What kind of fruit trees should I be planting in North Central PA

Asked November 14, 2014, 9:43 AM EST

I have an east facing shallow slope of about 4 acres that I would like to eventually turn into a permaculture food forest site. We live in Zone 5A and currently use the field as part of a rotational grazing plan for cows, pigs, and chickens. We are right on top of a hill with nonstop wind all year round, so we are thinking of planting at least 200 trees in windrows to break up the wind and to more clearly define our grazing paddocks. Eventually the trees would be culled down to probably around 100 left. I am looking to plant as diverse a selection as possible. We have a LOT of native apple trees, and will be transplanting many of the seedlings. We also have plenty of black walnut in the area and we are hoping to be able to start several of those for this project. Elderberries (while not a fruit tree) do very well in this area, and we will be incorporating them into this project also. We are looking for any advice on what fruits (trees, shrubs, bushes, etc) are native to this area, or that others have had success bringing in. We are also interested in non-fruit recommendations. (flowers, ground-cover, trees, bushes, etc.)

Potter County Pennsylvania

1 Response

A good place to start is Penn State's Fruit Production for the Home Gardener (http://extension.psu.edu/plants/gardening/fphg). There is a chapter that deals with apples and apple varieties that have performed well in Pennsylvania . I would highly recommend scab resistant varieties.

This reference talks about the many other fruit options that are viable within Pennsylvania, including elderberries.

If you are really curious, I suggest you attend the 3-day Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Hershey, PA. the end of January 2015 Go to http://www.mafvc.org/ to look at all the talks and presentations about fruit. Top notch conference. Plus the trade show would give you a chance to talk to some of the apple nurseries and see what they have to offer and thier recommendations.

Not sure what you mean by advice for non-fruit recommendations.