Whether you recently moved in or have lived on your land for a while, you might want to think about planting a few trees. But what are the best trees to grow on a homestead?
In addition to offering shade and aesthetic value, many trees provide additional functions. Regardless of where you reside, trees are valuable resources that should be considered for everything from fruit to nuts to heating to architecture.
You might not know which trees will provide you with the highest return on your investment if you are new to homesteading, however. Making the correct tree selection for your farm is crucial because saplings can be pricey.
Consider purchasing a handful of the top trees below to plant on your homestead this spring.
What are the Best Fruit Trees to Grow on Your Homestead?
Many homesteaders naturally think of fruit trees when they consider cultivating trees on their property. Here are a few of the top choices to take into account (and no, blueberries aren’t a tree)!
The plum tree is an excellent choice for homestead, especially the American plum. Since it won’t get very tall, it won’t obstruct any further trees you might plant. The fruit it produces, however, is wonderful and can be consumed fresh or transformed into wines, juices, jellies, jams, or prunes (the dried version we all know and love).
The security provided by plum trees is an intriguing additional application. These trees develop in intricate brambles, sending out suckers and long branches that entwine with one another to deter potential invaders.
Another fruit tree to think about planting is the mulberry. The fruits of this tree can be used to create various meals, including delicious mulberry wine.
The mulberry tree, which grows quickly, yields wood that can be used as firewood. It is stated that this one produces more wood per acre compared to other trees.
The main thing to keep in mind when cultivating mulberry trees is that they can lead to lung issues like asthma. The good news is that you may always choose to cultivate just female trees deemed allergy-free as they don’t contain pollen. The pollen tends to be particularly allergic for some people. The male trees produce high amounts of pollen which monarch butterflies love!
A farmhouse cannot be complete without apple trees. You should have no trouble locating the perfect variety, as so many can pick from.
Apples are not only terrific for eating fresh and are simple to preserve in a root cellar, but they are also great in apple butter, apple sauce, apple juice, and other recipes.
McIntosh, Honeycrisp, and Red Delicious are a few excellent kinds to consider.
Despite being frequently disregarded, pear trees are even simpler to grow than apple trees. Similar to apple butter, but considerably sweeter, is pears butter.
Some trees can grow up to 30 feet tall and are not challenging to cultivate. Of course, you can also plant dwarf and semi-dwarf kinds. Both Bartlett and Anjou pears are well-liked for homesteads.
The drawback of growing apple trees is that they take a long time to mature, although they are fantastic assets on the homestead. Peach trees are an exception to this rule. They only need five years to produce fruit!
Regarding your homestead fruit supply, figs certainly aren’t the first fruits that spring to mind, but they ought to be. Even novice gardeners can easily cultivate fig-trees, and if you don’t live in a frost-free region, you can still grow them in pots.
On your property, you can grow either sweet or sour cherry trees (or why not both?). They work well for baking, juicing, and fresh eating.
Nectarine trees also develop quickly, similar to peaches. Although they require routine pruning, just one tree will yield up to 40 pounds of fruit annually for at least 20 years.
The average apricot tree can live for 150 years, yet it only takes three years for it to start producing fruit. That’s quite a return on your investment! They also don’t need much maintenance.
What are the Best Nut Trees to Grow on Your Homestead?
Growing nut trees is a great method to reduce your grocery price, even though fruit trees are excellent on the farm.
In zones 5-9, almond trees are modest and resilient. However, as they are not self-fertile, two are required for pollination.
Walnut is a prominent competitor when it comes to cultivating trees for wood, but of course, many homesteaders will also cultivate this popular species for nuts.
The fruit’s nut interior will be consumed straight from the shell or baked into your favorite treats. The walnut wood is excellent for flooring, furniture, rifle stocks, and other uses, in addition to being used to create ink and dyes.
Zones 4 through 8 are suitable for chestnut trees. Even if the wood can be used for construction and firewood, keeping a few chestnuts on hand is worthwhile just for the tasty and useful nuts.
Is anyone up for some pecan pie? These trees, which are hardy in zones 4 to 8, are common in the north. Although the trees get rather big, having a few pecan trees around for munching is beneficial.
Last but not least, hazelnuts are a fantastic tree to think about planting if you live in the north. They are trees that require little maintenance and can endure temperatures as low as zone 2.
What are the Best Trees for Firewood?
One of the most environmentally friendly ways to heat your property is using wood heat, especially if you wish to be self-sufficient. If that’s your ultimate goal, the trees listed below are suitable for planting.
If you’re looking to burn stronger fires, I highly recommend this book. It goes into detail on wood choice and fire placement to light fires that will last.
Cedar is one of the greatest types of trees to utilize for firewood. It works well for cooking, erecting fence posts, and creating furniture. As one of the most rot-resistant woods available, cedarwood should be used for any construction project.
They can also be used as animal bedding when converted into wood shavings.
Pine is a wonderful technique to start a fire because it ignites rapidly and burns quickly due to its being softwood.
These trees are helpful for construction as well. Pine has a resin that can be utilized for roofing, adhesive, and other purposes.
Hardwood is one of the best types of firewood you can create, while oak trees can also be planted for their acorns. It creates a fire that burns hot for a long time.
Other Trees to Consider
Trees can also be used for protection, syrup production, and other things, providing food and firewood. Check out these wonderful trees that you should plant.
Hawthorn trees make an effective first line of defense when placed closely together. That’s because hawthorn trees have many thorns; keep out, intruders!
Instead of letting the branches of young trees grow upward, train them to grow in long lines. If you do this, a natural fence that self-maintains over time will be created (without pruning).
Hawthorn can, of course, be grown for a wide range of other uses. It is a tasty herbal treatment that can be used in tea.
While honey locusts and black locust trees have functions on a farm, the honey locust is a great choice for security. These thorny trees can fix nitrogen to produce hash oil and edible pods.
Growing osage orange can serve as a natural fence that keeps out people and even larger animals like cattle.
Osage orange is also excellent at avoiding soil erosion because it grows so densely and develops such strong roots. The best course of action is to plant some osage orange trees on a slope that needs stabilizing.
In addition, the wood from this tree can be utilized to manufacture supplies like fence posts and fuel.
The Jujube tree is a good option if you live in a hot climate, even if many of the trees listed above are suitable for temperate regions. This one can easily withstand temperatures as low as 40 F and as high as 100 F or higher.
Jujube fruits can be consumed fresh or converted into vinegar or wine. Additionally, because the Jujube tree produces thorns, it makes a great natural fence.
Many people grow maple trees for their beautiful wood, which is used in furniture. Of course, maple may also be used to make maple syrup. Making maple syrup at home is simple and can help you meet some of your household’s sugar demands. It is an all-natural sweetener.
The wood from basswood can be used for various crafts and handicrafts, among other things. Additionally, baskets, ropes, and nets can be made from the inner bark fibers. Even as salad greens, the leaves can be consumed.
It is advisable to consider your temperature, microclimate, and soil conditions when choosing which homestead trees you should grow. From there you should be able to find the best trees to grow on a homestead.
Get in touch with your cooperative neighborhood extension to learn more about the trees that thrive in your region. They might also be able to recommend some prevalent pests and diseases to which your trees may be particularly susceptible.
Start planting after considering such information. Growing trees is a wise decision to make your property more self-sufficient.
Interested in reading more of our gardening resources? We have everything from organic gardening to homesteading!