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Best Fruit Trees To Grow In Atlanta
Here are a few of our recommendations for the best fruit tree varieties to grow in Atlanta.
Although Georgia’s state tree is technically the Southern Live Oak, the peach tree has to be the most recognized tree from Georgia due to the worldwide consumption of delicious Georgia peaches.
With its ability to survive cold winter conditions and knack for producing some of the most delectable fruits on the planet, planting peach trees in Georgia is a no-brainer for any arborist or homeowner.
Although it may take five to seven years to bear its orange-brown fruit, persimmon trees are native to Georgia, making them an excellent choice for Atlanta growing. You might see wild persimmons on roadsides and in abandoned fields all across Atlanta. UGA notes that Persimmons trees are hardy to temperatures of down to 20-25 degrees F, giving them the strength to power through cold Atlanta winters.
There are many different types of persimmon trees. You might try planting Persimmons varieties like Miller, Killen, Woolbright, John Rick, and Even Golden in the Atlanta area.
Pear trees are hardy to the cold weather, and it is possible to find Pear trees in Georgia that are 50+ years old and still producing fruit.
The University of Georgia points out that Asian pears are a great option because of cross-pollination. Peaches have a 2019 GA Farm Gate Value of over $71 million according to the University of Georgia.
Bartlett pear trees are a European variety most recognized in the Atlanta area, but you might also try a European or Asian pear tree.
Apples are scientifically proven to improve memory, lifespan, lower risk of cancer, lower risk of heart attack, etc., so the only reason why one might decide against planting apple trees in Atlanta is that apple trees can potentially take up to 8 years until they produce fruit.
Having said that, Atlanta is the perfect place for these hardy trees because of the humidity levels.
Use UGA’s website to reference all things apples when looking to grow apples in Atlanta. According to the university, Georgia has five different apple-growing zones, and Atlanta falls into zone three.
Try growing apple varieties like Ginger Gold, Fuji, Ozark Gold, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Gala, Mutsu, Yates, and Granny Smith in the Atlanta area for the best results.
As you might imagine, Georgia’s heat and humidity make growing apricots yield delicious and sweet fruit. When growing apricots in Georgia, be careful with late frosts and colder winter temperatures.
Are you looking to add garden figs to your garden inventory? The University of Georgia recommends Celeste, Hardy Chicago, and Conadria Country fig trees in Atlanta, and any fig tree variety in southern Georgia.
One notable attribute of fig trees is that they need a growing site free of root-knot nematodes, and the U of G recommends contacting your local soil testing agent for advice on whether or not you can grow fig trees in your area.
Be careful not to over-fertilize your fig trees as it can cause the fruit to drop off of the tree prematurely (young fig plants also have fruit that drops prematurely).
To make a long story short, fig trees require special care to be grown properly, so use all of your online resources to help you in your growth.
The University of Georgia has a page dedicated to growing plums. In the article, the professionals point out that European plums are a better tree to grow in Atlanta compared to Japanese plums because of their higher resistance to colder temperatures.
Use the USDA plant hardiness map to determine whether or not your area is fit for plum trees.
Espalier Fruit Trees
This technique consists of using ropes and ties to train a tree to grow up against a wall or structure. The espalier dates back to ancient Egypt, and this growing style is popular in urban areas like metro Atlanta because it maximizes space while still allowing for trees to bear fruit.
Espalier is a French word that derives from the Italian ‘spalliera’, and it means “something to rest the shoulder against”.
What Are The Key Success Factors For Growing Fruit Trees In Atlanta?
Each tree species has specific procedures for successful growing.
Without taking these into account, your tree may face disease or even death. If you notice signs of your tree in decline, contact our Atlanta tree specialists immediately so they can give your tree a fighting chance.
With that said, there are a few key things you can do to help grow beautiful and vibrant fruit trees in Atlanta like a pro.
Site Considerations/Plant hardiness/Climate
Like we stated earlier, don’t forget to think about plant hardiness before planting fruit trees in Atlanta.
It’s important to keep the USDA plant hardiness map on hand when planting a new fruit tree in Atlanta Georgia.
Plant hardiness is a scale that measures a plant’s ability to survive adverse weather conditions specific to location, and it’s an easy way to decide yes or no when planting fruit trees.
For example, a lemon tree might seem like a good idea to plant outdoors in Atlanta, but lemon trees are only able to grow in zones 9 or higher on the plant hardiness scale.
That means a lemon tree can only survive an annual minimum temperature of 20-25° F while Atlanta is zoned in between 7b and 8a (0-15° F being the annual minimum temperature).
That being said, you’ll want to avoid an attempt to grow citrus trees outdoors in Atlanta. Although, upon close examination of the plant hardiness map there are places in South Georgia where growing a citrus tree isn’t as bad of an idea.
Proper Plant Spacing
The Arbor Day Foundation provides us with a useful table for how far apart to plant our trees. Always do your research before planting multiple trees to give them enough space for proper root structure. Fruiting happens much easier when trees have the space they need to grow properly.
It’s also important that your fruit trees have healthy pH soils in the soil. We recommend purchasing a soil tester kit off of Amazon. Be sure to mix mulch/compost with the soil to protect the tree’s roots from drowning in pooled water.
Preventing Bugs And Diseases
Nothing is worse than losing a fruit harvest due to bugs or diseases, and it’s even sad to watch a tree be plagued with an illness or invasive insect.
Luckily, there are strategies for preventing both insects and plagues from ruining that sweet-tasting fruit harvest, but it’s going to take some dedication and close nurturing on your part.
Full sun exposure is vital for healthy fruit trees in Atlanta. Growers, be sure to plant your trees in an area where they will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight during the peak growing season.
Why Is It Important To Grow Native Fruit Trees In Atlanta?
Trees native to Atlanta are more adapted to ecosystems and growing conditions compared to foreign species.
Do your research before planting trees on your property, and consult the help of a professional arborist if you’re not sure about which trees to choose. Here are a few reasons why we think it is essential to grow native fruit trees in Atlanta.
Native fruit trees don’t harm other native species. For example, Callery pear trees that are native to Asia were previously used in landscaping before they were discovered to be incredibly invasive.
Audobon.org points out that native birds can’t survive without native trees and the insects that co-evolve along with them.
Use reliable internet resources like the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council to help you become familiar with plants that are harmful to Atlanta’s diversity.
Most invasive species come from Asia, but as a general rule, you should be familiar with the species of every plant that exists in your space. We recommend consulting a professional arborist in your area to help you identify different plant species.
Preventing Invasive Species
Invasive species are a problem for many reasons, including:
High Removal Costs
The U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment estimates that one dollar spent on early weed control prevents $17 in future removal efforts.
Wild invasive vines are known to climb up trees creating a conduit for wildfires to reach tree canopies.
Destroying Native Populations
Invasive species steal the soil and sunlight from native plants causing catastrophic results in most situations.
How Can A Tree Grow Expert Help?
Professional arborists are like tree doctors. They know which trees thrive, which trees don’t, and how to perform necessary tree care. Here are a few ways a tree growing expert from Tree Triage can help you.
Obtaining a Tree Removal Permit
Did you know that most cities in the U.S. require a tree removal permit before you can legally remove or prune certain trees? We recommend hiring a tree removal service like Tree Triage in your area to help service your trees because it eliminates the need for you to get a permit for yourself- we can do everything for you.
Properly pruning trees is vital to their health. For example, if you cut a branch off too close to the tree’s trunk, you are making it vulnerable to infection.
It’s also important to note that fruits should be removed from the tree after they become ripe. Proper removal of fruit ensures more fruit for the years to come.
Ask a professional arborist from Tree Triage to help you transplant trees correctly in Atlanta. If you’re doing it on your own, we recommend researching details about planting your specific tree beforehand, and always mix in mulch/compost before replacing the topsoil to create a fertile habitat.
Use a tree-growing expert to help you constantly monitor your trees. Invasive bugs and infections can ruin trees, especially during the summer months. We recommend hiring a tree-growing expert to examine and care for your greenery at least once a month to avoid losing any trees.
Don’t forget to drop us all of your questions on our Tree Triage page.