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Which Fruit Trees Grow Best in Iowa?

March 14, 2023 - Paul Anderson

When most people think of Iowa, the first thing that comes to mind is corn and soybeans, and why wouldn’t it? Iowa is a leading producer of both, but there is so much more to this great state than expansive fields of row crops. Iowa’s rich soils and favorable climate make it an ideal place to grow a diverse mix of crops, including a variety of fruits.

Fruit trees are a wonderful addition to any property, providing both beauty and delicious produce. Though when it comes to growing fruit in Iowa’s climate, it can be a bit tricky. Soils and weather patterns can vary greatly across the state, so it’s important to choose the right fruit trees for your particular area. With that said being, let’s take a look at some of the best fruit trees to grow in Iowa.

First on our list is the apple tree. Iowa is a great place to grow different varieties of apples, from tart Granny Smiths to sweet Honeycrisps. Apples are also relatively easy to grow and require minimal maintenance, making them a great choice for novice growers.

Next up is the cherry tree. Tart cherries are the best option for Iowa as they are more adaptable to the weather. Northstar and Meteor are two of the best performing tart cherries. Sweet cherry varieties, such as BlackGold and WhiteGold, will also thrive in Iowa, especially in the eastern part of the state. Just be sure to protect your cherry trees from birds, as they can decimate the fruit.

Moving onto the peach tree, which can be challenging to grow in Iowa due to the state’s colder winters. If you choose the right variety and provide proper care, you can still enjoy delicious peaches from your own backyard. Plant a hardy peach variety such as Reliance, and if possible, cover your trees during cold snaps to prevent frost damage.

Another great fruit tree to grow in Iowa is the apricot tree. Similar to the peach tree, some good luck with the weather is required to yield a good crop. Barring a late frost, cold hardy varieties like Moongold and Sungold will do very well in Iowa.

Another great option for Iowa is the pear tree. Pears prefer well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine, so be sure to choose a location that meets these requirements. Bartlett and Anjou are two popular varieties that do well in Iowa’s climate.

Last but not least, we have the plum tree. Hybrid varieties like Pipestone and Superior have been bred to withstand Iowa’s cold winters and hot summers, making them a perfect choice. European varieties such as Mount Royal or Stanley are also known to produce well throughout the state.

In addition to these fruit trees, Iowa also has plenty of berries that thrive in its climate. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are all great options. Overall, there are plenty of fruit trees that grow well in Iowa, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting, planting fruit trees is a fun and rewarding experience. So get out there, plant some trees, and let the fruit-growing adventures begin!

Peoples Company Land Managers work with landowners across the country to help facilitate a wide range of goals. If you have questions or would like guidance on anything from row crops to specialty crops, please feel free to contact a Peoples Company Land Manager by visiting PeoplesCompany.com or emailing LandManagement@PeoplesCompany.com.

Published in: Land Management