Wisconsin Fruit Trees, Nut Trees and Berry Bushes
The extremely cold winters in Wisconsin makes the selection of planting the proper fruit tree very important, and the gardener must properly choose the best selection of cold hardy trees to successfully produce fruit in WI. The ice and snow can freeze the root stocks of some fruit trees that are more adapted to be grown in more Southern States. When buds break dormancy in late spring, special attention should be given to sun scald, a condition that can damage or kill the growing tree tissues that will be exposed to sunlight on the South side of the trees as the spring warm ups occur. When the snow melts on the South side of the tree, and then after the exposed tissues refreeze at night, the damage occurs, sometimes killing the trees.
Several fruit trees can be successfully grown in Wisconsin winters that will easily survive the winter and then produce fruit in the warm season. Many apple trees grow well in Wisconsin, especially the Lodi apple tree that reliably grows apples after experiencing sub-zero temperatures. Sungold apricot trees are excellent grafted apricots for planting in Wisconsin.
The Moongold apricot grows very sweet and delicious apricots usually will ripen in late summer. Several crabapple trees grow and fruit in Wisconsin backyard gardens. The Dolgo crabapple tree is often planted as a pollinator for the apple trees that require cross pollination. The Siberian crabapple and the Oregon crabapple trees are also apple tree pollinators, and the crabapple fruit is sought out by wildlife birds and wildlife animals. Many sour cherry trees (pie cherries) can be grown satisfactorily to produce fruit in Wisconsin, and the North Star cherries are the most cold hardy cherry trees grown in WI. Sweet cherry trees like the Black Tartarian cherry and Bing cherries are too cold sensitive for planting in Wisconsin.
The Medlar fruit is the most cold hardy fruit tree that can be grown in all parts of the U.S. And Medlar fruits have been grown in Wisconsin backyard plantings that produce the fruit of the Medlar as a winter fruit tree. The Nikita's Gift persimmon tree is cold hardy in WI and produces a tasty, medium size, orange, persimmon that ripens in the fall.
American black walnut trees produce tasty walnut kernels during the fall, and the walnut wood is very valuable and expensive to use in furniture production. White walnut trees are also called the 'Butternut', and can produce delicious nuts in the Fall. The Shagbark hickory nut tree is a favorite nut of wildlife animals, and the wood of the Shagbark hickory trees is used in smoking meats and in smoking poultry to give it that unique hickory flavor. Hickory tree nut kernels are difficult to pick out, but the kernels make a tasty hickory fudge that is delicious to eat. Many cultivars of wine grapes can be grown in Wisconsin, and the Concord grape and Niagara grapes contain lots of sugar and can be eaten fresh or made into grape jelly or grape juice.
Latham raspberry plants form sweet red raspberries and Boyne raspberry plants are very productive also. The New York, Heritage, red raspberry bush is very productive and the Heritage raspberries ripen in the Fall.