Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Fruiting Plants

I am often engrossed in the plants that I have growing in my yard, as well as the plants that are growing the yards around mine. Most of that contemplation falls back to trying to determine how to acquire my own samples of the neat specimens that I have noticed in my neighbors' yards. However, upon reflection, I wanted to just list out what plants I have in my own yard that produce fruit, if for no other reason than to recognize just how far the yard has come since I first started "fixing" it after moving in over five years ago.


  1. Apple - no idea what kind. It is a mature, standard apple that provides apples that are good for pretty much everything that we have tried to do with them. They ripen up right around the first week of October.
  2. Peach - again, I have no idea what kind it is. It is a mature, standard tree. Like the apple above, it was part of the yard when I acquired the home. But the peaches are delicious. They do best for fresh eating, but, unfortunately, that only lasts so long.
  3. Plumcot - I do not remember the variety name, but a plumcot is a hybrid of a plum and an apricot. The natural occurrence of this particular hybridization has been documented many times over the past couple of hundred years, but Luther Burbank is credited with determining how to make it happen. Plumcots are the stepping stones for other, more recent, hybrids, such as apriums, pluots, and peacotums. I love the fruit on my plumcot. The tree is a semi-dwarf and has been in my yard for... hmmm... I guess it has been about four years now. It is part of the first group of fruit trees that we added to the yard.
  4. Cherry - I believe it is a Stella which is a red sweet cherry. It is also part of the first group, and, like all of that group, is a semi-dwarf. Around here people regularly complain about having cherry trees because they "have" to spray in order to have "good" cherries. Honestly, I love living in this area because there are so many very large cherry trees that produce loads of delicious cherries that the owners do not want. Anyway, the whole problem is that the cherries will often have a tiny worm in it. The worm is technically called a Cherry fly maggot, but the word maggot has such gross associations with it that I much prefer cherry worm. We just put the cherries through a cherry pitter and eat them whole or freeze them to use in pancakes and smoothies. If you do not actually see the worm, it is not really there, especially since it tastes like cherry. More for me. Perfect. Growing up, there was a huge mulberry tree in my yard that was the same - it had little worm-thingies crawling on the fruit. Oh well, it all tasted good. And you certainly could not tell in the mulberry pie. Anyway... moving on.
  5. Apricot - just like the cherry, I do not know what variety it is. It is part of the first group. Since it blossoms before any other tree that I have, I often get just a few apricots because of late frosts. And because the tree is still quite young. I'll have to see how much it produces in a few more years to see if it is the late frosts that are really the culprit.
  6. Pear - also part of the first group. It is a Twentieth Century Asian. I had not eaten Asian pears prior to picking some fruit from this tree. So far the fruit is almost more like a sweet apple than a pear, very crisp and round. But quite tasty. Especially when we give it a chance to ripen all of the way before getting impatient and eating it early.
  7. Nectarine - it is also part of the first group. It is a Fantasia. The fruit has been super delicious, but they always look kind of weird with strange folds and shapes. But, as I am not one to let looks deter me, it still tastes great, which is the whole reason for growing nectarines. The yield has been rather paltry, but it is probably because the tree is still pretty young and small.
  8. Apple - this is a Wynoochee Early variety. It is part of the second group of trees that I planted this spring. It is a semi-dwarf. I do not yet know how the fruit will taste, but it is supposed to be very good for an early apple.
  9. Pear - this is a European pear, with the well-known pear shape - long, thin neck swelling into a round ball at the bottom. It is a Seckel, also known as a Sugar Pear. It is often known for the fact that it and Bartlett strangely find each other incompatible for pollination. I have never found an explanation as to why they do not pollinate each other, just that they do not. It is also part of the second group.
  10. Quince - the quince is a pome, like apples and pears, with a core containing multiple, small seeds. The variety is Mellow, a Ukranian variety that has a tendency towards dwarfing, so it should only grow to eight or ten feet tall. I am looking forward to seeing how well it fruits in this area and how it tastes. It is part of the second group.
  11. Medlar - also part of the second group, the variety is named Marron. The fruit has been popular in Europe since the Middle Ages, is chestnut brown in color, and is said to have the taste and texture of spiced applesauce. The tree only reaches six to eight feet in height. Another that I am looking forward to trying out.
  12. Plum - another one from the second group, the cultivar is Brooks. It is said to produce very large, sweet, dark purple fruit. The fruit is great for fresh eating, preserves, canning and drying. Interestingly, this variety was the main variety in Oregon's dried plum industry. Hopefully it does just as well in Utah.
  13. Fig - I count this as one of my trees because, well, it is mine and it is a tree. It is a Negronne and also came in the second group. I picked a specimen of that variety because it was labeled as being small and suitable for growing in a container. My hope is to eventually plant a fig in a warm microclimate in my yard, but before then I would like to become more acquainted with figs in general, as they seem to be quite different from the pome and drupe varieties with which I have experience. So, currently, I have this in a large pot out in the garden. It seemed somewhat slow to get going, but now that it is better established and the weather is quite warm and sunny, it seems to be thriving.
  14. Peach - seedling that started growing in our compost pile. It survived the removal of the compost and is now in its second summer. I am letting it grow mostly just to see what happens.


  1. Currant, Black - I have had one of these bushes for three or four years now. The berries have been less than desirable in my opinion, but the rest of the family really likes them. I think that I need to plant another black currant to improve pollination and thus have better fruit production.
  2. Currant, White - two plants added last summer. They both have strings of "pearls" that are about the size of small peas. As the fruit has not yet ripened, I do not know how well I will like the fruit.
  3. Currant, Red - one plant, of the Red Lake variety that I added last spring. I have not yet had fruit from it, but there is some this year. When it ripens I will try it out.
  4. Gooseberry - I have one bush. This is its second summer. Last year it put on a few fruits, but this year it did not even flower. A friend says that happens when it is not watered sufficiently, which may have been the case at the very start of the growing season. But I really want to get a good crop of gooseberries. They look so tasty!
  5. Aronia - this is their first summer and, even though I know it is better to pluck off any fruit, I have left the berries to ripen. And there are quite a few! I expect both plants to give me nice, dark, tart fruit that I can freeze whole and then add to my fruit smoothies for its nutritional benefits.
  6. Elderberry - I think this is the plant's second or third summer, but it might as well be its first summer in my yard. I did not know much of anything about elderberry bushes when I bought it, and so it has been transplanted a couple of times and not really treated with much in the way of care and consideration. Now that I know a little more, I have been helping it get its roots under it, so to speak. It is a European variety that has been selected to be very decorative while still putting on plenty of flowers and fruit. Maybe next year I will get to try the fruit.
  7. Seaberry - I have three plants, one male and two female. They are sometimes called sea buckthorn. A friend said that these plants send out a lot of suckers, have really large, sharp thorns, and the fruit is sour. I planted these this spring, so all I can say so far is that they do have long, sharp thorns. I am not too worried about the suckers. And sour fruit is fine because I can just mix them with my green grapes which are really sweet but not overly flavorful so they make a nice natural sweetener.
  8. Rugosa rose - planted last year, I hope to get a good crop of rose hips, based on the hips that have formed already.
  9. Serviceberry - this year these plants really put on the blossoms and the fruit. I started picking around the first week of June and am still picking the berries as they ripen. I have four plants and have picked about a quart of berries from each plant so far.
  10. Goji - recently planted. I had another goji for about three summers. It never reached more than six inches in height. This new goji was two feet tall when we planted it, so it is already far and away better than the last. Hopefully I will get to try homegrown goji berries next year.


  1. Blackberry - they do noticeably better when you let them become established as opposed to moving them around a couple of times each summer.
  2. Red Raspberry - I do not know what varieties I have, but they produce very well. We have about four rows, each about twenty-five feet long, plus a few new tranplants growing in the chicken garden.
  3. Boysenberry - I am hoping to finally get a good taste of our boysenberries. In the past we only had one plant and would only get five or six berries from it. Last year we added a whole row and, as long as they do not get lost in the garden jungle, we might get a couple of handfuls of berries.


  1. Grape - the varieties that I currently have are as follows: Concord, Glenora, Canadice, Reliance, and a mature green seedless that was here when I moved in.
  2. Hardy Kiwi - they were just listed as a self-fertile female (how does that work?) hardy kiwis, so I have no idea as which named variety they might be. I have two and this is their third summer. I have yet to see any flowers, much less fruit, but this is also the first year that there has been significant growth. Past years there were some watering malfunctions and they apparently do not grow very well without a good amount of sunlight and sufficient water.
  3. Akebia - this is its first summer. I had two, but one just withered and died one week. :-( I will need to acquire another in order to get the fruit.


  1. Do you like the serviceberry taste?

  2. ok, just found your post on the serviceberry--thanks. You have a great blog.