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Fruit Tree for 4hrs sun/day

Posted by PaulGTA 6A (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 8, 13 at 12:14


The neighbors & I would love to have a couple of bearing fruit trees, one on our side of the fence & the other on theirs.

Problem is the area receives 3 1/2 - 4 hrs of sun/day, although that is at the HEIGHT of the day when the sun is highest.

I've read all the blanket disclaimers that fruit trees MUST have 6 hrs/day minimum, but we want to try anyway!

Can anyone recommend what fruit bearing tree might provide the best chance of success under these circumstances? The neighbors do not like apple.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fruit Tree for 4hrs sun/day

How bout a standard asian pear? Is the shading due to close proximity of houses? maybe a standard will get tall enough to reach the light, if it makes it that far. I have seen a lot of apple trees that get minimal sun and do just fine, granted they are wild trees, so who knows there specifics. Good luck.

RE: Fruit Tree for 4hrs sun/day

Are you in the humid part of the country? That makes shade growing of many species more difficult due to fungus issues.

You can get some fruit from trees grown in the shade but the quality suffers and yields can be very poor. Pears would probably be the worst choice because they probably wouldn't get up adequate sugar in the shade.

I manage a couple of Baldwin apples that only get about 2 or 3 hours of direct sun a day and they get some crop of decent apples- but they are shaded by deciduous trees and end up getting good sun just as fruit is ripening.

Cherries and European plums do OK in the shade, but cherries need early morning sun to stop them from cracking in humid areas and plums suffer from a disease called black knot- often uncontrollably, when denied morning sun to dry off the dew.

RE: Fruit Tree for 4hrs sun/day

Most times the trees do ok in shade, its production that can be effected. Shade may also cause some diseases to spread as well, but that would depend on many things.

You can try a pawpaw - They will grow in full shade produce well in sei shade, are native, tropical looking and have the largest edible fruit in all of north america. They also have very few pest and disease problems. They have massive leaves as well.

RE: Fruit Tree for 4hrs sun/day


While the tree gets 4 hours now.....if it grows say to 10 or 20 feet tall will that increase the amount of sun it will receive?

Sometimes planting in a shady spot works out fine as the tree grows it gets taller than the structures that shade it and end up with 6-8 hours of sun. Have you taken that in to account?

RE: Fruit Tree for 4hrs sun/day

My Montmorency cherry gets about five hours a day and does quite well.

RE: Fruit Tree for 4hrs sun/day

Thank you for the responses.

Shading in the morning is due to deciduous trees approx 75' high. Shading in the afternoon is from our houses which are tallish two stories. So an extra 10 or 20 feet will not improve the lighting situation much, our preference would be to keep the trees under 25' anyway.

Houses are approx 20 to 35 feet away from the desired location.

We live in Toronto which is considered humid. I know I always thought so, but google confirms it lol.

Harvestman, we had a plum in this spot previously and it suffered from black knot terribly - you know your craft - as I suspect you all do.

Edit: Pawpaw sounds great, found a TorStar article on those! I've also heard serviceberry and peach as options if there are thoughts on those.

This post was edited by PaulGTA on Sun, Jun 9, 13 at 13:53

RE: Fruit Tree for 4hrs sun/day

  • Posted by murky z8f pnw Portlan (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 9, 13 at 14:44

If you choose pawpaw you'll need two different varieties or seedlings to get fruit. Or if you are able you could graft a limb or two to a 2nd variety.

RE: Fruit Tree for 4hrs sun/day

I have serviceberry that I planted on a whim so it ended up in a more shady area and gets about 4 hrs of sun a day. Mine is like a shrub than a tree. I have mostly neglected it. It's a 3 yrs old skinny bush that's about 3-4 ft tall and has not flowered.

This year, it has something like aphids on some leaves and many leaves are discolored from some kind of disease. I need to pay more attention to it.

My friend planted the same variety in full sun. That tree's growth is healthier and more upright than mine.

Growing peach without much sun could invite more fungal and bacteria diseases. Generally speaking, peach has more "issues" than apple.

I don't have paw paw but have heard that it is for "acquired taste." You may want to try paw paw fruit to see if you like it before planting one.

Why don't you plant an apple tree and your neighbor plant something else? If there are crab apple trees in your neighborhood, you'll all set with cross pollination.

RE: Fruit Tree for 4hrs sun/day

Unfortunately the neighbors don't like apple. I have an apple tree in another location and no luck after 4 years.

I've got a cherry tree that produces very well, and used to have a peach tree that did fairly well but the fruit was not sweet. Also the plum I mentioned above, it produced so much the branches broke, but plums were not sweet and black knot (as mentioned above) got out of control.

The entire backyard where these trees have been/are has the same light situation.

So maybe Serviceberry & pawpaw (2x for pollination) are the leading contenders?

This post was edited by PaulGTA on Mon, Jun 10, 13 at 10:29

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