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Gathering and growing edible fruits and nuts

Quick facts

  • It's important to know the rules about gathering plants from state forests and parks for personal or commercial use. Rules depend on what you're harvesting and where.
  • There are many cold hardy trees and shrubs that can provide edible fruit and nuts in your home landscape.

Gathering wild foods from the woods and environment is a common practice in many cultures.

There are many fruits and nuts growing wild that can be gathered in the woodlands of Minnesota or planted in your yard to provide food and enjoyment.


Non–timber forest products (NTFPs) are products that can be harvested for food, medicine, crafts and decorative items. These products can be used personally or to generate income.

See Forest farming for more information on cultivating high value specialty forest crops.


Growing fruit and nuts in home landscapes

There are many species of trees and shrubs that produce fruits and nuts that can be planted in home landscapes. Shrubs are smaller and preferred when space is limited.

The list of fruits and nuts in the following table is not complete but gives information about many trees and shrubs that can be planted in home landscapes.

When choosing plants for Minnesota yards and gardens, select cold hardy varieties for best results. See other pages on this site about growing stone fruitsraspberries, strawberries, apples and grapes in home gardens.


Gary Wyatt, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2019

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