The Best Low-Maintenance Fruit Trees


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Arbor Day Foundation

As a kid, I remember going on vacations to Florida with my family and being amazed by the people who had orange trees right in their own front yards. Tons of oranges just ready to be eaten, growing on your very own tree! It turns out that while it wasn't common for people in my family's neighborhood to grow fruit trees, many people do all around the country. Arbor Day Foundation put together The Best Low-Maintenance Fruit Trees so you can look at your options and decide if growing your own fruit is something you want to try and what type of tree you want to start with.

There is something special about being picking a piece of fruit off a tree in your own garden. Some trees can grow to take up a lot of space while others can be kept quite small to adapt to your garden size. If you live in an urban jungle with little space on your patio or a home in suburbia with plenty of surrounding space in your backyard — there is always a way to create a thriving outdoor space full of fruitful plants, shrubs, and trees.

Depending on the variety you choose, some fruit trees are self-pollinating and some require a pollinator. Self-pollinating fruit trees include apricots, nectarines, peaches, and sour cherries; whereas fruit trees that require pollinators include apples, pears, plums, and sweet cherries. Trees requiring a pollinator may seem like additional work, however, it’s really just a strength in numbers game. Big or small orchard — here are tips on the best low-maintenance fruit trees to plant in your garden or fill your small outdoor space with.


Requiring less care than other fruit trees, plum trees are an excellent choice for a low-maintenance orchard. They adapt to a wide variety of conditions and are more compact than other fruit trees that require little to no work. Plums are a stone fruit that are both delicious and beautiful. Most plum trees are not self-pollinating, so you will need to plant at least two plum trees to bear fruit. When planting a plum tree, it is important to make sure that the variety you choose will grow well in your climate. European, Japanese, and Damson plum varieties are available depending on your location.

READ MORE: The Best Low-Maintenance Fruit Trees

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