Choosing fruit tree cultivars
Hi, All, I'm trying to choose fruit tree cultivars for a 4,000 square foot border in my back yard. By September 10 I hope to plant two each of apple, European pear, sweet cherry, apricot, and European plum (and ornamental crabapple for the birds). I want trees that will be 10 to 15 feet tall at maturity, somewhat disease resistant, and cold hardy to zone 4 if possible. The pairs also have to be compatible pollenizers. Good-tasting fruit is a prime consideration. While taste is subjective, I'm curious what people in the forum think of the taste of the listed fruits. I'd appreciate any and all opinions and recommendations by you. The cultivars I've found available locally (10- to 15-inch pots, 5- to 10-foot trees) in the desired mature size are:
The topsoil is in pretty good shape, with a pH of 6.5, which is supposedly ideal for fruit trees. Below 10 inches down it gets a little clayey. It's a slight north-facing slope. Last year I killed the grass, waited a while, spread out an inch and a half of Soil Pep, and planted a mixed cover crop. This year I lightly tilled in the dried-up cover crop and planted 14,000 lupine seeds, most of which have come up, bloomed, and gone to seed already. There's also a circular vegetable garden in the center. Next spring or even this fall I'm going to sow seeds of a variety of perennials friendly to birds, bees, and butterflies. I'm reading Michael Phillips' "The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way," which is a fantastic book. Thanks for your help.