Types of Fruit Trees

Types of Fruit Trees: Health and Planting

When I think about types of fruit trees, I always think of apples first. What can I say— they’re my favorite! But there are so many different types of fruit trees out there, and they all deserve a shout-out for different reasons. Let’s go over the top five most planted fruit trees in America and see when to plant them, when to harvest their fruit, and why to eat the fruit in the first place!

Apple

Let’s start out with the favorites! Apples are easy growers for hardiness zones 3-8. A hardiness zone indicates the type of climate wherever you live. Each zone has slightly different climates suited for different plants. To find your hardiness zone, simply google your city and state’s hardiness zone.

Most trees, apple trees included, prefer planting in the spring (though this is not always the case). This tree is a great beginner tree as it grows hardily and is fairly pest/weather resistant. You will see apple trees blossom in beautiful white flowers, which will develop into fruits.

The timing of when your tree’s produce is ready to harvest is up to the type of apple you have, but most apple trees are ready in the fall. You can tell an apple tree is ready to harvest if some apples start to fall from the tree, but you can always do a taste test just to be sure! If the apple is overly sour, the fruits need a little more time on the tree. 

Once the apples are a little sweet and crisp without too much starchiness, they are ready for eating. Apples are a very popular snack and for good reason! Apples have a lovely amount of vitamin c, potassium, and ‘B’ vitamins. 

Pear

Pears are also great trees for hardiness zones 3-8. They, like apples, are strong and fairly weather/pest resistant and best planted in the spring. Additionally, pears are an easy-growing tree requiring little intervention on the part of the grower. Their fruit is also ready to harvest about the same time as apples if maybe a little earlier in the fall season. The harvest time is also affected by the type of pear tree. European pears are best harvested at full growth and then ripened in storage; whereas Asian pears ought to ripen on the tree and then be harvested. 

Like apples, pears are a very hydrating snack as they are mostly water. Additionally, they possess quite a bit of Vitamin C and Vitamin K. 

Plum

A delicious stone fruit, plums are an easy tree to grow and harvest. This fruit is great for colder climates, though there are varieties that do well in warmer climates too. Harvest this lovely fruit towards the end of the summer season, August—September. Like pears and apples, plums require little assistance once they have established themselves where they get planted. 

This lovely juicy fruit is high in Vitamin C and may help reduce bone loss.

Peach 

Who doesn’t love a summer fresh, juicy peach? These fruit trees are best planted in the spring, though they may need to go through a winter or two before they start bearing fruit. They are also viable in hardiness zones 3-8. Peaches are generally ready to harvest in July, although it depends on where you are. You’ll know they’re ready when they are fragrant and are supple to the touch. 

Peaches are a great snack in the hot summer since they are rich in potassium. 

Nectarine

The smooth-skinned cousin of peaches, nectarine trees can be subdivided into clingstone and freestone types. This is good information to know when picking out a nectarine plant at the nursery because each type will create a slightly different fruit. Clingstone nectarine flesh clings to the pit inside while freestones do not.

These trees both love a hot summer and prefer hardiness zones 5-9. Their readiness is quite a bit like peaches in that you want them to be fragrant and soft. 

This lovely soft fruit is also high in Vitamin C.

Cherry

Another fun summer fruit, Cherry trees can be split into two camps: the sour cherries and the sweet cherries.

Sour cherries are best grown in hardiness zones 4-6 while sweet cherries (the most popular) prefer zones 5-9. Sweet cherries also require at least two trees to assist in cross-pollination. Don’t worry about figuring out how to gender the sweet cherries; each sweet cherry tree has both female and male reproductive parts. So, if you have at least two sweet cherry trees they will cross-pollinate. If you don’t have space for two trees, you might consider getting a sour cherry tree since sour cherries are self-pollinating.

You can tell cherries are ready for harvest when they have darkened in color, are soft, and plump. 

Cherries are high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C making them an easy and healthy snack.

Orange

One of the more popular fruits and known for its health benefits, oranges are a great option if you live in hardiness zones 9-11. They require warm climates with little to no frost. The blossoms of orange trees are very fragrant and used to make orange blossom water. Harvest time depends on your variety of oranges so further research will be required. 

It is well-known that oranges are high in Vitamin C, but they are also rich in Vitamin B-9. 

What to Know About the Different Types of Fruit Trees

There are just so many different types of fruit trees that it is hard to mention them all. But as you can see, deciding what type of tree to plant and how to harvest depends a lot on where you live. The first step to knowing what fruit tree to plant in your yard is finding out what USDA hardiness zone(s) you live in. This information will help you determine from this list what types of fruit trees will fare the best on your property. Happy planting!

Written by: Mariah Haines

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