Are fruit tree plantings successful in Kentucky?
Homeowners can grow their own fruit and enjoy excellent full-flavored fruit. However, growing fruit trees at home requires careful planning. Fruit trees take a lot of space and require almost constant attention. Gardeners must be willing to address issues of pruning and insect, disease, weed, and rodent control. Kentucky weather, especially the fluctuating warmth and cold in the spring, jeopardizes even the best maintained fruit planting; occasionally late spring freezes completely wipe out entire crops. Tree fruits such as apple, pear, plum, peach, and cherry require fairly extensive spray programs to produce quality fruit. Pawpaws and persimmons do not require spraying. Apricots, plumcots, Asian plums, and sweet cherries are not adapted to Kentucky, because they bloom too early and the crop is normally lost to spring frosts. Plant fruit only if you are willing to gamble with the weather and work with plants regularly.