Rapid growing fruit trees? Citrus?

rahlquist(7 GA)April 4, 2006

Ive got a gorgeous 4 yr old daughter who is a fruit nut! She loves the stuff. Ive got plenty of yard with varying sunlight conditions and would like some suggestions for planting. What fruit trees do good here other than peaches (she is alergic to them of all things!)? She will eat just about any fruit. Plums, apples etc, but I would liek to find something that I could get bearing gruit in a year or two if possible so I am guessing I'm going to have to find a tree farm?

How about citrus? Some have told me its just too cold here for them to survive in the winter. I live in the Villa Rica/Carrollton area and we had many many days this winter below freezing. Is there any citurs that would survive this? I'd love to grow some lemons and/or oranges and possibly some lime.

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rlhicks(7b Commerce GA)

I just loggod on to inquire about cold-hardy citrus, and your post was at the top of the board. Now that's weird.

I've heard conflicting things about hardy citrus from both personal accounts and stuff I've found on the Internet. Take these two pages for example:



As I have no personal experience to compare with the various claims, so I'm baffled. I would greatly appreciate hearing from anyone with actual direct experience with "hardy" citrus North of zone 8, especially if any variety produced truly edible fresh fruit.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 11:34PM
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We can certainly grow trifoliate orange but the fruit is so bitter, I'm not sure it counts. It's a lovely bush though.

I've had great success with fig trees and 'small fruit': blueberry bushes, raspberry and blackberry canes, strawberries. If you act quickly you could put strawberries in right now and have berries in June.

I've had very little success with the 3 dwarf apple trees I planted, they're just not happy here :( My peach trees are doing really well though, so maybe I'll try plum next. I put in persimmon & a pomegranate bush last fall, they're all still too young to tell if they're happy or not.

One other idea-- passiflora incarnata, the maypop vine, has beautiful flowers, is mostly evergreen, grows vigorously in our climate, is native, and will put out delicious if slimy fruit right away.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 9:14AM
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I know you want instant gratification in fruit that bears within two years of planting and that is commendable and that means you must buy grafted plants. When I recommend fruit I no longer mention peaches or apples because of spraying requirements but I will suggest some fruits for Georgia and let you decide: For persimmons there are Asian and American. You can get seedless and non-astringent types like Jiro Oriental persimmon and you can get seedless American persimmons like Golden Supreme which are astringent until fully ripe. Pawpaw is an excellent fruit tree. Be sure to buy a named cultivar which will be a grafted variety and it should bear in a couple of years. 'Sunflower' is a good one. Pineapple guava is perfectly hardy and produces a delicious fruit bigger than a plum that you peel and eat. You can also eat the flower petals that have a sweet minty taste. Mulberries are like blackberries that grow on trees and no thorns. A few varieties are Illinois Everbearing, Geraldi, and Issai. You might also want to consider a jujube tree which has a small fruit with a single seed that tastes somewhat like an apple although not as juicy. Picked from the tree they have one taste, allowed to fall from the tree they develop a different taste. An Oriental pear would be nice and you can find trees with four different varieties grafted onto one tree. I have found that the maypop fruit mentioned in previous post tastes best if left on the vine till it shrivels and turns brown. You eat seeds and all and it then tastes just like its tropical cousins. Your daughter may also enjoy some of the small salad type tomatoes. Blueberries are a wonderful fruit and I would recommend at least planting three bushes of different types. You want enough for you and the birds. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 11:15AM
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Eddie, have you had experience growing pineapple guava here, or the jujube? I've read about them and they sound great but I've heard the pineapple guava is only marginally hardy here so I've hesitated to try it until I found someone local who could vouch for it. The jujube sounds delightful, but that too I haven't been able to find one at a local nursery.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 11:40AM
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Jennifratrix, You're in Athens and may be a degree or two warmer than me, I don't know. I do know that Walter said we are now in zone 8. Evidently the USDA climate zone has changed again without everybody finding out. Yes, the pineapple guava is perfectly hardy here. If you saw my Edible Landscaping presentation you would see a slide of a pineapple guava covered with snow. This picture was taken 8 years ago and the plant still lives. The ones that bear the most fruit are the ones in full sun like the ones in my brothers garden/nursery and also at Callaway Gardens. At Callaway the fruit was all over the ground and was being ignored by staff and visitors so I filled a paper bag (lunchbag size) full to take home. Don't tell anybody. I don't know who tells this stuff about them being marginally hardy here. Get some and get started growing them. By the way, I have paid a dollar apiece for the fruit in the store. Jennifratrix, you should know you can't always get what you want at a local nursery. That's like going to MacDonalds and ordering a sirloin steak medium well. They just can't carry everything so they sell to the masses. There is nothing wrong with ordering these wonderful plants and others over the internet. Before I list the sources I want to tell the original poster, rahlquist that the only citrus that has a chance (and is edible) with may be kumquat and satsuma. Now here are some excellent fruit sources:
www.nafex.org North American Fruit Explorers
www.crfg.org California Rare Fruit Growers
For nursery sources: (use google to search for URL)
Sherwoods Greenhouse, P.O. Box 6, Sibley, LA 71073 send sase
Hidden Springs Nursery, Rt. 14, Box 159, Cookville, TN 38501
Northwoods Nursery, 28696 Cramer Rd., Molalla, OR 97038
IsonÂs Nursery
One Green World
Edible Landscaping
Nolin River Nursery

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 6:47PM
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rahlquist(7 GA)

Wow eddie and everyone great tips! How about grapes? Do any tolerate the temps here?

Bluberries are one of my favorite fruits but I have zero knowledge of growing them. Are they rather self contained or will it take a serious effort to confine them to one particular area? We have an abundance of deer and bunnies (along with fox coyotes and wolves) and I imagine the deer and bunnies would want a nibble too.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 7:19PM
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Eddie, thanks! Now I can't wait to put some pineapple guava in the ground. Edible Landscaping's got some, I see. I don't mind mail-order in theory, I just prefer to look at a plant before I buy it. Athens-area specialty nurseries like Goodness Grows, Piccadilly Farms and Thyme After Thyme usually indulge me in having high-quality and unusual varieties so I've gotten spoiled.

Are you going to do another Edible Landscaping presentation? Color me curious :)

Rahlquist, blueberries are really easy to grow! They won't get invasive. There are two crucial elements: you need to give them the right kind of soil, for one, and make sure that if they haven't gotten a good rain each week that you thoroughly water them. Twice a week watering (if it doesn't rain) would be a good idea until they're established. Their roots are fine and near the surface so they're not very drought tolerant. As for the soil, it has to be acidic but fortunately that's easy to do. Dig your future blueberry bed up, get rid of most(half?) of the soil and replace it with peat moss or composted pine bark, then plant your blueberry and mulch it well with pine needles or pine bark. Then you will have a happy blueberry bush. Once in the spring and once in the fall, fertilizing with Hollytone will make it even happier. I've never had problems with deer or bunnies or even bugs eating them, and if the birds get a few, they've left plenty for us.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 9:01PM
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I have a couple of dwarf citrus trees in big pots. They come inside for the winter.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 10:01AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

I am on a hunt for a tree for a neighbor. Replacing (another) holly, and they want an evergreen fruit-bearer.

I pinged the Atlanta Fruits group about this today as well, and I keep hearing "pineapple guava!" from several people. I was concerned about the reported invasiveness of this.

I'm curious - anyone currently viewing here @ GW have any suggestions about fruit trees that will manage to hold the majority (or all) of their leaves during the winter?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 3:31PM
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I have a "patio plant" mango that has tiny fruits on it already.

I have grown pineapple guava for many years. It fruits OK if winter stays above 10º.

Figs seem to do good here; some of my neighbors grow them.

I believe that there are Pomegranates that will fruit here, but I don´t know the cultivars.

As for citrus, check this out:


One winter it stayed above 20º and the following season I had a few Loquats.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 3:39PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

10ºF is well below freezing. Does your pineapple guava keep its leaves throughout the year?

We have a brown turkey fig already, but for all of my friends with figs, the tree loses its leaves in the winter. This is the main concern - keeping green foliage through the winter is #1 priority. Fruiting is a perk that would really be appreciated. Size is another factor - no shorter than 10', no taller 25' is preferred.

I know that's probably not much to run on. Oh yeah - these are to be planted in the 30312 zip code. Not sure if that helps or not, but it's literally ~3.5 miles from the capitol building as the crow flies (very close to the "heat island"). We still get snow and ice storms occasionally, though.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 5:50PM
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i if would like to know about growing citrus here in ga my soil is red clay.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 12:35PM
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kngskid(Georgia zone 7b)

I won't suggest what you should plant but I will tell you that my local Pike Nursery on Roswell Road often stocks mature fruit this time of the year. I have purchased a few of their trees that had thick trunks(much thicker than my mail order trees) and the trees produces a small amount of fruit the year after planting. 2011 will be the second year and from looking at the buds, looks like I will get more fruit this year than I had last year.

Pike had large Jiro Persimmon trees and others two weekends ago.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 2:59PM
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Cold weather citrus info- http://www.justfruitsandexotics.com/Citrus.htm
Kumquat- http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/kumquat.html
Kumquat- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumquat
Satsuma Mandarin- http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/fruit/satsuma.html
Satsuma Mandarin- http://www.floridata.com/ref/C/citr_ret.cfm
Calamondin- http://www.geocities.com/verymad_scientist/
Calamondin- http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/calamondin.html
FRUITING SCHEDULE-http://www.growquest.com/Fruit%20trees%20-20better%20plant/citrus%20harvest%20times.htm
I also grow persimmons, pomegranate, strawberries, Rhubarb, Avacado's, a dwarf banana tee, and a dwarft apple tree I got from Michigan bulb(5th yr )and I aso do patio blueberries, and a American Hazelnut tree.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 1:55PM
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greyghost61(8b SoWeGa)

What kind of avocados do you grow klmqiroz? I am looking for some Mexicola and Gainsville to go with my Brogdon. Are yours in the ground? If so, to extent do you protect them?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 10:43AM
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What I'd like to know is, we got a lemon and lime cutting we grew into trees and bought a grapefruit tree at Lowes a few years ago. They all bear fruit. We gave them in the largest pot we could find and have brought them in every winter. They seem to be getting root bound and I would like to plant them in the back yard if they will still bear fruit. We are in Mcdonough, about 20 or so miles south of Atlanta. Any experience or suggestions appreciated.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 7:11PM
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railroadrabbit(7b - Atlanta)

I'm near Stone Mtn. and have success with
Figs (cuttings root easily)
Thornless blackberry & raspberry (cuttings root easily)

I got blackberry from Lowes. Fig cuttings from neighbors. Blueberry from Growers Outlet (they also have fig).

Growers Outlet was supplier to Home Depot, but now sells during Spring and Fall at their own location in Loganville. Note that their Availability Page is a good reference, but sometimes they sell out of some items quickly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growers Outlet

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 12:57AM
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What I'd like to know is, we got a lemon and lime cutting we grew into trees and bought a grapefruit tree at Lowes a few years ago. They all bear fruit. We gave them in the largest pot we could find and have brought them in every winter. They seem to be getting root bound and I would like to plant them in the back yard if they will still bear fruit. We are in Mcdonough, about 20 or so miles south of Atlanta. Any experience or suggestions appreciated.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 8:25AM
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As far as I know, the chances of them surviving unaided is zero. if you plant them on the south side of the house and cover them/use lights/water barrels when the temperatures drop at night,they should be okay. That's a lot of nights though. Average low in January in Atlanta is 34,and 30 degrees starts to kill lemon flowers and fruit. Plant damage starts after that. Limes are even more cold sensitive.

I know I won't be that disciplined, so I have a citrangequat and Meyer lemon instead.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:07PM
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