Fruit Trees in Texas Listed for Every Part of the State (Best Types To Grow & How)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | March 20, 2024

Man looking at the state of Texas with a fruit tree on it and wonders what types of fruit trees in Texas can you grow, and is there a guide for growing fruit trees in Texas and what are the best fruit trees to grow in Texas.

You can grow fruit trees in Texas in your backyard for personal use or in your orchard for large-scale commercial use.

The only challenge is knowing which types will adapt better and which types need to have more than one tree, considering the harsh weather and climate in the state.

So, if you’re interested in learning how to grow fruit trees in Texas and which kinds (varieties and types) will render the harvest you’re looking for, this complete guide can help.

Texas Fruit Tree Identification: What Are the Best Fruit Trees To Grow in Texas

Various types of trees can survive and thrive in Texas’ range of hardiness zones (zones 6b- 10a).

Graphic showing the state of Texas with various fruit trees growing on it including apple, persimmon, pear, cherry, plan, lemon, nut trees and more.

The following list outlines some of the most common fruit trees in the state and their unique features.

For each fruit tree, the best location for growing fruit trees in Texas is explained.

#1: Persimmons

Persimmons may not be as popular as other fruit trees in Texas, but they effortlessly grow in the state.1 They can thrive in Austin and northern regions, and the best part is that they can withstand frost and drought, which often hits the state.

Fruits of Persimmons while still attached to the branches of its tree.

(Image: Spiagol562)

They love full sunlight and hot climates, making Texas the ideal location. Additionally, pests and diseases rarely attack them, explaining why they are easy to care for.

They are also known for adding color when growing around the house.

Many apple fruits were harvested and put into wooden pails.

(Image: Lumix20045)

#2: Apple

Apples are the most common fruit trees in the world, known for their tasty fruits.3, 4 Varieties like the Pink Lady, Crispin, Anna, and Fuji can grow in Texas since the state can offer up to 600 chill hours yearly.

The trees are resilient against pests and disease, but the harsh weather can be challenging. Your apple may need bracing unless you live far inland with little danger of storms.

The strong winds can knock over even strong independent trees, made worse since apples have shallow roots.

#3: Fig

The fig is another resilient tree that withstands Texan extreme weather, especially the sweltering summers and extended drought periods.6 The best varieties for the region are the Alma, Brown Turkey, Celeste, Texas Overbearing, and the LSU purple.

Close up shot of a Fig fruit while still attached to the Fig tree.

(Image: Ajcespedes7)

The only extra care the fig needs is during frost when you must heavily mulch it. Luckily, it grows tougher and won’t need protection from the cold when mature and well-established.8

Close up photo of the Pomegranate fruits while still unharvested.

(Image: AselvadaAna11)

#4: Pomegranate

Pomegranates fit well into the Texan heat and usually bear fruits later in the year from October.9,10 They love slightly alkaline or acidic conditions, unlike other demanding trees, but the common feature is that they can get root rot when the ground stays wet for a long time.

The fruit trees can live past 30 years under proper care and maintenance. It is possible to have a beautiful landscaping tree that attracts wildlife and bears massive fruits.

Besides, it is easy to care for and less demanding than other species, making it suitable for first-time growers.

#5: Pear

Growing a pear needs patience because the fruits can take up to three years to start showing.12 You can go for other options if you don’t want to wait for that long, but still, the pear is quite rewarding once the tree becomes independent.

Close up photo of 2 pear fruits.

(Image: Analogicus13)

Pears and apples do not self-pollinate, so you must plant at least two trees to get fruit. The most suitable pollinators for pears in Texas include the Magnes, Ayres, and other Asian species.

The only downside is that you should brace them when the winds get stronger.

Pear-shape Avocado fruits hanging on an Avocado tree.

(Image: Sandid15)

#6: Avocado

Avocados are some of the most common fruit trees in Florida.14 They also grow in Texas and are favorites for large plantations, thanks to their high returns.

Many love the savory taste and use them in their salads and recipes.

They can live for over 100 years, sometimes 400, under perfect conditions. However, avocados are tropical fruits that don’t do well in extreme cold.

It is best to protect them, preferably using an indoor system if you live in the chilliest Texan regions.

#7: Cherry

Luckily, the two cherry types, tart and sweet, can effortlessly grow in Texas and neighboring regions.16 They need little maintenance and can grow tall or dwarf, depending on the species.

Photo of small Cherries hanging on tree branches.

(Image: Vampy2417)

Like the pear, you must be patient with your cherry because it can take over three years to bear fruit. You can plant it even as a beginner if you can wait that long.

In return, you get tasty fruits you can eat whole or incorporate into various dishes. Also, note that the sweet cherries need companion trees since they don’t self-pollinate.18

Close up photo of unharvested Pecan fruits.

(Image: DavidJara20)

#8: Pecan

The pecan is unusual to be in this list of fruit trees in Texas, but it must be here since it is a state tree.19 It has adapted to the Texan soil types, climate, temperatures, and punishing heat.21

The only downside is that it doesn’t do well during droughts and needs more watering. A massive tree requires more than 150 gallons weekly to grow healthy fruits.

Therefore, you need a nearby water source, especially during the drought season. Hurricanes and storms will also likely fall the branches unless you plant them in a suitable spot.

#9: Mexican Plum

Given that the fruit tree is native to the state, it doesn’t have trouble with the climate or weather. Its fragrance is one of its impressive features, explaining why it is a favorite to grow in homes.

Unharvested Mexican plums hanging on tree branches.

(Image: Couleur22)

You can grow it for the smell and the fruit supply but be wary of the tartness. They taste slightly bitter, especially when fresh, but make tasty jams after processing.

The plums can grow 25 feet high and work in tiny small spaces in your yard. Besides the fruits, many homeowners plant them for their striking white flowers.

Close up photo of an unharvested Lemon.

(Image: balouriarajesh24)

#10: Lemon

Citrus fruit trees like lemons, oranges, and mandarins can grow in Texas, particularly in the southern parts.23 They are a favorite for farmers in southern America and coastal regions because they grow best in warmer climates.

The plants can live for over 50 years, providing hundreds of tart fruits to enjoy. You have a better shot if you live in a warmer region because the fruits taste better.

However, they struggle under excessive and prolonged cold in many parts of the state.

#11: Peach

This list is not complete with the tasty peach, and given how much it loves the sun, it has become one of the best types to plant in Texas, regardless of the location. It is common in North Texas, and you will find it growing in homes and along streets.

Photo of the Peach tree planted within the park area.

(Image: Denise Davis33)

You can grow it as a dwarf or standard species, making it a versatile fruit tree. You can also snack on it, create jelly, or use it in pies and pastries.

Close up photo of unharvested Plums.

(Image: Couleur26)

#12: Plum

Plums are a favorite for their tasty juiciness, and it helps that they come from various species.25 They can grow in Texas, even in regions with fewer chill hours.

For instance, Methleys need only 150 hours yearly and cannot survive in places like Austin. You can go for the Allred and Robusto varieties if you are in central Texas.

However, note that the trees are vulnerable to plum curculio, which eats the fruits and destroys massive harvests.

What Is the Best Time To Plant Fruit Trees in Texas?

The best planting time for fruit trees in Texas is during the coldest period, between Late December or early January to early March.

Winter is ideal because the trees are dormant at that stage and can focus on developing stronger roots. Besides, it is when transplanting is easier and less tasking on your tree.

What Are the Best Fruit Trees in North Texas?

Northern Texas experiences more punishing winters than the south. Therefore, the best trees to grow in the region should be resilient to the weather.

Fruit trees like figs, pomegranates, persimmons, Mexican plums, cherries, peaches, and pears can withstand the prevailing conditions in the north better than other species.

What Is the Most Famous Fruit From Texas?

The most popular fruit in Texas is the ruby red grapefruit, the state’s official fruit and a symbol of agriculture.

Unlike other fruits, it has one of the longest growing seasons in the region, lasting on the tree from November through May. It is known for its deep red flesh, although there are pale, pinkish, and tart-like variations.

What Are the Trees Native to Texas?

While you can easily find trees that adapt well to the state, it is more convenient to grow native species. Being originally from the region, they are more comfortable with all the conditions and will effortlessly grow, unlike invasive species.

There are several options to choose from if you are looking for native fruit or shade trees. The most common and best adapted to Texas include:

  • Pecan Tree
  • Texas Ash
  • Escarpment Live Oak
  • Bald Cypress
  • Sweet Acacia
  • Mexican White Oak
  • Mimosa
  • Black Willow
  • Jerusalem Thorn
  • Black Walnut

Types of Oak Trees in Texas

There are about 50 types of oak trees in Texas. You will find the majestic tree in various locations in the state, growing tall along streets and in homes.

People grow them for landscaping; a plus is how they attract wildlife with their acorns. They promote wildlife by offering fruits and shelter, reducing soil erosion, and beautifying homes.

The most common oaks growing in Texas include:

  • Red Oak
  • Live Oak
  • Monterrey Oak
  • Mexican Oak
  • Bur Oak
  • Lacey Oak
  • Willow Oak
  • Post Oak
  • Black Oak
  • White Oak

Types of Cedar Trees in Texas

Texas is one of the most massive states in the country, with a huge climate range that can accommodate various trees. Several types of cedar trees in Texas attest to this, coming in various forms and features.

The most common cedar species growing in Texas include:

  • Rock Cedar
  • Redberry Juniper
  • Oakbark Cedar
  • Drooping Cedar
  • Mountain Red Cedar
  • One-Seed Juniper

Factors Affecting the Growing of Fruit Trees in Texas

You will notice that Texas may not be the best place to grow all tree types, especially fruit trees. It is infamous for extreme weather that many trees cannot survive, hence the need to carefully select the hardiest fruit species.

Below are the critical factors to consider when choosing fruit trees in Texas.

  • Drought

Drought is one of the main challenges affecting tree growth in the state. Water can be scarce, and dryness is common for about 40% of the time yearly.

Image of an extremely dry land and a dead tree.

(Image: _Marion27)

Most fruit trees are water-hungry and will rarely grow in such conditions. You need the hardiest species, like figs, but still, you need to water them occasionally, mostly when it gets too hot and dry.

  • Heat

Texan summers are unforgiving, sometimes reaching 90 degrees (F). While many fruit trees can handle the temperatures, some will suffer, which will show by wilting and death in extreme cases.

Heat and drought make the soil dry up faster without rainfall to make up for the loss.

  • Soil

Like with any other tree, it is crucial to determine your soil condition before planting. Fruits love well-draining, alkaline soil, or it will interfere with their growth and overall health.

For instance, if your soil is clay, acidic, and slow-draining, your tree will be susceptible to root rot, which is fatal. Besides considering your plant’s needs, it also helps to add compost and slow-release fertilizer to boost growth.28

  • Chill hours

Chill hours refer to how long the temperatures stay between 30-45 degrees yearly. Fruit trees can thrive in under 100-1000 hours, which is convenient for Texas because it can reach over 700 hours.

You can also grow trees that don’t need as many chill hours, but they will need frost protection, especially when young.

  • Pests

Pest attacks are some of the major hurdles to growing fruit trees. They make care and maintenance harder or impossible, and you will spend a lot to eliminate the insects to protect your tree.

The most common pests in Texas to watch out for include the June beetles, rust mites, aphids, and pecan nut casebearer. They destroy leaves and flowers and can kill the tree, and it is best to control their spread before it gets fatal.

  • Diseases

Farmers are always wary of diseases, particularly fast-spreading fungi, which can wipe out an entire plantation. These diseases hinder tree growth and affect the fruits, rendering them inedible.

Texas’ most prevalent fruit tree diseases include leaf spots, fire blight, brown rot, powdery mildew, and pecan scab. You can call an arborist to help remove the affected trees to avoid spreading or ask a professional for the way forward.

How To Select The Best Fruit Trees To Grow in Texas (Fruit Trees Texas Nursery)

Knowing the best trees to grow in the state and the factors to consider, the final decision is now which ones to plant. While you can go with your preference, it is also critical to consider whether the prevailing conditions will support growth.

It is more trivial if you are choosing a tree for commercial purposes because it entails heavy investments and can lead to huge losses.

Peaches are some of the most common fruits in Texas that don’t mind the drought and extreme temperatures.

On the other hand, apples are quite lucrative but the most demanding, unlike pears which are easy to care for but take longer to bear fruits. Alternatively, you can go for the desert willow tree if you want a yard tree that provides shade.

Given the several available options, you can go to horticultural sites for a breakdown of all the fruits and nuts that thrive in the region. After narrowing down to a few options, you can visit fruit trees in Texas at a local nursery or grower and pick your favorites.

Purchasing fruit tree saplings is a great way to speed up your harvest, and by buying from local growers, you can be ensured that the trees are hardy for the conditions they’ll experience.

Carefully inspect the saplings, checking for red flags like injuries, leaking gum, galls, or any other disease sign. The goal is to take home the healthiest tree that will grow effortlessly into a mature, rewarding tree.

Tips for Growing Fruit Trees in Texas

Texas can be hot and dry for some parts of the year but still allows the growth of fruit trees. Here are the basic tips to follow to guarantee a bumper harvest.

  • Choose the Variety

Selecting the best fruit tree that you are sure will survive in the Texan climate is the first step to success.

You can peruse lists online from your state’s extension office or look around to see which types of farmers plant in your area.29

  • Site Selection

With a fruit tree in mind, the next step is to find the perfect spot to plant it.

Find a sunny spot since trees need about six hours of sunlight daily, and check that the soil drains well before planting to avoid fatal root rot.

Photo showing the extreme heat of the sun while 2 trees looked healthy.

(Image: Jplenio30)

Fertile soil also helps boost growth, although you can supplement it with compost or fertilizer.

  • Planting

You can place a single tree anywhere in your home, but consider proper spacing if you want an orchard.

Trees need sufficient room to grow to their full potential.

Photo of a pair of hands of an old man planting a tree.

(Image: Grabowska, K.31)

Otherwise, being overcrowded leads to competition, and it will show.

  • Pollination

Another aspect that many ignore is the parts of a tree where some fruits, like apples, plums, and pears, don’t self-pollinate and need companions. It begs the question: do trees have gender?

While some are dioecious, containing male or female parts in different trees, monoecious species have both parts on the same tree.

You can find out whether you can grow a single tree or need more before planting and whether you have enough room.

  • Watering

Growing healthy, fruitful trees in a dry region like Texas means you need a backup for irrigation because the rains may fail.

Photo of a gardener watering the soil inside a greenhouse.

(Image: Schaeffer, Z.32)

You are safe if a water source is nearby and focus more on irrigating saplings and watering deep.3

  • Harvesting

Growing fruits needs patience because some varieties can take three or more years to be ready. Researching your tree’s nature will give you an idea of how long you should wait.

Texas is a giant state with a wide climatic range that accommodates various tree types. It is also known for its long droughts and hot summers, and you may worry about planting fruit trees.

Luckily, Texas’ weather and climate allow several types of fruits to grow, from apples and pears to plums and pomegranates. The trick is to pick species that can withstand harsh conditions.

If unsure, you can look for options from publications online or check which trees grow nearby. It also helps to check that your soil is well-draining to avoid root rot.

Your trees are safe if you can provide water and anything they need all year round.

Growing fruit trees in Texas can be rewarding if you select the type carefully and follow tree planting and care best practices.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fruit Trees in Texas

Can You Grow an Apple Tree in Texas?

Apples can grow and thrive anywhere in the state regardless of the climate since they are hardy and easily adaptable. However, they need bracing when it gets windy or during hurricanes because they have shallow roots.

What Are the Best Fruit Trees Central Texas?

The trees that survive in the north and south can live in Austin or Central Texas. The most common options include apples, pears, plums, persimmons, figs, pomegranates, peaches, pears, pecans, apricots, kumquat, grapes, and citruses.


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