Choosing and Planting Fruit Trees & Shrubs

 

Fall is prime time for planting trees, shrubs, & roses.  The heat of summer has passed and the cooler weather stimulates root growth.  This root growth gives the plants a great start to the growing system and provides them with a buffer to withstand a Texas summer.

Any type of tree, not just fruit trees, should be planted in fall.  Shrubs include blueberry bushes, elderberry bushes, and other fruiting bushes.  Fall planting is also great for roses as well.

When choosing any plant, but especially fruiting trees and shrubs, you must make certain that you choose a variety that is right for this area.  Soils can change with just a distance of 30 miles and chilling hours are quite different from the Red River down to the Texas coast.  Chilling hours refers to the amount of time in the winter where temperatures stay between 32 and 45 degrees.  So, by choosing varieties that have the lowest required amount of chilling hours you can be sure that the trees will set fruit even when we have a mild winter.

You might think that if you are shopping locally that you will be finding choices that are right for this locale.  Sadly, that is not always the case.  You will need to do a little homework so you know that varieties that you need.  Many times, especially at the big box stores, the stock they carry may have been shipped from five states away or more.  Also, if you have ever tried to ask a gardening question to one of their employees, you most likely found that they did not know any more than you did.  The best place to shop is at a local nurseries that have knowledgeable staff (like The Farm On Holly’s Hill!).

Below are  lists of varieties that are well suited for this area.  There are also links to websites with really good information about varieties, planting, and maintenance of your trees and shrubs.  These selections are based on the most popular items I am asked for, but there are so many choices among fruit producing trees and shrubs.  So, don’t be boxed in try your hand at Papaws, Mayhaws, or JuJubes.  The extension websites have lots of great information on these more unusual selections.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/peach/peach.html

Texas A&M University Fruit and Nut Resources

Texas A&M Horticulturalist Jerry Parsons Video Archive

Texas Winegrape Network

 

Blackberries:

Navaho

Cheyenne

Arapaho

Brazos

 

Apples:

Red Chief

Gala

Super Gala

Mollies

Starkrimson Red Delicious

Starkspur Golden Delicious

Plums:

Morris

Methley

Ozark Premier

Bruce

Allred

Blueberry Bushes:

Premiere

Briteblue

Climax

Tifblue

Peaches:

Varieties for Low Chill Regions
EarliGrande Small-med Semi-cling 200 4/15-4/20
FlordaCrest Small-med Semi-cling 350 4/18-4/24
Flordaprince Small Cling 100 4/19-4/29
ValleGrande Medium Semi-free 200 4/20-4/25
TropicBeauty Medium Semi-free 150 4/25-4/30
TropicSweet Medium Free 175 4/25-5/01
Flordaglo Medium Semi-free 150 4/29-5/7
TropicSnow Medium Semi-free 150 5/14-5/25
FlordaGrande Large Semi-Cling 100 5/16-5/27

 

Varieties for Medium Chill Regions
Springold Small Cling 750 5/15-5/20
FlordaKing Large Cling 450 5/15-5/20
Bicentennial Small Cling 700 5/20-5/30
Texstar Med-large Free 650 5/20-6/01
Juneprince Med-large Semi-free 650 5/20-6/01
junegold Large Cling 650 5/22-6/03 

 

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