Gryffindor
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Fruit trees to grow in Florida? Fast growers?

I want to plant some fruit trees at some point and I'd like to get some relatively fast growers so i'll get fruit quickly. I would be buying small trees from the store, not starting them from seed.

I've heard that papayas grow pretty quickly. What are some others? Open to any suggestions, I love all fruit, even slightly unusual ones like pindu palm fruit and loquats (luckily my neighbors have loquats and pindus and they don't eat any of the fruit!).

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rainbowgardener
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In general dwarf fruit trees mature earlier than full sized ones and some can bear fruit in their first year. Florida is a great place to grow bananas and they should produce fruit in about a year and a half, I think. And you are right about the papayas which should also take about a year and a half.

Peach trees are relatively quick to mature/ bear, but they need some chilling degree days below 45, I'm not sure if you have enough cold in winter for them.
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gumbo2176
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Your climate is about the same as mine in New Orleans. Before Hurricane Katrina killed some of my fruit trees, I had Satsuma, Japanese Plum and 2 fig trees. All but one of the fig trees was lost to the floodwaters or storm damage.

The Japanese Plum grew very fast and produced a decent crop of fruit within a couple years. Same for the Satsuma with it bearing so much fruit by year 5 that I had to give some away. The fig tree that I have left is very old, but I do trim it pretty vigorously every fall to trim away low lying branches and some of the smaller branches off the main branches. This has made it produce great crops every summer.

Have you given any thought to blackberries. I have 4 thornless blackberry plants I put in this past February and they are trained on a trellis that is 8 ft. tall and 12 ft. long. They have completely filled the trellis since February and they should bear fruit by next summer since the fruit is produced on year old canes. New canes grow as the older canes make the fruit. I did have about a dozen berries form on the original canes and I must say, the fruit it produced was huge and delicious. I can't wait till next summer for the berries--------not the heat and humidity.

Gryffindor
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I'm in north Florida which I think on average is the low 40's at night in the winter. and occasionally it gets even colder. So I think peaches could be grown here.

I'll definitely be growing blackberries. We already have wild blackberries growing in our yard that I love but I want to grow some in a 'patch' so they'll be easier to harvest....probably Natchez thornless blackberries.

I'm planning on growing LOTS. Figs, satsumas, and bananas are on the list for later on. Methley plums will be one of the first trees, probably. Some trees I want to buy that are already at the size that they will be ready to produce fruit. It'll cost more, but it'll be worth it. Anyone know what size avocados start producing fruit?

gumbo2176
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Bananas grow very fast and make a pretty good natural barrier if planted in long rows. They are very invasive though and will multiply very quickly. If space isn't an issue, they should be great producers in your climate.

The house I'm in had bananas growing when I bought the house and after a few years I grew tired of them and removed them to make room for my expanding vegetable garden. I wouldn't mind having some again if I had the room.

Gryffindor
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Yeah, space isn't an issue, I'd love to have a row of banana trees. I love them for their tropical look as well, some of my neighbors have them for landscaping and they look great. Sadly no bananas yet though.

I'm a bit confused, say I bought this peach tree this month https://www.willisorchards.com/product/FlordaKing+Peach+Tree?category=252 The 6-7 ft tall one says "order for fall/winter". It says it's at "fruiting size". So if I bought it now it would be producing peaches in May?

I'm hoping to get at least a couple of trees that are at fruiting size for my family for Christmas. They've been wanting to get fruit trees for several years and it'd be great if they were producing in just a few months. :D

gumbo2176
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I would doubt seriously you will get a fruit tree planted this fall to produce in the spring. It will take a while to establish roots in it's new environment and like most plants being transplanted, it may suffer a bit before really taking off.

I've never had that type luck with new fruit trees. Several years ago I gave my now deceased father-in-law a lemon tree for his property in the country and it took 2 years before it produced just a few lemons. It is now well established and produces several dozen each year.

Gryffindor
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Aw, that's a shame. Well hopefully by May 2013 I'll have some peaches, if I decide to get a peach tree soon.

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lorax
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As for Avocadoes, unless you're buying mature grafted stock you'll be looking at 5 years minimum and 13 years maximum before fruiting - and Avocado trees get absolutely huge with age (at least down here they do...)

I'd encourage you not to wait on the bananas - the sooner you get them started, the sooner you'll see production. I reccomend 'Jamaican Red' (aka a lot of other things), 'Dwarf Orinoco', 'Nino' and if you can find it 'Hua Moa' or possibly 'Maoli' - these are plants with fantastic visual impact (the 'Red' group of cultivars have stunning burgundy stems and leaf ribs) and also very tasty fruit and good hardiness in your zone. Plant on at least 6' centers, because they're a gift that keeps on giving, and you need to give 'em space.

Papaya and Babaco (ask the CRFG about the second) are both great choices and fast fruiters, as are Tree Tomatoes (Solanum betacea, formerly Cymophandra betacea).

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Tilde
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If you're in North Floriday, might want to look up Just Fruits (I don't remember the name exactly) in Crawford (near Tally). Their site looks good to me, though I'd need to convince a family member to make the drive out there with me (and their truck, heh) to get some trees from there.

Low chill peaches should do you well, but like they said maybe two years ...

Another thought - what about low-chill self-pollinating Kiwi?

I'm a bit souther of you, doing citrus in containers (very small back yard and I need dwarf/manageable plants). Tempted to do some low chill apples but without an ice machine I doubt I'd be chill enough as a zone 10'r.
USDA Zone 10, Sunset Zone 25, 16 feet above sea level, surrounded by chem-turfers.

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