The snow has just started falling and I’m already thinking about what I’m going to be planting next spring. Most of my plantings won’t be at my own house, they’ll be out in the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. We’ll be looking at all kinds of fun stuff like growing trees in various new types of containers, adding compost to planting holes in different circumstances, and even pruning methods. But one of the big things that we’re starting to look at are new trees for the urban environment. Cities have always spent time considering what they plant, but with the emerald ash borer ravaging the Midwest, now they’re thinking even harder. And because of the local food movement, suddenly the cities are at least considering trees like apples and hazelnuts on a trial basis (sure, there are some places that use them here and there, but they’re less than common). Of course, if this movement stalls, the cities would be upset at having so many “messy” plants around (that’s their big concern about edibles right now), but I don’t think it will. I’m actually pretty optimistic about using fruits and nuts on public property. Sure, some plants will fail because they get too many diseases or insects, or because they’re weak wooded, but some will make it too. I think hazelnut has a great chance in the right place (it would be too bushy for most boulevards….). Do any of you have a favorite edible that you think might work well in a city? Let me know, maybe we’ll try it!