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Fruit Trees in Maine

Posted by lamb_abbey_orchards 5a : Coastal Maine (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 9, 06 at 8:59

I'm interested in talking with other orchardists, farmers and home gardeners here in Maine who are growing fruit. I'm in the early stages of establishing an orchard in the Midcoast area and am trying to determine varieties that adapt well to our latitude as well as climate. I'm in Zone 5a, about 20 miles from the Atlantic in the town of Union.

I don't find apples and pears to present too much of a problem. However I'd love to hear of the successes people may be having with peaches, apricots, plums, sweet cherries and raspberries. There must be some great varieties that thrive and produce well here in Maine aside from the old diehards like Reliance Peaches, Manchurian Apricots, Evans Cherries, etc.

By the way, I AM aware of Fedco and the offerings in their catalog. My interest is more in people's personal experiences. Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fruit Trees in Maine

I don't have much experience at all, we've had just a couple Bartlett pears and un-IDed apples, both disease-ridden. We are trying a Reliance peach tree that made it through last winter just fine.

Contact your local cooperative extension, they really keep up on things like that. Ours in Sanford has a volunteer master gardener with a horticultural degree in orchardry, he's the go-to man re: fruit trees in southern Maine. I'm sure the office nearest you at least has a list of varieties that grow well in your area.

RE: Fruit Trees in Maine


I appreciate the suggestions. I've spoken with a number of the cooperative extensions in the State already. I really was looking to hear of people's personal experiences with fruit trees here on this list.


RE: Fruit Trees in Maine

My Father-in-law grew up in Friendship in a house a few hundred yards from the water. They had a couple peach trees in the yard. The peaches were small, but delicious. They self-seeded regularly. Variety is unknown, and obviously old. But it shows how well they can grow in some places in Maine.

I've got a few things planted, but not for long enough to give any real feedback.

Dan in Brooksville

RE: Fruit Trees in Maine

I'm in Richmond, so am also mid-coastal.

I have a Bartlett Pear which came with the house and had been sadly neglected, although pretty productive (my dog LOVES pears!). We gave it a major pruning last winter; last summer it had very little fruit, but whether that was a result of the pruning or the wet spring I can't say. It will get more severe pruning again this year.

I also have 2- 2 year-old cherry trees, a Montmorency and a Stella, both on dwarf rootstock. I did no pruning last winter to counteract a bad Japanese Beetle year and an unwanted pruning by a woodchuck - no, not a deer, I saw the wretched creature at it. They are due for some serious pruning this winter. I am trying to grow them in a small location, so will have to be vigilant with pruning.

The cherry trees seem contented despite the pests, but I am a complete novice. I have had no fruit as yet, am hoping for some this year. I would like to grow peaches and apricots, espaliered along one edge of the yard, but I'm not sure how that will work -- but why not try :-)


RE: Fruit Trees in Maine

lamb abbey. If you are interested in growing fruit trees
in Me and old varities...of course you've heard of Fedco!
I have a Black Oxford and a Blue Pearmain from Fedco. I happen to prefer standard size trees as they look to me more like the antique apples they are and they grow to a deer proof height after a few years.

Have you read "The Apples of Maine" by George Stilphen?
He often speaks at Maine Apple Day and is a wealth of knowledge on the subject of growing apples and old varieties in particular.

Also, have you heard of St. Lawrence Nurseries in N.Y.? They carry a very good selection of hard to find antique apple and pear varietes. I found the apple Striped Harvey as well as winter hardy white mulberries and a Cabot pear. They do have a website and a nice little catalog.

Aside from the perils of deer, borers are a problem particularly if you get sloppy and don't keep grass and weeds clear of the trunk of your young apples. I found out the hard way and being an organic grower I spent hours with a long piece of flexible wire "fishing" for the grubs that tunnel down to the doubt to the amusement of my neighbors! Seriously, they can do a lot of damage or kill young trees. Pear trees are a good choice for Maine.
You can grow sour pie cherries if you select a well drained
South sloping site. Deer do not nibble my pear trees, and
I'm not sure why but it's worth keeping in mind.

RE: Fruit Trees in Maine

I saw a lovely old plum tree in Washington(Maine) and it bore tons of delicious fruit one year, smatterings since.

A friend bought a peach tree from Fedco and has had lovely fruit from it. I do not know the variety but I will ask.

My raspberries are bearing beautifully, more each year. Most are Heritage, the others Purple Royalty.

I gather apples from abandoned trees and make lovely applesauce.

RE: Fruit Trees in Maine

  • Posted by seanox 5/4 right on the edg (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 1, 06 at 14:49

I have a question. Hopefully someone can help. I have read that Bartlett pear trees will successfully pollinate certain Asian Pears. Will those Asian pears in turn pollinate the Bartletts?

RE: Fruit Trees in Maine

Gurney's offers several fruit trees that are very cold hardy, I was surprised at what can be grown here. I just potted up several small bush cherries, and plum. I even potted up a dwarf lemon and fig I will bring indoors over the Winter. Next on my list is a couple apricots that I hear you can even grown in zone 4. I think apples and pears are just a habit here. It's time to explore. -Mark

RE: Fruit Trees in Maine

  • Posted by billme 6 Pennsylvania (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 21, 06 at 0:36

Apples, pears, cherries, plums and grapes all produce well for me in Friendship. Got a few berries, too. Coastal gardens have a slight climactic advantage.

reliance peach tree

cooper, washington co. 20 miles from coast

i have half dozen reliance peach trees

they do very well--good fruit--pest free problems

live many yrs with pruning--birds&ants love em

begin bearing 3-4yrs

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