Fruit Trees

In Wisconsin, we’re able to grow several kinds of fruit trees including apple, pear, peach, plum, and cherry. They provide fruit for years, but many require planting at least two different varieties for cross-pollination in order to produce fruit.

Light

Full sun. Some may tolerate light shade, but won’t produce as much fruit.

Soil

Prefer fertile, well-draining soil. Add compost to soil before planting.

Planting and Care

Follow planting guide and care instructions in Trees and Shrubs.

Pruning

The best time to prune all fruit trees is in March, when they are still dormant. Use a lopping shear or pruning saw to remove dead branches, suckers, and any branches that are crossing each other, growing up from the center, or growing down.

Pollination

All fruit trees in Wisconsin must flower to produce fruit and those flowers need to be pollinated. Some fruit trees can self-pollinate, but many require another plant of the different species in order to produce fruit, such as apples, pears, some cherries, and some plums. Most importantly, compatible varieties must bloom during the same time of the season. Below is a chart of the fruit tree varieties we carry at America’s Best Flowers and their compatible pollinator partners:

Fruit Tree Pollinator Partners
Fruit TreeVariety
Needs Pollinator Tree?
Compatible Pollinator Trees
AppleCortland
yes
FrostbiteHoneycrisp
Frostbite
yes
CortlandHoneycrispMcIntosh
Honeycrisp
yes
CortlandHoneycrispMcIntosh
Honeygold
yes
CortlandHoneycrispFrostbiteMcIntosh
McIntosh
yes
CortlandHoneycrispHoneygold
State Fair
yes
CortlandFrostbiteMcIntosh
Zestar!
yes
McIntosh
ApricotMoongold
yes
Sungold
CherryMontmorency
no
Prunus Meteor
no
Lapin
no
North Star
no
PeachReliance
no
Contender
no
PearBartlett
yes
SummercrispEarly Gold
Early Gold
yes
BartlettSummercrisp
Summercrisp
yes
BartlettEarly Gold
PlumStanley
no
Alderman
no
Waneta
no
Toka
yes
Pipestone

Problems

Fruit trees can sometimes be susceptible to various insect or disease problems. Many diseases are more likely to occur when conditions are cool and moist, so check regularly for any signs of disease during these periods. Some diseases that affect fruit trees include rust, scab, canker, bacterial canker, and fire blight. Many of the diseases that affect fruit trees can be controlled with Bonide Copper Fungicide. Some other options are Bonide Fruit Tree Spray, Bonide Fruit Tree & Plant Guard, and Bonide All Seasons Horticultural Spray Oil, which help control insects as well.

When dealing with insects, it’s important to identify the insect you are dealing with, in order to effectively manage and treat for them. Spraying is helpful, but do so only when necessary in order to avoid killing beneficial insects that help control pests naturally. Some of the more common insects that affect fruit trees include aphids, apple maggot, coddling moth, plum curculio, and scale. Some of these can be controlled with Bonide All Seasons Horticultural Spray Oil, Bonide Fruit Tree Spray, and Bonide Fruit Tree & Plant Guard, which also help control diseases. Always read and follow instructions on the label.