Trees, shrubs, and berries build diversity, permanence and shelter into a garden. Even the smallest garden can benefit from a few perennials to produce fruit, hedgerows for the birds and animals, fiber, leaves for the compost, shade, and lasting beauty. We've chosen the most versatile and hardy varieties for your garden. They hold the soil with deep roots, buffer winds, attract wildlife, and carry on through seasons of unusual weather, or years when other events in life keep the gardener out of the garden entirely.
By wild trees and shrubs we mean the fruiting ancestors from which our modern fruit and nut varieties were developed. These need little care, have few insect/disease problems, and are just the right size for modern yards, where full-size trees would take up too much space. Trees and shrubs grown from seed will exhibit variation in their genetic traits, including the palatability of their fruit. They will not be as sweet or consistent as selected, vegetatively propagated plants (clones). They will, however, all make fine low-care hedges, beautiful mixed hedgerows or shelterbelts, are good for soil erosion control, and provide wild animal food/habitat. Most will also provide plentiful leaves for composting in the fall.