15 fruit trees - Plant together?


Active Member
I just received the following 3-4 ft trees today... They will be planted on Saturday in West Central IL.

3 American Persimmon
3 Keifer Pears
3 Arkansas Black Apple
3 Liberty Apply
3 Goldrush Apple

I currently have 2 areas on the East side of my farm that have 3 year old groups of 4 apple trees.

I am debating expanding on one of these groupings, starting a 15 tree apple orchard on West side of farm, or divying up the 15 into 10 and 5 or something. What do you guys think? Does it matter? I plan on planting more next spring as well, so it may be a moot point.

Would you group the persimmons together? Pears together? Or mix all species together to get a nice variety of drop times?
When you get fruit falling it will create deer travel from spot to spot. So, it depends on where you want travel routes and deer spending time. I don't plant anything near property lines. All my fruit trees are at about three different spots near the center of my place.

Another consideration is taller trees shading out the shorter trees. A persimmon will become a massive tree in time. If you had an apple tree with nearby persimmons to the east and west, that could eventually be a problem for the apple.

Another consideration is maintenance. Trees spread all over the place take more time.

Another consideration is human disturbance. I wouldn't want my orchard too close to the prime bedding.

Finally, I want the distance between like species to be relatively close for pollination purposes. So I would group pears with pears, apples with apples, etc., etc.

Just my initial thoughts.
I agree with Nativ.

When I first started my orchard I planted a couple pears, then the rest apples. I wish I would have done just all apples. Now I have 2 pears and about 10 apples all at 18 foot spacing in the "yard orchard". I also have other areas around the farm where I have strategically placed a couple trees here and a couple there, etc.
Below is the aerial of our farm. The yellow dots are where current apple trees are. Red dots are places I've thought of adding trees. Theres a north/south strip of high ground on the west half of the farm I was thinking of dedicating to orchard. I am definitely trying to keep all of the food on the property to the center. Makes it difficult to hunt mornings but I usually stay on the outside during mornings.

Got 'em in the ground on Saturday. Had a really fun turkey hunt in the AM resulting in a missed gobbler by my brother in law on his first turkey hunt. We saw over a dozen birds for the morning!

Now we need some rain this week and I will get out and cage these trees when I get another chance. 9 apples, 3 persimmon, 3 pears...

I would simply keep the persimmons together and the pears together, mix and match the apples however you wish in an effort to spread out drop times OR focus on a targeted drop time to aid hunting in a particular area for that specific time of year. Just my 2 cents worth.
Nice looken spot Sam! Looks like you did the one thing I would have added to the other thoughts, and that is to put them between bedding and destination plots/fields. They feel more comfortable going into orchards rather than fields where they are in the open. You will catch them on the move earlier in the evenings.
J-bird I did exactly what you suggested. I mixed the 3 keifer pears in with 4 mixed apples in that spot I took a picture of. I will have to add maybe 10 more trees there next year to complete it. I also kept all 3 persimmons together and will probably add more of these next spring also. Hopefully I get some rain and they take off.

On a side note, I only paid $12 for those bareroot 3-4' trees but man they were tiny. I was a little disappointed when I received my shipment. I hope they get off to a good start. I will keep up with some pics throughout the year