Winter bearing fruit trees provide fresh harvests for use in the home as well as an uplifting sign of life in the garden when many other plants are dormant or otherwise not at their peak appearance. Depending on your climate, several winter bearing fruit trees can be grown outdoors and when that is not possible can be overwintered indoors to safely develop their harvests.
Satsumas, known botanically as Citrus reticulata, are sweet mandarin oranges that begin to ripen on the tree in late fall and persist in winter in climates that are USDA Zone 9 or higher. The fruit have easy release skins for peeling and have very few seeds, if any. Like many citrus trees the leaves are evergreen and the spring flowers give off a rich sweet fragrance.
Persimmon, known botanically as Diospyros, is a species of fruiting tree in the Ebony family. They are tropical or semi-tropical and deciduous or evergreen depending on the cultivar which number over 200. Persimmon trees flower in the spring and summer and produce large, richly hued fruit in the very late fall and winter. They are hardy in USDA Zones 5 through 9 and prized for fresh eating, baking and cooking.
Meyer & Ponderosa Lemon
While most established lemon trees will produce fruit year round, the Meyer and Ponderosa lemon tree cultivars produce the bulk of their harvestable fruit in late fall and winter. While they are not true lemons due to their breeding mix, Meyer is interbred with manadarin and Ponderosa has been interbred with citron, they are sold, used, consumed and considered by most people to be lemons. As they grow nearly year round they are more cold sensitive than most fruit trees and will not tolerate temperatures below 29-degrees Fahrenheit.