Zone 22 school orchard

slurrygirlAugust 24, 2012

Hi. I'm planting an orchard for a school in Inglewood, CA, Zone 22. Need to know the best kinds of fruit trees for the area. Want a mix of citrus, apple, stone fruit if poss. Is there a resource that lists fruit trees by zone? I've emailed Dave Wilson but haven't heard back. Any help would be great. Thanx.

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goyo626 S.Cal.8b/SZ20

The sunset website has a plant finder where it suggests plants depending on the zone you input.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 6:21PM
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You're probably borderline for a lot of the stone fruit and apples, so just make sure you choose varieties with low enough chill requirements that are still of reasonable quality. As for citrus, you probably have a wonderful range of possibilities... I would definitely vote for kumquats. They're productive, can have ripe fruit for much of the year, and kids usually love them... perfect for snacking on right off the plant.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:23AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Not borderline at all for stone fruit and apples. Tons of options. I'm in a warmer zone than you are. I'll give you some fun suggestions for the kids, that will give them some interesting fruit, that are easy to grow, and delicious to eat:

Any citrus will grow, just make sure any limes are closer to your buildings if possible, to avoid potential frost damage. For an orange I'd suggest Cara Cara navel orange. Pretty pink flesh, seedless, a little sweeter than the Washington Navel orange. TSeedless Kishu mandarin. The mandarin designed for kids. Small, completely seedless, and probably the best tasting mandarin out there. Oro Blanco pummelo hybrid. Very sweet "grapefruit" taste, without the bitterness. Good to teach kids how to like a grapefruit-tasting citrus. Meyer lemon. Slightly sweeter lemon (has orange in its background), very prolific, and makes fantastic lemonade. Bearss lime. Very prolific, large limes. Valencia orange. Opposite season of the Cara Cara, and your "juice" orange. Meiwa kumquat. Sweetest of all kumquats, each peel and flesh. Flesh is tart and peel is very sweet. Fun for kids since they're little.

For stone fruits: If you go to DWN's web site to the home grower page, you can find many, many low chill options. For apples, try Anna & Golden Dorsett for early apples (they cross pollinate each other and are quite prolific, as well very very tasty). For late apples, try Pink Lady and Fuji. Again, they will cross pollinate each other, and ripen in October.

For stone fruits, again, lots of options. I would definitely plant a Minnie Royal and Royal Lee cherry (cross pollinators for each other). Very low chill cherries, will produce very well in your area and are outstanding. Spice-Zee Nectaplum is fun. Low chill, pretty burgundy leaves and delicious fruit. Self-fruitful. Blenhiem or Goldkist apricots are both great choices for low chill apricots. Plant it with a Flavor Rich aprium and you'll get a slightly different interspecific taste of an apricot/plum cross. They will both be more productive as they will cross pollinate each other.

For plums, I would pick a Dapple Dandy pluot, a Flavor Supreme and a Santa Rosa plum. The Dapple Dandy and the Flavor Supreme are known as the "Dinosaur Egg" pluots because they're dappled green and purple (the Dapple Dandy is more purple, the Flavor Supreme is more green), the kids will love it. Plus, you'll have pluots from June through August. The Santa Rosa plum is a great plum and the cross pollinator for the Dapple Dandy & Flavor Supreme.

And lastly for stone fruits, the Stark Saturn flat (Peento) peach. Self-fruitful, and they're flat! The kids will love that. The pit just pushes out of the middle. Very sweet and mild. Ripens in June.

I would also think about a fig tree too, Panache is fun because it's striped and very sweet. And, if you can build a nice arbor, try growing Jupiter grapes.

Hope that gives you some options! Let us know how it goes, and be sure to post photos.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 11:43PM
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Fantastic options! Thanks so much -- the students will love it!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 2:45AM
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