All domesticated fruit trees started out as wild fruit trees. For centuries, nomads, hunter-gatherers and animals depended on these fruit-bearing plants for survival. Today, we don't need wild fruit trees to live. However, harvesting wild fruit may be an interesting way to add something new to your fruit pies or preserves, since wild fruit has a different flavour than cultivated fruit.
Unlike cultivated apple trees, wild apple trees have thorny branches and serrated leaves. The thorns were likely bred out of cultivated apples by farmers to make the fruit easier to harvest. Wild apples may also taste more tart than their domestic cousins.
Wild apple trees rarely produce a lot of fruit. They usually flower late in the spring with white or pink blooms. What little fruit they do bear may be bruised or bored by insects, but some fruits may still have edible insides. Slice a wild apple in half horizontally to check the innards before eating.
The Ecos wild pear is native to the Northern United States and produces abundant fruit. Unlike some domesticated varieties, wild pears have an almost apple-like rounded shape with a green- yellow skin. Like other fruit trees, wild pears bloom in the spring with white flowers.
Wild pears appear to be relatively resistant to pests and diseases, making them a good source of food for wildlife and any people lucky enough to harvest their fruit. Wild pears remain edible on the tree throughout the growing season and spread themselves through seed.
These trees are native to Wisconsin and can grow up to 70 feet high. Mulberry trees bloom in the spring with small green flowers that give way to large purple-black berries early in the growing season. The berries look and taste similar to blackberries, though wild mulberries may not be as sweet as domestic varieties. Mulberries make very good preserves, dark fruit pies and cobbler.
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