Fruit trees are often used to beautify a garden or landscape and have value as ornamentals in addition to bearing fruit. The care required by fruit trees varies by variety. Figs, guava and pears are among the easy-to-care-for varieties, and all are tolerant of different soils and are considered "clean" trees that do not drop messy fruit or leaves. Most fruit trees should be grown in pairs for best yield.
Fig trees are not particular about soil, and they provide interest in any landscape. Leaves are large--up to 9 inches long--deeply lobed, rough and bright green, while trunks are smooth but may be gnarled on older trees. Hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10, fig trees thrive in full sun to part shade in the hotter part of the climate range and require regular water. These trees should be lightly pruned during winter. Fig trees, which produce two crops a year, do not need pollinating and a single tree may be planted.
Guava (Psidium) is a tropical plant that is hardy in zones 9 and above. Plant guava trees in neutral to acidic soil; they will not thrive in alkaline soil. Guava trees have green-gray to golden brown bark and trunks, and new growth is salmon-colored. Guava trees do lose some leaves in spring but not in large quantities. These trees can grow to 15 feet and require little pruning. Guava trees are self-fertile but will produce a larger harvest if two trees are planted. Plant in full sun or high shade, and give moderate water.
Pear (Pyrus communis) is a common tree in northern regions and is hardy in zones 4 to 8. Pear trees require between 600 to 900 hours of chill time (temperatures of 45 degrees F or lower) to produce good fruit. These trees are pyramidal and can grow to 40 feet. Pear trees thrive in well-draining, loamy soil but can tolerate heavy, wet soil. Pear trees should be lightly pruned in winter and do not require fertilization. Some varieties are susceptible to fireblight, but many, including 'Magness,' 'Kieffer' and 'Orient' are resistant. Pear trees require cross-pollination and should be planted in pairs. They thrive in dry climates and require full sun and regular water.