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I'm considering planting a row of trees primarily for their blossoms (I'm in rural Auckland - occasional temperatures are down to -4°C, typically high of 25°C in summer) - which leads to 2 questions.

Are there any easy-to-grow fruit trees which will have lots of blossoms for a long period like Cherry Blossom trees but also yield edible fruit?

How do clay soils fit into the picture, and how is there a significant difference in maintenance work to the trees ?

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    Wouldn't a regular sour cherry do the job? They're quite pretty in Spring. – Wayfaring Stranger Oct 2 '18 at 16:58
  • @davidogo pss.uvm.edu/ppp/articles/coldfruit.html – Rob Oct 2 '18 at 19:35
  • @rob thanks for this, but I'm closer to USDA hardiness zone 10 (between 9a and 10a depending on what I consult). Also, my primary concern is the quantity and longevity of flowers - yielding fruit is only a "nice-to-have" if there is little/no trade-off in flowering. – davidgo Oct 2 '18 at 20:08
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    @davidgo Well then I would try a Crabapple tree. Doesn't get much better in terms of flowers than Crabapple. – Rob Oct 2 '18 at 21:30
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I have two suggestions:

  • Malus floribunda - about a month of white/pinkish flowers in early spring; the fruit is edible, but really small to bother harvesting by people - the birds love it though
  • Cornus mas - about a month of small yellow flowers in late winter and early spring; the fruit is excellent, the best harvested from the ground, when fully ripe

Both thrive very well in clay soils. Cornus will grow well even in shady areas.

Both are also almost ZERO maintenance trees. The only maintenance is watering them first few seasons!

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