Fruit Trees

organicmomma89(9)August 22, 2011

I have a space that's about 20 ft long by 10 ft wide (to the fence its a short 4 ft chain link fence that the tree can drape over)...

I want to plant 2 fruit trees but am unsure what would stay small enough.. i would prefer not to have anything over 10 ft but def not over 15 ft tall... this area get full sun from sunrise to sunset

I already have a Florida Prince Peach, Brown Turkey Fig, Meyer Lemon, and have found room for 1 or 2 dwarf mulberries (maybe you can tell me how large these get as well i was told 10ft tall at most but not sure about spread)..

Thanks for any ideas, thoughts, and suggestions : )

Oh and I'm Zone 9~ Tampa FL

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You might want to grow the Cherry of the Rio Grande. Small evergreen tree or large shrub with glossy green leaves which commonly grows to about 15 feet. It is a slow growing but very easy to grow tree and will make wonderful tasty red fruits in a few years after planting.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 10:06PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

I would go with plums.......trees will only grow as large as you allow them anyway. Plums are on my plan for this coming spring then i am DONE!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 8:39AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi organicmomma

Since you only want to plant 2 fruit trees, I would suggest that you plant some fruit that you and your family likes it. Because trees are expensive and take a long time to grow they are an investment of money and time. Try to find fruit that you can taste either in nurseries or fruit farms, every palate is different so what someone likes might not be your taste. I have a mini, mini orchard and you can keep any tree small with pruning. I have some in the ground and others in pots.
Also a variety is important, when you decide on the fruit that you want ask for varieties in the forum and you will get important feedback.
Good luck with your choices.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 9:53AM
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Lou: I was actually considering a cherry tree but for preserves, jams and pies.. the 2 types I was looking at were cherry of the rio and surnaime cherry.. what are the diffrences between the two??

Bamboo: do you need 2 plum trees to pollinate? My daughter loves plums so that would be good =: )

Silvia: I was wondering about apples, plums, cherry, jabiticoba, sugar apple and tea shrub

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 1:02PM
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Hi Organic Momma - I too am in the Tampa area and thought about plums for my yard. IFAS says that three plums grow well in Central Florida: Gulf Beauty, Gulf Blaze, and Gulf Rose. From my reading, you need two or more for pollination, confirmed by the website of Just Fruits and Exotics. On a separate note, perhaps a Mandarin Orange and Valencia Orange would be nice. I have both, and they are thriving. What a fun decision you have to make! If only I had more space, then I would plant plums and apples.

Here is a link that might be useful: IFAS - Plum Varieties

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 3:41PM
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I would stay away from surinam cherry unless you KNOW you like them. They can be very resinous particuarily grown from seed which most are. In addition, they are more cold sensitive than Cherry of Rio Grande (CORG).

As Lou suggested, CORG is a very tasty cherry-like fruit. Here is a picture of mine and note, I grow it more as a shrub then tree (about 4 yrs old):

Another tasty cherry-like fruit would be grumichma. They are very pretty plants I like the taste a little better than CORG:

Jaboticaba would be marginal for you, depending on exactly where in Tampa you live. I live in Zephyrhills and definietly have to protect mine, but they are very tasty and so its worth it for me:

As far as the peach goes, I do think you may be up for a battle keeping it under 10'. I know people say with summer and winter pruning it can be done, but mine seems to be quite vigorours, here's my 3yr Tropic Snow:

Others to consider would be Asian Persimmon such as Fuyu or Saijo, gulf plums (as suggested and yes you would need two, but the gulf plums are very very good), loquat, feijoa, avocado (cold hardy types like joey, brazos belle, mexicola), pomegranate....I find apples particuarily slow growing (I have anna and golden dorsett), so I have recently grafted two additional rootstocks to each cv trying the thread graft, we'll see what happens.

Hope that helps,


    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 7:15PM
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I'll put in a vote for a Brogdon Avocado. Weathers the cold well,self-pollinating and I like the taste. You should be able to keep it pruned to 15'.

Lou - I've been considering a Cherry of the Rio Grande. Do you think it would do well and produce fruit in a pot? I'm out of room in the yard.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 8:01PM
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It may produce fruit while in a pot but I would then suggest the largest pot you could find room for, like a 12 or 15 gallon pot.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:08AM
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well thank you all!
I'm thinking of growing cherry of the rio in a large 35 gallon tub out front as well as maybe a jabiticoba.. in the back space im thinking 2 plums

Here is a link that might be useful: Blog

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 8:08PM
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coffeemom(Broward z10)

Organicmomma89-I don't want to hijack your thread so could you please read my cast iron skillet post? I have questions. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 8:45PM
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Lou or others may have different results, but I do not find the CORG particuarily heavy bearing. There is also a large CORG in Tampa, about 25' (and is about 25 years old), and it bears a lot less than I would expect from a tree its size and age.

Both the grumichama and jaboticaba fruit much heavier.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 11:25PM
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