Utah Fruit Trees
Great interest in planting fruit trees in Utah was created by the Mormon settlers who had fled the persecution and harassments that they experienced in the State of Illinois. The Mormon settlers brought with them many fruit tree seeds that they planted for home fruit production. Utah today ranks in the top five states for the production of both Sweet and Sour cherries (Pie Cherries). Utah has a diverse range of soil profiles and temperature, the USDA map shows growing zones from USDA zones 4-8. Black Tartarian cherry trees and Bing cherry trees grow well in the warmer Utah climates, but Sour cherry trees (pie cherry) are best for planting in zone 5 and 4. Montmorency cherry trees and North Star cherry trees are both red Sour cherries. The Elberta peach and the Red Haven peach trees are best for Utah planting in zone 6 and 7 and 8. Nectarine trees (fuzz less peaches) will grow in the same areas as peach trees and the Sun red Nectarine is the best choice in most Utah gardens. Plum trees, such as the Early Gold plum and the Bruce plum are sweet and grow in Utah zones 6 and 7 and the Flordahome pear is the best for planting in the warm zone 8, Utah gardens. Apple trees were among the earliest fruit trees grown by Mormon gardeners, but the early antique apple tree seedlings have now been replaced by grafted Anna apple Dorsett Golden apples for zone 8 and Gala, Graeburn, Fuji and Granny Smith apple trees work well for planting in zone 7, 6, and 5 and Golden Delicious and Red Delicious apple trees grow in Utah's more Northern zones. The Utah state University, Provo, Utah, has academic suggestions for pruning and planting fruit trees in Utah state.
Both thorny blackberry plants and thornless blackberry bushes that were developed at the University of Arkansas are being planted commercially and for pick-your-own organic blackberry bush farms. Both black raspberry plants and red raspberry plants are excellent for planting throughout Utah landscapes, however, blueberry plants do not grow well in the alkaline soils of Utah, unless the acidity is lowered in planting with peat moss or by adding elemental Sulfur. Mulberry trees are very productive in Utah, to include white mulberry, red mulberry and black mulberries. Banana trees grow well in Southern Utah, if the humidity is kept high, but the banana tree needs protection from wind damage.
Many types of grape vine cultivars are good for planting in Utah vineyards. Bunch grapes, such as the Blue Concord the white Niagara grapevine and the Catawba grapevines are very productive in Utah, USDA zones 7 through 4. Muscadine grapes grow best in zone 7 and 8, and seedless grapes and wine grapevines are best for planting in all Utah zones, except 4 and 5.
Chinese chestnut trees grow well in all Utah areas, and the Colossal chestnut is huge in size and an excellent producer of high quality nuts, pecan trees, Carya illinoinensis, will grow if irrigated in zone 8 through 6. Papershell pecan trees such as the Elliot pecan and the Sumner pecan trees grow best in Utah zone 8.
The American black walnut tree Juglans nigra produces a richly flavored walnut kernel and the black walnut wood is excellent for making expensive furniture. The Hall's Hardy almond tree grows well in most central Utah locations, and the almond nut ripens in the fall.