Fall is a Great Time to Plant Fruit Trees

Written by David S.

November is a great time to plant fruit trees in your Southern California yard. Why now and not this coming spring? There are actually a few good reasons, and we will explain them below. 

The Selection is Great In Fall

The bare root stock does not show up until late winter and early spring, but we are talking about the beautiful assortment of fruit trees in pots. These are often larger trees that are ready to set fruit. 

What Are the Best Fruit Trees for Southern California? 

1. Citrus – grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, and a host of other citrus trees are available right now. Potted trees are an excellent way to grow a small orchard in your yard. If you focus on dwarf varieties of fruit trees, they are easy to manage, and they do not take up much space. 

2. Apples – So many varieties of apples available, and they do well in our Mediterranean climate. Some apples need a “friend” to help them bear fruit. You can ask our garden experts about fruit trees that are self-pollinating and those that are not. Trees that are not self-pollinating need a tree that will pollinate them. 
TIP: A good tip for choosing the best apple tree for your yard is to focus on how you use apples. Ask yourself if you want apples to eat, cook with, or preserve. Some varieties do all of those things while others are specialty applies. 

Figs – Figs are lovely just off the tree or as an ingredient. They come in black or white, and both are wonderful. We stock a few varieties of figs, including the Aubique Noire, Negro Largo, and the San Piero. Mission figs are also available. 

3. Plums – The Santa Rosa Plum is one of the best plums for Southern California. It does not need as many cold days to thrive as do other types of plums. Howard’s Miracle is another awesome plum for Southern California. It requires only 300 chilly nights to thrive. 

When picking fruit trees, it is always a good idea to dial in on the hardiness zone where you live. Doing so helps you to pair the perfect fruit trees with your microclimate. Our garden experts will help you find the hardiness zone, or you can do that online too. 

4.  Avocado – A tropical tree that does amazingly well here in Southern California. Who does not love avocados? They are easy to grow, and some are self-pollinating, which means you only need one tree. 

5. Grapes – Grapes thrive in the Mediterranean climate of Southern California. We stock varieties that range from table grapes to grapes for wine and juice. Grapes also pair wonderfully with garden structures such as a pergola. 

So, when it comes to tree selection, there is a huge variety available. The longer you wait to get your fruit trees, the less selection there will be. If you are looking for something specific, we can usually order those for you. 

Healthier Trees 

Trees in containers have had a long time to develop roots and show signs of weakness. Choosing your fruit trees now means you are getting healthier trees. That also means that the trees have time to settle into pots or in the ground before winter. Also, come spring when many fruit trees awaken, the trees you plant now will have a headstart on bare root trees. That headstart means the tree does not stress as easily, and you might even get a good crop of fruit next year. 

In contrast to potted trees, bare-root trees are dug up and then packaged for sale. While there is nothing wrong with them, they have to become established quickly, and that can sometimes be a struggle. Another consideration is that healthier trees have a better chance of fighting off plant disease. With Citrus, there is always the concern over the Asian Psyllid or Greening Disease, but in general, Potted trees are healthy. 

So, right now is truly a great time to pick out and plant fruit trees in Southern California. Most are relatively easy to care for, and many love the climate here. 

Before you plant be sure to prep the ground or container. Some fruit trees need special soil. Those in the citrus group like their soil to be a little more acidic. If planting in the ground, you can bring a soil sample, and we can help test it, or you can choose one of the easy-to-use soil testing kits we sell. 

There are also specialized soils, Such as Black Gold Citrus, that help make a container or in-ground planting more successful. Products like EB Stone Citrus and Fruit Tree is another beautiful product. It not only makes it easy to fertilize existing trees but also to help set up containers and in-ground plants for new trees too. 

Our garden experts are here to help you make the best selection of trees, and they will point out any specialized products you might need. They can also help you with tree selection too. 

We have five locations throughout Southern California. If you are looking for specific types of fruit trees, call ahead. We can check inventories and let you know if they are in stock. We can also order many types of fruit trees for you. Keep in mind that our inventory changes daily, and fruit trees are a popular item, so some types may be out of stock. You can also visit us online or just drop by one of our five locations. 

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