Best Zone 5 Fruit Trees: Standard, Dwarf & Unique / Exotic Varieties

You have come to the right place if you are looking for the best zone 5 fruit trees. Fruit trees are not only for individuals living in a warm climate; there are hardy fruit-bearing trees that do well in cold winters.

We will discuss some of the best varieties for those living in colder climates. Not all fruit trees are suitable for zone 5 – it is essential to choose wisely. So, whether you are just starting with fruit trees or looking to add more variety to your garden, read on for some great ideas.

Dwarf Fruit Trees for Zone 5

Most gardening and horticultural techniques and innovations have been invented in the 21st century. However, the best invention for homeowners is how to utilize your small space to grow food.

Currently, homeowners can produce fruits in their small zone 5 yards by selecting dwarf cultivators of specific fruit trees. 

Some dwarf fruit trees can even yield fruits even when planted in containers. In addition to food, dwarf trees add beauty to the landscape and scent your yard with fragrant blooms.

Most dwarf variety fruits are self-fertile as they don’t depend on other trees to cross-pollinate with them to produce fruits. Thus always confirm with your vendor before buying to confirm that the shrub or tree is self-fertile. Check if it requires a second tree or a different variety for cross-pollination. A small yard might have no space for several second fruit trees.

Whether planting your tree in a container or ground, ensure you choose a location with excellent drainage and sun.

Cherry Trees

cherry tree

A perfect Cherry tree (Prunus avium) for growing in the backyard is the semi-dwarf (Stella) that uses a Colt rootstock. The Stella varieties are self-pollinating, unlike most cherry trees.

In addition, these varieties reach maturity at ten feet producing dark red and sweet fruits. Cherries thrive well in USDA Zone 5.

Cherries are high in anti-oxidants and delicious for a healthy snack. Bing cherries are one of the most famous and finest sweet cherry varieties. 

During early spring, cherry trees in zone 5 are covered with dazzling white flowers. Later during spring and summer, cherry trees acquire bright green leaves, an excellent contrast to the deep garnet, shiny Fruit.

Finally, during fall, the leaves develop a pretty yellow hue.

The cherries are pretty juicy and firm and have a rich, classic, sweet cherry flavor. Bing produces numerous crops great for eating alone or as preserves, baking, or wine.

Apple Trees

apple tree

Various apple varieties thrive well in Zone 5. These include Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Honeycrisp. Some of these apple trees are most widely planted in northern climates. Therefore, they are the most dependable and most accessible apple trees to grow.

The dwarf apple tree ‘Cameron Select’ is common for home gardeners. it is fire-bight resistant, the scourge that affects most apple trees. ‘Cameron Select’ is a famous dwarf Honeycrisp apple variety.

The small tree grows 8-10 feet in USDA zone 3-6. They yield bright red fruits that ripen in September with sweet, juicy, and crispy white flesh. This variety requires a different type of apple tree for cross-pollination.

Apple trees are one of the hardiest fruit trees. However, like most fruit trees, they are susceptible to pests, insects, and diseases. Ensure you check out for varieties that are disease resistant.

Banana Trees

Japanese Fiber Banana (Musa basjoo) tree
Japanese Fiber Banana (Musa basjoo)

Bananas don’t grow on trees. Instead, the plants are herbaceous, comprising a perennial rootstock.

They are cut each year after harvest, and they sprout the following year again. Bananas are the largest herbaceous plants globally.

However, that shouldn’t worry you if you have minimal space. There are a variety of small banana plants (Musa spp) perfect for small yards. But, choose variety carefully as most will die off in the winter in zone 5.

The Japanese Fiber Banana (Musa basjoo) banana tree matures at 15 feet tall and does well in USDA zone 5-11. The large tropical leaves offer a nice effect to your landscape and can be planted in pots indoors. Also, banana plants are self-pollinating.

Standard Fruit Trees for Zone 5

Pear Trees

pear tree

It’s an ideal zone 5 fruit tree; but opt for delicious, cold, hardy, and disease-resistant varieties. Two cultivators to try to include Warren and Harrow Delight, juicy pear with a butterfly taste.

You can start enjoying pears from summer with the prolific and charming Summer Crisp Pear. It’s a great taste with a juicy, crisp texture and mildly sweet flavor that can be used for various purposes.

The rugged trees are more cold-hardy since they are developed at the University of Minnesota.

However, the summer crisp pears trees will leave you enjoying a well-deserved reputation and a reliable production annually. Late winter frosts rarely affect the variety, unlike other pear varieties.

Summer crisp pear can serve the purpose of an ‘edible ornamental’ tree since it requires minimal space due to its tiny stature.

Plum Trees

plums on a plum tree

Plums are among the fruit trees that thrive well in zone 5, but they are many varieties to choose from. For example, Emerald Beaty is a yellowish-green plum with the best taste and an extended harvest.

Also, you can opt for a cold-hardy Superior, a hybrid of American and Japanese plums.

Stanley Standard Plums are perfect plums for jelly, jam, and preserves. They grow up to 18′ tall and flower white during spring. Also, they are the most planted European plum in the Midwest, East, and South.

The Stanley Standard Plum produces a large, dark blue fruit with tasty yellow flesh. It’s hardy into central Lowa, thus a superb option for the northern population.

During late September, the Fruit ripens, making the pits easy to remove.

Plums have adequate natural sugar allowing them to dry in the sun without fermenting. The golden and firm flesh has a delicious fresh taste and holds well.

You can dehydrate them for a healthy snack. They are perfect for sauces, preserves, and baking puddings.

These amazing plum trees don’t require a pollinator. However, they can yield more fruits than other plum trees due to pollen availability.

They also act as excellent pollinators for other plum trees. Methley and Santa Rosa are other plum trees that can perfectly do well in zone 5.

Peach Trees

peach tree

Peach fruit trees can do well in zone 5. Select a cold-hardy variety and disease-resistant.

Choose between Reliance, a white-fleshed peach with a red hue, or Red Haven with yellowish flesh and red skin. The beautiful Snow Beauty has white flesh, red skin, and sweetness.

Also, you can opt for White Lady, a perfect white peach comprising high sugar content.

Elberta is among the most delicate peaches grown and most planted in the United States. It’s one of the most delicate fresh edible peaches. The hallmarks of Elberta peach are incredible flavor and firm flesh. Elberta is a precious tree for your backyard due to its vast production. 

It’s a perfect choice for baking and cooking. A pie or cobbler made with fresh Elberta peaches tastes excellent. In addition, it’s easy for canning since the freestone renders prepping faster, and the Fruit is firm, pleasant, and simple to work with.

Finally, you can easily maintain the variety by pruning to your preferred height. Plan to keep the size below 8 feet to make maintenance easy and quick while comfortably harvesting your crops.

Your peaches will be ready for harvest in September, but some areas mature earlier in August. Its self-fruitful ad doesn’t need a pollinator, but it does much better if two are planted near each other and will prolong your harvest.

Peach varieties that thrive well in zone 5 include Hale Haven, Golden Jubille, Reliance, and Red Haven.

Unique & Exotic Fruit Varieties for Zone 5

When growing fruit trees in zone 5, you can also try exotic varieties. Apart from the usual zone 5 fruits trees, you can opt for something different and daring.

Pawpaw Trees

pawpaw tree

Pawpaw is a tropical fruit that can be grown in zone 5 with proper care. The ornamental tree grows about 20-30 feet tall and produces sweet, fleshy fruits.

It has fragrant, large dark purple blooms and drooping leaves. In addition, pawpaw produces files, oblong-shaped fruits with custardy texture, perfect for preparing tasty pastries and bread. 

The fruits grow up to 3-5 inches long and weigh about eight oz. Most individuals describe it as a banana flavor with various accents, including mango, vanilla, papaya, and pineapple.

Pawpaw fruits are favorite of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and it remains an incredible native fruit bringing the taste of the tropics home. 

Although pawpaw trees seem like they belong in the jungle, they are cold, hardy, and perfect for zone 5. The understory tree is excellent in the shade and does perfectly in the sun. Pawpaw tree fruits grow in the Midwest and Southeast of the U.S. as understory trees in the woods.

They are cold, hardy, and insect-free. You need to plant two trees for cross-pollination.

Cold Hardy Kiwis

kiwi trees

The cold-hardy kiwis survive winter temperatures as low as -25 degrees F. However, cold-hardy kiwis don’t have fuzzy skin like most commercial kiwis. The zone 5 fruit is relatively tiny with smooth skin. You will have to plant both sexes for pollination and vine support.

Mulberry Trees

mulberries on a tree branch

Mulberry trees are perfect for people looking to add an exotic touch to their landscape. The fruit trees require little care and can survive in hot and cold climates. However, they need full sun for optimal growth.

Mulberries are fast-growing shade trees that can grow up to 50 feet tall. They tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, from clay to sand. The tree produces small, dark-purple fruits that are sweet and delicious.

Fig Trees

fig tree

Figs are another excellent choice for those looking for an exotic fruit tree. Figs do well in full sun and require little care.

They are deciduous trees that can grow 10-15′ tall. They produce small, sweet fruits that are rich in flavor. The tree is also quite ornamental and makes an excellent addition to any landscape.

The perfect fig variety for cooler climates is the Desert king fig. it’s a significant deep green fig coupled with strawberry-red flesh.

In July, the fruits ripen to offer a delicious, sweet, firm, and meaty delicacy. The Desert King fig tree is a heavy producer of excellent quality sweet fruits. Its sets huge early crops from June to August and later secondary crops.

Note: The Desert King fig is USDA zones 6-10, which will only work in zone 5 if placed in a warmer microclimate. You can also lean it over and bury the entire tree during the winter months.

Figs are perfect for canning, eating fresh, and drying. The plants usually produce fruits the first year after planting. You will enjoy lovely yellow leaves during autumn and fragrant pink flowers in spring.

Serviceberry Trees

saskatoon berry tree

Serviceberry trees are perfect for those who want to add a touch of elegance to their landscape. The trees are pretty beautiful and produce small, white flowers in the spring.

They also have small, dark-purple fruits that are pretty tasty.

Serviceberry trees are deciduous trees that can grow up to 30 feet tall. They require full sun and well-drained soil for optimal growth. 

Quince Trees

Quince is a perfect choice for those looking for an exotic fruit tree. The tree is quite beautiful and produces small, fabulous, white flowers in the spring. It also has small, yellowish-green fruits that are pretty tasty.

Quince is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 20 feet tall. It requires full sun and well-drained soil for optimal growth. The tree is also quite drought-tolerant.

Apricot Trees

You can opt for Manchurian Bush, a variety of Apricots native to colder regions with short summers. It is pretty hardy and can survive in zone 5.

The fruit tree grows about 8-12 feet tall and produces small, yellowish-orange, tasty fruits.

Although the tree thrives ideally in zone 5, the late frosts can destroy buds and hinder fruiting in the coldest climates.

Plant in a micro-climate melting out late or protecting the trees during late frosts. It requires full sun and well-drained soil for optimal growth.

Also, the tree is relatively drought-tolerant and is capable of withstanding cold climates.

Persimmon Trees

Persimmon Tree

If you are looking for a fruit tree native to colder regions with short summers, you should try the American Persimmon.

It is pretty hardy and can survive in zone 5. The fruit tree grows about 20-30 feet tall and produces small, pretty tasty orange fruits.

Pomegranate Trees

Pomegranate Tree

Pomegranates are the perfect option for those looking for an exotic fruit tree. The pomegranate fruit trees are pretty amazing and produce small, red fruits that are tasty.

Pomegranates are deciduous (lose their leaves) trees that can grow up to 20 feet tall.

They require full sun and well-drained soil for optimal growth. The tree is also quite drought-tolerant.

Note: Pomegranate will need protection in winters in zone 5. Either in a microclimate or potted and brought indoors during winter. You will also need to ensure you select a cold-hardy variety.

Zone 5 Fruit Bushes/Shrubs

Cloudberry

cloudberries

Cloudberries are perfect for those looking for exotic fruit. These are not technically a tree but more a shrub. They’re pretty beautiful and produce small, white flowers in the spring.

They also have small, red fruits that are pretty tasty. Cloudberries are deciduous that can grow to 8-10 feet tall.

The variety Rubus idaeus var. strigosus is hardy in zones 2-7 and does best in full sun to partial shade. Cloudberries are also a pretty drought-tolerant.

Tayberry

tayberries

Tayberries are perfect for individuals looking for exotic fruit. The tayberries fruit trees are pretty beautiful and produce white flowers in the spring.

They also have small, dark-red fruits that are pretty tasty. Tayberries are deciduous trees that can grow up to 10 feet tall.

The variety Rubus fruticosus is hardy in zones 4-8 and does best in full sun to partial shade. 

Elderberries

black elderberries can grow in zone 5

Elderberries recently experienced a revival due to their health properties.

Now individuals use elderberry to create elderberry syrup used as a medicine when one feels unwell or under the weather. Elderberries are native plants in America, and many cultures use them for their healing properties.

The tree can grow as high as 25 feet and 15 feet wide, making them perfect for hedges and elderberries like full sun but can also tolerate partial shade.

They are easy to take care of and don’t need much watering once established.

Elderberries are perfect for those looking for an exotic fruit tree. The trees are pretty beautiful and produce small, white flowers in the spring. They also have small, dark-purple fruits that are pretty tasty.

Conclusion

There are many different fruit trees that you can try in zone 5. Each tree has its unique benefits and drawbacks.

You will need to decide which tree is right for you based on your needs and preferences.

Cherries, pomegranates, cloudberries, tayberries, and elderberries are all great options for those looking for fruit plants in zone 5. 

American persimmons are also a good option for a hardy tree that produces tasty fruits.

Whichever tree you choose, make sure to do your research so that you can provide the tree with the optimal conditions for growth.

You can try any of these fruit trees in your landscape to add a touch of beauty and flavor to your home. These zone 5 fruit trees are pretty hardy and can survive in colder regions with short summers. Just be sure to give them full sun and well-drained soil for optimal growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

When to prune fruit trees in zone 5?

It is best to prune fruit trees in zone 5 in the early spring while the trees are still dormant, and the buds have not broken.