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 Dry Climate Hardiness Zone 4- dry (not humid) and little precipitation(source)
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! There is also a link a little further down to help find your exact climate and hardiness zone!
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.
To find your exact climate and hardiness zone if you live in the US, or if you live in Canada or other countries, Amanda Launchbury-Rainey recommended a great climate and hardiness zone finder https://www.plantmaps.com/index.php where you can click on the links based on your country or continent and zoom in to find your exact climate and hardiness zone!
All right so I live in an area that gets 15-30 inches of rain but we get hot dry summers so here's what I got:
Wild Red Raspberry: Small fruit but can tolerate shitty dry soil.
Thimbleberry: I've never tried to establish them but they grow really well in areas shaded near conifers.
Primocane Raspberries (not 'native' but dam they do well) - Have crazy yield in wet or dry years
Haskap Berries- Have been producing like crazy around here and are a hot commodity at farmer's markets
Red Currents - Ye old faithful for being a producer but requires a certain pallet
Gooseberry- Again some find them too sour but the northern gooseberry is a native species. The leaves turn a lovely red in the fall.
Saskatoon Berries - Produce juicier berries with smaller seeds in wetter summers but still produce in drought. The hotter the sweeter they are.
Bills Berries - Native to our area, super drought tolerant, tiny berries though
Oregon Grape - Once established you'll never need to water it. More of a medicinal than a food crop but edible none the less. People will use it for jellies
Nanking Cherry- The sweetness of a standard cherry without being a water pig. Smaller fruit with large pit but oh so yummy!
Evans Cherry- Similar taste to the Nanking but I find they need more attention and are less sweet. How much it produces may depend on how dry the summer is but when you get a bumper crop you'll be surprised how much fruit they can hold!
Choke Cherry- Don't eat the pit. Abundant in the wild around here.
Prickly Rose- Another dry climate super star that you can eat the petals or the rose hips. I would recommend heating the rose hips before consuming in any form as too many raw will give you 'ichy bum'.
Huckleberry- Super hard to establish, when established may not produce for some reason. If you find them in the wild SO YUMMY!
Black Elderberry- Definitely more on the drought tolerant side. A particularly popular treat for my chickens. Most people make tincture or liquors. Flowers are edible. Everything else DO NOT EAT.
Trees (I'm no expert but...)
Mountain Ash- Part of the rose family so technically you can graft on to it. Never seen it done. The berries are a great source for food birds in the late winter early spring. The seeds are labeled as poisonous but I've had someone serve me a mean mountain ash chutney before.
NOT NATURAL: Italian Prunes- yes they need some irrigation but OMG SO MANY YUMMY PLUMS!
Nanking cherry - On my hit list to bring to my land. I'm just over the moon with the taste!