fruit tree suggestions??

feathertrader(z8 AL)May 29, 2002

We are close to moving to a parcel of land where I can plant fruit trees. Would love suggestions.

We live in the Gulf Coast region of Alabama.

I know peach trees grow okay for this area, but don't know which type.

Would love to have a few apple trees, but don't know anyone that has grown apples in this area. (especially loved our granny smith apples in Maryland when I was growing up) I don't know if I am dreaming a bit too much to be able to grow apples.

Anyone that has suggestions, I'd so appreciate it.

To me it is more important to get some trees in the ground, then to move furniture . . . I'm just so looking forward to


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Do you have space enough for a old fashioned grape arbor? Muscadine grapes, either the red or white should do well and they make fantasic jellies and wines. Build it over a bricked "patio" , put a couple of chairs, keep one side trimmed up and have yourself a lovely cool place to sit.

Maybe the folks on the Fruit and Orchard Forum could give you more info about the apples. I am thinking that you might have an insect problem there with both the peaches and apples unless you did a lot of spraying.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fruit trees

    Bookmark   June 1, 2002 at 6:50AM
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feathertrader(z8 AL)

An arbor sounds like a wonderful idea. Thanks for suggestion.
I'll have to do some research on the trees.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2002 at 12:54PM
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ashef(coastal NC z8)

Check out Bay Laurel Nursery's web site. They're in California & specialize in fruit trees with low winter chilling requirements for warm climates, which means the number of hours a year at 45F or less. (Those of us in zone 8 have relatively few hours of temps that cool, so the only fruit trees that will set fruit for us have low chilling requirement numbers.) Also, you can select from a variety of rootstocks, including one that is nematode resistant. I bought a nectarine and an apple tree 2 years ago and they're both growing well, & the apple tree has baby apples. It's way too early to decide if this experiment is a success but so far, so good!

. . . Allie

    Bookmark   June 4, 2002 at 9:31PM
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blackeyed_pea(z8a SC US)

Alabama Extension doesn't appear to have a lot on their website for home fruit growers, but you should check with your county extension office, as they may have quite a bit in print. They can recommend varieties for your area. Mississippi has a lot on the net, and conditions would be similar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mississippi Extension Fruit and Nut Reviews

    Bookmark   June 6, 2002 at 12:58PM
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You're gonna need low-chill cultivars, like Anna, Dorset Golden, Beverly Hills. Classical Fruits, in Moulton may have some of these, or may be able to make some recommendations of other low-chill varieties.

Here is a link that might be useful: Classical Fruits Nursery

    Bookmark   June 12, 2002 at 10:49AM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

You might try Just Fruits and Exotics in Crawfordville, Fl just south of Tallahassee. They have a lot of fruits suited to the Gulf Coast - both decidous and citrus.

Can't seem to find the Classical Fruits website. Reckon I'll have to call. I'm always looking for a new source.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2003 at 1:15PM
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Guess they've changed web addresses. Here's the new one

Here is a link that might be useful: Classical Fruits Nursery

    Bookmark   January 13, 2003 at 10:09AM
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It is not going to be easy to find fruit trees for this climate. I know, we have tried several kinds In Wilmington NC. (Apricot, Plum, European Prune, Peaches, nectarie, Figs, Persimmons, Sour Cherry) One problem with apples is low chilling requirement (most apples and cherries do require more chilling hours we have) but there are cultivars breeded matching this requirement. However, high humidity carries a lot of fungus, bacterial rot in coastal southeat. (E.G. Our Quince fruits - relative to apples and pears -get black or brown rot every year if we miss 1 or two spraying in June.
Peaches and nectarines do OK but you must spray.

So far we had no problem with figs and Japanese Persimmons. They bear fruit very soon after planted, and no fungus or bacterial diseas seems to attack them. Pomegranate is an other option though I do not know the name of cultivars which do well here. Boysenberries do well in our garden too.

It is true that California nurseries have excellent selection but our climate is so different from theirs that you should be careful what to order - Zone 8 on the East coast is not the same as Zone 8 in California.

Check out Georgia Hort. Extension website, they list cultivars for this climate as well.

Also check out Ty Ty advertises itself as a nursery tailored for the southeat and they have a lot of fruit trees; they prices ar not very high. I have not ordered from them so I have no idea re the quaity of their products. And, I agree, to check out North Florida fruit nurseries is a good idea.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2003 at 1:24AM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

I haven't ordered from the TyTy nursery either but they seem to be damned with regularity on the Plants By Mail site. Others report good luck with them, particularly if you go there in person. I've decided not to mail order from them but rather wait until I can get up there to deal face to face.

I think the server for the Classical Fruits Nursery site is having problems as I've tried to access it for the last three days using different machines in different locations and with both Netscape and Explorer. The site is there but other than background I can't get any graphics or text to load. Reckon I'll just call them and ask for a catalog.

If we don't get a late freeze to kill the blossoms it ought to be a good year for fruit as we're sure getting the chill hours in Gainesville, Florida this year! It's getting to be a regular habit to hustle those three citrus trees into the house everynight after I get home from work. Going to have to put some serious thought into cold protection when I plant them out. They may be "cold hardy" (as useful citrus goes) but it's dipped low enough to at least damage them a half-dozen times here already.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2003 at 10:48AM
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Persimmons, quince, passionfruit, blueberries, figs, pomegranites, muscadines and scuppernongs, Ponderosa lemons(you'll have to protect them from freezing but they do very well here), calamondin oranges and my personal favorite, kumquats. The new varieties of kumquats are almost candy-like they're so sweet. I know tangerines, tangeloes and satsumas have been grown in this area for a long, long time.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2003 at 7:01PM
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Yes, Athagan, you are right, I should not have mentioned tyty, no personal experience on my part. And I also read Plant By Mail contributors' damning comments on tyty. BAD idea on my part, I MUST apologize.

On the other hand, Plant by Mail contributors gave high ratings to Stark brothers, ranking this company among the top 10. I DO have experience with Stark bro and it is the most diappointing. I ordered several fruit trees from Starks' because PBM contributors praised this company. Not one produced fruit in the last 6 years.
And, I am not alone, I find more and more people who have the same problem with Starks' fruit trees as I did. Trees grow but never flower (like my 6 yeasr old apricots, others have the same problems with other Stark fruits as well), or they flower but never fruit.

So it is very difficult to rate a company well - especially in case of fruit trees. I found several postings at PBM web indicating that customers are happy because the trees grow. I wonder how many will fruit?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2003 at 1:06PM
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I'm a TyTy basher, have had BAD experiences with them - but they were also 'learning experiences'.
I'll never order from them again - or from any nursery that is two or more zones 'warmer' than my own again - it just won't work to receive bareroot transplants, well into the process of leafing out, in mid-February in KY. They're doomed to failure. Results might be better for folks in zones 8, 9, or warmer.

Stark's? I've never been very impressed with the quality of plants I've gotten from them, for the prices they charge, and it bugs me the way they take so many known cultivars and rename them 'Starking this' and 'Starkilicious that'.
On the other hand, Micimacko, apricots are tough to grow in most areas of the eastern US - they tend to break dormancy too early, bloom, and get nuked by frosts/freezes(and I'm not even talking about late/freak frosts!) - I've totally given up on apricots, as well as my Japanese hybrid plums - they make an occasional fruit, but 9 years out of 10, they'll be a total bust.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2003 at 5:00PM
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kumquat12(z8b FL)

The Japanese have developed a sweet kumquat and limequat that are very suitable for our area. Available at nurserys in the Spring. Tiny limes: Everbearing. The sweet kumquat makes a crop for midwinter.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 4:09PM
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Janekt(z8 S Alabama)

I was ver ysuccesful with satsumas and lemon (Myer).
I live in the Mobile, Al. area. Satsumas are more frost resistaqnt than lemon.
If the temperature drops below say, 22F for several hours they will loose some leaves but will recover.
Temperaturews below 20F for several hours are deadly unless you protect the tree (cover with burlap and electric heqt (bulbs) below.
Even if you lose the tree , ifthe stump was protected above the graft area (say with leaves or, dirt) a new tree will grow in a hurry as teh roots system is well established.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 5:42PM
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I live just north of Pensacola and have had great success with Anna and Dorsett Golden apples. They're available at Lowes and most area nurseries. I just have two trees and both are dwarf. They bore the first year I planted them. There have been a few years where they bore bushels and bushels of fruit and I canned jelly, froze lots and gave away lots. Most years though I just get enough to eat and freeze. Asian pears and Pineapple pears do very well here, also high bush blueberries, mulberrys, blackberries, muscadine grapes,figs. I've not had a lot of luck with peaches. Am just starting to try my hand with Japanese persimmons and satsumas.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 10:41PM
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I know this is really old but I have a few things to add in case someone else moseys on in here, via a search or whatever. Hopefully with this they'll find what they're looking for.

Most of the links in the above posts no longer work. Not all, but most.

I'm not sure anything in Virginia Beach (or in California) would be a good idea for the tropical coastal region (some probably, most probably not). There is a tremendous climate difference from those two. Just a couple of years ago Mobile beat out Houston for the most humid place in the United States. The high humidity and heavy rains here make this place very, VERY different than Virginia and California.

There most certainly is a lot of information at the Alabama Extension (ACES) site, the problem is finding it. Their site stinks as far as organization goes.
Their entire set of documents related to fruit:

All of the documents listed above are available for free. When you select an article, it will tell you how much it is to buy it in THEIR print. Then there will be two links below that, with icons. One is for the PDF version which would require special (free) software on your computer such Adobe Acrobat or Foxit (which is much better). The second link is for HTML which is where you can view it online. The PDF version is the best quality.

There are varieties that do well in Alabama and just like the documents above, the problem is finding them; the trees themselves I mean.
ACES list of varieties to use:

As you can see, Mobile County varies greatly. Once you know your chilling hours, then you can go from there.

I hope this helps anyone who happens to hop in here.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 8:28AM
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santo379(9, SE TX)

Check out Chestnut Hill tree farm nursery. They specialize in selling fruit trees for the Gulf Coast that tend do well in zones 8-10.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 5:15PM
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