Q: I’m in charge of planning a fruit tree garden for elementary school students. Can you give me some ideas on fruits that will ripen before the end of May or after August?
A: Not many fruit ripen in late spring. Try serviceberry, Amelanchier x grandiflora‘ Autumn Brilliance’, which may have a few sweet fruit before school lets out for summer. Southern highbush blueberry might have fruit as well.
In fall, apples are first to come to mind. Elisa Ford at Johnson Nursery in Ellijay recommends ‘Freedom’, ‘Liberty’ and ‘Arkansas Black’ for their disease resistance and late ripening.
A fig bush would bear fruit in August. Make sure you have a 15′ x 15′ space for it. These are good varieties.
You might also try a ‘Fuyu’ Asian persimmon. The fruit is as large as a fist and does not have the astringency common to American persimmons.
All of the plants mentioned above have minimal need for pest control, other than birds.