Best Fruit Trees to Plant in Los Angeles?

eggalinameggalina(southern c.a.)October 27, 2010

I was wondering what are the easiest, most fruit bearing trees to plant in Southern California. I just put in a dwarf avocado and I also have two figs, a pomegranate, lemon, lime, and orange. Do you think its wise to try apples or peaches? The citrus trees seem to have a lot of different maladies, while the figs seem to be thriving on their own. Thanks!!

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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Apples or peaches you need a no-chill variety and apples are the most pest-prone fruit trees there are. Peaches you need to dormant-spray every year for leaf curl. What about strawberries? Not a tree, but they're easy and much tastier grown at home.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 2:22AM
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Persimmons need very little care, once established most trees produce abundant crops with little fertilizer.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 5:55PM
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Pomegranates fit that category too. Plums are so abundant that they can become a nuisance with all the fallen fruit. I'm not sure about the pluot and aprium crosses' resistance to disease, but I'm considering one of those. No chill pears and Asian pears are a possibility too. Grape and kiwi vines are worth considering, grapes sprawl but kiwis can be trained upward into a large shrub form

Here is a link that might be useful: Dave Wilson Backyard Orchard

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 10:05PM
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You can ignore the chilling hours on apples, as they will all bear for you. But for trouble-free fruit, Anna and Dorsett Golden bear before most of the pests show up and give heavy, reliable crops annually. Anna especially is great for fresh-eating and makes killer pies.

Fuyu persimmon is pest and trouble free, and also bears very heavy crops of tasty fruit annually.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 10:43PM
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The four guava trees I got here in Torrance thrive in full sun. When I had passion fruit vines, they did very well in full sun.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 10:58PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Pineapple guavas are easy, pretty, and productive. Loquats are yummy and very pretty landscape trees, too.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 1:02AM
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If you totally easy and care free, I would consider Loquats, Persimmons, Lemons, Avocados (some are easy, some are not), Figs (super easy... in fact, weeds in a way), many species of Passion vine, Concord Grapes, Grapefruits, Kumquats, Bananas (these require some removal, support and replanting, but pretty easy). These are so easy hardly any watering or worry needed. I find the stone fruits to be more of a hassle and less likely to make a good crop without extra care and battling of the pests.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 9:32AM
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I can go to almost any store and find good and inexpensive apples, pears and citrus, especially if I go to farmers' markets, co-ops and roadside stands. Including getting pretty good organic stuff. I know I can't grow that stuff any cheaper or better in my home orchard. Yeah, I know that avocados are often obscenely pricey in markets but there's a truck on the side of the road not far from here that's selling "local, organic avocados" 5/$1.00! Plus, I don't know anyone who eats all the avocados from their mature backyard tree.

I'd rather grow things that I can't find easily or cheaply. I think a home orchard in California should grow the kind of stuff we do so well in home gardens here: apricots (inc. apriums), European plums, cherimoya, Chilean guava, Mexican guava, Strawberry guava, pineapple guava, figs, sapote, cactus fruit, jujubes, loquat, black mulberry, pomegranate, chestnuts, and persimmon.

A whole wealth of exotic fruit hybrids that the commercial people haven't caught onto yet: nectaplums, peach-plums, and a gazillion nicer pluots/plumcots.

And some exotic citrus: citrangequats, limequats, orangelos, and tangelolos.


1 Like    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 12:32PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Cherimoyas are delicious. I had a friend in Camarillo who grew them, but I have never seen one in Simi Valley. I think it's too dry for them here. Otherwise I'd grow them.

I have been unable to purchase peaches, nectarines, or apricots that taste anything like the ones grown at home, so I think these are good choices for a backyard garden. My neigbors have apricots on one side and peaches on the other, so we grow nectarines. Works perfectly.

I love my avocado trees because I can give avocados away for half the year. Avocado trees are a great way to win friends and influence people! Loquats do not work as well.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 4:58PM
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I know this has been talked about before, GG1950, but how do we frost-free coastal LA gardeners get past the chilling hour requirements (like the ones I linked at Dave Wilson's site) for stone fruit? Any thoughts on fungal-resistant hybrid plumcot cultivars for the coast?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 2:49PM
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Don't bother trying to grow high chill hour fruit. There are many low chill fruits able to frost free gardeners, cherries included.


Totally agree with you, grow the stuff you can't get in the store, or is to expensive. I grow more then half the list you mentioned.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 10:57PM
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On the one hand, I think we make too big a deal about "chill hours". Only because most of the fruits that we can grow in California (coastal, inland, wherever) aren't impacted by the concept. There's literally hundreds of Mediterranean and Subtropical fruit that don't need nor want "chilling".

On the other hand, if you do stick with those fruits that supposedly need it (most pomes and stones), get the cultivars that are suited to your chill zone. I say that as a recommendation to beginners or those who simply want a dependable fruiting tree. Many will suggest that "chilling" isn't a viable concept and that gardeners should grow any kind of apple or cherry or whatever. Fact is, even those who suggest that admit that you can't be guaranteed a good crop ever year.

dicot: as for coastal plumcots, have you tried 'Flavorella' or 'Flavor Grenade'? And do you have a 'Santa Rosa' plum for a pollinator?


    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 11:54AM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

Try a Papaya, doesn't take up much space.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 3:48PM
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socalgal_gw Zone USDA 10b Sunset 24

I'm in USDA zone 10, Sunset zone 24 - have seen frost once in 20 years. I successfully grow Anna apples, Monterey pears, Santa Rosa Plum (weeping) and several low chill peaches: May-pride, Mid-pride, Florida Prince, and Bonanza II (a dwarf tree with full size peaches). The troubles I have had (lots of fog during the summer) are peach leaf curl, apple scab, powdery mildew (on the apple), some fireblight on the pear, and some sort of fungus on the plum and peaches late in the season.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 7:42PM
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where is the best place to get these exotic fruit trees?

It's not like the variety at my local Home Depot is that extensive.

Do you recommend any place?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Chill hours are hours below 45 degrees, not below freezing. Anna apples do well, even near the coast. My sister grows cherimoyas and mulberries in Costa Mesa, and many of my nieghbors grow guavas. If you want stone fruit, the Dave Wilson chart will tell you which varieties need the fewest chill hours. You can ask your local chapter of California Rare Fruit Growers for suggestions. I just planted nectaplum and aprium, because I decided to get something I couldn't easily buy in the store.

Here is a link that might be useful: Planting Fruit Trees

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 11:58PM
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Check out the Papaya Tree Nursery website for the truly exotic stuff. Alex Silber, the owner, will answer questions via email and is often at local CRFG meetings. San Gabriel Nursery in San Gabriel has good trees though I haven't really looked for the exotic stuff there. Ditto for Green Arrow in North Hills

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 4:50PM
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My Santa Rosa plum died from root rot since I posted, so I give up on stone fruit near the coast. A Mexi-lime or more grapes is next on the list.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 10:03PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Go with grapes. New citrus pests on the way.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 11:34PM
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Weeping Santa Rosa for Sunset 24? I am in 23 and was told I would never get fruit. Those are beautiful trees and supposed to have superior flavor. How much fruit are you getting in 24? I might try it if you get reliable results.

I grow Fuji and Pink Lady apples with success as well as Tangerines, strawberries, Santa Rosa plum, Pomegranate, fig and blueberries. Blueberries take lots of water and special soil. I grew bananas very well but you have to cut down the stalk that just made fruit and it is very heavy and full of water. It was a pain to dispose of it and I didn't have the room to let it lay there so goodbye bananas.

Across the street are two date palms that make dates in abundance every year. They aren't the tall kind you see in Palm Springs. They look very pretty and the dates are high quality.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 11:18PM
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