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Favorite Fruit Trees for North Texas
Since it is prime fruit tree pruning season, we thought we’d round up a list of some of our favorite fruit trees for DFW. The following list contains the best varieties for our North Texas soils and climate.
While this might not be the first fruit tree that comes to mind, these Texas native ornamental trees produce tons of small rose-fleshed plums that make excellent jelly. You can also eat the fruits fresh, but they are on the tart side. Mexican plums produce an abundance of super-fragrant white blooms in early spring. Trust us; if there is one in your neighborhood, you’ll know it! Their bark is dark and attractive, and Mexican plums usually reach around 20-25′ in height. The perfect small space urban tree!
Fig trees are a great addition to Texas landscapes as they can tolerate some drought and our heat. There are several varieties that thrive in DFW but we suggest ‘Texas Everbearing’, ‘Brown Turkey’ and ‘Alma’ for their heavy fruit set and gorgeous foliage. Mature size varies depending on variety, but figs can range from dwarf-sized at 6-feet tall, up to 20-feet tall and 12-feet wide. Their compact size makes them perfect for smaller urban spaces. Especially harsh winters can be rough on figs, so make sure to provide some extra winter protection by planting on the south side of your home.
Peaches are an obvious favorite fruit here in Texas – and there are no shortage of pick-your-own peach orchards in North and Central Texas. But there’s no reason to drive for peaches when you can grow some in your own yard! Some good varieties for our area include ‘Redskin’, ‘Ranger’ and Fayette’. Breeding has advanced to produce some stunning & delicious dwarf peaches that work perfect for small spaces.
Persimmons and pomegranates are two other types of fruits that are less commonly planted in North Texas, but both thrive and are exceptionally pretty.
- Persimmons produce large orange fruits in fall. The fruits are shaped like a tomato and even if you don’t harvest them the colorful fruit is stunning in the landscape. Persimmons come either astringent types (fruits are hard and bitter until about the first frost, when they soften and get really sweet); or non-astringent types, which can be eaten earlier in their development.
- Pomegranate trees grow more like large shrubs and they are incredibly heat and drought tolerant. Plants produce plenty of bright orange flowers (the hummingbirds love them btw), followed by large pomegranate fruits. Once the fruit pods begin to split, they are ready to harvest. Again, even if you don’t harvest the fruits, they are highly ornamental.
Pruning Fruit Trees
Each type of fruit tree has a different pruning requirement. If you don’t prune them correctly and at the right time, you could cause a tree to bud out early – making them susceptible to frost or even total fruit loss. Pruning fruit trees is important in order to keep their size in check as well. Proper pruning helps to improve the light penetration further into the canopy – which in turn improves fruit production.
As an overall guideline, early blooming fruit trees should be pruned immediately – or as close as possible – prior to flower bud break (when flowers begin to open in late-winter or early spring). Later-blooming trees can be pruned earlier, while the early blooming types should be left to the last possible minute! It sounds counter intuitive, but if you prune early-blooming types too early, their flowers will open when weather is still too cold.
Keep a close eye on your fruit trees now through end of January to time this pruning properly and then remove any dead wood or crossing branches. For a much more detailed explanation of fruit tree pruning, hop on over to this blog post.