Most versatile tree crop

Almost Eden

Farm Hand
When it comes to raising trees, which type do you believe is the most versatile? I'm leaning towards walnut trees. You can harvest the walnuts for years and once the tree is spent, you can harvest the wood. The shells are also usable. They can be sold for crafting, for cat litter, and for manufacturing to name a few options.


Farm Hand
I've thought about that and I think we'd grow cherry trees in that case. We'd probably go with a dwarf variety since it starts producing within two or so years. The cherries provide food for the table and they're easy to preserve. You can use the pits to make syrup, to make hot compresses, and to create bean bags and other crafts that can be sold at the farmers market. The blossoms attract pollinators, which will help the garden and you can cut away a few twigs to add to bouquets and it won't damage the tree. Then when the tree is spent you can harvest the lumber.

@Wildlife, those were such a delight as a kid. Nothing tasted as good as a fresh apple from the backyard.


Farm Hand
If I was going to raise trees commercially I'd go with pine trees. They are great for making wreaths and other decor. Christmas trees are ready rather quickly and if you don't have much competition, you can make quite a bit with those. The cones are great for crafts and wildlife feeders. All parts of the tree can be used in a sachet to freshen clothes. The wood can be harvested for lumber. The needles can be used to smoke meats (pine-smoked meats). The needs can also be used as livestock bedding and to make the soil more acidic around plants which thrive in that condition. I'm not about to try either of these last two uses, but Native Americans used the needles to make medicine because they have antimicrobial properties and are high in vitamin C. And you can forage the new tips of Spruce trees for food. There's lots you can make out of a pine tree and sell it on or use it for your family.

@Almost Eden Walnut trees impede growth for the plants around it. I know its toxicity doesn't affect all other plants, so I can see why it's a good choice for some.

@Bill Stecik Isn't a shrub rather than a tree? Does it get big like a tree? I imagine that you use it like firewood for the winter since you mentioned the cold. I don't know much about it, but it sure sounds interesting.