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How Many Fruit Trees Do I Need?

Posted on 09 October 2014   fruit trees

How Many Fruit Trees Do I Need?

Our goal here is to provide you as many fruit trees as you want. We sometimes get this question from people interested in our trees: “How many fruit trees do I need?” The answer is as variable as the people asking. For people wanting to grow fruit for profit, plant as many fruit trees as you can manage and you have room for. For people wanting to eat fresh fruit from their own tree once a year, one tree will suffice. For a family of four looking to raise most – or all! – of their own food, here is what we recommend:

Apples: 2-3 trees, of at least two different varieties. At maturity, apple trees will yield around 400 pounds of apples per year. The average per capita apple consumption in the U.S. around 20 pounds.

Peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots: 2-3 trees of different varieties that fruit at different times. At maturity, a these trees may produce up to 250 pounds of fruit per year, which is plenty to eat, give away, and “put up.”

Pears: 2-3 trees of at least two varieties that pollinate one another. Pears trees will yield up to 250 pounds per tree.

Almonds: 2-3 trees for pollination and different harvest times. The average mature almond tree in a home landscape or small orchard yields about 1500 nuts per year.

Pecans: 2-3 trees for pollination. The average mature pecan tree yields about 1200 nuts per season.

Pomegranates: 1-2 trees. Pomegranates are an increasingly common product in the U.S., though still not everyone’s favorite. One or two trees is enough for a family of four. The average pomegranate tree produces 100-200 fruit per year. Each pomegranate yields about ½ cup of juice.

Figs: 1-2 trees. Like pomegranates, figs are not considered a staple American fruit. But dried figs or fig preserves are a treat and one or two fig trees will be plenty for the average American family.

That’s a general idea of how many trees would be needed for a family of four. And even though this is a fruit tree blog, here is a link to a site provides the same information for vegetables (based on average American consumption habits): http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/growing-vegetables-for-a-family-of-four.html
And I did this based on the “average” American family…even though some families are larger and the average size of an American household in the 2010 census was 2.59 people :)

Do you have any experience growing your most (or all) of your own food? We would love to hear about any advice or tips you might have. Let us know in the comments! :)

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