A variety of fruit trees make excellent choices for Utah gardens, with a few (listed below) doing well in all zones of the state. When selecting fruit trees, remember that most of them require cross-pollination in order to create fruit; this means they rely on pollen from another tree to pollinate their own flowers so fruit can grow. While some fruit trees self-pollinate, check to see what variety you’re planting to determine if you need to plant more than one.
A wide variety of apple trees grow well in Utah’s garden. In the spring, the fragrance of apple tree blooms fills the air. Fruits ripen and may be picked in the fall. Most apple trees require you to plant two trees to induce pollination. If your garden offers only enough space for just one tree, make sure to choose a self-pollinating tree such as Winesap, Jonathan, Gala or Jonagold. That said, even self-pollinating apple trees bear more fruit if cross-pollinated.
Choose apple trees that produce fruit to your taste bud’s liking. Consider planting Granny Smith for its tart flavor, or try varieties like Jonathan and Golden Delicious for their sweet flesh. Most apple trees require well-drained soil and full sun to thrive and produce lots of fruit.
Sweet Cherry Trees
Several varieties of sweet cherry trees thrive in Utah, including popular trees like Bing, Royal Ann, and Stella. While a few cherry trees are self-fruitful, most require cross-pollination. For early to mid-summer fruits, consider planting Bing cherry trees with their dark red fruits. Or choose Royal Ann, also known as Queen Ann, cherries, for their sweet, juicy fruits with yellowish skins and red tinges, perfect for mid-summer eating. For late summer fruit, try Lambert with its sweet, near-black flesh.
Japanese Plum Trees
The fruits from these trees widely vary in color and taste, but most are easily grown in Utah gardens. They even thrive in higher temperatures when other types of plum trees falter. Consider planting Santa Rosa with its reddish-purple skin and tangy flavor. Or, try the Satsuma with its maroon-green skin and dark red mild flesh.
All Japanese plum trees require another tree for cross-pollination. Since they tend to produce fruits early in the summer, they need to be protected with a layer of mulch in the late fall before the first frost occurs. This type of plum tree grows best in well-drained soil in a sunny spot of the garden.