good nursery. Beware nurseries that don't tell you what the rootstock is. Beware the label "semi-dwarf" which mean in practice, too tall.

Plan a doable spray schedule. Attempting to grow fruit around here w/o spraying will result in disappointment. Evanston has a large squirrel population. Peaches in particular are a target for them. Cherries are often attacked by birds.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 4:10PM
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