The 5 Fruits To Plant In Early Spring In WNY
The beginning of spring brings beautiful sights of flowers, budding trees, and (“finally!”) warmer weather. For many homeowners in Western New York, it is also a perfect time to get back into the garden. Spring is the time for planting fruit and nut trees around your property.
Even if you only have a small backyard, strategically locating different types of fruit trees can give your household an abundance of fruit for eating, baking, and canning for sweet treats throughout the winter months.
But what type of fruit trees do well in our infamously cold Western New York region? Below, we look at the best fruits to plants in April in WNY.
How Do You Know Which Fruits to Plant in Spring in WNY?
The most significant challenge to growing fruit trees in New York is the threat of late frosts. For example, trying to plant even the coldest-hardy peach tree in New York will most likely result in failure. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are also an obvious recipe for disaster. Whereas you can plant annual vegetables later in the season to avoid the threat of frosts, the perennial nature of fruit trees means that it is essential to find certain tree crops that are naturally resistant to cold weather.
When trying to determine the best fruits and vegetables to plant in WNY in the early spring months like April, it is important to consider the following 2 characteristics:
- USDA Hardiness Zone
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the gold standard by which farmers, gardeners, and orchardists determine which plants will have the best possibility to thrive in a given climate. The map, which is updated every 10 years or so due to higher temperatures associated with climate change, looks at the average annual minimum winter temperature, which is then divided into 10-degree zones.
Most of Western New York is labeled as "USDA Hardiness Zone 5." This means that the average minimum winter temperature reaches somewhere between -10° or even -20° Fahrenheit. Searching for fruit or vegetable trees that are “hardy” to zone 5 is most likely your best bet for success.
- Chill Hours
When looking for the best fruit trees to plant around your home, you also need to consider the number of “chill hours” that the tree needs in order to properly flower and set fruit.
Chill hours are defined as temperatures ranging anywhere below 45°F. Various types of fruit plants and trees require different amounts of chill hours.
What Fruit to Plant in Spring in WNY?
Once you have determined the proper hardiness zone and the chill hour requirement, you can get to work finding the best fruit trees to plant for your home in Western New York. Among the best options to consider, homeowners in our region might consider the following fruit and nut tree varieties:
Perhaps the “quintessential'' New York fruit, there are almost 12 million apple trees planted around the state. Some of the most popular varieties that thrive in Western New York include:
Also, consider trying out the new SnapDragon variety recently produced by Cornell University!
New York is the 9th highest blueberry producer in the nation. With high amounts of antioxidants, they are a great option for people looking for a healthy addition to their morning oatmeal or fruit salad, and they also have relatively few pest problems. Look for the high bush blueberry varieties that do well in our part of the state.
In Western New York we can grow both sweet and tart cherry varieties, most of which will begin production within 4-5 years.
Like the old saying, “Where there’s a wine region, there’s a way to grow grapes.” (Or did I just make that up?) Concord grapes are a great option to plant in early spring. The polyphenols in the grapes also contribute to heart health.
If you want to add a nut tree to your land, blight-tolerant European/Japanese hybrid chestnuts are a great option and have almost zero risk of damage from late frosts.
Grow Your Dream Home With Natale Builders
There are dozens of different fruit and nut tree varieties that can be grown in Western New York. Besides the options mentioned above, certain varieties of mulberry trees, apricots, pears, currants, gooseberries, strawberries, plums, and raspberries, and others can all be grown successfully in our region.
A thriving orchard garden that blooms beautifully in the spring is also a great way to accent a custom-built home. Here at Natale Builders, we are a family-owned and operated professional home building business with over 50 years of experience in building custom homes for people like you across the Western New York area.
If you’re looking for a custom home builder specializing in Energy Star and Green Build designs for your dream home, contact Natale today to get started planting your roots in WNY!