Home gardeners planning to add fruit trees to their landscape often wonder how much fruit the trees will yield. Some fruit trees yield large amounts that can overwhelm the home gardener. Yields will vary widely with the maturity of the tree, weather and soil conditions, but averages have been developed by a variety of state university extension offices.
Gardeners have three options with apple trees. Standard sized apple trees yield up to eight bushels per tree at maturity but don't bear any fruit for the first five to 10 years, according to the University of Arizona. Yields do vary, with the University of Tennessee suggesting yields of eight to 12 bushels per tree. The more conservative University of Arizona forecast that semi-dwarf varieties yield about four bushels per tree and first bear fruit in about five years. Dwarf apple trees bear fruit at 2 or 3 years of age and yield about one bushel per tree. Plant dwarf and semi-dwarf trees closer together so the yield per square foot often is nearly equal with that of standard fruit trees -- plus you have the advantage of quicker maturity.
Available as both a dwarf and standard tree the pear offers gardeners yields varying from about one-half to one bushel per dwarf tree and three to four bushels per standard tree, according to both the University of Tennessee and Arizona. Standard trees are spaced about 25 feet apart and will bear after about six years while the dwarf pear tree is commonly spaced about 12 feet apart and will bear fruit in about three years.
Peach and Nectarine
Peach and nectarine trees have similar growth and yield patterns, according to experts in Arizona and Tennessee. Expect a yield of about four bushels per tree at maturity. Trees begin bearing fruit at about three years and are usually planted about 18 feet apart.
Growers select either sweet or sour cherry trees. The sweet cheery yields a little better than the sour with a common yield of 75 quarts of fruit per mature tree. Sweet cherry trees are planted about 25 feet apart with the first fruit occurring after about six years of growth. Sour cherry's yield about 60 quarts of fruit per mature tree. Sour cherries are commonly planted at about 20 feet apart and usually bear fruit after five years, according to the University of Tennessee.
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