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advice please:Fruit or nut tree for coastal Connecticut yard?

Posted by rredbbeard SE CT USA/zone 6 ( on
Thu, Apr 14, 11 at 15:36

I have a small, somewhat shaded north-facing area between my house and the street where a huge white pine has been taken down. I would like to put something in that is more compact, but more interesting than the usual urban maple.

I've considered dogwood, but then started thinking that a fruit tree of some sort might be attractive. Chinese chestnuts are smaller stature, but you need 2 if you want nuts. I could also plant either a cherry, pear or apple, and there's probably enough sun for them to be happy.

What experience have you had in this area--what would you suggest?


--Rick/New London, CT

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: advice please:Fruit or nut tree for coastal Connecticut yard?

Can you get apple trees that have two-three varieties grafted onto a standard-height stock? That way you wouldn't have to worry about cross-pollination issues, and you could have a shorter plant - easier to tend and harvest, and less shading.

A black mulberry or a medlar would also be hardy in your zone - and provide fruit, as well as an attractive form for the yard.

RE: advice please:Fruit or nut tree for coastal Connecticut yard?

I generally like to recommend natives. Beach Plums love the coast and take well to being planted and neglected, even by an incompetent gardener like me. Still need two, but small enough that shouldn't be a problem. Don't like shade.

The American Persimmon and Paw Paw are native fruit trees...I planted some, but still waiting to see how that turns out. Need two of those as well.

As far as parents planted a single peach tree, and it is going strong. Unfortunately, insects devour the fruit and make them inedible. The flowers are pretty.

RE: advice please:Fruit or nut tree for coastal Connecticut yard?

It's interesting that you mention persimmons. There's a sterile hybrid called persimmon ichi that sounds interesting. Since I first posted this thread, I've started growing hellebore, which sounds too good to be true: animal proof, grows in deep shade, and flowers in late winter. My little plants probably won't flower for another 18 months...

I tried stratifying beach plum seeds a few years ago and got nothing. How long do these seeds require to germinate?


RE: advice please:Fruit or nut tree for coastal Connecticut yard?

I've never had any luck growing Beach Plum from seed...and I have tried. The saplings I've planted have never failed to grow, no matter how I abuse them. Even the dead looking bare root one I bought on sale from the internet.

I've just discovered that my county soil conservation office sells them in bulk really cheap at their annual Spring plant sale.

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