Nut Trees, Fruit Trees and Berry Plants in Minnesota
Because the winter brings extreme drops in temperatures in Minnesota of minus 45 degrees, a Minnesotan gardener must carefully select trees for planting outside in gardens or orchards. Minnesota USDA zones are 2,3,4 and 5, a fact that restricts favorable growing in Minnesota of Fruit and Nut trees that are recommended for MN. planting such as the American Black Walnut, Juglans nigra, the Butternut ( white walnut) and Shag bark Hickory nuts. Black walnuts are excellent trees, not only because of the tasty nut kernels, but the black walnut lumber is extremely rare, desirable and expensive for fine cabinets and furniture tables and gun stocks. White walnut is a heavy bearing walnut tree and is cold hardy throughout Minnesota. Hickory trees produce tasty nuts and hickory wood is in high demand for smoking delicious flavor into meats and other foods. Both hickory nuts, white walnuts (butternuts) and black walnuts are all an important diet supplement for wildlife animals and wildlife game birds.
Fruit tree orchards in MN are important, with many new apple fruit trees recommended by the University of Minnesota, including the Honey Crisp and the old timer antique apples, Red Delicious apple trees and Golden Delicious apples. Crabapple trees are important pollinators for apple trees, because the crabapple pollen is necessary for cross pollination in insure that apples will be produced.
Cherry trees are fast growing and the North Star cherry tree is an excellent tree for growing sour (tart) cherries. Sweet cherries such as bing cherry and Black Tartarian cherry are not cold hardy enough to survive predictable Minnesota snow and ice and temperature drops to minus 45 degrees F. Pear trees can be grown in Southern MN, but very few Pear cultivars are cold hardy enough to revive extreme Minnesota winters. Apricots can be grown in Minnesota gardens, and the two best recommended cultivars are the Sun Gold apricot that is delicious and very productive and the Moongold Apricot. Apricots are high in fructose sugar content upon ripening in late summer.
Plum trees such as the Superior plum tree cultivar will survive in MN. Shade trees are very important in Minnesota to shade yards and homes and to save and cut electric bills. Maple trees are excellent to plant to create shady environments, and oak tree and elm trees shade the homes of Minnesotans.
Latham Raspberry plants are productive throughout Minnesota and the Latham, red raspberry plant cultivars are the most cold hardy. Great interest has been shown in growing berry plants organically, and that basically means withholding industrial, inorganic fertilizers and avoiding chemical sprays of every type. Berry plants are ideally adapted for growing in organic soils, much like the native MN raspberry plants that normally grew in the native wild environments. Not only raspberry bushes, but blueberry bushes are best grown in organic heavy soils and are unfortunately often damaged or killed by over- fertilization by Minnesotan gardeners. Pick-you-own organic, blueberry orchards are appearing and thriving as a farm supplement to berry plant and fruit tree income.