Fruit Trees, Wildlife Alabama Berry Plants and Muscadine Grape Vines For Alabama Gardens.
Alabama gardeners face varying soil types, temperature requirements, and therefore, each gardener must make important decisions about which kinds of Alabama fruit trees, Alabama shade trees and ornamental flowering trees are best adapted to plant. Auburn University, Al. is located in the Eastern part of the State. At Auburn University, Alabama, extensive research on fruit trees was done by Dr. J.D. Norton, especially to develop the best Alabama adapted plum trees. Dr. Norton developed the famous Auburn University Plums, (A.U. Plum Trees) such as the A.U. Homeside plums, A.U. Rubrum Plum, A.U. Amber, and A.U. Rosa plum trees. Not only were these plum tree selections bred from crossing an improved Ozark Premier with a Methley plum cultivar - an old,excellent choice for Alabama homeowners, but the now disease resistant, new, high quality Plum trees are distributed widely by national plum tree nursery operators. Dr. Joseph D. Norton also developed a fruiting pear tree with a red skin that was highly adapted and productive in Alabama home gardens. This redskin pear also was attractive on grocery store shelves when displayed with yellow pears or green-brown pears.
Auburn University, Al. professors also did extensive research on new varieties of adaptable nut tree orchards. The Amling pecan tree has been released by a former A.U. Researcher, named H.J. Amling to limited pecan nursery growers. The Amling pecan tree has proven to be a reliable producer of thin shelled, oily pecan kernels, and these Alabama adapted pecans have now been tested in pecan orchards in many other States other than Al. Chestnut research at Auburn University, Alabama has been extensively done, and the chestnuts varieties selected as being the best are very productive, and the chestnut seed are huge in size and tops in quality. Another nut, the chinquapin, is rare and exotic choices for nut collectors, but 10 years ago, chinquapin trees, (chinkapin trees) occurred as native trees throughout the South growing in enormous tree groups, where families collected the chinquapins for winter eating, and wildlife animals also gathered and feasted on chinquapins during the Fall and Winter months from Alabama forests. Ducks, geese and even deer flocked to the chinquapin trees to satisfy their appetites on thin shell chinquapins. The deadly chestnut blight killed most of chinquapin trees growing in Al and most other States, but Auburn University, Alabama, professors have been hybridizing this nut tree using blight resistant surviving strains of chinquapins to be intercrossed. Black Walnut trees are a favorite Alabama nut tree, and a special, early bearing, Thomas black Walnut trees, are AL nut trees, and large specimens of Thomas black walnut trees often can bear a few walnuts the first year after planting. Walnut trees are not only important trees grown for the nuts, but in Northern Alabama, black walnut trees grow into huge sizes, and single specimens of trees have been shown to sell for tens of thousands of dollars for each tree.
Other Alabama fruit trees that flourish in local backyard gardens are apricot trees that produce high quality apricots.AL trees such as peach trees are a choice orchard fruit tree in Al., but the Nectarine (fuzzless peach) is replacing the commercial Peach tree in backyard gardens. The black cherry tree (black tartarian cherry) grows very well North of Montgomery, Al., and reliable crops of cherries can be expected to grow the first year, if a gardener can locate and buy a bearing size cherry tree. Planting Japanese persimmon trees has become a craze in zone 8 of Southern Alabama, and the non-astringent Fuyu persimmon tree appears the best choice for commercial persimmon orchards, as well as for the backyard gardener. American persimmon trees are well known and are a native persimmon tree to Alabama. Persimmons are an extremely important food for wildlife animals like deer, duck and other game birds during the fall and winter, when other wildlife food plots have been exhausted. American persimmon trees are widely planted by hunters on wildlife hunting preserves that, most assuredly, will draw in hoards of whitetail deer and flocks of turkey and other wildlife birds. Mulberry trees are also an excellent food for wildlife animals in early spring. White mulberry and red mulberry trees fruit heavily in April when food for wildlife is scarce. Ty Ty Nursery also offers grafted, black and red mulberry trees that will usually bear fruit during the first year if planting is done early.
Alabama muscadine grape vines are native to woodlands, however, new muscadine grapevines of high quality, greater flavor and reliable productivity are now planted in many Alabama vineyards. Scuppernong grape vines and muscadine grapevines have created a new commercial agricultural industry in Alabama. Many Alabama gardeners plant seedless bunch grapevines for use as table grapes, however, most seedless grapes do not produce as much sugar and sweetness as the bunch grape, such as the Concord grapevine and the Niagara grape. Many gardeners plant bunch grapes to make top grades of grape wine, because of the high sugar content that produces a high quality wine.
Blueberry planting has been popular for pick-your-own operators, and recently some Alabama commercial blueberry plantings have been made. The Rabbiteye blueberry plant appears to clearly be the blueberry cultivar of choice to plant by the berry enthusiast. The Tifblue blueberry variety is the best to pollinate with the Brightblue blueberry plant. Two different blueberries are usually found necessary to plant for the best pollination of blueberry plants.