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55 Trees That Are Great For Fruit Tree Guilds

The central part of fruit tree guilds is the fruit tree! You don’t actually need a fruit tree for a guild however. And sometimes including other trees is a good option too. Here is a mega list of 55 trees that grow well in a forest garden.

Central Trees For Fruit Tree Guilds

Generally guilds are planned out with one tree in the center, and other understory trees, bushes, herbs, and ground covers radiating out from the center. Your central trees tend to be taller than other trees, and they generally need full sun.

Here are some great options for you. Most of these trees do produce an edible crop. Some are good for herbal medicine. Others are beautiful additions to your landscape and good for the surrounding eco-system.

While central trees do tend to grow quite large, if you only have a small yard, consider choosing a dwarf root stock variety instead.

  • Alder
  • Almond
  • Apples
  • Avocado
  • Black Locust
  • Carob
  • Chestnuts
  • Crabapple
  • Date Palm
  • Linden
  • Macadamia
  • Mango
  • Medlar
  • Mesquite
  • Mulberry
  • Nut-Bearing Pines
  • Pears
  • Pecan
  • Plum
  • Quince
  • Robe Locust
  • Silver Birch
  • Tagasaste
  • Walnuts

Understory Trees For Your Food Forest

In addition to a central leader tree, fruit tree guilds thrive with understory trees. Just make sure to give all the trees enough elbow room when you plant them!

Some trees are happy as a central leader or an understory tree in their food forest! Most understory trees do fine with a little bit of shade, although they will fruit better with more sun.

  • Almond
  • Apricot
  • Asian Pear
  • Cacao
  • Carambola (Star Fruit)
  • Cherry
  • Citrus
  • Coffee
  • Damson
  • Dwarf Apple
  • Elderberry
  • Feijoa (Pineapple Guava)
  • Fig
  • Greengage
  • Guava
  • Hawthorn (Mayflower)
  • Hazelnut
  • Jujube (Chinese Date)
  • Laburnum (Golden Chain Tree) *Poisonous but good for pollinators*
  • Loquat
  • Medlar
  • Mulberry and Black Mulberry
  • Nectarine
  • Olive
  • Papaya
  • Pawpaw
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pecan
  • Persimmon
  • Plum
  • Pomegranate
  • Rowan (mountain ash)
  • Serviceberry
  • Siberian Pea Shrub

More Plants and Tips For Fruit Tree Guilds

Need more information on starting your forest garden and fruit tree guilds? Check out these related posts!

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Monday 27th of January 2020

Oh there's a ton of GMO products out there. Sugar beet's, soybean, corn, wheat, Alfalfa, even coffee. :o)


Tuesday 28th of January 2020

None of those crops are fruit trees or crops commonly grown in a food forest with the exception of coffee. There is a patent for the development of GMO coffee, but as of right now I am not aware of any GMO coffee being commercially sold.


Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Maybe in a future update, blast from the past repost thing, you could mention what tree's/fruit are now GMO, in case there are readers out there concerned with that. I know there's at least 1 Apple variety on the market now (came out a few years ago) that is GMO.


Wednesday 8th of January 2020

That's a good point. Right now I believe it's just the Arctic variety of apple, potatoes, and button mushrooms.

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