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I am a fruit experimenter, in search of the absolutely best and most problem-free I can grow in my yard. I am interested in unusual and heirloom varieties of many kinds of fruit and am trying just about every kind of fruit that tolerates the Mid-Atlantic. I use close planting systems in order to fit many varieties in a small space. I have found 3' to be a good close spacing for most fruits; regular summer pruning is needed to maintain trees at such a close distance.
Here is my varieties list as of Winter 2012. Ones with *'s have fruited enough, and taste good enough for me to call them "winners". The losers have generally been removed; I have listed some of them. A "%" indicates a variety is hard to grow for some reason: disease-prone, cracking, not hardy enough in my zone, low productivity, etc. I use organic methods and this makes brown rot in particular difficult to deal with; for the rest of the diseases and bugs I have found something that generally works. My biggest problem recently have been deer, once they have found your orchard they are very difficult to deter.
**Abbondanza, Adams Pearmain, *Akane, Allens Everlasting, American Golden Russet, American Summer Pearmain, Apricot, Aromatic Russet, Ashmead's Kernel, (c)Bedan, Belle Fille, Belle Fleur Rouge, Belle Fleur de France, Belle de Boskoop, Belle de Pontoise, Berner Rosen, Beverly Hills, (c)Binet Blanc Dore, Black (Cherryville strain), *Blenheim Orange, Bonne Hotture, Bramley's Seedling, Brownlees Russet, (c)C'Huero Ru Bienn, Calville Blanc d'Hiver, Calville Rouge, Calville Rouge d'Automne, Canada Red, Canada Reinette, Carmeliter Reinette, Cartigny, Catherine, Chenango Strawberry, Chestnut, Claygate Pearmain, (c)Clozette, Cockle Pippin, Cornish Gilliflower, Court Pendu Gris, Court Pendu Plat, Cox's Orange Pippin, Crollon, De L'Estre, Doctor Mathews, Double Bon Pommier, (c)Doux Normandie, Dutch Mignonne, Early Joe, *Egremont Russett, Ellisons Orange, Esopus Spitzerberg, Fall Pippin, Fameuse, (c)Frequin Rouge, **Freyburg, (c)**Fuero Rous, Fuji (Nagano), Garden Royal, Ginger Gold, Golden Noble, *Golden Nugget, Golden Russett, **Goldrush, *Gravenstein, Grimes Golden, Hampshire Red, (c)Harrison, Hawaii, *Hewes Crab, Holstein, Honeycrisp, Horneburger Pfannkuchen, Hubbardston Nonesuch, Hudson's Golden Gem, Hunge, Ingrid Marie, Jefferis, Karmijn de Sonneville, Kerr, Kidd's Orange Red, King David, Lady Sweet, Lamb Abbey Pearmain, Laxtons Fortune, Magnum Bonum, Maigold, Margil, (c)*Marie Menard, (c)Marin Onfroy, (c)Maunerbe, (c)Medaille d'Or, Melon, Mettais, Missouri Pippin, Mother, (c)Muscadet de Dieppe, Mutsu, My Jewel, Myers Royal Limbertwig, NY460 aka Millenium, Native Crab, *Newtown Pippin, Newtown Spitzenburg, October Gravenstein, *Old Nonpareil, Oliver, Orleans Reinette, Peck's Pleasant, Pigeonnet Rouge, *Pink Lady, Pitmaston Pineapple, Pomme Gris, Pomme Raisin, Pristine, Queen Cox, Rambour d'Automne, Rambour d'Hiver, Razor Russet, Red Berlepsch, **Reine des Reinettes, Reinette Clochard, Reinette Gris Parmentier, Reinette Gris du Canada, Reinette d'Armorique, Reinette de Cuzy, Reinette du Mans, Ribston Pippin, Roxbury Russett, Rubinette, *Rusty Coat, (c)Saint Martin, Sam Young, Shizuka, Sierra Beauty, Signe Tillisch, Smokehouse, Spigold, St. Edmunds Pippin, Steele's Red, Summer Queen, Suncrest, Suncrisp, Sundowner, Suntan, Swaar, Swayzie, Swiss Orange, Tolman Sweet, Transcendent, Transparent Croncels, Tumanga, Tydemans Late Orange, Vanilla Pippin, Viking, Wagener, Waltana, Weisse Winter Tafel Apfel, Westfield SNF, **White Winter Pearmain, Whitney, *%Wickson, Williams Pride, Winesap, Worcester Pearmain, Yellow Bellflower, Young American, Zestar.
The apples above prefixed by "(c)" are European cider apples; their original climate is more cool than mine and I have found that I get little of the needed tannins from them in my climate. Two cider apples which I have found produce good tannins in hotter climates are Fuero Rous and Marie Menard. Since there are so many apple varieties I am being very picky on recommended ones; many of the non-*'d ones are good but are not sure winners to me yet. Also a third or so have not yet fruited.
Chojuro, Fragrant Pear seedlings, Hosui, *Kosui, Lantai Jujuli, Meigetsu, *Shin-Li, *Shinsui, Sueri Li, *Yoinashi.
Shinko was not very flavorful most years and has been removed. I have had no fireblight problem on asian pears.
Aurora, Belle Lucrative, Beurre Giffard, Beurre Gris, Beurre Superfin, Coscia, Dana Hovey, Doctor Desporte, Feral, **Fondante des Moulins-Lille, Glou Morceau, Grand Champion, Jeanne D'Arc, Josephine des Malines, Louis Bonne de Avranches, Magness, Marie Louise, Meigetsu, Muscat, Nouveau Poiteau, Nye Russett Bartlett, President Heron, Seckel, Tyson, White Doyenne, Winter Nelis.
European pears have taken far too long to fruit for me. I didn't give them enough room or sun and they also take a long time to fruit anyway. I am putting all my new pears on quince since it is more dwarfing and much more precocious. Fondante des Moulins-Lille has been very precocious and productive for me, and its an excellent-tasting pear as well -- highly recommended.
Standard quince proved too fireblight susceptible; I am still trying a few varieties in search of a fireblight-resistant one.
Medlar proved too fireblight-susceptible and the yield not worth the space -- each fruit produces very little of the mush.
Peaches and Nectarines
Athena, Black Boy, Baby Crawford, **Carman, *Carolina Gold, Chinese Flat, **Clayton, Dixon Cling, Eagle Beak, *Early Crawford, Ernie's Choice, Flat Wonderful, Floral Pakistani (DPRU1474), *Foster, **Gold Dust, *Heath Cling, Indian Cling, *%Indian Free, JH Hale, JM Mack, John Rivers, Lady Nancy, Late Crawford, Le Grand, *%Lola Nectarine, Lola Queen, Longevity, Lord Napier, Mericrest, Nectar, *NJF 16, *O'Henry, Okubo, **Oldmixon Free (three variants), Pallas, Peento, Pei Xian Dong Tao, Peregrine, Red Baron, Rio Oso Gem, *Salwey, Sanguine Pilat, *Sanguine Tardeva, Snow Queen, **%St. John, Stump of the World, Sweet Bagel, Violette Hative, Winblo, Zin Dai Jiu Bao.
The % peaches have problems with brown rot; all the nectarines have skin problems and the fruit is too small. Some I have removed due to rot problems include Saturn, Silver Logan, Stanwick, Sweet Bagel, and Yukon King.
AU Producer, AU Roadside, Beauty, Elephant Heart, Emerald Beaut, Fortune, Gracious, Laroda, Laroda, Lavinia, Mariposa, *Purple Heart, Redheart, *Ruby Queen, **%Santa Rosa, **Satsuma, *Shiro, Sprite, *Superior, **%Weeping Santa Rosa.
Rot removals here include Howard Miracle, La Crescent, and Wickson. Santa Rosa does not set reliably but otherwise its fantastic.
Pluots and plumcots
Burbank Plumcot, Flavor Grenade, Flavor King Pluot, Flavor Supreme Pluot, Shekar Pareh, **Spring Satin, Weinberger.
Only Spring Satin has proved to set well; that is the biggest problem with pluots and plumcots (and, Flavor King rots badly). Flavor Grenade is purported to set well but my tree is too young.
Bavay's Green Gage, Blue Damson, *Coes Golden Drop, *French improved, Golden Transparent Gage, Green Gage, Imperial, Jefferson, *Middleburg, Mirabelle de Metz, Mirabelle de Nancy, Pearl, Pozegaca, Purple Gage, Reine Claude de Moissac, Reine des Mirabelles, Rosy Gage (NY101).
All of these have rot problems for me.
I tried some of the newer types but good old Monty is much tastier to me.
Black Eagle, *Black Tartarian, Early Purple Guigne, Reverchon, Waterloo, *White Gold
Sweet cherries don't like hot weather and have problems for me with cankers, rots, bugs, birds, and splitting. I like White Gold because the birds are not as interested in white fruits, and the tree is also reliable. Black Gold was also a good cherry but I thinned it out. Most of the cherries I have left are old-fashioned soft ones, I like them better and they are usually less prone to problems. especially splitting.
Afghanistan, Chinese Sweet Pit, Jamal Kutzay Ju, Lasgerdi Mashaad, Mirsanjeli Late, Moniqui, Orangered, Owyhee Gold, Robada, Seip's Giant White, Shalah, Shekar Pareh, Sugar Pearls, ***Tomcot, Turkey, Yakimene, Zard.
I have tried many central asian apricots, including Hunza types and white apricots, and all have proven to be very poor setters of fruit and highly prone to brown rot. I still am trialing a few but expect that none of them will make it.
Ant Admire, GA866, GI 7-62 aka Chico, **Honey Jar, Jin, Li, *Shanxi Li, Sherwood, Sihong Li, *Sugar Cane.
Shui Men, Tsao, and Jin were bland and have been removed.
*20th Century, 5-Sided, *Aizu Michirazu, Hyakume (two kinds), **Chocolate, *Fuyu, **%Hachiya, Jiro, Mazugata, Pen, Saijo, Yotsumizo, Zengimaru (two kinds).
Hachiya is barely hardy, every few years I get dieback. None of the others have had hardiness issues.
Canadice, *Golden Muscat, **Jupiter, *%Muscat Alexandria, *%Muscat Hamburg, New York Muscat, Reliance, Sweet Seduction, **Swenson Red.
The "%" ones are vinifera and are too disease-prone but I like them too much to take them out.
Smith 2 male, 74-46 male, Myer's Cordifolia, **Ken's Red.
I had more of these but my kids never liked them, they have a "green bean" component to the flavor. Ken's Red has none of that and is excellent.
Chinensis and Deliciosa Kiwis
Blake, Exbury, **Saanichton, California male, seedlings.
These guys take temps down to 0F with no problems at all. The main issue for me is getting varieties that will ripen in time; the most common one, Hayward, will not ripen in time. I put my Saanichton in the fridge to ripen until February, at which point they are great-tasting.
NC-1, Overleese, Rappahannock, Rebecca's Gold, Shenandoah, Sunflower, Susquehanna.
Alma, Atreano, **Battaglia Green, Brown Turkey, Brunswick, *Celeste, Excel, Hardy Chicago, Marseilles Black, Maryland Brown Turkey, *%Negronne aka Violette de Bordeaux, Sal's, Vista.
Negronne is not hardy enough, it dies back every few years.
Angel Red, Inhulsen 14, Kazake, Medovyi Vasha, Nikitski Rianni, Salavatski.
In three winters I have had no problem with dieback on any of these. I did cover them for two winters but the last winter I left them uncovered. Salatsvaki has fruited and tastes good.
Black Velvet, Jeanne, **Poorman.
I grow these in partial shade since they are used to a much cooler climate, but all but Poorman does not sweeten up enough in the shade. Poorman is not as productive but it is excellent-tasting and since I have plenty of partial shade areas I am planting a large amount of it.
D-8, Black Down, **Minaj Smyriou, Tsema.
Red Lake, *Rovada.
Atlantic, Bluecrisp, Brigitta, Herbert, Ivanhoe, Jersey, Olympia, Oneal, Ozarkblue, Rubel, Sierra.
*Bristol, *Jewel (black)
I am only growing blacks now, they can't be found in stores.
Blackberries and hybrid berries
Black Diamond, Cascade, Cascade Trailing, Kotata, NZ 9351-4, NZ 9671-1, Obsidian, Orus 1431-1, Orus 1523-4 "Onyx", Orus 1843-3 "Wild Treasure", Siskiyou.
I prefer the taste of "west coast" blackberries such as Marion, but it is not hardy enough for me. So, I am trialing several of the new western berries to find a few that are both hardy and tasty. So far failures include Black Pearl (not hardy), Metolius (taste mediocre), Tayberry (goes from too sour to mush so it has no good picking window). Triple Crown is a great berry that I grew for several years but am not growing now.
These scraggly bushes were not producing much so I pulled them out.
I live in: US
My zone is: 6B-7A-MD
My Birthday is January 1 .
My favorite forum 1 is Fruit & Orchards.
My favorite forum 2 is Fig.
First registered on March 22,2002.