Great California Fruit Trees
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Many experts believe that today’s Western landscapes should afford the rewards of tree ripened fruit; “an orchard in every yard,” is how one seasoned landscape professional termed this trend. Late summer, early fall is the perfect time to plant, allowing them to soak up heavy winter rains in preparation for a healthy summer crop. Fruit trees take up little space and provide abundant fruit for the homeowner’s table year after year. Most are available in standard, dwarf and semi-dwarf sizes to fit any garden. Many trees are self-fertile, meaning they do not require a pollinizer tree, so one tree is all you need to start an orchard.
Apricot 'Royal' ('Blenheim')
– Blooming earlier than other apricot trees, the ‘Royal’ produces an early and abundant harvest of succulent fruit. This is the most popular apricot tree in the world for good reason. Its rounded form and bright green foliage are brightened with loads of superb deep yellow and orange fruit to make this tree a showpiece in any landscape. Self fertile. Harvest: Mid-summer.
– The ‘Fuji’ apple tree is considered the finest apple to take the summer heat. This firm, sweet, juicy apple has excellent flavor and fine visual appeal. Introduced to the United States in the 1980s, ‘Fuji’ apples are one of the most delicious and beautiful modern apple varieties available. The ‘Fuji’ is a treat for fresh eating. Needs a pollinator. Harvest: Mid-autumn.
– The ‘Wonderful’ pomegranate is prized for its extra large juicy fruit that has an exquisite wine-like flavor. This lovely tree will grow up to 20 feet tall but can be pruned to a much smaller size or left as a sprawling shrub. ‘Wonderful’ is tops for loads of fruit, little work and little water. The gorgeous red fruit will last on the tree for weeks. Self fertile. Harvest: Early autumn.
– The ‘Hass’ avocado is a true California native, originally raised by Rudolph Hass in La Habra Heights in the 1930s. The medium-sized ovate fruit has a black pebbled skin, creamy texture and a rich nutty flavor. Unlike most fruits, the avocado does not ripen until picked so they can remain on the tree for quite a while. Self fertile. Harvest: April to October.
Fig 'Black Mission'
– This resilient and highly adaptable fig tree can be pruned to almost any size or shape, grown in a container, or trained as an espalier against a wall. The large distinctive leaves and stemfuls of large, pear shaped, purplish-black fruit are pure decadence. Self-fertile. Harvest: Late summer to fall.
– Considered the best all-around white peach, ‘Babcock’ is the standard by which all other white peaches are judged. White as snow, sweet as honey, the white-fleshed freestone ‘Babcock’ is judged best-in-class for its luscious flavor, tantalizing fragrance and novel color. Self fertile. Harvest: Early summer.
Plum 'Santa Rosa'
– The most popular plum tree, ‘Santa Rosa’ produces an abundant harvest of sweet, very juicy dark purple fruit. The plums have firm flesh, yellow to dark red near skin with a rich, pleasing, tart flavor. Delicious when eaten fresh, perfect for drying and baking as well. Self-fertile. Harvest: Early summer.
– This dependable, long-time favorite has an attractive red skin and intensely flavored yellow flesh. The heavy-bearing freestone ‘Panamint’ is the nectarine of choice for western gardens. Self fertile. Harvest: Late summer.
Feijoa sellowiana (Pineapple Guava)
Feijoa sellowiana (Pineapple Guava) – This versatile and attractive evergreen shrub produces a display of sweet, edible flowers from May to June that ripen to delicious pineapple-flavored fruit in the fall. Feijoas respond well to pruning and can easily be shaped to any desired form. This easy-care plant is perfect for containers. The kiwi-sized fruit is sweetly fragrant as it ripens. Scoop the soft succulent flesh with a spoon for a delicious tropical treat. Self fertile, but plant two for best pollination. Harvest: Mid-autumn.
– Great tree for fall foliage. Refreshingly sweet and crunchy best describe the colorful fruit of the ‘Fuyu’ persimmon. These trees are desirable for their ornamental form, hardiness and non-astringent fruit. This tree is highly decorative in late fall as the deep-orange fruit often clings to the bare branches of the tree long after the leaves have fallen. ‘Fuyu’ persimmons are best eaten out of hand like an apple. Self-fertile. Harvest: Late autumn.