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You might think that your options are very limited when it comes to wind-resistant fruit trees, but it doesn’t have to be the case! Growing productive fruit trees is all about observing the conditions available, implementing various strategies to improve your conditions, and planting what can thrive in a given space.
As reported by numerous growers, there are several wind-tolerant fruit trees to choose from. The successful trees have been cherries, lemons, pomegranates, loquats, feijoas, cherry guavas, peaches, mulberries, sea buckthorns, serviceberries, gooseberries, and currants.
Use wind-tolerant trees as the front-line defense in windy areas to grow less wind-resistant fruit trees on the leeward side.
Wind isn’t always a bad thing for fruit trees. Of course, strong persistent winds will damage any tree, but a generally windy area provides good circulation. Circulating air replenishes the supply of carbon dioxide to fruit trees which can enhance their ability to grow, while consistent movement increases their strength.
With constant movement, fruit trees will adapt to become more favorable to windy conditions. Limbs will remain slightly flexible, roots will nestle deep into the ground, their height will stay lower, and instead, growth will become thicker.
In this post, we will talk about some features of wind-resistant fruit trees, how to plant them for success, and the worst fruit trees for wind.
Other related posts:
- Forest Garden Design for Wind Protection in Cold Climates
- How To Grow a Tree in a Windy Area (Everything You Can Do)
- Best Windbreak Trees & Shrubs for Longterm Wind Protection
Wind tolerant fruit trees by zone & wind resistant features
Cherry Guava trees are fast-growing drought resistant plants. Their evergreen foliage also makes them an even better choice for a wind-protecting hedge. Tolerance to dryness is essential for windy areas since the wind is… very drying! Grows in zones 9-12.
Feijoa trees, also known as pineapple guava, are fruiting evergreens that have a medium growth rate. Tolerant to a range of soil types they can also grow well in dry conditions. They make great long-term windbreakers for less hardy fruit trees since they live and produce up to 30 years or more. Grows in zones 8-10.
Lemon trees can tolerate up to 60km/hour (40 miles/ hour) winds. At this point, they begin to receive damage. The worst of the damage is losing their leaves. This would greatly reduce production. To avoid leaf loss you could net the trees during higher wind speeds. Grows outdoors year-round in zones 9-11.
Loquat trees are wind tolerant evergeens. They like to dry between waterings, so windy environments can be tolerable by the roots. Grows in zones 8-10.
Pomegranate trees are drought tolerant and can tolerate moderate wind conditions although it is not recommended as they are sensitive to direct cold winds. This is a tree that may survive windy areas but not thrive without some kind of windbreak protection. Grows in zones 7-11.
Mulberry trees are drought tolerant and can withstand moderate winds. Grows in zones 5-9.
Chokecherry trees are used in many shelterbelts and windbreak plantings. They are moderately drought tolerant, wind resistant, and cold hardy. Grows in zones 2-7.
Peaches can grow okay in windy areas as long as they are pruned short and open. Anecdotes from growers say peaches on healthy trees tend to hang well, especially flat-peach varieties that take a lot of effort to pick and won’t blow off, even in strong winds. Grows in zones 5-7.
Growers living in the “tornado alley” of the united states even have recommended certain peach tree varieties for wind resilience.
People who live in windy typhoon zones have been able to grow blueberries, persimmons, grapes, and peaches without too much damage. However, blueberries and persimmons are not very tolerant of drying winds. Mulch and a water catchment trench retain moisture underground.
Wind-tolerant fruiting shrubs
Nanking cherries are deciduous shrubs that are often planted as cold-hardy windbreaks. They have delicious berries and are drought-tolerant. Grows in zones 3-6.
Sea buckthorn makes a great wind-breaking deer-resistant wall for a forest garden space. They are pollinated by the wind and are drought-tolerant too. Grows in zones 3-7.
Serviceberry bushes have very strong and flexible wood. They tolerate winds very well and supply nutritious fruits. Grows in zones 4-9.
Currants and gooseberries thrive in sunny, breezy areas. Powdery mildew is avoided by the dryer conditions and they are able to produce higher yields. They grow in zones 3-5.
Raspberries can be tied up to tolerate winds and would benefit from air circulation to prevent disease. Grows in zones 3-9.
If positioned the right way, edible wind-tolerant shrubs can help protect your fruit tree trunks from excessively cold winds!
How to plant fruit trees in windy areas
You might think it’s best to take every measure to protect your trees, but babying them could work against their ability to grow strong. There are a few unexpected but considerable pointers for planting young trees for success.
You’ll need a sturdy stake to lightly support unestablished trees, a furrow around the expected canopy circumference, and mulch to retain water for planting fruit trees in windy areas. Movement is essential for young trees so they receive the signals to root deeply and water retention strategies are important as wind is very drying.
All trees no matter where they are planted should be able to move around in winds. The stake is meant to support them from a small distance to prevent extreme bending or breakage. When planting, avoid tying your tree snugly to the stake.
Movement is where strength is built in both humans and plants! Ensure your “tie” is loose around the tree so the trunk has space to expand. Space the tree somewhat away from the stake.
Whenever I plant vegetables or trees, I like to dig a furrow to encourage better water catchment. Furrows slow water and collect it, unlike flat ground. For a tree, make a wide ring around the base of the tree at least 4 feet away from the trunk. The distance and deep watering encourage roots to stretch out far from the trunk both outward and downward.
Finally, mulch your tree bases on the inside of the furrow to prevent water from excessively evaporating in the frequent winds. Mulch rule #1—keep it a few inches distance from the trunk of the tree. Oxygen and airflow are essential for tree health.
Worst fruit trees for wind
What about fruit trees to avoid planting in windy areas!?
Excessive winds are not ideal for most fruiting plants, especially if you wish to keep ripe fruit off the ground! There are several traits to look for in trees that won’t tolerate wind well.
Plums, apricots, apples, pears, hardy kiwi (vines), avocados, and pawpaws are examples of the worst fruit trees for windy areas. The worst traits fruit trees could have for high winds are heavy fruits, broad leaves, stiff or weak branches, a wide spread, cold sensitivity, a shallow root system, dwarf rootstocks, and a preference for moisture.
Apples generally have shallower root systems and their fruit tends to easily fall off when ripe.
Pears have weak branches, heavy fruits, and prefer moisture.
Plum and apricot fruits easily get damaged and knocked off by rubbing branches. Most stone fruits
Hardy kiwi vines can be fragile and easily get ripped up in wind.
Avocados have fragile limbs and is sensitive to the cold
Pawpaws love humidity and thrive with moisture.
Just because you live in a windy area, doesn’t mean you can’t grow any of these fruits successfully.
Encina Casarez in the backyard fruit growers Facebook group successfully got an apricot harvest regardless of the wind and wildlife. The apricot was planted between a cherry and an apple with a fenced backing.
If there is any way you can set up windbreaks for your fruit trees, take the space to do so!
An ideal windbreak needs more height than the specimens you’re hoping to protect. The related post below will show you layout examples of windbreak shelterbelts and provide lots of helpful information for your success.
This article was originally published on foodforestliving.com. If it is now published on any other site, it was done without permission from the copyright owner.
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