Oregon enjoys good crops of apples, plums, pears, cherries and peaches. Not all fruit trees grow equally in all counties, however. Learning what fruit trees do better in your area will help you choose the variety that will grow best in your yard. You'll enjoy the beautiful blossoms in the spring and the delicious fruit when it is ripe.
The most popular varieties of apples grown in Oregon include Braeburn, Gala, Jonagold, and Honeycrisp. Pie apples like Granny Smith are still perennial favorites. If you move to a property with old apple trees, you may find you have some truly rare varieties like Cox Orange Pippin or the original Red Delicious, which may be smaller than ones found in stores. Don't dismiss these older apples. They may be small, but the flavor is there.
Cherries are a favorite in Oregon. Varieties like Bing, Sweetheart, Royal Ann, Skeena and Rainier are grown in many gardens. Tietons are rather large with a mild flavor, while Chelan is very similar to Bing but ripens earlier. Sweet cherries are the tree of choice for most Oregonians, although pie cherries also do very well. Montmorency is the most popular pie cherry grown in the state. Old heirloom varieties of cherry trees can sometimes be found in rural areas, though it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine varieties in most cases.
Redhaven and Suncrest are the two most popular varieties of peaches grown in Oregon. You can also find Elberta in the farmstands. If you're in western Oregon, it is best to find varieties that are resistant to peachleaf curl. Older varieties like Harken, O'Henry and Fortyniner need extra care but taste delicious. Peaches can be enjoyed fresh or preserved as slices or jam. If you want to grow an unusual variety, try Donut peaches. They are small and flat with white flesh.
Italian Prunes are by far the most popular plum grown in Oregon. You can also enjoy Empress, Santa Rosa and Shiro plums if you like them better. Both European and Japanese plums grow well in Oregon. You can tell the difference by looking at their shape. European plums are oval while Japanese plums are round. European plums are better if you are going to cook them, though Japanese plums are juicier. Most plum trees will produce fruit for a period of several weeks during the summer.
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