how many fruit trees would you plant on a half acre? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 05-29-2008, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're buying a house that's on a half acre lot. We have a whole list of fruit trees that we'd like to plant, but I'm thinking we might need to cut back on the list quite a bit if we don't want our yard to be nothing but fruit trees. If I try to describe the layout, can someone give me some suggestions on how many trees might be practical?

If I had to guess, the lot is probably roughly 100' x 200'. Probably half of that is the back yard (so roughly 100' x 100') and the rest is house and front yard. I don't think there's room for any trees in the front, except maybe in a corner of the lawn between the house and the back yard fence (how big of a space does a fruit tree need, anyway?).

The back yard has a long gravel driveway leading back to the garden space...I suppose the width of it is maybe 15'. I think that any trees we would plant would either be along the back and side of the fence, or between the edge of the gravel driveway and the lawn. I'd rather have more lawn space than tons of fruit trees.

The trees we had on our list are 2 type of apples, a pear tree, maybe a peach or nectarine tree, and a cherry tree...so I guess 5 trees. I don't know if we can use dwarf trees at all as I've read that they don't do real well this far north (central Montana).

Oh, and we'd also like to have some berries, like raspberries, strawberries, and maybe blackberries. Strawberries can just grow in a garden, can't they? But don't raspberries and blackberries need trellises or something to support them? Maybe they'd do best along the back fence...which of course would take up more space!
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#2 of 3 Old 05-29-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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well... we live in a 2 story house on a quarter of an acre, and we have 3 fruit trees on our lot. We have 3 non- fruiting trees, and 3 fruiting pomogranate bushes.

I think you could do at least 3 times that many, seeing as we still have a loooot of lawn space left. I don't know if that helps! I would also plot out a space for a veggie garden, and try to work perrenial fruiting bushes into the landscape. (that's how our pomogranates are).

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#3 of 3 Old 05-30-2008, 02:26 AM
 
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Dude, 5 fruit trees? On half an acre? Totally doable.

We have a .28 acre lot, have 3 mature apple trees, a mature italian prune tree, a 2-3yo Gala apple, and plan to pull out 3 annoying (what we think might be crabapple) trees and plant 2-3 more apple trees there instead. And maybe one more fruit tree somewhere in the backyard. Here's what our little suburban homestead currently looks like. Creativity and taking measurements are the name of the game....

Strawberries can go wherever you want them to. They do prefer full sun though. Ours are in raised beds - hopefully we won't need to transplant them for a long while.

Raspberries and blackberries do need something to reign them in - otherwise they get all bent over and funny looking and are harder to harvest from. They don't need to be planted that far away from a fence though - like within a foot of the fence or whatever.

As for dwarf or semi-dwarf, it just depends. Check out St. Lawrence Nurseries - they're in zone 3 in New York. If their stuff will grow there, I figure it'll grow just fine here in my coldish zone 5 (and I'm probably a number of hours away from you, depending on where exactly in MT you are). That's where I'm aiming to get our additional apple trees in the fall. I'd be more worried about the peach/nectarine trees - they aren't fond of colder weather and can be pretty finicky. I would *love* a peach or nectarine tree, but would rather not get my hopes dashed by late frosts... especially when I *know* I can grow apples galore.

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