Fruit trees zone 8

Fruit Trees For Zone 8 – What Fruit Trees Grow In Zone 8

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.

Growing Zone 8 Fruit Trees

There is a wide range of fruit trees for zone 8. Here

we are able to enjoy fresh, homegrown fruit from many of the common fruit trees such as:

  • Apples
  • Apricot
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Plums

However, because of the mild winters, zone 8 fruit trees also include some warmer climate and tropical fruits like:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Bananas
  • Figs
  • Lemons
  • Limequat
  • Tangerines
  • Kumquats
  • Jujubes

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.

Best Fruit Tree Varieties for Zone 8

Below are some of the best fruit tree varieties for zone 8:


  • Anna
  • Dorsett Golden
  • Ginger Gold
  • Gala
  • Mollie’s Delicious
  • Ozark Gold
  • Golden Delicious
  • Red Delicious
  • Mutzu
  • Yates
  • Granny Smith
  • Holland
  • Jerseymac
  • Fuji


  • Bryan
  • Hungarian
  • Moorpark


  • Abaca
  • Abyssinian
  • Japanese Fiber
  • Bronze
  • Darjeeling


  • Bing
  • Montimorency


  • Celeste
  • Hardy Chicago
  • Conadria
  • Alma
  • Texas Everbearing


  • Ruby
  • Redblush
  • Marsh


  • Li
  • Lang


  • Nagami
  • Marumi
  • Meiwa


  • Meyer


  • Eustis
  • Lakeland


  • Ambersweet
  • Washington
  • Dream
  • Summerfield


  • Bonanza II
  • Early Golden Glory
  • Bicentennial
  • Sentinel
  • Ranger
  • Milam
  • Redglobe
  • Dixiland
  • Fayette


  • Hood
  • Baldwin
  • Spalding
  • Warren
  • Kieffer
  • Maguess
  • Moonglow
  • Starking Delicious
  • Dawn
  • Orient
  • Carrick White


  • Methley
  • Morris
  • AU Rubrum
  • Spring Satin
  • Byrongold
  • Ruby Sweet


  • Silverhill
  • Changsha
  • Owari


  • Dancy
  • Ponkan
  • Clementine

Quick is a relative term, especially when it comes to fruit, but what we’ll generally boil down to is in this article is some form of production in three years or less. While three years is certainly longer than it takes to grow some green beans and tomatoes, in the scheme of creating a perennial food forest that will provide for years to come, it’s nothing. What’s more, with this bunch, there is the possibility of great sprawling trees for shade, well-maintained hedges for fences, clambering ground covers, and heavy-yielding grasses towering in the soggy spots.

Obviously, what can be grown depends largely on the climate one is dealing with, but the following list will stretch through temperate, cold and warm, as well as the tropics. It will provide a variety of fruits, large and small. We’ll talk a lot of berries and take the occasional sojourn indoors for possibilities with fruits unaccustomed to colder environs. The point of all of this is that, within a mere trio of years, the world around you could be bearing a multitude of delicious, nutritious fruit. Who wouldn’t want that?

1. Mulberries

Video: Illinois Ever-Bearing Mulberry

Mulberry trees, of which there are many varieties, are a popular permaculture choice because the yield tends to be incredibly large, and the trees are well suited from USDA Zone 5 to 9. Some varieties will start providing fruit within the first couple of years. The white mulberry can be over 20 meters high, a canopy tree, and the lifespans of some varieties can move toward 300 years.

2. Peaches

Peaches are also viable from USDA Zones 5 to 9, and they are relatively short-lived trees with productive lifespans being around a dozen years. Peach trees can grow up to eight meters but should be pruned to around five if possible. For smaller spaces, dwarf varieties—reaching about two meters—are widely available also. They can bear harvestable fruit as early as two years after planting.

3. Nectarines

Again, nectarine trees work in USDA Zones 5 to 9 and begin providing a harvest after two years. Essentially, nectarines are peaches, cared for the same way, with a gene that makes them smooth rather than fuzzy. They are self-fruiting, and dwarf varieties can work in containers.

4. Lemons

Lemon trees would be a great asset to have in any garden, as this fruit provides such a boost to our recipes. Unfortunately, they prefer a warmer climate, something in USDA Zone 9 or hotter, unable to deal with frosts, which puts them out of range for many of us. Luckily, there are many dwarf varieties, particularly the “Meyer” lemon, that grow fine in containers and can be moved in and out as the season dictates. They go dormant at 12.5 degrees and can start to produce—in the right conditions—in three years.

5. Limes

See lemons. The same basic rules apply. “Bearss” limes are one of the more familiar varieties and grows to be about six meters of tree, tall and wide. “Kaffir” limes are an Asian variety well respected for its aromatic leaves, which are also used in cooking, and it can be pruned to stay around three meters.

6. Mandarins

Mandarins (we’ll stop with the citrus here, though they could all be on this list) are such a delicious fruit, easy to deal with and available in dwarf varieties for those in climates that’ll need moveable trees. Grown from seed—easily possible—this tree can take up to seven years to produce, but grafted trees can provide some harvest within the first two to three years. In general, citrus trees need at least five or six hours of sun a day, like slightly acidic soil, and don’t require pruning to produce.

7. Figs

Video: Easy Fig Propagation for Permaculture Income

The Chicago Hardy fig can actually endure chills found in USDA Zone 5, but the majority of other fig trees prefer something between Zones 7 and 11. They are known as easy fruits to grow and will also work in containers for colder climates. They can grow into 8 meter trees or be pruned to operate more like fruit-producing bushes. Despite being an easy tree to grow, they do require four or five years to really start bearing fruit.

8. Papayas

Papaya trees (actually a perennial herb) are fast-growing producers with short lifespans; however, they start providing fruits within the first year, so they are well worth the trouble. They’ll grow readily from seeds of fruit bought at the local market, and they are hungry, thirsty trees. Unfortunately, these are limited in the zones (10 or warmer), with no tolerance for frost, but there are dwarf varieties out there for container gardens and greenhouses. Do watch out for GMO papayas before using one for seeds.

9. Grapes

Grape vines are easy to grow, and there are many cold-hardy varieties, working in such frigid spots as Minnesota and Canada, for those in colder areas. They are great plants for giving shade in the summer and letting sun in throughout the winter. They can provide viable fruit harvests in about three years, but they require annual pruning to produce well—on new growth—each year.

10. Raspberry

Raspberries are a rangy choice, possible from Zones 3 to 10, and they readily multiply once they take to a location. They will start bearing fruit in their second season. Not only are they delicious, but they are very healthy. Like grapes, these will need to be pruned back each year to get good production from them. They—like many berries—can be trellised to make great productive garden borders which work as fences, wildlife habitat, and a perennial food source.

11. Blueberry

Blueberries are the go-to acidic soil solution, working just fine in the mulches of pine trees and conditions of pond edges. There are varieties that grow well in Maine (USDA Zone 4), and others that can survive the heat USDA Zone 10. Blueberries have very few issues with pests and disease, and they freeze well for storage. They’ll start to give a harvest at two or three years old.

12. Blackberry

Video: Invasive Permaculture – Aggressive Blackberries

Blackberries are much the same as raspberries, with possibilities for patches in Zones 4 through 10, and their maintenance is much the same, trimming back to 6-12 canes per plant and getting fruit off second year canes, which then die out. They produce in abundance and will replicate themselves with abandon if not tended to, a task that luckily isn’t so intensive if one stays on top of it.

13. Strawberry

Strawberries are yet another great fruit that yields quickly, but rather than hedges and borders like the three berries listed above, strawberries stay low to the ground and act as a cover. They grow well on hugelkultur beds and will happily spread out when left to their own devices. Again, these guys work throughout the US, Zone 3 to Zone 10, with a plethora of varieties to choose from. They will produce in the first year, but sage-like advice says to pull the buds off in year one and go for a better harvest in the second.

14. Gooseberries

Once the subject of fast fruit gets on to berries, there are a lot of avenues to take. Gooseberries are another good option. They grow to about a meter or meter-plus high and wide, and stems from one to four years old can be relied on for fruit. Some varieties are said to hardy into Zone 2, and these are plants that prefer a little shade rather than full sun. For those who’ve not had them, gooseberries are something between a grape and their close relative: the currant.

15. Serviceberries

While the last five berries have not been on trees, like the mulberry, serviceberries are trees, and they have beautiful white flowers to add to their value checklist for inclusion in a food forest. They survive from Zone 2 to 9 and aren’t too particular about soil, though heavy clays can cause some drainage problems. They are a good understory tree with a tolerance for partial shade. They are members of the rose family and related to peaches, plums, cherries and crabapples.

16. Honeyberry

Honeyberries — a Russian native, also known as Haskap—are included on this list because of their cold tolerance, which is insane to the tune of -48 C. They are early spring fruits from the same family as honey suckle, though with a two and a half centimeter berry that is compared to everything from a blueberry to a kiwi. They are easily rooted from dormant cuttings and produce fruit in the first two or three years. These plants are best suited to Zone 2 through 4 but can be lovingly cultivated all the way to Zone 9.

17. Currant

Currants come in a wide array of colors: red, pink, white, and black. The red, pink, and white are actually the same variety, with varying degrees of albino in them. The black are slight different but beloved through Europe for their unique flavor. They operate much the same has gooseberries and are usually included in the same care profile, though their fruits are much smaller and tend to come in bunches of up to 30 small berries. Jostaberries, yet another choice, are a hybrid of black currants and gooseberries.

18. Goji Berry

Video: Growing Goji Berries

Also known as wolf berries, goji berries have become a very popular superfood of late, due to their high levels of antioxidants and amino acids. They work in containers. They work in Zones 3 through 10, are drought tolerant, and tolerant to shade. They might give a little fruit in the first year, but they will provide in the second.

19. Banana

Moving on from trees, shrubs, and canes, we re-enter the world of giant herbs (as we saw with the papaya), the popular fruit here being bananas. Bananas are crazy thirsty and hungry and work really well alongside mulch pits or in banana circles. They aren’t too keen when it comes to extremes in temperature, especially the cold, which makes them impossible for many of us. In the right conditions (tropical), bananas can produce within a year. In colder places (Zone 6), careful, more energy-intensive cultivation is possible.

20. Plantain

Plantains are the starchy sibling of bananas, with much less sweet (until they turn black). When green, they can be fried crispy like a chip. As they move into yellow, they can be caramelized in a pan or griddle for a nice side dish with breakfasts. The blacker the skin, the sweeter the fruit becomes, but unlike bananas, they can last well into the skin going totally black. These take a little longer than bananas to yield (about two years), but they enjoy the same growing conditions.

Header Image: Serviceberries (Courtesy of RichardBH)

Buy Texas Flowering Trees, Nut Tree, Shade Tree, Palms, Fruit Trees, Grapevines, Berry Plants and Bamboo Plants

TX Zone Map

Texas is a very large State, and that makes it difficult to identify which trees will be best to plant into your landscape, vineyard or orchard. With the helpful information provided by Ty Ty Nursery, your decision will be much simpler. It is important to know exactly which USDA plant and tree survival zone you are located in (see the map above). It is not advisable to plant Texas fast growing trees in USDA climate zones 6 or 7, because the deposits of lignin and cellulose that are contained in the cell walls are reduced when the cell walls enlarge rapidly and elongate, so the these insulating chemical compounds are produced in a fast growing tree or plant, and the tree may be dramatically injured or killed during a sudden temperature snap in the middle of winter. Many botanists recommend planting a slow growing tree to avoid these problems that may occur in Zones 6 or 7.

The Official State tree of Texas is the native pecan tree and the Texas State shrub is the crape myrtle tree, and both plants are native to Texas. Pecan trees will grow and produce nuts in the Texas cities of: Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Texas is known as being the largest producer of native seedling pecans in the United States. In the cities of Lubbock, and Corpus Christi the native seedling pecan trees can be found growing everywhere as a nut producing tree and also as an excellent shade tree.. Our pecan trees are all hybrid pecans and grafted on cold hardy Curtis pecan root stock. The American black walnut tree and the English walnut trees are well adapted to the alkaline soils of TX. and the Thomas black walnut tree is a grafted tree that often will bear walnuts the first year of planting. The almond tree is well adapted to the dry areas of Texas and is very productive of high quality almonds that mature during the late summer. The American filbert tree is native to the State, like the American Chestnut tree that has been hybridized as a blight resistant tree. The Chinese chestnut tree is very well adapted to grow in most soil profiles in Texas.

Texas Fruit Trees

Ty Ty Nursery offers a wide selection of fruit trees suitable for the Texas USDA climate zones. Some of these Texas fruit trees include grafted apple tree, peach trees, and Japanese persimmon trees. When planting grafted fruit trees in Texas, it is very important to keep in mind that there are important pollination requirements for each tree, and some trees and plants require cross pollination and others are self fertile. This Texas tree and plant pollination information is easily accessible with our user friendly website or by calling toll-free 1-888-811-9132.The Texas Star Banana Tree is a very cold hardy banana, surviving down to minus l6 degrees below zero degrees in Wichita Falls, TX., in 1983 record freezes, and is the only one of the banana trees cultivars that can be grown in all USDA zones of Texas.

The Texas Everbearing Fig tree and the Alma Fig trees are two very successful fruit producing trees to plant in Texas. The Chicago Hardy Fig tree and the Tennessee Mountain Fig trees are the most cold hardy fig trees to grow in all areas. Other popular Fig trees to plant are the Black Mission Fig, the White Italian Fig and the Green Ischau Japanese fig trees.

Ty Ty Nursery also grows and offers a wide variety of berry plants for Texas, for example Rabbiteye, blueberry bushes, Texas red raspberry plants and blackberry plants, even mulberry trees. Berry plants such as a blueberry bushes are easy to plant and maintain for home orchard production or commercial plantings year after year. Enjoy those grocery store savings when planting blueberry plants in Texas.

Muscadine and Scuppernongs are two hybrid grapevine plants that are just right for Texas cultivation, and the grapes are so sweet that you will be unable to stop eating them right off the vine during the summer. Muscadine grapevines and Scuppernong plants are the grape vines of choice for Texas vineyards, because of the vigorous growth of the native American Muscadine grapevines and genetically possess a resistance to disease.

There are wide variety of nut trees that are well adapted for Texas such as, almond nut tree, walnut nut trees, pecan trees, TheTexas hazelnut tree and chestnut trees are both native American trees that grow favorably throughout the State.. When planting nut trees in Texas, keep the pollination requirements in mind, and call the friendly staff at Ty Ty Nursery who are always available to help you in choosing the perfect nut trees for your Texas orchard planting.

Best Texas Shade and Flowering Trees

Some gardeners might be looking for other trees that will grow and thrive in Texas, like flowering trees, shade trees, and shrubs. Lower your home cooling costs during the hot summer months and plant Texas adapted shade trees near your house.

Brighten your landscape with Texas recommended flowering tree and shrubs. The Redbud tree is a native TX flowering tree, will add early beautiful spring color to any yard, as well as from the white, red or pink dogwood grafted trees. The Japanese, pink, Kwanzan cherry tree or white,Yoshino flowering cherry trees are some of the most important trees to plant for early spring color. The white flowering “Aristocrat” pear trees begin blooming in early spring, along with the fluffy white, flowering plum tree and the multicolor flowering peach trees. Flowering crabapple trees form fluffy early spring flower with a delicious fragrance, with colors of white, red and pink, and some crabapple cultivars form red leaves. Some of the flowering crabapple trees will produce small fruits that wildlife animals love, and the tree is an excellent pollinator for all apple trees. Purple or white wisteria trees are very fragrant, and the blue or pink wisteria vines are a fast climber, even reaching the top of the tallest pine trees. The Southern Magnolia trees, Magnolia grandiflora, along with the dwarf Little Gem Magnolia tree are evergreen flowering trees that are covered with huge white flowers that begin appearing in May and continue until the fall. The Sweet Bay Magnolia tree, Magnolia virginiana, is a creamy flowered landscape native specimen that grows well in very wet areas with fragrant leaves and blooms. The Japanese pink saucer Magnolia flowering tree looses its leaves in the fall, and in the early spring, the trees are filled with spectacular large aromatic flowers in a variety of colors, purple, white and red, and there is a rare yellow flower color almost unobtainable. Magnolia trees are not only wonderful flowering trees, but they are one of the best shade trees for Texas gardens. Crape Myrtle trees have become one of the favorite flowering trees that begins flowering in June and continue until fall, a period when very other blooms can be seen. The new dwarf crape myrtle trees are fully colored like the “True Blue” crape myrtle tree, the “Black Diamond” crape myrtle and the “Yuma Purple” The dwarf crape myrtles only grow about 6 feet tall. The common “Dallas Red” crape myrtle is brilliant red, the “Natchez white” crape myrtles and the “Miami pink” can be seen in many Texas gardens. The Paulownia tree, also called the dragon tree and the Princess (Empress) tree is a very fast growing flowering tree, but the wood is soft and is said by the US Forest Service to be a weedy tree. The Chaste or Vitex tree blooms in colors of blue, white and purple with a pleasing fragrance. For very brilliant yellow flower colors, the Cassia senna tree blooms in fall when not much else is flowering and the Golden Rain tree is covered in early summer with golden giant clusters of delicate blooms that are transformed into Chinese-like lanterns that persist on the tree until the winter. The Oleander flowering tree is one of the best selections in zone 8 and 9 to plant in Texas, since the oleander tree is tolerant of alkaline soil, drought stress, growing in full sun, heavy pruning and a great resistance to salt water, being widely planted at Galveston, TX., Houston as a privacy hedge, especially useful to plant in long rows along interstate highways to cut out noise and wind flows. The Oleander plant is literally covered with flowers for 9 months in colors of Firestarter red, white and pink, and then there is a dwarf apricot oleander that only grow about 6 feet tall, as contrasted to some of the other yellow or purple oleanders that grow up to 25 feet tall. Camellia flowering trees are long blooming shrubs tha can begin flowering in the fall and continue into the winter and spring.

Texas bamboo plants grow as an excellent privacy screen from Houston, Dallas and North to Wichita Falls, Texas, and this fast growing plant thrives in deep, wet organic based soils and survives in the intense heat of San Antonio and El Paso, Tx into Northern Texas at Amarillo to survive below zero temperatures because of its cold hardy characteristic, of even minus 20 degrees. The exotic colored poles of the Texas bamboo plants ranges from blue to yellow and reflective black-green, waxy coverings.. The woody canes of the bamboo plants can grow fast into giant clumps that can form a hedge 50 ft. tall in Texas in the warmer areas that block out intrusive noises and car exhausts. The bamboo plants form hedges that stop soil erosion in a hurry. You can order your Texas bamboo plants from Ty Ty bamboo Nursery ( can be shipped fast to your home at anytime during the year.

Many types of palm trees will grow in Texas, however, in the coldest zones, 6 and 7, the best cold hardy palm trees to plant are the Windmill Palm tree, Pindo Palm tree and the Needle Palm trees. The new hybrid Mule Palm tree has been cleared to grow in zone 7 though 9, and this is the fast growing palm tree for cold hardy climates.
There are many Shade trees that will grow well and cut your power bills in the summer. The native Red Maple tree, the American Elm tree and the White Oak tree are very good shade trees. The Bald Cypress tree, the Ginkgo tree and the River Birch trees turn brilliant gold in the fall, and the evergreen Southern Magnolia tree, Magnolia grandiflora and the dwarf Little Gem Magnolia trees not only are good shade trees but they produce enormous fragrant flowers of white, beginning in May that bloom continuously into the fall. For Texas gardeners who like shade trees with very large leaves that grow fast and develop into huge trees, the native Sycamore tree would be a top choice, especially for the brilliant yellow leaf change in the fall. The Japanese Magnolia tree produces giant pink flowers as large as a dinner plate in the spring, also being a good shade tree. The evergreen Loblolly Pine tree and the Slash Pine are fast growing shade trees, and the Loblolly Pine tree is planted in rows by many homeowners as a privacy fence to block out noise and car fumes. The Longleaf pine tree is a slow growing pine that grows into monstrous sizes that will grow in warmer zones of TX. The Weeping Willow tree, the Tulip Poplar trees and the Thornless Honeylocust tree are very fast growing shade trees. The Sourwood tree, the Sweet Gum tree and the Ginkgo grow into some of the most brilliant leafy displays of fall color. The Lombardy poplar tree is considered to be the best of the fast growing trees and has been known to grow in excess of 10 feet in the first year of transplanting. The Lombardy poplar tree is popular to plant as a fast growing privacy fence or an excellent windbreak in the Western States. For those people who like to enjoy fall brilliant leaf color, the Sour Wood is spectacular for a long period of time as the color cascade proceeds to unfold and glow.
For bird watchers, animal lovers and hunters, the preservation of stable wildlife food sources is important in Texas. The Kieffer pear tree grow a late fall crop of hard pears that are slow to ripen and drop to the ground, much like the American persimmon trees that are a favorite hangout for trophy deer and game birds. The Chickasaw plum trees and other native fruit trees like the crabapple tree and the red or black mulberry tree begin ripening their fruit and berries that develop a pungent aroma and the scent attracts most wildlife birds and animals as the fruit drops underneath the trees. At the row crop edges of farm fields grow many full sun food plants like the Brazos blackberry plant escapes and the dewberry vine whose thorns protect small game animals and birds from predators that stalk them, and the bramble plants are food of ripening berries that attract quail, pheasant and doves. Strawberry bushes, elderberry bush and autumn olive trees are loaded with abundant berries and fruit for wildlife animals to feast upon. The turkey oaks trees, Gobbler oak trees and the white oak trees provide huge acorn crops and mast for wildlife animals to eat intermittently during the year. The fast growing sawtooth oak trees can grow several feel in a single year and begin throwing off acorns when only 5 years of age.

Find Texas Trees

We look forward to providing Texans with the best Texas trees and plants. We do offer a complimentary 1 year guarantee on plants, shrubs, trees that we sell to Texas or any other State. Texas Trees are shipped at the best planting time, and all deciduous trees are shipped dormant, but evergreen trees (banana, olive, palm trees, etc.) are shipped all during the year.. For any questions about our website simply call 1-888-811-9132 and speak to professional, knowledgeable, phone operator at Ty Ty Nursery, who will be able to answer any questions and help you select to the perfect plant you are looking for.

Texas Agave Plants, Yucca Trees, Aloe Plant

For most landscape gardeners in Texas, Agave plants, Yucca trees and Aloe plants are familiar in the landscape and also to indoor dish gardeners. Agave plants are native plants to the U.S., and especially to Texans who see them growing in the desert landscape as plants that required no special care or attention, no fertilizer, water or protection from pests. Agaves such as the commonly known, ‘Century Plant’ A. americana, grows almost anywhere, and the striped, variegated form Agave americana ‘Marginata’, is dramatic in the landscape or when containerized to grow near pools or in dish gardens. The Agave attenuata is called a ‘spineless agave’ and is absent any thorns, spines or terminal pricks. The agave plant leaves are thick and fleshy and the Agave tequilana is grown in Mexico to ferment into an alcoholic beverage, tequila. Yucca plants can grow into small trees and the Joshua Tree that is also called the Yucca Palm Tree can live for a thousand years and is armed with dangerous tough, woody leaves with terminal spikes. The Joshua Tree, Yucca brevifolia, was named by the Mormans and grows into an enormous specimen with large clusters of white flowers in the spring. The Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’ is a beautiful variegated plant that is drought resistant and dramatic when grown as a container specimen. The Yucca rostrata is very prickly and armed with thorns, spikes and tough skin that is cold hardy in all Texas areas and grows into huge yucca trees. The Red Yucca, Hesperales parviflora, has long filamented peeling leaves that from the center of the plant sends up a flower stalk topped by orange flurry of flowers, and the leaves turn red in the winter and then revert to green in the spring. The Aloe vera plant is an excellent medicinal plant with beautiful spotted leaves that produce a beautiful spike of orange flowers in the spring, and the sap of the leaves is excellent to treat burns, bee stings or scratches for quick healing.

Unusual Fruits

Unique, one-of-a-kind picks for your homescape.

Rare Fruit Trees delivered right to your door: Our Unusual Fruits aren’t found at big box stores or other nurseries because they’re truly one-of-a-kind and unique, often growing naturally in exotic, far-away locales. Now, you can have these special picks in your own backyard.

What are Unusual Fruits?

Typically tropical, Unusual Fruits are unique, one-of-a-kind selections that may not be native to your area. From the Carolina Reaper Pepper to the Paw Paw Tree, these exotic plants make your garden extraordinary.

How to Grow Unusual Fruits

Specific planting directions will depend on the variety you choose, but you should start with determining your proper growing zones (or plant indoors). The most important factors for your Unusual Fruits, like with most plants, are sunlight and watering needs. Again, tailored instructions will depend on the variety you choose.

But planting your Unusual Fruits is simple. Find an area with well-drained soil and the proper sunlight, or select a container large enough to accommodate the tree’s root ball, place your plant and backfill the soil. Finally, water the surrounding soil to settle your plant’s roots and mulch to conserve moisture in the area.

How to Pollinate Unusual Fruits

Most of our Unusual Fruits are self-fertile, but for those that need a cross-pollinator, we’ve recommended the best pollination partners on each specific product’s page.

With indoor trees, hand pollination may be necessary. However, the process is easy: Simply transfer pollen from one bloom to the next on your tree by using a clean, dry, fine-tipped paintbrush and swirling pollen on each bloom’s center until the process is complete.

Which Fruit Trees Grow Best in Zone 8?

pommes variété royal gala image by Hubert Isselée from

Zone 8 is a mild climate and, as such, is very conducive to growing a number of fruits. Zone 8 is primarily in the southern and western United states. Low temperatures in this zone are usually between 10 and 20 degrees F. In mountainous areas listed as zone 8, some fruits, like pomegranates, do better at lower elevations and may not grow well higher up. However, by looking at your available space, you can often find varieties that will work in the particular space in zone 8 that you have available for fruit trees.

Bing Cherries

cherries image by robert lerich from

The Bing cherry, or Prunus avium, is one of the most common cultivars of cherries. Bing cherries will grow well in climate zone 8. Bings require full sun and soil that drains very well. The color of Bing cherries range from an almost garnet red to nearly black. Bings can grow to nearly 20 feet tall on standard root stocks and can reach almost 15 feet in spread. Bings are a sweet cherry that are good for eating right off the tree or for cooking and canning. In some areas, you may need to net the tree to keep birds from eating some or all of your harvestable fruit.

Ambrosia Pomegranate

pomegranate image by Lani from

Ambrosia pomegranate, or Punica granatum, also grows well in climate zone 8. Ambrosia pomegranate’s are among the largest of the pomegranate family. Ambrosias do well in almost any soil, but do best in deep soil that drains well. This variety of pomegranate has a pale pink skin with a purple juice that is both sweet and tart. If you are planting a new pomegranate, prune new suckers to only allow the main trunk or leader to mature. Young pomegranates have a habit of putting out a lot of suckers as they establish.

Gala Apples

gala apple image by Stephen Orsillo from

Although a number of apples will grow in climate zone 8, Gala apples are a popular variety that does well in this zone. Galas have a red to orange color, often with yellow stripes. They are generally crisp, juicy and have a tart sweetness. Galas are good eaten off the tree and also good for cooking and canning. Galas tend to ripen early in the season, so are often one of the first varieties of apple ready to eat or harvest. Galas were, according to Virgina Apples, developed in New Zealand in 1934.

Tree Fruit

Planting Tree Fruits

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Stone fruit – peach, cherries, plum
    apricots, nectarines
  • Figs
  • Tree Fruit Problems
  • General Disease and Insect Pest Control Recommendations
  • Home Fruit Preventative Spray Schedule
  • Fruit Thinning
  • Planting
  • Pollination
  • When to Spray Fruit Trees (bud development)
  • Why Prune Fruit Trees?

Photo credit: Suzanne Klick

Growing tree fruit successfully in the home landscape is challenging and potentially rewarding. Tree fruits are subject to many problems (insects, diseases, weather extremes, wildlife) which can frustrate the novice grower and seasoned gardener alike.

If you intend to grow organically, start out with small fruits such as blueberry and blackberry. Tree fruits, especially apple and peach, are more prone to diseases and insect pests than small fruits. Fig, Asian pear, and Japanese persimmon are the tree fruits with the fewest pest problems. Learn more about growing fruits organically.

If you have the space, desire, and commitment to grow tree fruits consider these points before selecting your cultivars:

  • Consult with neighbors who grow fruit. Which trees and varieties grow well in your area?
  • When possible, select varieties that have resistance to diseases you are likely to encounter.
  • Avoid fad trees like the “5-in-1” apple.
  • “Container” varieties tend to be disappointing.

Most tree fruits suited for the mid-Atlantic region are botanically grouped into two categories: pome fruits and stone fruits. The pome fruits comprise apples (Malus) and pears (Pyrus) and share many cultural similarities and pest problems. Likewise, the stone fruits—peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, and cherries (Prunus)—share cultural similarities and pests.


The old adage “you get what you pay for” holds true when buying fruit trees. Bargain plants may not be healthy or may be a variety not adapted to your area. Buy trees of recommended varieties from a reliable source. A list of suppliers can be found on page 7 of publication (PDF) HG 69 Getting Started with Tree Fruits.

  • Order your trees during the winter and have them delivered right before you’re ready to plant in early spring.
  • Be sure that you understand your suppliers’ terms, return policy and guarantees.
  • Fruit trees should not be an “impulse purchase” even though trees can look tempting at the nursery or big box stores.
  • Most tree fruits are grafted onto a separate rootstock that is hardier and more pest resistant than the root system of the desired cultivar. Rootstocks may also dwarf the tree. Make sure that you know the precise rootstock that your tree is grafted to.
  • A healthy one-year-old tree or “whip”, approximately four to six feet tall with a good root system, is preferred.
  • Trees that are two years or older frequently do not have enough buds on the lower portion of the trunk to develop a good framework.

When Your Trees Arrive…

  • Check the label closely to make sure that you are getting the variety and rootstock that you desire.
  • Call the supplier if trees appear stunted, poorly grown, diseased, or insect injured.
  • If the plants can not be set out immediately: wrap them loosely in a plastic bag with some holes cut for ventilation and store them at a temperature just above freezing. Surrounding the tree roots with moistened sawdust, shredded newspaper or peat moss will prevent them from drying out. You can also plant your trees in a temporary trench of moist soil in a shaded location (this is called “heeling in”). Pack soil around the roots to eliminate air pockets and prevent root drying.

    Can I Grow My Fruit Trees From Seed?

  • Yes, you can. But you will probably be pretty disappointed with the results. Tree fruits, especially apple and pear, are genetically complex. So, trees grown from seed will not be true to the variety- their fruits will look and taste different from those of the parent tree. Most temperate fruit tree seeds need special treatment- moist, cool conditions- to germinate reliably. Furthermore, most of our supermarket fruits are shipped from distant states and are not adapted to Maryland conditions. Saving and planting such seeds will lead to poor results.
  • Fruit trees are propagated vegetatively; they are grown from tissue taken from a known variety and are often grafted onto special rootstocks. There are many advantages to buying a young disease-free tree from a reputable nursery:

    • They will be true to cultivar.
    • They will bear more quickly than trees grown from seed.
    • The rootstocks that fruit trees are grafted onto in the nursery can make the trees more compact, disease and insect resistant, cold hardy, and precocious (bear fruit more quickly).

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