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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - May 27, 2013

From: Knoxville, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Edible Plants, Shrubs, Trees, Vines
Title: Fruit crops to grow in Tennessee mountains
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My property has a lot of rock formations throughout it and has hundreds of cedars where it is not pasture. I am wanting to grow fruit trees and berry bushes but don't know what can grow in this environment. It appears that grass (hay and straw) are growing well. Question, what are the best fruit crops to grow in this type soil. East Tennessee mountains is the location of the property.

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America so the recommendations I will suggest are plants native to North America, and specifically, native to Knox County, Tennessee.

Asimina triloba (Pawpaw)  Here are more photos and information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Morus rubra (Red mulberry)  Here are more photos and information from Plants for a Future.

Prunus americana (American plum)  Here are more photos and information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Prunus angustifolia (Chickasaw plum)  Here is more information from Floridata.

Juglans nigra (Black walnut)  Here are more photos and information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Carya ovata (Shagbark hickory)  Here is more information from the US Forest Service.

Vaccinium corymbosum (Highbush blueberry)  Here is more information from Plants for a Future.

Vitis rotundifolia (Muscadine)  Here is more information from California Rare Fruit Growers.

Castanea pumila (Chinkapin)  Here is more information from North Carolina State University.

Corylus americana (American hazelnut)  Here is more information from Plants for a Future.

Rubus argutus (Sawtooth blackberry)  Here are more photos and information from Carolina Nature.

Rubus occidentalis (Black raspberry)  Here are more photos and information from Plants for a Future.

Many common garden fruits and vegetables are not native to North American and Knox County, Tennessee (e.g., Peaches–Prunus persica–native to Asia) but will grow in your area.  For information about varieties of non-native fruits and vegetables the University of Tennessee Extension Office is an excellent resource.  Here is a link to a list for their publications about Gardening–Fruits.  The Knox County Office also offers Fruit and Nut Tree Information.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Pawpaw
Asimina triloba

Red mulberry
Morus rubra

American plum
Prunus americana

Chickasaw plum
Prunus angustifolia

Black walnut
Juglans nigra

Shagbark hickory
Carya ovata

Highbush blueberry
Vaccinium corymbosum

Muscadine
Vitis rotundifolia

Frost grape
Vitis vulpina

Allegheny chinquapin
Castanea pumila

American hazelnut
Corylus americana

Black raspberry
Rubus occidentalis

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