Best Fruit Trees SW Washington

Puggylover Zone 9B Norco, CAMay 9, 2013

Hi All~

Reposting here:

I want to plant a few fruit trees (Varieties that I am unable to plant here in southern California) and I am uncertain of which ones would be best suited for the area.

We own a house in Vancouver, Wa and my mom lives in Camas, Wa. I plan on taking over both yards..heehee. Both places are in zone 8B and are both near the Columbia River Gorge (Camas more so than Vancouver). The chill is around 2000 hours.

The weather is rainy and cool throughout most of the year. I am not sure on the frost dates but from memory of living there more than half of my life I would guess late March early April and November sometime. Do not get much snow, a couple inches every now then which quickly melts away. Temps usually stay 45/38 throughout the winter with the occasional freeze. Summer usually starts after the 4th of July and are pretty mild with a couple of weeks in the high 90's in August. It does tend to be humid when it first starts to heat up. The ground literally starts to steam. :)

Hope that gives you enough info on the growing conditions.

I am looking to grow CHERRIES (num num num), European Plums and of COURSE Apples (Mom wants... go figure). I am not sure if it worth the effort to try and grow Peaches.

I would be looking for the best suited trees because spraying would be limited due to having to depend on family to handle that (I just want to be there to eat all the CHERRIES & Plums...hehe). I love the Rainier cherries so would be nice if I can plant a few of those.

Our tastes buds are high sweet high tart (If that even makes sense)

Ground structure in pretty well draining soil. Mom has a lot of sand rock after about 12-18". The other location has a little heavier soil but still okay drainage.

Thanks for all your time and help.


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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

See WSU Cooperative Extension lists and descriptions on there fruit growing web pages.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:06PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I looked at the WSU lists, I would agree with Liberty Apple, it is great, (Liberty from spraying), it makes wonderful applesauce, sets fruit even in bad weather, not much pest damage. The Purdue series of apples is for earliness and freedom from pests, William's PRide is a good early red from that series, it is so early it gets nearly no damage from codling moths or apple maggots.

Plums- I agree with Methley, a wonderful plum with a flavor almost like cherries.

Cherries- Van and Stella got large then stopped setting fruit. Kirsten, Angela, and Montmorency bear most years.

Pears are mostly trouble-free, Rescue, Harrow's Delight, Bartlett

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 7:16AM
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I like the idea of suggestions from WSU but I didn't easily find the information. Check out the Oregon State University Extension as well. They are focused on the same climate issues and I have found excellent descriptions of how fruit performs in our area. I checked with the OSU extension site on the raspberries that I bought last year (after I bought them, of course) and sure enough the ones that were predicted to do poorly died. I sent right off for a variety that does well in our area and it is doing fabulously and tastes great.

If you have a little patience I suggest any of the apple tastings that nurseries around here often have in the fall. It is one way to find varieties that appeal to you that are not readily available in the supermarket. Even if a tree does well it is no fun if you would rather be eating something else. Portland Nursery is one place that does apple, pear and Asian pear tastings in the fall and there is a huge selection to trial.

There are a lot of growers that provide trees suitable for this area like Raintree Nursery so it is just a matter of what you like. And check out C&O Nursery's ripening chart if you want to plant more than one variety of a certain fruit and have them ripen in succession. For example, some apples fruit in July and others keep ripening way into late October. I personally stay away from the really late ones and leave them for the growers in the eastern part of the state. (If I remember correctly C&O also provides a wide range of rootstock so order their catalog and check it out.)

I bought whips of "Honey Crisp" apple trees from C&O years ago when no one else was offering the tree. They have done extremely well in the microclimate you describe and are much sweeter and more wonderful than most of the "Honey Crisp" fruit offered in the supermarket. I don't regret planting them since they are so good off the tree even though there is now more of the fruit around.

I have fruit trees, berries and vines tucked in everywhere just to keep the racoons and birds happy ;) They leave some for me most of the time.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 9:02AM
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