I promised some thorough catalog searching at the end of the previous post, but I hadn't gone very far before I came to the conclusion that any and all varieties of apples, cherries, peaches and pears all look like a real pain in the butt-ew-ski no matter how you slice them (pardon the pun.)
So, I left the realm of fruit trees and broadened out to all types of edible landscaping (and didn't we all know that this was where we would end up?) I got some great hits paying special attention to species that the Edible Landscaping plant finder rated EXCELLENT in most of these categories (extra points for "Adaptable Soil Type):
*Fun For Kids
Unfortunately the links in the plant finder, as great a tool as it is, proved to be less than permanent, so I lost quite a bit of my original research. At any rate, here are some of the runners up in my search.
The variety that I found might not have been particularly cold hardy. Need further research.
Geraldi Hybrid is a dwarf variety only seven feet tall with EXCELLENT pest resistance - try Burnt Ridge, Edible Landscaping, or Whitman Farms for Geraldi. One consideration - I think that Geraldi is a purple mulberry which the gardeners might not appreciate because of the messy factor (not to mention staining of EVERYTHING.) I couldn't find a dwarf white mulberry, but that might be something worth waiting for.
The American types (as opposed to the Asian types) are best for the northeast. Excellent pest resistance, but no dwarf varieties found.
(aka Hazel nuts)
There is a variety that averages a little over nine feet high. I think it needs companion plantings for pollination.
Points lost for lack of kid-fun factor and need for pollinator plantings.
No foolin'. There is a non-vining, Siberian (I think) honeysuckle which puts out fruit that tastes like blueberries. I'm thinking this might be the winner.
On to another post!