I think if we get a lot of input from everyone here, this could be a super valuable resource for figuring out which fruittrees and berries will grow best in your area.
You are in the right spot if you are in a Oceanic/Mediterranean Climate Zone 7- more average temperatures, not too hot in the summer or cold in the winter, usually has rainy winters and dry summers.(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!
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 of A-D below, and I'm adding Oceanic/Mediterranean due to their unique climate...
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)!
E) Oceanic/Mediterranean- more average temperatures, not too hot in the summer or cold in the winter, usually has rainy winters and dry summers (source)
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.
I'm near the south end of Vancouver Island. We're close enough to the ocean to feel its moderating (read cooling) effect. We get a lot of cloudy days in the winter, yet that's when there's enough water for things to grow if only we had some sun. I'm on a property with a lot of *very* tall cedar and Doug fir, which also limits my sun.
Apples grow really well, generally without a lot of pest issues. I know I've got Transparent and Sparton, but also a summer apple of unknown name.
Plums also grow well. There's a yellow one that's largely bullet proof, but it's very moist, doesn't keep, and needs a lot of processing to turn into jam. I also have Italian prune, and a red plum that's probably Damson (the tree was mislabeled... sigh...).
I do have a cherry tree. I'd love a sour cherry, as then I might actually get some fruit off it, but the robins and squirrels take the fruit off our tree before it's even ripe.
We have a peach tree against the west side of the house in an effort to keep it warm enough to produce. I get barely enough for fresh eating, and that's with hand pollinating.
I've got an espaliered multi-variety Asian Pear tree. It's hit and miss about which branch produces depending on the weather. I made a big effort last spring to get some better mulch in the area. There's Maximillion sunflower on one side and raspberries on the other, but I think it would like some more friends as well. I may add some comfrey roots north of it for chopping and dropping if I can get there.
We have wild Saskatoon berries - the trees don't produce all that much and again the birds get them.
I've got several grape vines which do fairly well.
Raspberries do very well, especially with woody mulch. We occasionally get a fall crop, but you have to watch as the dew tends to encourage mold, and with less sun and heat they're not as sweet in the fall. The bees love the fall flowers at least.
Strawberries grow well most years, but when we have a cool, wet June, mold can again be a problem. Many people grow the ever-bearing ones, but I find they don't seem to put out any runners, so you have to buy new plants every year. The plants I've got I've been restarting for over 20 years. They're not the largest, but they've got real old-fashioned flavour!
I've got a couple of Honeyberry plants, but they're not happy. If they don't perk up this year, I may try moving them. The problem may be deer, as there not in a good spot to protect. I like the little bit of fruit I get.
The goji berry I planted did well two years ago, but not last year. I'll have to keep you posted on that one.
My goumi berry is too young to produce, as is my mulberry, so I'll have to keep you posted.
I am in ZOne 7B (North Alabama) Koppen Climate zone C. I am impressed with how well Jujube grows here. I had fruits on the second fall season. Asian Pears seem to grow fast and Asian Persimmons are a bit slower. I will chop down my Elaeagnus hedge and replace it with Goumi so it will be easier to manage. Plums seem to grow well here as do Pluots. I am starting Pawpaws this year.
I have been trying Kiwi and it is a struggle to give it enough shade and not let the roots get too wet but I will keep trying.
Raspberries flourish and I am growing the non-standard ones for my area. Bababerry Tayberry and Boyne Berry. Blackberries grow wild as does sumac. Muscadines do well and grapes are okay if the birds dont get them first.
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning." —Albert Einstein
Yeah. What he said. Totally. Wait. What? Sorry, I was looking at this tiny ad:
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while