Fruit Trees for Fort Worth, Texas 7B

water0125April 4, 2010

We are moving to a new house, which is going to have some sun!! I am excited to plant some fruit trees, since our old house is very shaded. I need some suggestions.

A little about our new yard. Seems to have pretty good drainage. There is an area of the house that will be a little more wet, but its also the shady part of the yard. We do have a couple of large trees, but a couple of large areas of pretty close to full sun. This is a neighborhood lot, so we don't tons of room. We just finished building the house, so, besides the current trees, we can design our landscape however we like.

A little about us as gardeners. I have two small children, so time is limited. We are not the most vigilant about pruning, spraying, etc. I would prefer trees that are very low-maintenance. I'm also thinking that I would prefer dwarf varieties (just read about Dave Wilson's website and wondering if it matters if I choose a dwarf, if I prune it. but that also goes back to the low-maintenance issue!).

Here are the ideas that I have so far:

*Figs: I have already started some cuttings from a neighbors plant that gets no extra water or care and has great fruit.

* Persimmon: Would prefer an astringent variety. Can't decide between american and asian. I saw that there were some dwarf varieties.

* Blackberries: Currently, have Navaho and Arapaho at old home. Thinking of getting some Navaho for new house. Any other fav varieties?

* Mulberry: I saw the weeping female dwarf mulberry. Looks interesting -- anyone have experience with how it fruits. Also, looking at the Geraldi dwarf.

* Blueberries: Thinking about putting these in pots at the corner of the driveway turnaround.

* Elderberries: Have no experience with these, but they sound interesting. How much pruning is involved. They look like they have beautiful foliage also.

* Pomegranates: Currently have a wonderful at old home that has not fruited after 3 years. Looking at a sweet variety. I think that our pom has been evergreen, but had some work done in yard and they guy cut the pom down a bit. Can't remember now if it was evergreen. If anyone has one locally, has yours been evergreen?

* Jujube/pawpaw: Don't know much about them, but they sound low maintenance. One has thorns, right? Might not be interested in anything with thorns.

* Pears/peaches/plums: Love these traditional fruits. But want something low maintenance. Ideas on good cultivars?

Whew! What a list! Thank you so much for input!



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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


My number one recommendation would be Eureka persimmon. It's the only fruit I've got that buds late enough that it never gets spring frost damage. I never have to spray, thin, or prune. Needs nothing but water and a little mulch at the base. I do cover the fruits with nylon footies to deter the birds. That's all and I get extremely high quality fruit every year. The tree is only about 8ft tall by 6ft wide planted 2004.

You can get one next year from Womack's Nursery De Leon TX. They are done shipping now.

For blueberries try Star and Legacy. They should bloom late enough outdoors to miss frosts. Or try other varieties that need about 400-600 chill hrs. Rabbiteye bloom later but I don't have much experience there.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 9:08PM
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As far as elderberries are concerned, most people just go out into the wild and collect the berries, but a few people grow them purposely. From what I can tell, the main canes are cut to the ground between 3 and 5 years of age, when they stop producing an abundance of fruit. They apparently don't like an extremely fertile soil and seem to do well in wet areas where some other stuff may not grow.

Elderberries are used to make teas, jams, jellies, pies, a cough syrup, fritters, wines, and the seeds seem to be used as a laxative.

I remember my father use to collect elderberries and make a great jelly with them, and I use to make an elderberry and muscadine wine with them. I also bought some elderberry jelly at the local grocery store recently, and it was good.

American Elderberries are said to be the best tasting, but some of the European elderberries have better foliage. There are several named varieties of both, as well as a red variety that isn't very edible.

Pomegranates: I'm in Florida, very similar climate to fort worth I believe, although you probably get a bit colder and hotter than us. Anyway, we use to have a wonderful pomegranate here, and it took probably about four years to produce fruit. Each year after, it probably quadrupled the amount of fruit. The tree or shrub, whatever you want to call it, eventually formed a thicket about 8' around, and it probably had as much as 300 fruit on it every year, when something happened to it (flood? late spring freeze?) and killed it off.

Now, I've had another wonderful in the ground for a few years, and it hasn't even flowered yet. I just planted a 'white' this year too. 'Wonderful' apparently isn't a good selection in humid or wet climates.

Persimmons: Asian persimmons are usually larger than American persimmons and come in dwarf varieties, as well as astringent and non-astringent. Tanenashi is not a dwarf, but it is a fairly large persimmon and is definitely worth having for the size alone. Persimmons are subject to early fruit drop the first few years, fruit drop from excess nitrogen, and fruit drop probably due to soil that's too fertile.

I have had a tanenashi for awhile and use it for both fresh eating and to make persimmon breads and cakes.

Peaches: if your area is too wet, peaches will just die. I've had to plant mine in raised beds, and so far, so good. Otherwise, give it a try.

Pears: there are a few pears recommended for fort worth: ayers, warren, magness/hood, and Orient. You may also be able to try harvest queen, shinko, and any pear that will grow in Florida, like seckle, improved kieffer, baldwin, carnes, flordahome, pineapple, tenn.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 9:35PM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

i'll second womack's as a great source. anything they sell should do well in ft worth, they're your neighbor. good web site too

for jujube's, another of your neighbors has a good website; jube's really easy, but will sucker into flowerbeds if within 25ft or so

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 2:35PM
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I lost my post from earlier today! Thanks for the info. Do you think its worth it to look for a eureka from another location that will still ship? On jujubes, never tasted one -- do most people who have tried jubes from your tree like them?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 12:14AM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

if you get the right jujube, they taste pretty good right off the tree; but they only keep a few days for me. good varieties are li, sugarcane, honeyjar, contorted so. they all have some thorns, & watch out for the suckers; but they dont take any care at all. some jujube's are meant for drying, the lang doesnt taste very good fresh.

eureka persimmons can be kinda hard to find

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 11:15AM
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Yes, I agree -- the eureka persimmon is rather hard to find. I'd found so many sites with persimmons that I thought I would be able to find it easily. But, not so! I called Womack to see if they had any left that I could purchase directly, but they don't. Very sad. Might really have to wait until December!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 12:12AM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

there's a couple places in ga that say they have it, but stay away from them! goodness knows what you might get.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 3:28PM
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I'm guessing that you mean TyTy and Aaron's. Read the info and not buying there. I'm thinking about buying a few things from Edible Landscaping. They have the Star & Legacy blueberries. One Phil's Sweet Pom. One Dwarf weeping mulberry -- I really think that the Geraldi dwarf would be better, but I just have my heart set on that weeping form! A jewel black raspberry for my MIL. And some Jersey Knight Asparagus. I think that I'm going to look at Green Mamas and Redentas for maybe a peach or pear or plum. Still want some blackberries and figs, but think that I'll take some cuttings and try from what I already have.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 8:19PM
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I am looking for a larger variety of asian persimmon source for sion wood.suruga is one of them.I understand that there are tons of asian varieties available. the universities in Cal.have a lot of them but hard to get dormant sionwood. Do you know where? I appreciate it much!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:50AM
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Just thought I would come back and update this thread! I think that I bought some of this stuff in late 2010, but I don't know definitely. I have notes from 2011.

Ozark Premier plum from womack: growing great, no fruit yet.
Redglobe peach from womack: growing great, fruited last year. less than a dozen peaches with good flavor.
Orient pear from womack: growing great, no fruit.
Eureka persimmon from womack: dead. my fault. transplanted in the heat of summer last year and it didn't make it. hadn't fruit yet.
Phil's sweet pomegranate from edible landscaping: growing great. had two poms last year. very sweet, very little tartness. minimal hard seeds.
Jersey knight asparagus from edible landscaping: growing great. harvested a few spears last year. already growing this year.
Grapes from lowes: hit or miss on how well its doing. bought flame red, thompson red and monukka.
Weeping mulberry from edible landscaping: growing. probably didn't trim properly, as its still very low. fruited last year and can already see fruit now. fruits were very edible (I was concerned that it might be more decorative). i would say sweet.
Illinois everbearing mulberry: growing slowly. moved it last year, so it might be a little shocked. did get a handful of fruits last year.

At my previous house, I had both navajo and arapaho blackberries in slight shade. They both grew. The navajo berries were superior in sweetness to the arapaho. I have chosen to put in some navajo at the current house.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Oh, forgot to mention that I do have a fig tree. From a cutting from a neighbor's tree. Probably a celeste. Expect to get figs this year.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:23PM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

All are good choices, they should do well for you


    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:37PM
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The list of fruit trees you have is good, but I don't particularly like Mulberry trees. I have had too many problems with the birds eating them and having purple droppings all over my truck. I've cut down several of them at an old house I had.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:51PM
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