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 Trees with edible fruit/nuts for parking strip in Wash. Co. 
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:54 am
Posts: 1
Post Trees with edible fruit/nuts for parking strip in Wash. Co.
Hi all,

I'm looking for any recommendations (or "anti-recommendations" -- as in, "don't even THINK of planting such-and-such"!) for trees with edible fruit/nuts that would work in a parking strip (I live in Washington Co. - and I DO have the list of "approved" trees). My strip is 5 1/2' W and approx. 40' L. It gets full sun for much of the day. I'm not terribly concerned about "mess" (I don't mind cleaning up after my trees - although I realize I may move, at some point, and others may not feel the same). I AM concerned about the root "habits", as I DO have a sidewalk (for which I am financially responsible) between the strip and the front yard. Wash. Co. lists "Flowering Crabapple" as one possibility - can anyone recommend a specific cultivar? Any other specific recommendations? I'd also appreciate any information you have as to whether or not I need to plant 2 trees (for pollination) -- I'm only planning to plant 2 in total.

Thank you,

-Becky-


Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:10 am
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1348
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Trees with edible fruit/nuts for parking strip in Wash. Co.
With crabapple, check the rootstock. Don't plant any that has over about 12-15' final height, and 10-12 would be better. You don't need two crabapple trees. You can graft two or more varieties into the same tree. Don't plant regular apples because commercial fruit are specifically banned. You could probably get away with edible crabapples. For example "Callaway" is sold as a decorative tree, but it's also edible and tasty if picked in time.

I have planted a windmill palm, a Cornus kousa Chinese dogwood, and an autumn olive in the parking strip in WA CO. Check to make sure that your dogwood is selected for edibility. Some are delicious; others are horrible. Autumn olive will require some pruning each year to ensure that it stays in bounds. Autumn olive is an excellent drought resistant tree for parking strips once established. So is Windmill palm. Cornus kousa will take longer to get established and it is somewhat drought tolerant.
John S
PDX OR


Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:34 pm
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:42 pm
Posts: 188
Post Re: Trees with edible fruit/nuts for parking strip in Wash. Co.
John, you wrote, "Don't plant regular apples because commercial fruit are specifically banned" (in the space suggested).

I wonder about that.....my understanding is that some of these laws are being effectively less regulated or possibly even changed as there is a movement afoot to actually encourage food in public spaces....so is that a "technical" law from some years ago or is this a matter that some still care about?

What I know for sure is that in Seattle there are fruit trees in the parking strips everywhere and some of this food is harvestted and I have never heard of anyone being penalized for that....

As for me, one of the fruit trees I am more inclined to advise in such a space is the pear: Why? Well, the skin is too hard for spotted wing drosophilia, too undesireable for the apple maggot fly, and you don't have to protect against the codling moth until late in the season. Also, it can grow on a dwarfing rootstock which would not bother the concrete. I'd go with the pear.


Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:06 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1348
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Trees with edible fruit/nuts for parking strip in Wash. Co.
In general I agree with you Don. I know in Portland many people have fruit and even raised beds in their parking strip. This is Washington County and I know that they have a specific law about that. It was enforced on me in my last house in the homes association, which is one reason why I moved.
John S
PDX OR


Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:57 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:34 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Lincoln City, OR
Post Re: Trees with edible fruit/nuts for parking strip in Wash. Co.
Don't know what's on the county list but what about quince? Or if you're not totally set on trees, use that space for strawberries. I have a large section on my street frontage & they are starting to ripen now, ahead of the ones in my garden. Full sun & reflected heat from the pavement. I have to net them against deer & crows in my neighborhood.


Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:46 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1149
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Trees with edible fruit/nuts for parking strip in Wash.
Interesting topic. I, too, would like to see more "food production" within these seemingly wasted "parking strips," but what might the liability be for an apple falling on and denting a vehicle (actually thinking quince)..? I'd also be concerned about kids cuz I was one of them who'd have considered such fruit "ammo" sorry to admit :oops:

I can easily envision a BMW owner looking for anyone ‘responsible’ to pay for repairing the dents in their vehicle after parking beneath a fruiting tree. I've also wondered where such liability (in our litigious society) lies when a vehicle is damaged by a black walnut falling from 35 feet up on an early winter day..? Lots to consider ~

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Last edited by Marsha on Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cleaned out weird, unintended punctuation coding



Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:57 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 417
Location: SW Washington
Post Re: Trees with edible fruit/nuts for parking strip in Wash. Co.
I just moved to 2.5 acres in Camas, but in my house in suburban Vancouver, WA I have fruit trees in the parking strip.

I have 4 apple trees, 3 feijoa (pineapple guava), a pear tree and a quince.


Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:36 pm
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:48 pm
Posts: 1
Post Re: Trees with edible fruit/nuts for parking strip in Wash.
Having lived in Eastern Portland, OR for five years, this post reminds me of why I miss the Northwest!


Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:57 pm
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