House Foundations and planting Hazelnut, Apple, Cherry and Grape #368668 - Ask Extension

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House Foundations and planting Hazelnut, Apple, Cherry and Grape #368668

Asked October 08, 2016, 12:33 PM EDT

My husband and I are thinking of planting an apple tree, cherry tree, grapes and hazelnuts in our yard but were wondering how far from the house they would need to be planted to prevent damage to the foundation and to overall promote healthy plant growth. I'm assuming variety will make a big difference and would appreciate recommendations on that front too. Thank you!

Multnomah County Oregon

Expert Response

For your apple and cherry trees, you may need more than one variety to get adequate pollination.  Depending on whether you neighbors have other varieties, you may be okay, but if they ever cut down those trees, you might lose the pollination help.  To address this, you can purchase trees that have more than one variety on the same tree.  You will want to make sure that caring for the tree doesn't remove the different varieties (it's good to keep the labels or records of what you planted.)

For the home grower, I always recommend varieties grafted onto dwarf root stock. With dwarf root stock, your tree will not get so tall that you would need a ladder (you will need to prune your fruit trees regularly to maintain them.)  If you are new to growing furits/nuts, I recommend the following OSU Extension publications https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ec819 and https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/pnw400 With any tree, I would recommend you consider the mature canopy size and add about five feet to that for dwarf root stock. If the mature canopy is eight feet in diameter, divide that by two and add five feet. that would mean to plant the immature trees ~nine feet from the foundation. We also have another great organization that may be able to help you and that is the Home Orchard Society http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/

As for varieties of the fruits, go for what you like or what may not be as available, it's a matter of personal taste.  Portland Nursery is having it's Apple Festival so it's a good opportunity to taste a wide variety.  You may also want to consider what you plan to do with the fruit.  Certain apple varieties make better cider, fresh eating or baking.  For cherries, sweet and pie cherries are quite different.

For grapes, the roots tend to grow deep, not wide but in the case of grapes and trees, having the plants close to the foundation may not pose a physical problem for the foundation, but it can provide a path for pests to get into your home.  I would recommend a distance of at least four to five feet for the grapes.

I grew up in the area and I'm not a big fan of filbert/hazelnut trees in the home garden because the trees are prone to suckering, are quite messy and they can attract squirrels. 

However, what is most important on all of these plants is ensuring they get full sun (at least 7-8 hours per day) 

Sara Running Replied October 10, 2016, 1:31 PM EDT

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