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Stark Picks: Easy-to-Grow Fruit Trees

by Stark Bro's on 02/27/2014
Stark Picks Leaf

Growing fruit trees is a new experience for many gardeners. The care and maintenance side may sound difficult, but it’s easier work than mowing the lawn — and you get fruit as a reward! Better still, there are fruit trees which are easy to grow and care for. That’s where Stark Picks come in.

What is a Stark Pick?

Stark Picks are fruit trees are selected by our experts with first-time growers in mind. To become a Stark Pick, each tree must display the characteristics of simple upkeep and ease of growing. Our experts’ more than 100 years of combined experience help to make these top selections.

Even if you’re an experienced grower, a Stark Pick fruit tree will make a wonderful addition to your orchard!

Our ‘Stark Pick’ Fruit Trees

Starkrimson® Sweet Cherry

Starkrimson® Sweet Cherry

Apple

Apricot

Cherry

Redhaven Peach

Redhaven Peach

Nectarine

Peach

Plum

Bartlett Pear

Bartlett Pear

Pear

A Stark Pick fruit tree is a great place to start when creating, or adding to, your orchard. Once you feel confident making a selection, be sure your new tree will grow in your zone. You can read more about the importance of minding your zone, and how to check yours, in our article, Planting in Your Hardiness Zone. Then, when you’re ready to plant, be sure to read how to get started in our article, Fruit Tree Care: Planting Fruit Trees. Happy planting!

Shop All Stark Picks »

Topics → Planting & Growing, Tips

10 Comments

  1. Cherl Fritz permalink

    Hi, I am trying to put together a list of fruit trees and other things. I have a question – we have some very mature walnut trees and an enormous alder tree on either side of the area we want to plant the small orchard – do you think that is a problem? Thanks

    • I don’t want to knock walnut trees or discourage you from planting a fruit orchard, but I do want to inform you of the possibility that walnut tree roots (which contain a toxin called juglone) may interfere with the growth of certain trees and plants. Here at Stark Bro’s, our peach and apple orchards are neighbored by native black walnut trees and they grow and produce fine. Deer are a bigger issue ;)

      It depends on what you’re growing, since some experts list prunus (peach, nectarine, cherry, plum) and pyrus (pear) as resistant to the toxin. It also depends on how far your orchard is from these trees. Mature walnut tree roots, on average, can extend 50 feet out from the trunk — theoretically, the further your orchard can be from the root system, the better.

      I’m not as familiar with mention of the alder tree affecting fruit trees, but your local county Extension may be able to advise you on that as well as the walnut trees. Find your county Extension’s contact information here: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/

  2. richard ramirez permalink

    Bought one of your four of july peach trees this season, what zone is 78602? Cntr TX.?

    • On our website, when you’re shopping for peach trees for example, you can submit your zip code and it tells you what zone you are in. It also tells you if the trees you’re looking at are recommended for your zone.

      With your zip code, it looks like you are in a zone 8B. The 4th of July Peach looks like it is recommended for zones 5-8 so you should have success growing it there! It may need some protection (like shade cloth) if the summers are really intense there. Be sure it has regular water in the growing season as well, if your area is prone to drought and not much rain.

  3. Jodi permalink

    Is it too late to plant fruit trees in zone 5A?

    • It’s not too late, especially not if you’re getting the cooler spring temperatures and rain that a lot of folks in zone 5A are experiencing this year!

  4. JoAnn Krueger permalink

    I wish to get about some peach trees for zone 5A. I will be in near Starks in early Aug. Would I be able to pick them up and plant them then….or should I wait till Nov. and have them shipped?

    • Our garden center usually has fruit trees (including potted trees!) available in early August, so you’re welcome to stop by and see if anything interests you! You should also be able to plant at that time, and our garden center team will be able to advise you if you have any questions or concerns.

      If, for some reason, picking up/planting your trees in August doesn’t work out, you can always have bare-root trees shipped in November instead — as a back-up plan. :)

  5. jessica permalink

    we want to plant a variety of fruit bearing trees in our yard. Ideally, to have a year of harvest! We do not have a great track record in the growing department… is there an article you would recommend to help us with the lay out? we are on a quarter of an acre, with our house sitting in the middle. the back yard is larger than the front (although- we have no problem planting in the front!) I have already looked at what your site recommends for our zone! We are thinking plum, apple, nectarine, blue berry & blackberry :-)

    thanks so much!

    • Since there are so many variables — raised beds, containers, different yard sizes, etc. — we don’t have something like an app that helps plan your orchard layout (yet?), but I think we can help you get started. If you already think you have the trees and plants you want in mind, that’s one of the biggest steps out of the way! :)

      Another thing to consider is the soil needs of the trees and plants. All fruit trees and berry plants thrive in a nutritious, well-drained soil. Sandy soil may drain too quickly, meaning you might need to consider the best way to get them water (soaker hoses, sprinkler/irrigation system, etc.) so they don’t suffer drought-like stress. Clay soil is heavy and retains water, meaning the roots of your plants and trees become water-logged and may have fungal issues as a result. Most people amend the soil for better drainage or build raised beds or plant in containers instead if their soil is too difficult to work with.

      Most fruit trees and berry plants thrive in a neutral soil with a pH around 6.0-7.0, but things like blueberries prefer a more acidic soil with a pH around 4.5-5.5. They may need their own spot, or (again) you may prefer planting in containers where you have more control over the soil medium, composition, and pH. If you don’t know about your soil, you can find simple soil test kits at your local garden center or send a soil sample to your local county cooperative extension for analysis.

      Once you have the ground under control, you’ll need to think about the sky: fruiting plants and trees prefer full sun. This means they get at least 6-8 hours of sunlight every day during the growing season and that they are not constantly under the shade of larger trees. Sunlight increases fruit development and quality, and works against fungal diseases.

      Finally, before you are ready to plant, think of the space needed between the trees (varieties and sizes may differ). This lets you know how many trees you can fit in your yard. This information is provided in the characteristics of the varieties you’re looking at, and if you can’t find it, you can always ask!

      These related articles may help as well:
      Planning Before Planting
      Recommended Spacing
      Fruit Tree Sizes

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