Fruit trees cost anywhere from $20 to $100, which can be cost-prohibitive for some, especially if you’re looking to establish a neighborhood-scale orchard. Some people attempt to grow their own from the seed of fruit purchased in a grocery store, only to find out that most fruit trees do not ‘grow true’ from seed. In other words, the fruit produced by a tree grown from seed rarely resembles the fruit that it came from and is typically a half-wild, inedible version of the fruit we are used to eating.
Pomegranates grow into beautiful 12-foot deciduous shrubs with huge red flowers in spring, which are very popular among hummingbirds. They are slightly more cold-hardy than figs, surviving temperatures as low as 10 degrees. Propagate with either of the methods listed above and look for one of the dwarf varieties to take cuttings from if you want to grow it in a pot.
If you propagate them in late winter, figs are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow from cuttings. You can actually use much larger cuttings than the method above recommends—up to an inch in diameter and three feet long is fine—and stick them in the ground in their permanent location. Figs are slightly more cold tolerant than olives (15 degrees) and are one of the fastest trees to bear fruit from a cutting. They can be maintained as a 6-foot bush, allowing them to be grown in containers and brought indoors for winter in cold climates, or allowed to grow up to 20-30 feet tall.
Mulberries aren’t typically found in grocery stores, because the fruit doesn’t keep well off the tree and is not able to be shipped. That said, eaten straight from the tree, they are as enjoyable as any other berry—sweet and flavorful, with a unique, chewy texture. Late winter is the best time to propagate them, just before they emerge from dormancy. Unlike figs, olives, and pomegranates, these trees survive winters in northern climates without batting an eye. Mulberries range from large shrubs to 40-foot trees, depending on the variety.