Delicious fruit trees to grow and enjoy right at home.
Why drive to the grocery store when you can grab a few fresh, homegrown fruits right from your backyard? Though it requires a bit of patience, having an edible garden at home is great for those looking to live more sustainably (and boost their curb appeal).
Contrary to popular belief, many fruit trees are fairly easy to grow, even in small spaces. The key is to make sure they’re in ideal growing conditions—in their optimal plant hardiness zone with enough sunlight, water, and soil nutrients.
Whether you start from a tiny seedling or a partially grown version from a plant nursery, rest assured that the fruit it bears will be worth the wait.
Here are 14 of the best fruit-bearing trees and how to care for them at home:
1. Apricot Tree
A cousin of cherry and plum trees, apricot trees bloom fragrant, white flowers that make an attractive addition to your home. These trees flower in mid-to-late April and produce this tasty fruit in early- to mid-July.
Apricot trees are very delicate, so it’s important they grow in the right conditions. To combat morning frost and fungal problems, consider planting this tree in a spot within your yard with good air movement through and around it.
Since the apricot tree flowers early in the season (when there aren’t many pollinators around), hiring a local arborist can assist in manual pollination techniques and ensure the tree is on a healthy growth track.
2. Apple Tree
From Honeycrisp to Granny Smith, apples are a versatile fruit. The apple tree is one of the easiest to grow, making it great for beginner gardeners. Also, because dwarf sizes of this tree can start bearing fruit within two to three years, you won’t have to wait as long to reap your delicious apples.
Apple trees are fairly low-maintenance, as long as the soil is loose and rich with organic matter for the roots to spread and deepen.
3. Lemon Tree
If freshly squeezed lemonade during a summer cookout sounds great, consider adding this citrus fruit tree to your backyard. Lemon trees require full sun (six hours or more every day) and thrive in warmer climates, so find a good spot on the lawn where there’s plenty of sunshine.
If you live in a state with cooler temperatures throughout the year, you can protect the tree roots and retain the soil’s moisture by adding a layer of mulch on top. Fortunately, lemon trees are suitable to grow in pots and containers, in which you can bring them indoors to survive colder weather.
Keep in mind that lemon trees love a lot of water, so creating a watering schedule can come in handy.
4. Quince Tree
Do you have a small backyard? Opt for the quince tree, a great space-saving option. Quinces are very sour raw off the tree, but savoury when cooked. This fruit is popularly used for making jellies, jams, and preserves.
Before producing fruit, the flowering quince is a highly fragranced, pinkish blossom that looks luxurious when in bloom. For easy growth and low maintenance, make sure your quince tree is planted in a sunny location.
5. Plum Tree
Plum trees are another space-saving option for small backyards. It’s also low-maintenance and easy to prune, adding to the list of fruits that are great for beginners.
The plum tree is a slow grower that requires warm, sheltered locations. Fortunately, it’s native to the Central and Eastern U.S., so it’s easily adaptable to weather conditions. Once ripe, you can eat your juicy plums directly off the tree, or save them to cook for jellies and jams.
6. Orange Tree
Wouldn’t you love to see bright oranges in your hard? This citrus fruit can hang on the tree for months before falling, making a lovely aesthetic for your landscape.
Oranges are grown mostly in states with hot summers and mild winters, such as California and Florida. Luckily, there are dwarf varieties of the orange tree, which you can pot and take indoors during the winter.
From flower to fruit, oranges can take about one year to grow. Best of all, they’re evergreen. Because orange trees don’t shed leaves in winter, they can produce flowers in spring and develop fruit in summer.
7. Peach Tree
If you’re pretty busy with work or the kids, the peach tree is ideal. Not only is it a low-maintenance option, but you can also plant them any time of the year. They’re also quick to crop, with some producing fruit after just one year.
Peach trees grow well in sunny, sheltered spots, but do well in most types of soil with good drainage. You’ll need to protect this tree from frost, but fortunately, it’s another fruit that can grow in containers to bring inside during winter.
8. Damson Tree
Damson berries are a unique, flavourful fruit commonly used for jams, jellies, and preserves. They grow from white blooms with an alluring fragrance, which make great flowers for bees.
The best thing about damson trees is that they’re self-fertile, making them easy to grow. As long as they receive a lot of sun, these trees are very low-maintenance and adaptable to many soil types. You can expect to see fruit production within three to four years.
9. Cherry Tree
Experience beautiful springtime blossoms with this low-maintenance tree. Cherry trees are one of the easiest to grow with versatile planting options: free-standing, against a wall, or in pots.
The fragrance of cherry blossom trees can attract many pollinators to the garden, and after bearing fruit, they offer plenty of fresh berries for birds and wildlife. When the temperature drops, simply add a thick layer of mulch on top to help retain soil moisture and protect the roots.
10. Pear Tree
With a variety of yummy flavours, you’re free to eat pears fresh from the tree or bake them in desserts. Though fairly low-maintenance, the pear tree is not self-fertile, so it will need a partner tree to thrive.
One thing to know about the pear tree is that it can take five to seven years to yield fruit. Nevertheless, you can hire a pro gardener near you to help plant gorgeous florals in your yard around it.
11. Fig Tree
Though not as popular in the Americas as it is in West Asia and Southern Europe, the uniquely shaped fig fruit is easy to grow in most regions. The honey-like taste of figs is commonly used as sweeteners, a considerable alternative if you’re trying to avoid sugar.
Fig trees need warmth and plenty of sun but are also suitable for planting in containers to bring inside during colder months.
When deciding on a location in your yard, consider planting it along the fence. Growing fig trees against a wall helps increase fruit production, which can yield within two to three years.
12. Pomegranate Tree
Do you often leave on winter vacation? Consider planting pomegranates. These drought-friendly trees don’t require any watering during winter and can survive temperatures as cool as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can start your pomegranate tree in a large pot on your patio and go about your normal routines. They’re easy to grow from seed and typically produce fruit in three years. Once ripe, juice this vibrant red fruit or blend it in your smoothies to reap the rich antioxidant benefits.
13. Elderberry Tree
The elderberry is a fast-growing fruit tree and self-fruitful, so you only need one to pollinate. In fact, it’s a wind-pollinated plant, meaning a nice breeze can do the work.
A late-spring bloomer, elderberry fruit is great and flavourful once ripe and cooked. But be careful, as the remainder of the plant can be poisonous. Also, consider planting it in the middle of the yard away from other plants, as the elderberry tree can be invasive to other plants.
14. Lime Tree
With this tree in the yard, you’ll be steps away from picking fresh limes for a cool summer drink, and you can store them later for your home bar.
Lime trees thrive in sun and warmth, and they’re sensitive to weather below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, you can add this one to the list of container-friendly trees. Simply pot it and keep indoors when there’s cold weather.
You’ll have to water lime trees frequently and fertilize them every few months for best results. Alternatively, you can learn to make compost at home to use for your trees.
Benefits of Planting Trees
The cost of planting a tree ranges from $100 to $300, but given the years of fruit and benefits it can provide, consider it a great bang for your buck. Learn below just how advantageous trees are to our health, communities, and environment.
Ready to plant your first free? Make sure you have a planting calendar to help plan for the fruit season. If you need help visualizing the final look of your backyard once the fruit trees are fully grown, a local landscaping professional can bring design insight and suggestions.