Stone Fruits

Encyclopedia Article

Stone Fruits  (Apricot-Prunus armeniaca, Cherry-Prunus avium and others, Chokecherry-Prunus virginiana, Peach and Nectarine-Prunus persica, Almonds, and Plums.) 


The stone fruits generally grow on small to medium sized trees.  The fruit itself has one large pit, or "stone" in the middle of it, which is how the group got its name.  You can read more about cherry and plum trees on the link above in the "broadleaf tree" section of the plants on this site.   Here we will use Prunus caroliniana (Carolina cherrylaurel) as an example.

Hardiness- Zone 7 to Zone 10

Growth Rate- Fast

Mature Shape- Small tree of pyramid-oval to rounded outline, often irregular, but dense and full.  Can be pruned into hedge or screen.

Height-  20 to 30 feet tall

Width-  15 to 25 foot spread

Site Requirements- Easily transplanted.  Prefers moist, well-drained soils where it will grow like a weed. These trees are pH adaptable, able to withstand heavy pruning, and enjoy full sun to part shade.

Features-  Stone fruit trees are considered ornamental trees, but also produce delicious fruits which can be cultivated.  They often have beautiful blooms in the spring.  However, as a group, they do tend to be disease and insect ridden and should not be counted on as a long term garden investment.