Here are some fruit and nut producing trees that do particularly well in Charlottesville. We source all of our trees from the famed Edible Landscaping nursery, located just over the hill in Afton, VA.
Height and spacing information is included for each plant type. Height varies depending on the variety chosen. If you have a preference for the height of the tree you are ordering, please specify in the Notes section on our contact form and we will make sure you get the right tree for your space. If a specific variety is not requested, we will work our plant magic to provide you with the best balance of hardiness, productivity, and tastiness.
Asian Persimmons of the fuyu (“Persimmon” in Japanese) type are some of the best fruit trees for the central Virginia piedmont. Fuyus are adaptable, hardy, fast growing, and abundant in fruit production. The fruit is edible while firm and still hanging on the tree (September-November) but improves in flavor immeasurably when picked and allowed to ripen to softness. Excellent for eating out of hand, baking, drying, winemaking, preserving, etc. Good varieties include Jiro, Hana, Wase, Gwang Yang, Sung Hui, Ichi, and Izu. All varieties are self-fertile, so you only need one to get fruit. 10′-15′ tall, 15′ circle.
American Persimmon (native)
‘Simmons grow wild in the woods around here, favoring the edges of floodplain forests and openings in the forest canopy. The fruit is extremely astringent until it ripens, usually in late autumn. When it is finally ripe, the melt-in-your mouth sweetness and velvety texture make it well worth the wait. Can be used just like Asian Persimmons, though somewhat better for making “butter”. Wild-types are available, alongside cultivated strains like Weber, Yates, Ruby, and Rosseyanka. All varieties are self-fertile, so you only need one to get fruit. 20′-30- tall, 15′ circle.
Get a jump on climate change with one of these semi-tropical treats. Figs grow quickly and produce an abundance of sweet juicy fruit from July through the first frost. Large, eye-catching leaves cover the multiple trunks all through the growing season. Figs can be eaten fresh, dried, baked into tarts and pies, pickled, made into jam, or soaked in brandy to make the 15th century German celebratory liqueur recife. Figs must be protected against the western frost wind during the wintertime. They thrive when placed near the south or southeastern wall of a house. Hardy Chicago, English Brown Turkey, and Celeste all do well in Charlottesville. All varieties are self-fertile, so you only need one to get fruit. 8′-12′ tall, 10′-15′ circle.
Like figs, Pomegranates require siting in a sunny, warm location. Careful siting will be rewarded with fruits that are larger and far sweeter than the ‘Wonderful’ variety available in supermarkets. Full of naturally occurring anti-aging phytochemicals, Pomegranates make an excellent addition to a fall salad, as well as a fine treat on their own. Fruits ripen between September and November. Russian, Austin, and Nana Dwarf Black can be cultivated in this region. All varieties are self-fertile, so you only need one to get fruit. 5′-9′ tall, 10′ circle.
Apple trees are a classic feature of the American home landscape. We strongly encourage gardeners to avoid supermarket varieties like Fuji, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith because of their high susceptibility to insect pests and soilborne diseases. Instead, a panoply of heirloom cultivars have been carefully bred over many generations to do well in our climate of fluctuating summer and winter temperatures and our tough, clay soil. Arkansas Black, Liberty, Enterprise, Eddie April, and Goldrush feature richer flavor, better storing capability, and more survivability in the ground than more widely encountered store cultivars. All varieties are self-fertile, so you only need one to get fruit. 10′-15′ tall, 14′ circle.
The Jujube, or Chinese Date, is a favorite throughout China. The cherry-to-plum-sized fruit ripens through several stages in the fall, its flavor changing with the season. When green with red speckles, the Jujube tastes like a sweet apple. As the fruit turns red, wrinkles, and eventually dries on the stem, it sweetens considerably and takes on a date-like flavor. Jujubes are handsome trees with golden fall foliage and upright, non-spreading character. They are adaptable to any soil type and have no known pests in North America. Very low maintenance. Please note: Jujubes have thorns! Cultivars like Lang, Li, So, Sugarcane, and Tigertooth thrive in this area. All varieties are self-fertile, so you only need one to get fruit. 10′-15′ tall, 12′ circle.
Juneberries (also called Serviceberries or Saskatoon) are hardy, thicketing shrubs that bear a large crop of tasty purple berries throughout the summer. The berries have a piquant, appealing flavor, a little like blueberries. Juneberries readily form multi-trunked hedges, though their root suckers can be trimmed to keep the shrub to a single trunk. All varieties are self-fertile, so you only need one to get fruit. 10′-15′ tall, 10′ circle.
Pawpaw (native; 2 required for fruit)
Pawpaw is one of the finest of native North American fruits. The large green fruits ripen in September, filling the air with a delicate, perfumed scent when they are ready to eat. The soft fruit is full of delicious custard-like flesh that evokes the flavors of mango, banana, and vanilla ice cream. Pawpaw trees are especially hardy to frost and are adaptable to any location, including partially shady areas. Very low maintenance. Wild types are available, as well as named cultivars like Mango, Select, and Rapahannock. Pawpaws require partners to cross-pollinate with, so more than one must be planted to ensure fruit. 10′ – 12′ tall, 12′ circle.
Related to both mulberries and osage orange, Che is an unfamiliar fruit to most North Americans. First domesticated in southern China, the small red fruits of the Che have been enjoyed for centuries fresh out of hand, dried, pickled, or cooked with meat and poultry dishes. Che trees are fast growing, frost hardy, and tolerant of difficult soils. Very low maintenance. All varieties are self-fertile, so you only need one to get fruit. 10′-12′ tall, 15′ circle.
From the walled orchards of ancient Persia to the groves of the Taj Mahal and the courtyards of Beijing, mulberries have been enjoyed throughout Eurasia by commoners and kings alike for thousands of years. Sugary purple berries emerge in abundance from spring until early summer. Mulberries are suitable for eating out of hand, adding to pancakes, muffins, and fruit breads, baking into pies or tarts, and preserving as jam. Kids love ‘em! Their spreading character and low branches make mulberries great trees for climbing. While some varieties are more frost-hardy than others, all can handle any soil type and require minimal care. Pakistan, Gerardi, Sangri-La, Illinois Everbearing, and Collier are all excellent cultivars for this region. All varieties are self-fertile, so you only need one to get fruit. 10′-20′ tall, 15′ circle.
Asian Pear (2 required for fruit)
Asian Pear trees have a similar shape to their European counterparts, but their delicate, floral aroma and flavor are in a class of their own. Asian Pears ripen from September through October in Charlottesville. They are excellent eaten fresh or in fruit salads. Hosui, Korean Giant, and Shinko all excel in this region. Two varieties must be planted for both to set fruit. 10′ – 12′ tall, 13′ circle.