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Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

Posted by JenniferinFL 9B Florida (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 2, 12 at 21:58

We're on just half an acre and already have 4 large oaks on the property and two pines, so full sun areas are already at a premium.

I want one or two fruit or nut trees for the yard, preference on things that stay smaller, but that's probably the extent of my full sun locations for trees.

Since I only really have space for one or two depending on size, I want it to be the most bang for the buck, something that really produces. I've considered citrus, or olives, or black walnuts, or avocados.

So, for those of you with edible producing trees, if you could only plant one or two what would you plant?


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

  • Posted by brute Florida 9B (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 3, 12 at 5:16

Well, I guess we have to start with the question of what kind of fresh fruit do you personally like to eat? Then, in the interest of available space, we need to narrow your choices to one or two trees.
In my case, I've got plenty of room and now have twenty tropical fruit and citrus trees. Some of them I wish I'd never planted, and some I've come to love. Some of them are too "tropical" and can't cope with our occasional cold snaps. On the other hand, others seem to be "bulletproof" and can take anything nature can dish out.
My "bang for the buck" trees have turned out to be the minneola tangelo and the jujube. I get more consistent and delicious fruit off those two trees than all 18 of the others combined.
Don't worry about your choices becoming too large. You can keep ANY fruit tree to a managable size by pruning.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

  • Posted by rednofl 9b Goldenrod Fl hz (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 3, 12 at 5:48

Well that depends on what you like, Overall citrus and Figs are reliable and a heavy producers. If you have the room and the time a Mulberry tree is awesome. If you want now and like it Papaya is a heavy producer but you have to grow it from seed each year for it to be reliable. I'm still waiting for my Avocado. If you have a large Oak you could sneak in all kinds of things not normally grown here like a Dwarf Mango on the north side. My favorite is Bananas but they are not as reliable if we get a bad winter.
Not sure if I answered your question Good Luck
Robert


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

Satsuma.....no doubt. You don't have to worry about anything except eating all the fruit!


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

Please be aware that most members of the Walnut family (Juglandaceae) produce a chemical called "juglone" (5 hydroxy-alphanapthoquinone) which occurs naturally in all parts of these plants. Black walnut, pecan, hickory and others members of the family including Carya, Engelhardtia, Juglans, Platycarya and Pterocarya can produce juglone. Black walnut and butternut produce the largest quantity of juglone and can cause toxic reactions with a number of other plant species that grow in their vicinity.

Lou


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

Thank you for all of the responses.. So far the only fruit that I really dislike is anything fig. I try every different type our grocery store gets and just can't stand them. Which is too bad as I'd heard they did well here. This gives me ideas for more to try with the idea of planting them in the yard if I like them.

If I wanted to container grow something like a dwarf Mango, what size container would I be looking at for it? Unfortunately directly north of one oak tree is the neighbors yard and directly north of the other group is the septic system, so might be out of luck with planting anything there to shelter it from freeze.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

I would say so far it's a tie between the Minneola tangelo and the satsuma..

That's too bad about the black walnuts, while I can't really imagine planting too much under them it's still nice to have the option. I'm just not a shade gardener, but I hate to commit to that..

Robert, funny you mention it, but I do already have a Lady Red Papaya and a dwarf cavendish banana. In my foolishness I planted them on the north side of my house in a wide border and just hoped they wouldn't get too big. The banana is right by a gutter downspout. I was hoping to overwinter a cutting of the Lady Red, is there a reason that isn't a good idea? Do they produce better when grown from seed?


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

In my opinion, you cannot beat the satsuma... even with a Minneola. :)

Carol in Jacksonville

Here is a link that might be useful: Satsuma discussion and photos


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

  • Posted by rednofl 9b Goldenrod Fl hz (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 3, 12 at 21:06

Jennifer
I have never tried taking a papaya cutting I didn't think it would work.
Because of a possible freeze start some papayas in containers maybe october or november that way they won't get to big by the time it cools off and you can bring them in. So if we have a freeze you have nice size plants to start in the spring and you will have fruit by November. Also papaya seem to bear more fruit in the first year.
I have 3 different bananas that you can still get some fruit even if you have a hard freeze. This year I am getting bananas from everything but the Dwarf Jamaican red. So if you want some pups let me know.
I believe you grow the sensitive trees just in the edge of the shade of an oak tree not away from it.
I still have about a third of my yard to fill with fruit trees so this is a great thread.
Brute what does the jujube taste like
I have 3 different bananas that you can still get some fruit even if you have a hard freeze. This year I am getting bananas from everything but the Dwarf Jamaican red. So if you want some pups let me know.
I believe you grow the sensitive trees just in the edge of the shade of an oak tree not away from it.
I still have about a third of my yard to fill with fruit trees so this is a great thread.
Brute what does the jujube taste like


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

Hi Jennifer, the Minneola doesn't fruit much without a companion pollinator. Check link:

Here is a link that might be useful: USF Minneola


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

Hi Jennifer, the Minneola doesn't fruit much without a companion pollinator. Check link:

Here is a link that might be useful: USF Minneola


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

Well, I'm trying a papaya cutting sort of by necessity. I purchased some clearance Red Lady Papaya in rough shape from Walmart. Two of them took off fine after putting them in the ground, but the third one I was rehabbing in a pot, decided to un-pot it and see what was wrong and turns out it had root rot. So, cut it off about 4" up and stuck it in the ground with rooting hormone, it's still green a week later, so we"ll see I guess.

Robert, what bananas are you growing? I've been tempted by those blue "ice cream" bananas, but, heard they get huge so haven't tried them yet. My banana tree has only been in the ground for a few months, looks good so far, but I think I'm shorting it a bit on fertilizer. Finally moved into a house a few months ago after years of renting, so, nothing I've planted has really had a chance to die on me yet. I'm still hunting down those cheap resources for compost and mulch.

I would love some more banana pups to try, what kinds do you have?

Carol in Jacksonville, I want to say my Dad had a satsuma after looking at that thread. It never really produced heavy, but, it was planted in a bad location, exposed on a small hill right under a pine tree. Never watered, never fertilized, but it lived for 25 years anyways. That bad freeze a few years ago finally did it in, but only because it was already stunted down to 4 feet, the other orange trees all lived, but they were a lot less exposed. When my dad did take the time to fertilize it though, back 20 years ago, I remember the branches being so full they dragged down to the ground. I'd forgotten about it completely until looking at the photos of it.

I originally wasn't aiming for citrus because I used to get terrible hives if I ate them more than a couple days in a row, but maybe they don't bother me anymore, worth a try anyways and I can always can them. For many years I got hives from eating tomatoes, but, that seems to have passed, so maybe the citrus problem has too.
Any other non-citrus trees that come to mind? I want to make sure I haven't missed anything before putting something semi-permanent in the ground. Anyone here growing pawpaws?


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

tinael01, I may have to try it first than to see if it's good enough to justify two. I'm already leaning towards the satsuma now though for partly sentimental reason as after looking at that thread Carol in Jacksonville posted I recognized it as one my Dad had in his yard before neglect/frost finally did it in.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

  • Posted by brute Florida 9B (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 4, 12 at 0:43

Rednofl, jujubes remind me of sweet little apples. You just bite right through the peel and eat through the white flesh until you reach the core. Just like an apple.
Some folks say they're even sweeter when dried. I once ran a batch through my food dehydrator and wasn't very impressed with the results. Fresh seems to be better with this particular variety.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

I like carambola, a nice small tree that fruits at various times of the year. The excess fruit is easy to freeze. Other small trees to consider: pomegranate and Fuyu persimmon.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

  • Posted by brute Florida 9B (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 4, 12 at 13:31

Wow shuffles! I'm amazed!
My opinion differs 180 degrees from yours.
The three trees you mention are EXACTLY the trees I wish I'd never planted, and am sorely tempted to rip out by the roots every time I look at them!
However, they've been there so many years, that I might as well leave them there, just because they are maturing.
First of all, how does anyone eat a Florida-grown pomegranate? Is it even possible?
Next, by the time my persimmon grows to the point where it produces, my great-grandchildren will be dead and gone!
As for starfruit, I think I'd just save money not even planting it, but simply biting into an under-inflated water balloon whenever I have a craving for starfruit.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

brute, to each his own. Personally, I love starfruit. Maybe you don't have a good variety. As for pomegranates, I put the seeds in a blender with a little water and run the resulting liquid through a strainer. Maybe your persimmon was grown from seed?


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

  • Posted by rednofl 9b Goldenrod Fl hz (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 4, 12 at 19:53

Jenifer
I am growing Blue Java and Manzano ( my fav ) which are big. Hua Moa med size can be used like a plantain or dessert huge fruit
Dwarf Nam Wah, Raji Puri both will produce fruit in one year Dwarf Jamacian Red 3 years and they have never fruited I am hoping this year. I have some good size pups if you want them Im near UCF.
Brute
I think I may try a Jujube and when you get ready to rip out your trees let me know. BTW there are some amazing variaties of POM being grown in Winter Garden.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

For sheer volume of fruit - my carambola (starfruit) would win. It bears several times a year and has more fruit than I can give away. I purchased it as a small tree about 15 year ago - is now 40' high and overloaded with fruit. It is a nuisance at times - fruit drops when it's ready, so needs to be raked up (it makes great compost!) We're just south of Orlando.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

Since you asked about ice cream bananas I thought I should speak up. I grow 9 varieties of bznanas and you just can't go wrong with ice cream naners. They are easy to grow and taste wonderful!

I love my mangos, papayas, pineapples, sugar apples, carambolas, jackfruit, peaches, citrus and of course bananas. I would rethink growing dragon fruit, dwarf ambarella, nectarines and blackbery jam fruit.

I would love to try jujube fruit sometime.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

Hey y'all,

Is satsuma the same as the little tangerines that grow feral all over central fla, especially the roadsides? With the super-loose skin and very tart-tasting?


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

Another comment on Blue Java (ice cream) banana. I have also had great success with this in Houston, where it can frost. reliable even there, though sometimes just barely.

For me there it grew to about 14-15'

my pup here (St Pete) is not mature yet, but growing well.

highly recommend that.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

If you live near a "wild" area, you will be hounded by squirrels, raccoons and possums. Some areas that are more "citified" that is to say, people have been killing snakes for 50 years, are even more plagued by squirrels. Citrus is not bothered by the above animals. Take that or leave it. Limes and lemons are very useful in ways other than eating the fruit itself.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

One thing I've started considering when choosing a new fruit tree is availability of the fruit. I can get all the lemons and ones I want year round. In season, I can get virtually any type of citrus cheap at farmers markets and stands. And they taste great.

Now other things -- carambola for example -- you just can't get with any quality unless you grow it yourself. I even find peaches to be this way. "Florida peaches" especially do not seem to ripen well off the tree to me. So for me, these are fruits worth planting.

And then there are things that you just can't seem to buy anywhere, like jujubes or mulberries. These are worth planting of you actually like them.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

I decided not to grow citrus a long time ago. I decided this year to grow an avocado tree.

Three things influenced me. First, I love avocados. I really like the taste and they are very nutritious. Second was the price. Avocados are now costing a dollar each or so. I figured if I bought a tree for fifty dollars it would probably pay for itself in three years or so. Finally, I found one that wouldn't be killed off by the mild freezes we have here in zone 9B. It is the Brogdon. Silvia, who often posts here, has one or two and highly recommends them.

So, I am now the owner of a small (six foot)Brogdon Avocado tree. Perhaps you should consider this tree.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

I tried Brogdon in 9a, no chance without a sheltered and ideal location.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

  • Posted by jofus 9b/10a (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 28, 12 at 12:44

The most important consideration of course will be what are your favorite fruits/nuts. On my 1/4 acre lot here in SW Florida I have 10 fruit trees plus a small grove of bananas. If I had to limit it to one smallish tree I would unhesitatingly pick a Glenn mango. I have one, it was 6' tall when I planted it 2 1/2 yrs ago and it is now 8' tall, has been agressively pruned and tip snipped twice and is now well proportioned and healthy looking.
This past June I only got about 9 ripe fruits ( still a young tree I keep reminding myself ) but expect that to double next year. Love mangos, and an easy to care for tree as well. Will top out at 11' - 12 ' tall with little pruning on my part. Good luck !


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

Fresh figs from your tree would taste nothing like the ones you buy in the store. Star fruits have to be picked at the right time to get the best flavor. They can be really sweet or taste like kerosene, IMO. There is an easy to grow bush that I grew years ago in Vero Beach. The name escapes me. It was called some kind of cherry or resembles a cherry. That one tastes like kerosene too if not picked when fully ripe. Super easy to grow. Drought tolerant. I don't think I ever or rarely fertilized it.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

It's called Surinam cherry.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

  • Posted by deannac 9b/S26/H10/Oviedo (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 28, 12 at 19:33

As a child, our front yard was bordered by Surinam Cherries...The only thing with them is that they DO get wormy if not treated, but make the most amazing jellies! I'm also a huge fan of figs.

I do have a Loquat tree that I LOVE! I've learned (on here) that they can be pruned not only to allow sun through (I have pineapples growing around mine) but you can do the "bonsai" thing with them as well.

I also love my dwarf bananas. I chose RajaPuri because of the compact size. I started with one sick little plant that someone at ACE hardware was throwing out...he said it was dead. Well, no it wasn't, but it WAS almost dead...waterlogged. Six months later, I now have 9 banana trees!

I'm really glad to hear about the nuts that grow here. I used to have pecans in Lake Wales, but they never fruited heavily and the goats got most of the ones we could reach anyway!

One should always have a citrus tree. They're fantastic for more than just fruit. I keep a pineapple orange (my favorite) and a Meyer Lemon (dwarf) that does beautifully. I also use the rinds as a disinfectant (I use everything for everything, lol) in my kennel, as well as a deodorizer!

One thing about figs: They're pollinated by wasps, so if anyone grows them, cut them in half before biting into them...or you'll never eat another one! Just like Surinams, figs are used by the pollinator to lay their eggs.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

  • Posted by whgille Oakland FL Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 29, 12 at 9:12

JenniferinFL

From your list of fruit trees, I would choose an avocado for production, taste, easy of care. And a citrus, a lemon or lime to be used in cooking/or fresh.

Before buying the Brogdon avocado, I did sample and like it, it is great because it has a long season and can be pick green, I even shipped to other states. You can also freeze them.

I also have a Meyer lemon and a red lime that I use them in all sorts of recipes.

My Brogdon this morning, it is a plus that it never needs spraying and is evergreen.

Photobucket

Hi Tom123, congratulations on your new purchase! Just don't forget if we get some freeze in winter protect it, at least the trunk. I also have a new one that is small in the front yard and last winter didn't need protection because it was a mild one. You will enjoy your future harvests!

Silvia


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

This was such an awesome thread I had to bring it up to the top again. So many good suggestions! I was just referencing it today as the Lowe's I work at got in some avocados and mango's and I couldn't remember which variety everyone liked.

Of course, there was only one glenn mango and it looked terrible, so, I'm going to wait until more come in.

I've found a nursery though an hour away that has everything suggested, so, one of these days I'll have a whole lot of these suggestions acquired.


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RE: Best Fruit or Nut Tree for Florida 9B?

Deanna,

"One thing about figs: They're pollinated by wasps, so if anyone grows them, cut them in half before biting into them...or you'll never eat another one! Just like Surinams, figs are used by the pollinator to lay their eggs"

There are two types of fruiting figs..capri figs and common figs. Capri figs do need the capri wasp to produce fruit, common figs do not need pollinated to produce fruit which is a good thing as we don't have those tiny wasps in Florida anyway. They have been imported to CA though.

A lot of common figs have a closed eye which would not allow a wasp or anything else to enter. If you have a common fig with a more open eye the more likely thing you would bite in to is an ant....still not good so your advice to cut them open before eating is good advice:)

Jennifer Zackey is right......you can't compare store bought figs to truly ripe figs off a tree. They are one of the best fruits out there. I currently have 63 varieties of figs growing.....it is a rather new collection for me.


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