Recommended Fruit Tree Varieties for OK

Okiedawn OK Zone 7February 14, 2009

Since the topic of which fruit trees do well in OK often comes up at this time of year, I thought I'd list some of the ones usually recommended for our state. Some of these are fairly easy to find in home centers and big box stores but for other less common ones, you'll need to go to a full-service nursery that has a good variety of plants.

And, just because a fruit tree variety is sold here does NOT mean it will produce fruit here. So, before you buy a specific variety, do your research and know what you're buying. It is never a good thing to rely only on what you read on the little tags on the trees because they are not specific to Oklahoma. So, here's some of the fruit trees commonly recommended for OK:

APPLE:

Lodi

McLemore

Gala

Jonathan

Delicious (Red)

Liberty

Freedom

Arkansas Black

Golden Delicious

Braeburn

Fuji

APRICOT:

Tilton

CHERRY:

Early Richmond

Kansas Sweet

Montmorency

Northstar

Meteor

Stella

FIG:

Texas Everbearing (aka Ramsey)

Brown Turkey

Celeste

NECTARINE:

Earliblaze

Red Chief

Sunglo

Redgold

PEACH:

Candor

Sentinel

Redhaven

Reliance

Ranger

Glohaven

Nectar

Cresthaven

Autumn Gold

Quachita Gold

White Hale

Starks Encore

Fairtime

PEAR:

Moonglow

Magness

Maxine

PERSIMMON:

Early Golden (American)

All the other persimmons are Oriental varieties:

Huchiya

Fuyuguki

Tampopan

Tanenashi

PLUM:

Methley

Bruce

Ozark Premier

Stanley

Bluefre

President

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OklaMoni

Dawn, where did you get your list from, for?

Is it for the WHOLE state?

Moni... who would love a fig tree. ;)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 8:59AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Moni,

I'll find the OSU list, which has other fruit like vine and brambles on it too, and link it below. It is a general list for the whole state. Obviously, it would be easier for me to grow figs here in zone 7B whereas someone in 7A or 6B might have to be a little more careful with site selection and mulching, but figs are doable anywhere in OK I think.

You CAN have fig trees even in Edmond. Many well-mulched, somewhat sheltered fig trees grow perfectly well in zone 6, and some zone 5 gardeners report limited success with them as well. Even when/if figs freeze to the ground, they rebound quickly and almost always make a crop that same year.

I'll go find the link now and attach it below. And, I didn't even mention jujubes, which most people here probably have never heard of/grown/eaten, but I am going to plant a jujube tree if I ever find one in a nursery!

Happy Growing,

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: OSU Fruit Growing Guide

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 9:09AM
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OklaMoni

Oh, Dawn, I actually got that. I just wondered.... you know, you have such an abundance of knowledge... that sometimes I am in total AWE over it.

Thanks

Moni

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 9:36AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Moni,

As I keep saying I'm just an old dirt gardener who likes to read and learn, and sometimes I even manage to apply when I learn to the garden. : )

I love, love, love, love figs. Our next door neighbor in Fort Worth had a brown turkey fig. They were magnificent gardeners with a huge veggie garden, a greenhouse, fruit trees and the most gorgeous (but simple and not over-done) landscape area. I think I learned a great deal about gardening from them....just by being around them when I was very small.

Whenever someone wants to plant a "tropical-looking" garden, I always suggest fig trees because their foliage looks tropical to me, even though it isn't.

If you google, you can find the name of the fig that does well in zones 5 and 6. For some reason I think it has Chicago in it somewhere, but that could be a memory malfunction on my part. : )

Park Seed has a dwarf black fig in their catalog, but I don't remember if it is hardy to zone 7 or zone 6.

Dawn

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 12:28PM
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mulberryknob

A friend gave us a start of a fig that I think may be Brown Turkey maybe 20 years ago. Here in Adair Co we get a good crop only about every third year, but we gave up pampering the thing years ago. It got too big around to wrap and cover as we did at first. And we don't always get much of a crop when it freezes back to the ground, which it did totally in both 07 and 08. I think we ate 6 figs in 08 with a dozen still green on the bush when the first frost took them out. In a good year we've picked a hundred or so.

You didn't mention my favorite apple which was the last of our four original apples to die a couple years ago. We planted a Jonathan, a Yellow Delicious, an Arkansas Blacktwig and a Winesap 25 years ago. The Arkansas Black succumbed to borers during a period when we weren't paying enough attention to the orchard, the Jonathan went next. DH cut it down after spraying it three years for some sort of disease that rotted the apples on the tree. It was my least favorite as it ripened too early to suit me and had to be processed at a time when I was busy doing other things. The yellow delicious had a totally different flavor (Better) than any in the store and I loved it for drying. Then finally the Winesap went, one...branch...each...year...until there wasn't anything left.

We replaced the Winesap and Yellow Delicious with semidwf instead of standard, and also got a Fuji and a Liberty also semidwf. Love the Fuji, not so fond of the Liberty. Will add a semidwf Arkansas Black. Not only is that a delicious apple, sweet-tart like Winesap, but they ripen in late Oct early Nov and keep in a cool shed until January, even longer in a crisper in the frig.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 11:37PM
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pistolp

Can somebody tell me if I should even try to grow the trees below in Stillwater?

1) Fig (Celeste) - planning to plant it between the house and the fence on the south side of the house - to protect it from winds.

2) Persimmon (Fuyu or Hachiya) - do these require a pollinator? Are they hardy enough for Zone 6-7?

3) Pomegranate (Angel Red) - same questions as above.

4) Nectarine (Western Pride) - just got it @ Lowe's last night. Beautiful tree, already in blossom! Probably should wait till it's warmer to plant it outside.

5) Tifblue Blueberry

6) Almond (Halls' Hardy)

7) Hazelnut/Filbert

As you can probably tell, I don't know much about gardening, so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

P.S. I will probably buy most of these plants from http://willisorchards.com because our Lowe's or Walmart stores don't have them. Has anyone purchased plants from Willis Orchards?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 2:26PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Pistolp,

Since you are in zone 6, some of the fruit trees that generally do pretty well in more southern parts of the state may struggle a little bit with your slightly colder weather.

Celeste is one of the more cold-hardy figs, so it has a good chance of growing well for you. However, I would argue (in a friendly way) that it might not be a good idea to put it on the south side of the house. When you plant a fruit tree in a warm microclimate on your property, what you're actually doing is encouraging it to bloom earlier (by keeping it warmer than the rest of the area) and that means you then stand a very good chance of the tree blooming and setting fruit too early and losing the fruit to a late frost.

I prefer to plant trees that try to bloom "too early" on the north side of the house so they'll stay colder and not bloom too early and lose their crop. That's just my choice, though, and you certainly can try to protect it by putting it on the southside, but just be aware that the protection of growing fruit in a southern exposure could backfire.

Some figs respond well to pruning, but Celeste does not. So, only do minimal pruning as needed--and a little pruning as humanly possible--or you won't get a good crop.

Persimmon Huchiya is on the OSU-recommended list so it ought to do well for you, but all the Oriental Persimmons do have very low chilling hours so they may be only marginally hardy in zone 6. They don't have to have pollinators, but often you get a better crop if you have two different varieties. If I were you and I had the space, I'd plant both Fuyu and Hachiya.

Pomegranate "Angel Red" is very new on the market--it has been available only a couple of years, so I haven't seen any reports from anyone who's actually grown it. I understand it is more of a mild-California-valley type plant that is only cold hardy to zone 9, so if that is the case, it doesn't stand a chance here. I'd choose a more cold-hardy variety like "Wonderful".

Nectarine "Western Pride" is a nectarine I've never heard of, but there is a peach variety "Western Pride". It could be that "Western Pride" is a hybrid of a peach and a nectarine? This one has me confused and I don't think I'd plant it until I could find unbiased (i.e. not info from wholesaler or retailer, but from someone who's actually grown it in their yard or orchard) info on its' cold hardiness. OSU recommends a lot of proven nectarine and peach varieties, and I'd try to select from that list.

Tifblue Blueberry--someone else will have to talk blueberries. They need rich, fertile, acidic soil and I have poor, infertile, alkaline red clay, so blueberries will not grow where I live unless I do heroic bed preparation and even then my alkaline water wouldn't help them any.

Almond Hall's Hardy--should do fine for you. It is self-fertile but you'll get a better harvest if you plant two Hall's Hardy and let them help pollinate each other, although I don't know why.

Hazelnut/Filbert is very cold hardy so should be fine.

As far as buying from an online nursery, I know nothing about the one you mentioned, but it is always better to get plants in your own state, or at least from an adjoining state whenever possible. I've linked a good one below.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's An Oklahoma Tree Nursery

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 3:55PM
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lovetotweet(7)

Dawn,

I've been planning on ordering from Sooner Plant Farm for shrubs and fruit trees. Do you think the cultivars they carry, especially apple trees, will all do well here in Oklahoma? They seem to ship all over the country, but I am assuming that everything they carry does well here...?

By the way, I just got my first copy of Seed Savers Yearbook (awesome!), and noticed that they carry an extensive list of fruit trees on scionwood, which, from what I gather, is for grafting purposes. Do you ever graft your trees? Is there a good resource to learn how it works?

Thanks!
Ada

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 4:44PM
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pistolp

Dawn,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. All your suggestions make sense to me. The nectarine is actually called Western Pride and came from a nursery here in OK. When I was looking for information on it on the Internet, the only pages I could find had to do with patents.

I will also follow Scott's advice from another thread on making peat moss beds for blueberries.

The fig is kind of a dilemma for me. My wife would really like one but we don't have too much space for it, so we'd need a variety with good taste, cold hardy, and relatively small (semi-dwarf?)

Also, Dawn, you've referred to the list of OSU recommended plants in several threads. Could you post a link to this document?

Thanks a bunch!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 5:06PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Pistolp,

I linked the OSU Fruit Tree Growing Guide right here in an earlier reply to Moni. Just look for the words OSU Fruit Growing Guide in purple letters on that answer above (3rd entry on this thread) and click on the words. That will take you to the guide and the recommended fruit varieties are on the last couple of pages of that document.

If you are not familiar with OSU Fact Sheets, just click on the index below, and then on the various categories to find ones that interest you. Anything you want to know about raising plants in OK is probably included on one of those factsheets.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: OSU FACT SHEETS

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 5:17PM
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pistolp

Thank you, Dawn!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 6:06PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Ada,

I would have faith in anything Sooner Plant Farm grows as long as their own info on their website indicates it is cold-hardy to zones 6 and 7. Even though Sooner Plant farm ships nationally, I believe they started out growing for the Oklahoma market and then branched out as word spread about the quality of their plants.

I've never seen or heard one single complaint about their plants or their customer service and that is rare nowadays. Google and look for reviews and you'll see that they have only postitive ones, or at least they did the last time I checked on them.

As for S.S.E., the yearbook is the best entertainment in town. Who needs movies or DVDs or TV shows or music when you can read endlessly about heirloom varieties.

I don't graft and have no intention of learning. There's only so many hours in a day, and I am already overcommitted. The best source of knowledge I know with regards to grafting is Scott. Well, Randy probably grafts too, but I am not sure.

If you really want to learn about grafting, post a request for grafting info on its own thread so people can see it in the subject box, and I am sure that any experienced grafters we have here will respond.

I've toyed with the idea of grafting tomato plants onto Maxifort root stock to see if I get improved disease-resistance or more vigorous plants, but there again, it comes down to how many hours there are in a day (not enough of them).

Dawn

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 7:43PM
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JamesY40(z7a)

I planted two "bing" cherry trees and one tart cherry tree three years ago, Each of the last two years we have had a freeze while they were in bloom. Even if we don't get a freeze this year, I think I may not get cherries because I need a different variety to pollenize the bing cherry trees. I will see what happens this year. James

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:08PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Ada,

I forgot to mention this but I know Okiegarden has successfully grafted fruit trees too.

James,

Cherry tree pollination is so strange because certain trees will pollinate other cherry trees, and only "certain" other cherry trees but not "all" other cherry trees, and some trees will pollinate "other" cherry tree varieties but not themselves. (sigh)

I linked a chart below that shows which cherry trees pollinate other trees....or themselves....or not.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Cherry Tree Chart from D. Wilson Nursery

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:29PM
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lovetotweet(7)

Dawn,

Thanks for the suggestions on grafting - I will post a separate thread when I'm ready to overload my brain with the information, LOL!

I agree about SSE yearbook...it's definitely entertaining. Between all of the seed catalogs this spring, who needs any other entertainment!

Ada

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 9:58PM
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lifesblessings(6/7)

Wow, if there is room for one more I have a few things...if your computer can't open or print out OSU Extension documents online, just call your local county extension office and they will send anything you need for free. Blueberries have a fairly shallow root system so most of the upkeep can be done with quality mulching and a little blueberry fertilizer, the biggest challenge is never let them dry out (a real challenge in Oklahoma hot summers and drought winters). Sooner Plant Farm is great and its "ours" so I say support it. But I am trying to landscape five acres in "Edible Landscape" (and having a ball) and have found Raintree Nursery in Morton Washington (paper catalog and online) has very dependable plants, clearly zone defined, warnings for "hot summers" (Oklahoma), and great horticulturalists on hand for questions = although the catalog is so thorough you won't have many... and they sell lots of dwarf trees. And - (almost forgot) they have several tpes of Jujubes. Thanks for all your information, this is a great thread.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 7:07PM
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lovetotweet(7)

Lifeblessings,

Looks like you're new to the forum...? WELCOME!! (I love your user name)

Thanks for the resource. I am actually a native of the Pacific Northwest - it's funny I got introduced to this company after I moved to Oklahoma!

We have a much smaller area - 4 city lots - but, we're trying to turn all available space that isn't taken up by four-legged friends into edible landscape, seeking sustainability! I hope you'll keep us posted on what works for you, and of course questions are always welcome, as I can personally attest to since I ask so many of them!

:-) Ada

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 8:12PM
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pistolp

Lifesblessings,

Thank you for your advice on blueberries and for sharing information on Raintree Nursery.

PistolP

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 11:47AM
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Tulsateach(6)

Dawn,
I plan to plant a small fruit tree in my backyard for the animals this year. It will be in the typical Oklahoma soil that I call gumbo, red clay and poor soil. The area is well drained and well watered and has morning sun with afternoon shade. I am looking for something low maintenance and hardy for Tulsa. What is most important is that it will produce fruit that the animals here in midtown Tulsa will enjoy to eat (including this animal). Do you have any recommendations?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 6:05PM
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