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Growing edible fruits and nuts

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

When choosing plants for Minnesota yards and gardens, select cold-hardy varieties for best results.

Find out more about growing stone fruits, raspberries, strawberries, apples and grapes in home gardens and gathering wild foods.

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

Trees/Shrubs Scientific name MN native Pollinator friendly Zone Comments Height (feet) Width (feet)
Apricot Prunus armeniaca X 4-8 2 varieties for cross pollination 12-18 10-15
Blackberry Rubus spp. X X 5-8 3-5 6-20
Blueberry Vaccinium spp. X X 3-7 pH 4.0-5.5; 2 varieties best 5 3
Buffaloberry Shepherdia argentea X X 2-7 Needs 1 male to pollinate 1 or more females 3-13 5-8
Cherries, Dwarf Sour Prunus kerrasis X 2-5 University of Saskatchewan Fruit Program 6-7 6-7
Cherry, Nanking Prunus tomentosa X 4-6 6-8 6-10
Cherry, Tart Prunus cerasus X X 4-7 10-12 15-20
Chestnuts Castanea mollisima (Chinese) X 4-9 Requires slightly acidic, well-drained soil 40-60 50
Chokeberry, Black Aronia melanocarpa X X 3-7 Aronia Berry (A. mitschurinii) 5-7 5-7
Chokecherry Prunus virginiana X X 2-7 5-15 6-10
Cranberry, Highbush Viburnum trilobum X X 3-7 3-10 3-6
Currant, Black Ribes nigrum X 3-5 European - nigrum 3-5 3-5
Currant, Red Ribes rubrum X 3-5 3-5 3-5
Currant, White Ribes spp. X 3-5 3-5 3-5
Elderberry Sambucus spp. X X 3-8 May grow but not ripen in Zone 3. Black is edible. 6-10 6-12
Gooseberry Ribes hirtellum X X 3-8 Most are American x European hybrids. 2-5 3-5
Hardy Kiwifruit Actinidia kolomikta X 3-9 Needs 1 male to pollinate 1 or more females. May not fruit in zone 3. 15-20 20-25
Hazelnut Corylus americana X X 3-9 Bush-type, being tested in MN. 4-12 3-8
Hickory Carya laciniosa, C. cordiformis, C. ovata X X 4-8 Shellbark for uplands; Bitternut, Shagbark for lowlands. 60-80 50
Honeyberry Lonicera caerulea X 2-7 Needs 2 compatible varieties. Birds and powdery mildew can be problems. 3-5 3-5
Jostaberry Ribes nidigrolaria X 3-8 6 4-8
Juneberry Amelanchier spp. X X 2-5 Serviceberry and Saskatoons; shrub or tree forms 5-15 10-40
Korean Pine Pinus koreansis 3-7 Pine nuts, resembles white pine
Lingonberry Vaccinium vitis-ideaea X X 2-7 pH 4-5.5 2-16 1-3
Nannyberry Viburnum lentago X X 2-8 Prefers moist soil 10-15 6-12
Paw-Paw Asimina triloba X 5-8 Needs 2 varieties 15-20 15-20
Peaches Prunus persica X 4-9 24 15
Pear Pyrus spp. X 3-9 Fireblight resistant; need 2 varieties 10-40 15-20
Plum Prunus spp. X X 4-9 Hybrids need 2 compatible varieties; European plums are self-fertile 12-20 8-15
Walnut, Black Juglans nigra X X 4-6 High quality nuts from select cultivars 100-150 60-120

Gary Wyatt, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2021

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