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Aaron's Quick Guide to Fruit Trees

Aaron’s Handy Dandy Fruit Tree Guide!

Orchard's are becoming a popular back yard pasttime for homeowners. Growing your own fruit can be fun and rewarding. Below, Aaron has compiled a list of the fruit trees we typically stock in our garden center that are appropriate to be grown in Northern Illinois. This list contains varieties of fruit trees that are delicious but are also reliable, disease resistant and hardy. We have noted self pollinating & cross pollinating varieties for you as well. Take a peek at the list below and start planning your orchard today.

 Apples

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 Empire – A cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious. Has the flavor of McIntosh with the crispness of Red Delicious. Great for fresh eating, sauces, and pies. Early season bloomer. Ripens mid-September.

 Red Fuji – Well known for its high quality fruit that is great for fresh eating and baking. Mid-season bloomer. Ripens late October.

 Gala – Sweet and crunchy, considered a top pick for fresh eating. Mid-season bloomer. Ripens late August.

 Golden Delicious – Sweet with hints of spice. Great for fresh eating, pies, cooking, canning, and freezing. Mid-late season bloomer. Ripens late September.

 Granny Smith – Fantastic tart and tasty apples. Best for fresh eating, pies, and cooking. Mid-late season bloomer. Ripens early November.

 Honeycrisp – Dessert quality apple that is quite juicy and crisp, mildly sweet. Mid-season bloomer. Ripens mid-August.

 Liberty – Fantastic disease resistance is the standout trait for Liberty. Best for fresh eating, cooking, and canning. Mid-season bloomer. Ripens mid-September.

 Lodi – Heirloom variety that matures in early summer. Great sweet apple that is great for pies and sauce. Early season selfpollinatingapple.jpgbloomer. Ripens July.

 McIntosh – Heirloom variety dating back to the early 1800s and a stellar performer in northern climates. Best used for baking and fresh eating. Early-mid season bloomer. Ripens late August.

 Red Delicious – Sweet and crisp fruit is great for fresh eating, desserts, and salads. Mid-season bloomer. Ripens late September.

 Snow Sweet – Small to medium sized fruit are incredibly sweet, juicy, and have just a slight tart taste. Resistant to browning after cutting, unlike most apples, makes them ideal for preparing snacks or salads in advance. Very cold hardy (Zone 4). Mid-late season bloomer. Ripens mid-October.

 Sweet Cherries

Black Tartarian – Large, juicy and sweet, Black Tartarian is great for fresh eating or juices. Ripens in June. Requires pollination by another sweet cherry.

 Black York (Eastern Bing) – Sweet cherry that is great for fresh eating. Black York has increased disease resistance than older Bing varieties. Ripens early June. Requires pollination by another sweet cherry.

 Lapins – A self-pollinating Bing cultivar with increased disease resistance. Sweet cherry that is great for fresh eating, cooking, canning, or desserts. Ripens mid-June. Will pollinate other sweet cherries.

 Rainier – One of the heaviest producing and one of the sweetest sweet cherries! Great for cooking, canning, preserves, pies, and of course fresh eating! Ripens early June. Requires pollination by another sweet cherry.

 Sour/Tart Cherries

Danube – Extremely hardy (Zone 4) Hungarian tart cherry. Sweeter than Montmorency, great for fresh eating and baking. Ripens early June. Self-pollinating.

 Meteor – This sour cherry is the hardiest one we carry (Zone 3b)! Used mostly for cooking, the fruit is very similar in appearance to Montmorency. Ripens mid-June. Self-pollinating.

 Montmorency – Considered one of the best tart cherries. Early and heavy producer that is great for fresh eating, pies, cooking, canning and freezing. Ripens early June. Self-pollinating.

 Northstar – This tart cherry is exceptionally hardy (Zone 4) and a very heavy producer. Great for fresh eating, cooking, pies, and desserts. Ripens early June. Self-pollinating.

 Peaches

Bonanza Patio Peach – Freestone yellow peach, whose fruit is large and sweet. Matures at 4’ tall making it great for container growing. We recommend overwintering this one in a garage or indoors. Ripens early July. Self-pollinating.

 Bonfire Patio Peach – Not as sweet as Bonanza, but a much better show with its blazing red foliage. Matures at 4’ tall, ideal for container growing. We recommend overwintering in a garage or indoors. Ripens early July. Self-pollinating.

 Halehaven – Freestone, sweet peach that is great for canning, cooking and fresh eating. Ripens in September. Self-pollinating.

 Harvester – One of the heaviest producing peach trees, great for fresh eating, cooking and canning. Ripens mid-late July. Self-pollinating.

 July Elberta – Sweet, juicy and freestone peaches are great for fresh eating, canning and freezing. Ripens in late July. Early producer and self-pollinating.

 Reliance – Blooms slightly later than most peaches, which lowers the dangers of a late spring frost. Heavy producer of high quality, freestone, sweet peaches that are great for fresh eating, pies, cooking and canning. Ripens early August. Self-pollinating.

 Redhaven – Semi-freestone peach that matures early and produces heavy crops. Great for fresh eating, pies, cooking and freezing. Ripens late July. Self-pollinating.

 Veteran – This peach is exceptionally hardy (Zone 4) and is one of the best for canning, also good for fresh eating and cooking. Ripens late August into September. Self-pollinating.

 Yellow Contender Peach – Freestone sweet peach with large juicy fruit. Exceptionally hardy (Zone 4). Ripens mid-late August. Self-pollinating.

Pears

Anjou – High quality European pear, best for fresh eating and winter keeping. Ripens late September. Must be pollinated by another European pear.

 Bartlett – Most popular pear in the U.S.A.! Sweet and juicy, very adaptable European pear. Ripens late August. Must be pollinated by another European pear, except Seckel.

 Kieffer – Large pears that mature late. Kieffer’s pears are great for fresh eating and winter keeping. Has increased fire blight resistance. Ripens mid-September. Self-pollinating, will pollinate other European pears.

 Seckel – Produces the best small dessert pears. Heavy crop producer. Great for fresh eating, winter keeping, cooking and canning. Ripens mid-September. Must be pollinated by another European pear, except for Bartlett.

 Plums

Ozark Premier – Large, juicy and sweet plums are the trademark of this disease resistant variety. Best for fresh eating, desserts, snacks and canning. Semi-freestone, ripens early-mid August. Requires another Japanese plum for pollination.

 Santa Rosa – Juicy, delicious sweet plum that is great for fresh eating, desserts, snacks and canning. Clingstone, ripens mid-July. Self-pollinating, will pollinate other Japanese plums.

 Stanley – One of the top picks for plum growers due to its fantastic taste and adaptability! Sweet plum that is great for fresh eating, drying, cooking and canning. Freestone, ripens early September. Self-pollinating, will pollinate other European plums.

 

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