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Shade Tolerant Fruit Plants

Fruit trees generally require full sun and do best under those conditions. Sunlight is often necessary for the formation of flower buds.  There are a few exceptions, plants that either need some shade or are tolerant of shady conditions.   Plants that are just tolerant may grow nicely but will not be as productive.   Each plant below is briefly described.   Take a look at the Fruit Variety Comparison Chart or other resource links listed on our site for additional descriptive information about these plants.

Pawpaw – The queen of shade tolerant fruit trees. This tree thrives in a forest understory environment with dappled light and is common in moist riparian woodlands locally. The tree will be hard pressed to survive being in full sun until it is taller than 3 feet but can stand alone in full sun when mature.

Choke Cherry – A native that does fairly well in shady conditions.

Nanking Cherry – Will grow best in full sun but also grows well in some shade.

Elderberry – Grows in the shade and full sun.

Currants – Tolerant of shade but prefers some sunlight for maximum productivity.

Gooseberry – Tolerant of shade but prefers some sunlight for maximum productivity.

Hazelnut – They will grow nicely in full sun but are also tolerant of shade.   Productivity is best in full sun.

Highbush cranberry – Grows in full sun but is tolerant of some shade.

Plum – The native plum grows nicely in full sun but is also found growing in part shade.   Production is not as good in shady situation, but the plants will grow.

Blackberry – The wild blackberries will grow and produce fruit in some shade.

Raspberry – Prefers full sun, but can take some shade.

Cranberry – They can take some shade, but acidic soil conditions must also be met.

Strawberry – Full sun is the best for production, but some will grow nicely in some shade but production will not be as good.

Juneberry – They can tolerate some shade but prefer more sun for production.