Best place to live - All different fruit trees

love_to_plantApril 16, 2009

I am finishing up training in a few years and I have to move out of Michigan. I have built a passion for growing herbs and fruit trees. Does anyone know the best place to live or the best advice if I want to grow and fruit, all different fruit and nut trees, e.g. apple, cherry, almond, walnut, peach, olive, mango, medjool date, fig, citrus?

Perhaps someone out there is living my dream and can tell me how they did it.

I understand this may not be possible with both stone fruits and tropicals.

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Northern California.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 5:26PM
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bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

I lived in Lebanon where all these trees grow at once. Many mediterranean countries can grow all fruit trees successfully. Dates are best suited for coastal areas or the semi arid regions.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 6:03PM
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alan haigh

The Sierra foothills south to north in line with Bakersfield to about Fresno.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 6:23PM
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Harvestman nailed it.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 6:59PM
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thanks. it would be nice to know if anyone out there has done it before

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 8:41PM
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I have lived in Michigan, France, Italy, California, and Brazil. You can not grow all those thing in a single backyard. If you live in Fresno, yes, you can have dates, but to have apples you have to drive up to 5000 ft elevation.
There is just no zone overlap.

I don't see the need for it either. Starting in Zone 7 you can have fresh fruits 6 months a year, in Zone 9 and upward, 9-10 months a year. If I were still living in California, say around Bakersfield, I probably would not grow apples, even though here in MI I probably eat 1000 apples a year, and love them. Things are best in their optimal fruiting range. I do agree that dry climates are generally best. It is hard to establish trees, but then disease pressure is low.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 10:09PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

There's a reason CA is the number one fruit state in the nation. By itself, it produces half the fruits and vegetables grown in this country. Florida is second place and only grows less than 10% of fruits and vegs. CA is about the only place in the U.S. that has a truly Mediterranean climate. My understanding is the Central valley gets almost all its rain in the wintertime. Summers are warm and dry. This is a perfect climate for fruits. No fruit cracking, few fungus, little insect pressure. No wonder most of the organic folks come from CA. They live in one of the few places that can grow stuff organically.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 11:03PM
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"...but to have apples you have to drive up to 5000 ft elevation."
I'm not sure where glib heard THAT, but that's simply not true. I have about 20 kinds of apples on my multi-grafts, and I'm in Sacramento, elevation 25 feet. In fact, applenut on this board gets apples in the DESERT. I would say apples are about the easiest "classic" fruit to grow anywhere (as opposed to, say, pluots!) Now QUALITY is another matter--some apples do well with heat, and others need cold to develop good flavor.
I would extend harvestman's line, north to about Yuba City, because that area grows all kinds of things. I don't think dates would do very well, but I might be wrong about that, because I know of one person growing dates commercially on the other side of the Sierras, near Lone Pine.
But anyway, as far as apples, here is a link to growing apples in warm climates:

Carla in Sac

Here is a link that might be useful: Warm climate apple growing

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 12:27AM
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alan haigh

I wasn't suggesting that you'd be able to grow dates or even mangos- one's for deserts the other the tropics. My brother lives in hawii and grows lots of fruit but his figs aren't so hot (not enough chilling) and he doesn't grow stonefruit or pomes. There is no one site where temperate, tropical and dessert fruit can be satisfactorily grown without a greenhouse. Of any site I know, the Sierra foothills would be best for variety and quality. The central valley is too hot for lots of what I like to grow and in fact I believe that as Sonoma county went to vinifera and the area around Silicone Valley went to development california's stonefruit quality went steeply down hill. That's why pluots are so popular- they can take the heat of the more interior valleys without baking on the trees.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:44AM
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Interesting discussion. This is going to take a lot of research. I could easily get a greenhouse, but I could also settle for growing classic fruit or tropicals.

Could figs, olives, apples, citrus easily grow in one place?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 7:39PM
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hey i know the place:-) It is Serbia, there you can grow apples, pears, plums, grapes, peppers, watermelons, cherries, quinces, apricots, nectarines, rasberries, currants, cantalope, almonds, walnut, filberts,
Slivovitza (plum brandy) and zillion more things.

I miss my Serbia!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 8:47PM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

Could figs, olives, apples, citrus easily grow in one place?

They all grow easily here in north county San Diego along with a bunch of other stuff.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 9:24PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Southern California... The state grows almost everything... I'd go down towards San Diego and grow Cherimoya, along with every citrus i could and stonefruits of all types... Wisconsin sucks! (i have a hard time getting peaches to fruit).

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 9:50PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

"Could figs, olives, apples, citrus easily grow in one place?"

Yes, We have all of them here, although our apples are limited to about 3 varieties that are for the warmest winter climates. and of course we grow wonderful Medjools.
Medjools and cherries are at the two wild opposite extremes of your list for growing climate. In my stubbornness I tried cherries... twice... and I can say with confidence, you can't grow cherries here.
Medjools will only grow and produce a crop in the extreme heat of our area and the deep southwest corner of Arizona (Yuma).
But, most of what you listed in your first post will grow here. Best are Dates like Medjool, pomegranates, olive, fig, citrus (except for limes), pecan, and some exotics like mango and jujube. There are good varieties of peach, apricot, and plum, apple. With some extra effort, almond, and walnut too (need some attention to getting enough chill). But again, if your want dates, this is the place, the eastern half of the Coachella Valley (Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Indio, Coachella, La Quinta)
hope that helps

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:23PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

I think many commercial growers do a fine job with dates, especially if you pick up some while visiting the Coachella Valley or somewhere similar. My favorites are the little round ones. Can't remember the variety name.

Home growers may want to concentrate on fruits where "home-grown" makes a big difference.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 2:40AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)


Do you know which varieties of apricot grow well in the heat of the Coachella Valley? Heat causes pitburn in some varieties here in the Central Valley. There are also some varieties that don't get enough winter chill here.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 2:53AM
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Just throwing out another option to the already mentioned California: Northern New Zealand

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 9:20AM
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Buy a strip of land in Puerto Rico that starts in the lower elevations and extends into the central mountains. I think I heard, when I lived there, that apples were possible at the higher elevations, and I had bananas and coconuts in my back yard in a suburb of San Juan. Good citrus, pineapple, weird fruits you never heard of too. Plus its a US commonwealth for the time being, not that New Zealand doesn't sound good to me!


    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 9:44AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I think Iran can also grow a wide variety of fruits... I watched a PBS special and they went to the north of Iran and the climate went from arid wasteland desert to tropical paradise... There is a strip up there along the Caspian that is very wet and humid...

Another mention would be along the Himalaya...

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 10:35AM
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before Silicon Valley was Silicon Valley, it was the Valley of the Heart's Delight - where apple, pear, nuts, stone fruit, citrus and flower farms reigned supreme. All the old factories were drying and canning operations. My mom's old house (built in 1958) had a two-story orange tree and was surrounded by old cherry and walnut trees left over from the orchards that were there before the housing development was built. And yes, we get ZERO rain from May until October. Low humidity in the summer, and cool nights in the summer when the offshore breezes come in around 4:30pm.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 1:19PM
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As many have said you want to look at California. Anything below 800ft elevation and relatively close to the coast.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 4:46PM
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alan haigh

Below 800 ft elevation? I say head for the hills, at least for the temperate climate fruits. Maybe 2 to 4 thousand feet although some of you californians probably have it down more specifically. I did most of my CA fruit growing around Malibu in Topanga Canyon but moved east 25 years ago.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 5:04PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

Gardening was great in San Diego, I had several successful apples, but the one that really performed was Ein Sheimer developed in Israel. It had wonderfully flavored applesauce even from small green ones. The citrus was really nice since it ripens in winter and early spring when the other fruits are not around and the acidic peel protects it from raccoons and opossums which decimate other fruits.

Now I live in the PNW which should be wonderful for stone fruits but is not since there seem to be a lot of very bad diseases. Several stone fruits grew, fruited wonderfully, then declined over several years and died. Of my 5 cherries, most bloom but don't set fruit, I only got fruit from one last year. Peaches don't last more than a few years for me. But apples and pears do great here. I really miss the citrus fruits, though. The direction I'm taking now is native and unusual fruits, like mulberry, persimmon, Paw Paw, and a few figs. And this is a great place to grow blueberries.:-P

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 5:44PM
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