Fruit Trees That Grow in Shade

Most fruit trees that grow in temperate climates require partial to full sun. However, in warmer areas in the temperate zone, like warmer areas in southern North America, some shade loving sub-tropical fruits can flourish. To ensure long term viability, check your local climate zone before trying to grow these shade-tolerant fruits.


Although lychee are often thought to require full sun, lychee do very well in the shade. Lychees growing under deciduous trees that lose their leaves in winter will benefit from the warmth of the direct sun in winter and benefit from the shelter provided in the summer by a deciduous canopy. However, lychee are very sensitive to cold and will not tolerate temperatures below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.


Although similar to the lychee, the longan is easier to grow and less particular about soil and growing conditions. As such, it will grow well in diffuse or shaded areas. Longan are similar to lychee in that they produce small, 1/2- to 3/4-inch round fruits covered by a thick but easily torn skin. Lychee have spiny skins, while longan skins are smooth and bark-like.

Tree Tomato

The tree tomato, or tamarillo, is a tree-based tomato that grows between 10 and 18 feet high. Although they can tolerate a little frost, they do better in areas where frost is not an issue. The tamarillo grows best in the shade when growing in hot, dry conditions. Native to the Andes, they originated in southern latitudes between 5,000 and 10,000 feet. In cooler, northern climates, they grow well at lower elevations when protected from the sun in semi-arid or arid climates.

Keywords: shade tolerant fruit, fruit cultivation, growing fruit

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.