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I think if we get a lot of input from everyone here, this could be a super valuable resource for figuring out which fruit trees and berries will grow best in your area.

You are in the right spot if you are in a Temperate climate hardiness zone 8.

If you think you are not in the right spot or you want to check your climate zone and hardiness zone for sure, click on the main thread to find out and get additional information Fruit Trees and Berries that Grow Best in Your Area Naturally and it will have a link to your specific climate zone and hardiness zone for you to post!

Familiar places in this area...

Seattle, WA, USA


(source)

This list won't be perfect, as there are so many different factors that affect a fruit tree's growth, but it should be a good help by seeing which trees do well for others in a similar area who have had success with a particular variety. By growing trees that are already slightly adapted to your area, saving the seeds, and growing new fruit trees, you could help create many more new varieties that are very adapted to your specific area!

Hardiness zones are one important factor and show the average annual minimum temperature for a location. You can click on https://garden.org/nga/zipzone/index.php?zip=27822&q=find_zone&submit=Go+%3E to find your exact hardiness zone, and there are also links to lots of other good information.


(source)

Fruit tree nurseries usually list hardiness zones for their fruit trees, but I've often found they tend to exaggerate the growing zones and are often unreliable.

They often leave out one very important aspect... climate zones.

What is a climate zone you may ask?

A climate zone takes other important things into consideration, such as humidity and rainfall. There are many different subsets and climate zones, but I believe this website does a great job of simplifying it into a few main climate zones...

A) Tropical- hot and humid, average temperatures are greater than 64°F (18°C) year-round and there is more than 59 inches of precipitation each year

B) Dry- dry (not humid) and little precipitation

C) Temperate- warm and humid summers with thunderstorms and mild winters

D) Continental- warm to cool summers and very cold winters. In the winter, this zone can experience snowstorms, strong winds, and very cold temperatures—sometimes falling below -22°F (-30°C)!



If you live in the US, you should be able to tell your general climate zone based on the map below and the descriptions above of what it should be like there.

I couldn't find a great general map for Canada and other countries, but you should be able to generally tell from the descriptions above. If you want to find out your exact climate zone, you can check out a cool map here World Climate Zones to find your zone with links at the bottom of the page based on the color, that you can click on with detailed information of your climate zone.


(source)

This should be a huge help to others with that same climate and hardiness zone to help them decide what to plant!

If you could post your general location in your state or country with your reply, that would be an awesome help!

The trees should be able to grow well naturally without extensive disease or pest control.
COMMENTS:
 
Posts: 210
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama)
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I am in Zone 7b in North Alabama. I find Asian Pears, Asian Persimmons, Jujube and Pawpaw grow well here.  Raspberries and Blackberries too.  
 
steward
Posts: 2289
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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I am Zone 8b, very dry, usually in a drought.  Texas Hill Country

I have Agarita, (Mahonia trifoliolata) and Prickly Pear Cactus.

I don't have any native fruit trees.

For future reference:    

 Mr. Smarty Plants wishes you many fruitful years to come!

Rubus trivialis (southern dewberry)

Prunus rivularis (creek plum)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon)

Diospyros virginiana (common persimmon)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Fragaria vesca (woodland strawberry)



https://www.wildflower.org/expert/show.php?id=3650

Also Capsicum annuum (Chile pequin)  might grow here if I tried it.

I have a thornless blackberry that turns into bird food since the berries dry up before they get ripe enough for me to eat.  It has handled the drought without water.

We planted a pear that got cedar rust, then we replace it with a Methly Plum that just didn't do anything but struggle.
 
pollinator
Posts: 392
Location: Upstate SC
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I'm in upstate South Carolina, Koppen zone humid subtropical, USDA cold zone 8a, AHS heat zone 8.  

Peaches and plums grow well and self seed readily. Limiting factors are susceptibility to late frosts and pest/diseases such as plum curculio and brown rot. A wild plum is native.  Persimmons (American and Asian) grow well with no limiting factors.  American persimmon is native and common.  Pears (European and Asian) grow well, but fire blight is present, so use fire blight resistant cultivars. Apples grow well, but our summer heat, drought, and diseases limit fruit quality, they are small and tart.  Sweet and sour cherry trees do not grow well in our heat, even though a wild relative, the black cherry (Prunus serotina) is native.  Apricots, pluots, and other stone fruits will grow, but are highly susceptible to late frosts, so you will rarely get a crop.  Jujube grows well, but set fruit poorly most years (don't have the right pollinators present?). Figs grow and fruit well, although an occasional cold winter will kill them back to their roots. Trifoliate hybrid citrus (citrange, citrumelo) grow well and are only susceptible to late frosts.
Mulberries grow well and red mulberry is native.

Grapes (muscadine and northern) grow well with no limiting factors on muscadine.  Northern grapes are susceptible to Pierce's disease which will kill them after a number of years of good yields.  Muscadine self seeds and is native.  Fuzzy kiwi will grow, but will be top killed by an occasional cold winter.  Arguta kiwis will grow, but are limited by our summer heat and drought. Both kiwis are susceptible to late frosts.  Bramble fruit will grow, but our heat and drought stress the plants and limit fruit quality.  Blackberries do better than raspberries. There are native brambles, but have small and tart fruit.  June bearing strawberries grow and fruit well, our summer heat limits everbearer fruit production. Strawberries will self seed. Blueberries grow and fruit well, are pest free, and are native.  

That Plant maps site has AHS heat maps for each state, but doesn't list them on their home page.  Google "AHS heat map" and your state name to find them on their site.
 
pollinator
Posts: 105
Location: Tasmania
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I think I'm in zone 8b or 9a, temperate climate. Inland Tasmania.

Growing wild around the place I have seen:
Apples
Elderberries
European plums
Hawthorn
Blackthorn
Blackberries
Some pears

There are a lot of old hawthorn hedges around. I remember reading something a while ago about grafting certain fruit trees onto hawthorn, so that might be a way to use the root system of something already thriving, while producing tastier fruit.

Blueberries are often commercially grown here without chemicals.

This map might be a good one to use to find trees in the wild and observe what is growing well: https://fallingfruit.org/
 
master pollinator
Posts: 442
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
123
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Dennis Bangham wrote:I find Asian Pears, Asian Persimmons, Jujube and Pawpaw grow well here.  Raspberries and Blackberries too.  



Awesome, I've heard most of those are pretty pest resistant too!
 
Steve Thorn
master pollinator
Posts: 442
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
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Anne Miller wrote:I am Zone 8b, very dry, usually in a drought.  Texas Hill Country

I have Agarita, (Mahonia trifoliolata) and Prickly Pear Cactus.

I don't have any native fruit trees.

For future reference:    

 Mr. Smarty Plants wishes you many fruitful years to come!

Rubus trivialis (southern dewberry)

Prunus rivularis (creek plum)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon)

Diospyros virginiana (common persimmon)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Fragaria vesca (woodland strawberry)



https://www.wildflower.org/expert/show.php?id=3650

Also Capsicum annuum (Chile pequin)  might grow here if I tried it.

I have a thornless blackberry that turns into bird food since the berries dry up before they get ripe enough for me to eat.  It has handled the drought without water.

We planted a pear that got cedar rust, then we replace it with a Methly Plum that just didn't do anything but struggle.



Interesting varieties!

Do you think your climate is more of the Dry or Temperate climate?
 
Steve Thorn
master pollinator
Posts: 442
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
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Mike Turner wrote:I'm in upstate South Carolina, Koppen zone humid subtropical, USDA cold zone 8a, AHS heat zone 8.  

Peaches and plums grow well and self seed readily. Limiting factors are susceptibility to late frosts and pest/diseases such as plum curculio and brown rot.



Awesome info and list Mike!

I've noticed the same things. My trees have done better with the late frosts and brown rot as they've gotten older, but that plum circulio has been tougher for me, going to try to look into more ways to counter it this year.

A wild plum is native.  Persimmons (American and Asian) grow well with no limiting factors.  American persimmon is native and common.  Pears (European and Asian) grow well, but fire blight is present, so use fire blight resistant cultivars. Apples grow well, but our summer heat, drought, and diseases limit fruit quality, they are small and tart.  Sweet and sour cherry trees do not grow well in our heat, even though a wild relative, the black cherry (Prunus serotina) is native.  Apricots, pluots, and other stone fruits will grow, but are highly susceptible to late frosts, so you will rarely get a crop.  Jujube grows well, but set fruit poorly most years (don't have the right pollinators present?). Figs grow and fruit well, although an occasional cold winter will kill them back to their roots. Trifoliate hybrid citrus (citrange, citrumelo) grow well and are only susceptible to late frosts.



I've gotten some apple and sweet cherry varieties to grow pretty well here once they get past that first year, hoping to get my first harvest this year!

Grapes (muscadine and northern) grow well with no limiting factors on muscadine.  Northern grapes are susceptible to Pierce's disease which will kill them after a number of years of good yields.  Muscadine self seeds and is native.  Fuzzy kiwi will grow, but will be top killed by an occasional cold winter.  Arguta kiwis will grow, but are limited by our summer heat and drought. Both kiwis are susceptible to late frosts.  Bramble fruit will grow, but our heat and drought stress the plants and limit fruit quality.  Blackberries do better than raspberries. There are native brambles, but have small and tart fruit.  June bearing strawberries grow and fruit well, our summer heat limits everbearer fruit production. Strawberries will self seed. Blueberries grow and fruit well, are pest free, and are native.  

That Plant maps site has AHS heat maps for each state, but doesn't list them on their home page.  Google "AHS heat map" and your state name to find them on their site.



The heat maps were neat, it brings in another important factor!
 
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I'm in 8b in Charleston, South Carolina. It's HOT and humid during the growing season.

My friend close by grows Satsuma oranges.
I successfully grow Meyer Lemon, grapefruit, Pom 'Wonderful', and Persimmon 'Fuyu'. The citrus didn't produce this winter, as last winter we had a VERY uncharacteristic week-long freeze with snow on the ground! Young plants may need covering in even short periods of.freezing weather, but when they get more mature, they seem to do well.

 
Mike Turner
pollinator
Posts: 392
Location: Upstate SC
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Steve Thorn,
Apple trees grow fine and bloom here, but the summer heat and drought results in them producing small, tart fruit that is suitable for pies, but not that good for fresh eating. Assuming you can beat the squirrels to them.
 
Steve Thorn
master pollinator
Posts: 442
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
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Bonnie Cleaveland wrote:I'm in 8b in Charleston, South Carolina. It's HOT and humid during the growing season.



I bet it is, I feel that way here and it's even hotter where you are. I've gotten to where I have to get most of my work done in the early morning now!

My friend close by grows Satsuma oranges.
I successfully grow Meyer Lemon, grapefruit, Pom 'Wonderful', and Persimmon 'Fuyu'. The citrus didn't produce this winter, as last winter we had a VERY uncharacteristic week-long freeze with snow on the ground! Young plants may need covering in even short periods of.freezing weather, but when they get more mature, they seem to do well.



I'm right on the 7b/8a line, and I've been really tempted to try Meyer lemons because I love them, but I know they probably wouldn't survive our freezes! Still might give them a try!
 
Steve Thorn
master pollinator
Posts: 442
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
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Mike Turner wrote:Steve Thorn,
Apple trees grow fine and bloom here, but the summer heat and drought results in them producing small, tart fruit that is suitable for pies, but not that good for fresh eating. Assuming you can beat the squirrels to them.



Yeah, who new squirrels were such good apple thiefs!

One year I had a tree full of apples, and on the way out of the driveway I saw one feasting in the top of the tree. When I looked at it later, not a single one was left!

What types of apple varieties did you try?
 
Steve Thorn
master pollinator
Posts: 442
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
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Kate Downham wrote:I think I'm in zone 8b or 9a, temperate climate. Inland Tasmania.

Growing wild around the place I have seen:
Apples
Elderberries
European plums
Hawthorn
Blackthorn
Blackberries
Some pears

There are a lot of old hawthorn hedges around. I remember reading something a while ago about grafting certain fruit trees onto hawthorn, so that might be a way to use the root system of something already thriving, while producing tastier fruit.



That's awesome all of that grows wild! The only thing I've found here are blackberries and a few pears!

Blueberries are often commercially grown here without chemicals.



I love bueberries, they are usually very easy to grow here too!
 
Mike Turner
pollinator
Posts: 392
Location: Upstate SC
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Steve Thorn wrote:

Mike Turner wrote:Steve Thorn,
Apple trees grow fine and bloom here, but the summer heat and drought results in them producing small, tart fruit that is suitable for pies, but not that good for fresh eating. Assuming you can beat the squirrels to them.



Yeah, who new squirrels were such good apple thiefs!

One year I had a tree full of apples, and on the way out of the driveway I saw one feasting in the top of the tree. When I looked at it later, not a single one was left!

What types of apple varieties did you try?



Liberty, honeycrisp, dolgo, ecos red
 
Steve Thorn
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Posts: 442
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
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Mike Turner wrote:Liberty, honeycrisp, dolgo, ecos red



I have honeycrisp growing too, it's doing ok.

I have a Fuji that is doing really good, and I've heard it does good with long hot summers, so I'm hoping it will produce some good fruit this year! I've looked into the old southern apple varieties that appear to do pretty good in our area, although it might be a little warmer where you are!
 
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Extreme southern Georgia, zone 8b. HOT, humid, and long summers, with tons of rainfall, and a bit swampy.
I have found blackberries growing prolifically in the wild, as well as winged sumac, wild grapes and maucadines, red Chokeberry, and a few blueberry patches even, seeming all to do well. Pecans grow all over the place too, and I’ve seen several lemon trees around here producing very well. On my property we have planted lots of mayhaws and elderberry, which love it here, including the western blue elderberry. I’ve also got a few American persimmon trees and some red mulberry trees doing really well
 
Steve Thorn
master pollinator
Posts: 442
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
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Gabe Gordon wrote:Extreme southern Georgia, zone 8b. HOT, humid, and long summers, with tons of rainfall, and a bit swampy.
I have found blackberries growing prolifically in the wild, as well as winged sumac, wild grapes and maucadines, red Chokeberry, and a few blueberry patches even, seeming all to do well. Pecans grow all over the place too, and I’ve seen several lemon trees around here producing very well. On my property we have planted lots of mayhaws and elderberry, which love it here, including the western blue elderberry. I’ve also got a few American persimmon trees and some red mulberry trees doing really well



Very neat Gabe!
 
Posts: 29
Location: Fort Worth, TX 76179
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Zone 8a, Fort Worth Texas.

I am testing several types of trees but the best producers to date are Figs, peaches, mulberries, and nectarines.
My friend lives in a house that used to be where an old pecan orchard used to be.

Test varieties that I am also hoping will produce are:
  • cherry (Minnie Lee & Royal Lee)
  • plum
  • apple (supposed to be cotton root rot issues that hinder long-term success)
  • pear
  • almond
  • olive
  • pomegranate


  • NON-Adapted BUT put into a microclimate against a Southern brick wall and draped with C9 Xmas lights and the occasional clear plastic tarp in winter months
  • Mexican Lime
  • Meyers Lemon
  • blood orange
  • Miho satsuma
  • kumquat
  • arctic frost
  • Frost orange
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