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Fruit Suggestions for Difficult Location

Posted by shazaam NC 7B (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 12:35

I'm trying to identify fruit trees or bushes that can tolerate the following somewhat difficult conditions...
  • Partial shade (3-4 hours of morning sun) early in life with the addition of a couple of hours of midday sun once they reach 6' to 8'
  • Well drained clay loam soil that's frequently very dry in the summer
  • Root competition from nearby mature trees (primarily oaks and cedars to the west and southwest)
I'm successfully growing wineberries in this area, but I'd like to add some larger trees or fruiting bushes. Easy care is my top priority, so I'm considering...
  • Pawpaw (too dry?)
  • Elderberry (too dry?)
  • Jujube (not enough sun?)
  • Mulberry
  • American Persimmon
Does anyone have experience growing any of these in similar conditions? Am I overlooking any other good candidates?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fruit Suggestions for Difficult Location

We have Mulberry trees that we inherited when we bought the property. They grow like weeds, literally and are doing well despite crowding from other trees. Some are more shaded than others but that doesn't seem to bother them. I like them well enough on the back borders but not by the house or drive where we walk daily. The fruit makes a mess, gets tracked everywhere and stains. Ours were 20+ feet when we got the house but a friend of mine prunes her Mulberry and successfully uses the fruit in to make jam.

RE: Fruit Suggestions for Difficult Location

I imagine pawpaws and elderberry would work well as well as mulberry. But the real winner would be an evergreen huckleberry assuming the pH is around 5.5 or lower. Heavy mulch.

My shade tolerant list: (Raintree Nursery)
Partial Shade
May have less fruit.

Alpine Strawberry
Bamboo (some types)
Evergreen & Red Huckleberry
Lipstick Strawberry
Magnolia Vines
Musk Strawberry
Paw Paw
Pie Cherry
Sugar Maple

Full Shade

Bamboo (in sunny climates)
Carolina Allspice
Evergreen Huckleberry
Flowering Currant
Highbush Cranberry

RE: Fruit Suggestions for Difficult Location

Based on the wild persimmon trees I've observed on my place I think a persimmon would be very happy in the situation you describe. However, persimmons seem to be slower growing trees to start with, and I think limited sunlight and root competition would slow them down further, so although I think they'd do very well, I'd guess they'd take a long time to size up and reach fruiting age.

Have you thought about nut trees? I'm wondering particularly about chestnuts... maybe also a grafted hickory. Would squirrels be too much of a problem with the adjacent woods? Would they be able to jump directly from the adjacent woods into the branches of the tree once it matured?

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