Stone Fruit

Stone Fruit (various)

Common name Peach/ Nectarine/ Apricot/Plum/ Cherry
Botanical Name Prunus species
Family  Rosaceae
Natural range Asia
Mature height 4-6m
Form However you prune it
Likes Moist, well-drained soil
Dislikes Fruit flies
Where to plant Your back garden
Known for Delicious summer fruit

Who Belongs to the Stone Fruit Family?

Summer is synonymous with a colourful and delicious variety of fruits – Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Plums, and Cherries. These juicy delights, known as stone fruits, all belong to the botanical family called Prunus species and are part of the Rosaceae family.

Where Do Stone Fruits Come From?

Although you might associate these delectable fruits with your summer garden, they originate from Asia. But don’t let this deter you; they’re more than happy to grow in your backyard.

What’s the Ideal Size?

Stone fruit trees typically stand between 4-6 meters high, their size often influenced by how you prune them. Regardless of their height, they’re perfect for creating that aesthetic appeal in your garden while providing tasty treats.

How Should I Take Care of My Stone Fruit Tree?

To thrive, these trees prefer moist and well-drained soil. They don’t fancy fruit flies, so make sure you keep an eye out for these little pests. The optimal spot for planting? Your backyard, where it can bask in the sunlight and produce that summer fruit goodness.

Can I Grow My Own?

Yes, you can! Nothing beats the pleasure of plucking a sun-ripened peach off a tree and enjoying the juicy, perfumed flesh. Surprisingly, the stone fruits you find in supermarkets are usually hard and unripe, picked early to withstand the rough handling they might face. By growing your own, you’re in for an unmatched taste experience.

Are Stone Fruit Trees Easy to Grow?

While the thought of enjoying fresh fruit from your backyard is enticing, it comes with its set of challenges. Stone fruits hail from warmer regions and are susceptible to winter injuries and early spring frosts. The key to overcoming these obstacles lies in choosing the right location that provides aeration, water drainage, and wind protection.

Do All Fruit Trees Require Pollination?

Interestingly, not all of them do. Peach, Nectarine, and Apricot trees are self-fertile and will fruit even if they’re the lone trees. Plums and most Cherries, however, need a little help from another variety for pollination.

Can I Grow Stone Fruits in My Small Urban Garden?

Absolutely! The recent surge in the popularity of dwarf fruit trees has made it possible to cultivate these fruit trees even in small urban gardens. Some are grafted onto dwarf rootstock, while others are naturally dwarf varieties. You could even enjoy a mini orchard in your little garden space!

Fun Facts About Stone Fruits:
  1. Stone fruits need exposure to a certain number of ‘chill hours’ (i.e. hours below 7C) to produce flowers and fruit.
  2. It’s possible to graft multiple varieties onto one stone fruit tree.
  3. Some companies sell what they call a ‘fruit salad tree’, containing 2-6 different fruits on one tree.
Links for Further Reading:
  1. Growing Your Own Stone Fruits
  2. Dealing with Fruit Flies
  3. Dwarf Fruit Trees
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