What trees should I plant

Asked October 14, 2020, 11:58 AM EDT

Hello, I’m looking to plant a couple thousand trees over the next 2 years. I would like to have an orchard with 500 trees and a variety of different fruit trees. What trees would grow the best? For the remaining 1500 trees what should I plant? I would like some trees to support wildlife and some trees I could spade up for resale. We also have heavy clay soil.

Lenawee County Michigan

1 Response

I have provided a link to a webpage giving some suggestions for fruit varieties.

https://williamshane.weebly.com/uploads/2/7/0/7/27077603/some_favorite_tree_fruit_varieties_for_the_...

Apples and pears will fare better than cherries, plums, and peaches in heavier soil.
For apples you will want trees with rootstock that are more tolerant of collar rot disease and are freestanding, so stay away from MM106 and M26 rootstock. MM111, Bud 118, CG210 are better choices for heavier soil.

Perhaps you have thought this through, but fruit trees require spraying, protection against deer browsing on limbs, protection against mouse and rabbit damage to trunks. See the following references for further information.

For home apple grower sprays where you need to protect against insects, and diseases I recommend this short resource from the University of Kentucky https://plantpathology.ca.uky.edu/files/ppfs-fr-t-18.pdf

Here is a good resource on home fruit tree care - https://ag.purdue.edu/hla/pubs/Midwest_Home_Fruit_Production_Guide_940.pdf

They also have a good resource for pest control --https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ID/ID-146-W.pdf

Apple trees require a great deal of inputs to maintain well. Plan on at least 4 sprays....commercial apple growers will apply 10 to 12 per season.

You may consider planting chestnuts. Little or no spraying, but you will have to cage them in the first 5 years or so to protect them from deer.