In the past, every family would have a fruit tree or two in their yard, providing beautiful blossoms in the spring and fresh fruit by fall. Families could snack on the sweet summer treat and then lay away extra for canning. Unfortunately, less than 30% of current Americans choose to maintain fruit trees, let alone vegetable gardens, and are, in turn, missing out on countless benefits.
Many gardeners state they spend roughly 5 hours per week in their garden, but that number could be even less with fruit trees. Why are Americans so opposed to fruit trees? For many, it stems from laziness, and the desire to avoid extra lawn maintenance. Fruit trees may require yearly pruning and some fruit cleanup in the fall, but could save you hundreds of dollars on fresh and canned fruit over the course of a year. Included here are a few reasons to plant a fruit tree in your yard.
The most obvious benefit of a fruit tree is: fruit! From cherries to paw paws, the American landscape is diverse and thriving with countless possibilities to grow sweet produce. This fruit can be eaten fresh off the tree, frozen, turned into ice cream or desserts, steeped in tea or canned and preserved for winter months.
The options are truly limitless for what you can do with your fresh produce, and if you have too much, you can simply give it away! In years gone by, neighbor kids would actually get in trouble for stealing prized peaches off of a neighbor’s tree; imagine if you have too many and can simply recruit a neighbor to pick their own share? You will be able to build a connection with your neighbors as well as rid yourself of excess fruit.
Utilize the Front Yard
With new movements becoming “anti-lawn, no-mow,” Americans are becoming aware of the waste present in their front yards. Some yards are utilized wisely, but many more are simply a place to dump water, fertilizer and pesticides while spending weekends mowing. Rarely do Americans barbecue or hangout in the front yard, so the space goes to waste.
You can save the wasted space in your front yard by planting fruit trees. You may not need to go the extreme state of ripping up all of the sod and putting in native plants, but you can easily add trees to the mix and create a more interesting, and productive, landscape.
Support Honey Bees
The problem of the disappearing honeybees has become a bit of a hot topic in recent years. Losing honeybee populations could result in food shortages, extinct crop varieties and more. Fruit trees are incredibly popular among local honeybees, as they offer the vital exchange of nectar and pollination. By simply planting one fruit tree on your property, you could be making a huge step to help save the bees.