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Top Fruit Trees for Pacific Northwest Gardens

Here are a few great fruit trees for the Northwest's maritime climate.

The trick to ripening fruit in our maritime climate lies in choosing cultivars that mature early, and planting them in the sunniest, warmest spot in the garden. Remember that apples are not self-fertile, so you need two varieties with similar bloom times for cross-pollination.

Columnar apple trees are ideal for small gardens and containers. They look like beautiful freaks of nature, with full-size juicy apples dangling off stick-straight trunks that grow only 7-9 feet tall. 'Scarlet Sentinel' is especially columnar and disease-resistant, with quantities of delicious blush-red fruit that ripens by late September.

Pears are versatile and sophisticated fruits, and 'Orcas' is a Northwest favorite, discovered on the San Juan Island it's named for. The tree is spreading and vigorous, and is laden in early September with large, scab- resistant pears.

For a touch of the exotic, plant a 'Brown Turkey' fig tree for its luxuriant green leaves and mahogany-color fruits. Reliably hardy in our climate, 'Brown Turkey' bears two crops of sweet, amber-flesh fruits each year.

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