Fruit Tree Selection
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Growing Your Own Fruit Trees
With homesteading, self-sufficiency and organic foods such rising trends, many homeowners are growing their own fruits and vegetables. After all, what better way is there to know that the food we’re feeding our family is fresh and safe than to grow it ourselves. The problem with homegrown fruits, however, is that not all fruit trees can grow in all areas. This article specifically discusses what fruit trees grow in zone 8.
Important Information To Know
When growing fruit trees, though, it is important to know that some fruit trees require a pollinator, meaning a second tree of the same kind. Apples, pears, plums and tangerines require pollinators, so you will need the space to grow two trees. Also, fruit trees grow best in locations with well-draining, loamy soil. Most cannot tolerate heavy, poorly draining clay soil.
Types Of Fruit Trees We Offer
Wax jambu with Red is in addition known as rose apple, plus in addition makopa, java apple, Fruit are pear-formed structure plus have a slim pink skin.
Wax Jambu’s need adequate rainfall, some humidity and fertile soil for best growth. Can be container grown to a certain extent. In dryer areas trees should be protected from dry winds and given regular irrigation.
Wax Jamboo tree usually requires very little attention plus no pruning … Wax Jambu tree can be grown in a large container for many years, needful very little care. As accent tree, the fruits have been used as “conversation pieces”.
Pear shaped fruit with waxy skin and crispy flesh similar to the malay apple. Fruit is often juicy, with a subtle sweet taste somewhat resembling a common apple. Superior varieties are of excellent quality.
Almost always eaten fresh. Bland varieties are often eaten with sugar sprinkled over the flesh. The texture is crisp, almost crunchy and juicy with a sweet, mildly scented flavor.
The sapodilla is a fairly slow-growing, long-lived tree, upright and elegant, distinctly pyramidal when young; to 60 ft high in the open but reaching 100 ft when crowded in a forest. It is strong and wind-resistant, rich in white, gummy latex.
The sapodilla grows naturally in the calcareous marl and disintegrated limestone of its homeland, therefore it should not be surprising that it is so well adapted to southern Florida and the Florida Keys.
Nevertheless, it flourishes also in deep, loose, organic soil, or on light clay, sand or gravel.
The fruit is a fleshy, 4- to 5-celled berry with a waxy surface. Fruit are 2 to 6 inches (5-15 cm) in length, with 5 (rarely 4-8) prominent longitudinal ribs. They are star-shaped in cross section. The fruit skin is thin, light to dark yellow, and smooth, with a waxy cuticle. The pulp is light to dark yellow in color, translucent, crisp, very juicy, and without fiber.
Generally, the ripe sapodilla, un-chilled or preferably chilled, is merely cut in half and the flesh is eaten with a spoon. It is an ideal dessert fruit as the skin, which is not eaten, remains firm enough to serve as a “shell”. Care must be taken not to swallow a seed, as the protruding hook might cause lodging in the throat
Plums are one of the first trees to bloom in the spring, providing a welcome display in the otherwise dead landscape. The fruit that follows is popular and nutritious for eating and cooking. Proper pruning and removal of suckers will keep the plum from taking over your garden and give you many years of pleasure.
Thin plums when the fruit begin to form. Thinning the fruit will encourage larger fruit development and help protect the branches from breaking. If branches appear overloaded as the fruit
begins to grow, you may need to prop up branches for extra support.
The fruit is often eaten raw, though some varieties are better used in baking or other cooked uses. They’re one of the few fruits that are commonly dried commercially, at which point they are known prunes. They have vitamins C and A, and dietary fiber as well.
For a tree, plums grow fairly small and work particularly well in the small backyard. To get the best fruit crop, you should plant at least 2 plum trees to get good pollination.
Plant passion fruit vines in full sun except in very hot areas where partial shade is preferable. The vine can be rather rampant, so it is important to plant it next to a chain link fence or install a strong trellis before planting. The plants can also be trained into an attractive arbor.
The passion fruit is a vigorous, climbing vine that clings by tendrils to almost any support. It can grow 15 to 20 ft. per year once established and must have strong support. Sweet yellow passions fruits are perennial plants and the vine has a lifespan of about 5-7 years.
The fruits are globose to ellipsoid, attain a diameter of about 2 inches, and turn from green to yellow at maturity. The interior of the brittle-shelled fruit is filled with many small seeds surrounded by a yellowish, gelatinous, aromatic pulp and juice, which is used for flavoring sherbets and for making jams and jellies.
The pulp also is eaten directly from the shell with a spoon after a little sugar has been added. The most popular use is in a refreshing drink prepared by blending the fruit pulp with ice, water, sugar, and a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. The juice is an excellent source of vitamin C.
These tropical trees are native to Mexico and South America and can reach thirty to fifty feet tall, so plant them in a warm, protected location where they’ll have room to grow.
The Mamey Sapote is a fruit that is grown and adored around the world in tropical and subtropical climates. It takes well over a year from flower to mature fruit,but it is well worth the wait for this delicious fruit.
The flesh of tender varieties is delicious raw, either plain, in fruit salads, or served with cream and sugar or wine.
The football-shaped fruits can reach eight inches long. Their red flesh has the texture of an avocado, while the flavor is similar to a sweet potato mixed with a dash of almond.
It takes about two years after the trees flower for a single fruit to mature. You can check whether fruits are ready to pick by scratching their surface. If the scratched area shows red, it means they’re ready. After picking, leave fruit at room temperature for five to seven days to ripen.
In Florida, the Soursop has been grown to a limited extent for possibly 110 years. They are popular because of their distinctive aromatic qualities and their suitability for processing in the form of preserved pulp, nectar and jelly.
Best growth is achieved in deep, rich, well-drained, semi-drysoil, but the Soursop tree can be and is commonly grown in acid and sandy soil, and in the porous, oolitic limestone of South Florida.
The Soursop tends to flower and fruit more or less continuously, but in every growing area there is a principal season of ripening,it begins in April in Florida.
The fruit is picked when full grown and still firm but slightly yellow-green. If allowed to soften on the tree, it will fall and crush. It is easily bruised and punctured and must be handled with care. Firm fruits are held a few days at room temperature. When eating ripe, they are soft enough to yield to the slight pressure of one’s thumb. Having reached this stage, the fruit can be held 2 or 3 days longer in a refrigerator.
The soursop, unfortunately, is a shy-bearer, the usual crop being 12 to 20 or 24 fruits per tree.
Native to the Brazilian-Peruvian Amazon, but its range now spreads throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. It is rarely if ever grown commercially, but is often found cultivated on a small scale in the American tropics.
It grows naturally in warm, wet regions of the tropics and will not survive freezing temperatures. Its northern limit is South Florida.
Rollinia’s often grow in areas that are flooded for parts of the year so it will tolerate very wet soils. Grow in full sun. Fast growing tree from 10-40ft in height.
Large yellow fruit with a bumpy surface and soft spines. Tastes delicious, and is described as a creamy lemon sherbet or a lemon meringue pie. Comes from the Amazon and is a member of the Custard Apple family. Fruit are picked by cutting the stem as soon as the yellow color develops. Fruit will continue to ripen off the tree but the shelf life is only a few days.
The pineapple fruit grows out of the top of the central stem. The fruit is actually the result of dozens of individual fruit-producing flowers that have fused into a single fruit, which is capped with a “crown” sporting numerous short leaves.
Unlike most fruits, pineapples are not grown from seeds. Common commercial varieties of pineapples are “self-incompatible,” meaning that the plants’ pollen cannot fertilize members of the same variety. So unless different varieties are grown next to one another and flower simultaneously, the plant will produce a seedless fruit that develops without fertilization.
When removed, the crown of the pineapple fruit contains small roots. If it’s planted into the ground (or a pot), a new fruit-producing plant will grow.
Additionally, the plant’s “suckers” (side shoots that grow in between the leaves of the main stem) and slips (tiny plant-lets that grow out from the base of the pineapple fruit) can produce new plants when replanted.
The Papaya tree is a tropical fruit that originated in Mexico and South America. It is now grown throughout the North American tropics and other tropical regions around the world.
Although papayas look like trees, they are actually perennial herbs with hollow trunks. These branch-less plants grow to 20 to 30 feet tall with 1-foot-long to 3 1/2-foot-long leaves growing directly from the trunk.
Papayas are relatively fragile plants, with several common diseases, fungi and insects that can injure or kill them. Papayas require careful inspection and care of these conditions.
The fruit of the Papaya is also called pawpaw and is eaten raw without the skin. The fruit is sweet, low in calories and high in potassium and vitamin A. Papaya is also used in drinks, jellies, salads, desserts and is also dried and candied.
Papayas are ready to harvest when most of the skin is yellow-green. After several days of ripening at room temperature, they will be almost fully yellow and slightly soft to the touch. Dark green fruit will not ripen properly off the tree, even though it may turn yellow on the outside.
The Malay apple is much admired for the beauty of the tree, its flowers and its colorful, glistening fruits, without parallel.
The Malay apple tree is rather fast-growing, reaching 40 to 60 ft in height, and has an erect trunk to 15 ft in circumference and a pyramidal or cylindrical crown.
The tree grows vigorously on a range of soil types from sand to heavy clay. It tolerates moderately acid soil, reacts unfavorably to highly alkaline situations. The spring and fall flowering seasons produce the biggest crops. Fruits mature in 60 days from the full opening of the flowers and they fall quickly after they become fully ripe and deteriorate rapidly.
The ripe fruit is eaten raw though many people consider it insipid. It is best stewed with cloves or other flavoring and served with cream as dessert. Asiatic people in Guyana stew the peeled fruit, cooking the skin separately to make a sirup which they add to the cooked fruit. Malayan people may add the petals of the red-flowered hibiscus to make the product more colorful. Malay apples are often cooked with acid fruits to the benefit of both.
They are sometimes made into sauce or preserves. The slightly unripe fruits are used for making jelly and pickles.
The original home of the sugar apple is unknown. It is commonly cultivated in tropical South America, not often in Central America, very frequently in southern Mexico, the West Indies, Bahamas and Bermuda, and occasionally in southern Florida.
The sugar apple is not particular as to soil and has performed well on sand, oolitic limestone and heavy loam with good drainage. Water-logging is intolerable. The tree is shallow-rooted and doesn’t need deep soil. Irrigation water containing over 300 ppm chlorine has done the tree no harm.
The ripe sugar apple is usually broken open and the flesh segments enjoyed while the hard seeds are separated in the mouth and spat out. It is so luscious that it is well worth the trouble. In Malaya, the flesh is pressed through a sieve to eliminate the seeds and is then added to ice cream or blended with milk to make a cool beverage. It is never cooked.
The green fruit, very astringent, is employed against diarrhea in El Salvador. In India, the crushed ripe fruit, mixed with salt, is applied on tumors.
Pomegranates may be one of the friendliest fruit trees to grow in the home garden, as long as you live in a suitable environment. They are ancient trees that produce lovely ornamental flowers and delicious fruit prized for their health benefits. They usually grow to only 10-20 feet high and can even thrive in large pots.
Regular pomegranates will grow in large pots (at least 10 gallons), and still produce fruit, but they need to be kept well pruned in order to survive. You may be able to grow container pomegranates in cooler areas too, if you can bring them indoors when temperatures dip below 40° F.
While pomegranate fruit usually begin to form in the 3rd year, they will probably drop off the tree before they are fully ripe. Begin harvesting fresh, mature pomegranates in the 5th year. Fruit will mature about 6 months after the flowers appear. Pick them when the rind turns to a deep red color. If they start to crack, they have passed their prime.
The best time to plant pomegranates is when environmental stresses are at their lowest. Pick a time best for your area, usually in the spring or early fall.
The oriental persimmon is native to China, where it has been cultivated for centuries and more than two thousand different cultivars exist. It spread to Korea and Japan many years ago where additional cultivars were developed. The plant was introduced to America in the mid 1800’s
The persimmon is a multitrunked or single-stemmed deciduous tree to 25 ft. high and at least as wide. It is a handsome ornamental with drooping leaves and branches that give it a languid, rather tropical appearance. The branches are somewhat brittle and can be damaged in high winds.
The shape of the fruit varies by cultivar from spherical to acorn to flattened or squarish. The color of the fruit varies from light yellow-orange to dark orange-red. The size can be as little as a few ounces to more than a pound. The entire fruit is edible except for the seed and calyx.
Harvest when they are hard but fully colored. They will soften on the tree and improve in quality, but you will probably lose many fruit to the birds.
The juicy, ripe mango fruit has a rich, tropical aroma and flavor that summons thoughts of sunny climates and sweet breezes. Here at Fruit Scapes we offer over 25 varieties of mango’s for your enjoyment.
Mango trees are deep-rooted plants that may become large specimens in the landscape. They are evergreen and generally produced off rootstocks that increase the hardiness of the plants. Mango trees begin fruit production in three years and form fruit quickly. Growing mango trees in the home landscape will give you a lifetime of fresh pungent fruit from an attractive shade tree.
Mango tree care is similar to that of any fruit tree. Water the trees deeply to saturate the long taproot. Allow the top surface of the soil to dry to a depth of several inches before watering again. Withhold irrigation for two months prior to flowering and then resume once fruits begin to produce. Fertilize the tree with nitrogen fertilizer three times per year. Space the feedings and apply one pound per year of tree growth.
Prune when the tree is four years old to remove any weak stems and produce a strong scaffold of branches. Thereafter, prune only to remove broken or diseased plant material. Caring for mango trees must also include watching for pests and diseases. Deal with these as they occur with organic pesticides, cultural and biological controls or horticultural oils.
Grapes should be pruned yearly because fruits only form on buds that arise from the previous season’s growth. There are various methods of training grapevines. Your preferences, space limitations, and the variety of grape you are growing will determine your trellis system.
Prune vines when they are dormant; in most of the country, that means very early spring, before any green shoots appear. In the south, grapes can be pruned any time.
Unless your soil is very poor, grapes, which are very deeply rooted, don’t require much fertilization. Where fertility is low, a soil test will determine whether you should add phosphorus or potassium. Grapes do not ripen off the vine, so pick them when they are completely ripe. Use a sharp knife or small pruner to cut the bunches. Bees and wasps may occasionally light on the grapes to feast on some sweet juice, so watch for them.
Your first planting of grapes may escape insect or disease attacks for a while, but eventually some trouble usually arrives. In humid areas, mildew diseases can be a problem.