4 Fruit Trees That Grow Well in Minnesota

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Fresh fruit picked from a tree in your backyard is a delicious experience, but picking the right tree for your environment is important. Minnesota's harsh climate makes the fruit tree selection process even more important to ensure you choose a fruit variety that's hardy enough for Minnesota weather. No amount of care can keep a fruit tree growing well if it's outside of its preferred environment. There are many fruit tree options that can handle life in Minnesota, though, giving you many options for your home orchard.

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1. Apricot Fruit Trees

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Apricots (​Prunus armeniaca​) grow on small ornamental trees that offer an early spring blossom and plenty of golden yellow fruit afterward. Several cultivars are hardy fruit trees for Minnesota, including Moongold, Sungold, Scout, and Westcot. Moongold has a slightly larger, golden-tone fruit, while Sungold provides a mild-flavored fruit with a red blush. Scout is a great option for canning or preserving. Westcot is one of the best options in cold climates and produces a harder apricot that's an ideal option for eating fresh.

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2. Plum Fruit Trees

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Varieties of plum trees (​Prunus domestica​) that are hardy in Minnesota include Alderman, La Crescent, Pipestone, Superior, and Underwood. The Alderman plum is noted both for its ornamental value and for the magnificent burgundy-red fruit it produces. La Crescent produces a high-quality yellow plum that looks somewhat like an apricot. In addition to producing high-quality fruit, the La Crescent plum is a vigorous grower. The Pipestone plum produces a large red plum and is perhaps best suited for drier areas of the state.

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If you live in the southern part of the state, you may want to experiment with a Superior. This variety, although not particularly cold hardy, produces large quantities of dark-red plums. The Underwood plum provides gardeners in the northern parts of the state with a hardy and vigorously growing tree that will produce medium to large red fruit.

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3. Pear Fruit Trees

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If you are interested in growing a pear tree (​Pyrus​), there are three varieties that you should consider. The Golden Spice pear is a hardy variety that produces a small, medium yellow fruit that is tart and better-suited for canning and spicing than for eating raw. The Summercrisp pear produces a large fruit that is both crisp and sweet.

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The Parker pear produces a medium-sized, yellowish-bronze fruit. This variety is a vigorous upright grower, but it's also susceptible to a bacterial infection known as fire blight if you care for it incorrectly. Fire blight is difficult to control and kills the fruit tree it infects.

4. Cherry Fruit Trees

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Two varieties of cherry trees (​Prunus​) are particularly hardy in Minnesota growing conditions. The North Star cherry is a dwarf cherry, which means that it will only grow to about 10 feet high at maturity. North Star cherries are heavy producers of fruit for pies and other baked goods. The Meteor cherry is a semi-dwarf (around 14 feet high at maturity) that is particularly hardy and vigorous.

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