The Best Fruit Trees for the North

Fruit trees can be grown all across the country, as far north as Michigan and as far south as Key West. However, the shorter growing season and cold temperatures in the north limit the varieties of fruit that can be grown there. Citrus, persimmons, and bananas, for example, all require hotter temperatures and more sun than gardens in the north can provide. Still, a good number of fruit trees flourish in the North.


Apple trees require a cold period in order to regenerate and produce fruit each year. Each variety of apple has its own required length of cold time (called "chill hours"). Northern apple varieties require 500 chill hours or more. Varieties that grow well in the northern half of the country include Mcintosh, Northern Spy, and Honeycrisp. Most apple varieties ripen in the early fall in the north.


Pears can grow even in the most northern areas of the country to zone 5. Like apples, pear trees require a cold period in order to produce abundantly. Pear trees can produce several bushels of ripe fruit in mid-summer. Northern pear varieties include Ayers and Summercrisp.


Cherries have been cultivated in the north as long as Europeans have lived there. The trees' short growing season allows the fruit to mature in the short summers and survive the cold winters. Common varieties of cherries include Bing, Rainier, and Montmorency.


Blueberries grow wild throughout the United States and have been cultivated for centuries. The high bush blueberry is most commonly grown in the north. Blueberries are harvested in July in the north and can be eaten fresh or frozen for later use. Popular high bush blueberry varieties are Earliblue, Bluejay and Northland.

Keywords: fruit trees, gardening, northern gardening