I’d love to see a new form of social security … everyone taught how to grow their own; fruit and nut trees planted along every street, parks planted out to edibles, every high rise with a roof garden, every school with at least one fruit tree for every kid enrolled. – Jackie French
Utah can be a challenging climate for some eager fruit tree gardeners to have success but choosing the right plants can make a huge difference in your local harvest. Most of our Utah climate is perfect for apricots, peaches, apples, cherries, and many other fruits. With a little know how you can enjoy fruit trees in your own yard.
One way to know what plants grow well is to buy locally. Nurseries typically only sell trees that will survive in their local climates.
Fruit trees are more challenging to grow than vegetable plants in Utah, mainly because of their initial special care and the length of time before they begin to produce. Fruit trees require the appropriate balance of water, food, sun and ventilation to grow healthy and build resistance against diseases and pests. Careful clean up of debris around trees and proper pruning will help prevent diseases. Treating them with good care early will help you prevent larger problems later.
The planting area should have at least a half a day of sun and be protected from the wind. The soil should have reasonable drainage. If you have animals, young children, or wild deer nearby, young trees need to be protected with cages, or fences. Deer and other animals love to nibble on the bark and the tender leaves.
If you have a small area for fruit trees, you may want to consider trees that have more than one variety grafted on to the same tree. There are apple trees that grow several types of apples. Some pit trees can grow peaches and apricots. Remember, some varieties need pollination, which may require planting two different varieties of trees. Talking with someone at your local nursery will help you choose the varieties that will best meet your needs.