Fruit Trees That Prosper in Alabama
One of the first things many homeowners want to do is plant fruit trees on their property. Alabama homeowners will want to consider the temperature in their part of the state to determine which types of fruit trees and which cultivars are best suited for their location. Northern Alabama can see freezing temperatures during the winter, while southern Alabama has an almost sub-tropical feel. Fortunately, there are many species of fruit trees to plant in Alabama that are suitable for each region, so growing the type of fruit you enjoy can easily be accomplished.
Peach Trees in Alabama
The peach is Alabama's official state tree fruit. Approximately 25 cultivars of peaches are grown in the state according to The News Courier in Alabama. Most of the state's peach production is in Chilton County, with Limestone County in north Alabama running a close second.
Peach harvest begins in May and continues through August each year. Some popular cultivars of peaches grown in Alabama include Scarlet Pearl, Southern Pearl, Flavorcrest, Harvester or Topaz. Scarlet Pearl and Southern Pearl both have white flesh and are good choices for fresh eating. Flavorcrest, Harvester and Topaz are good choices for home canning or desserts.
Growing Nectarines in Alabama
Nectarines, which are fuzz-free peaches, are grown in all areas of the state of Alabama. Crimson Gold and Fantasia cultivars produce well in the northern region of the state. These nectarines will become available in early to mid-June.
Red Gold grows well in northern and central Alabama. This cultivar will usually ripen in late June to mid-July. Crimson Gold and Carolina Red nectarines fare well in southern Alabama. These cultivars are normally ready for harvest in early June.
Pear Trees in Alabama
Most of the pears grown in Alabama are of the Asian variety. These pears prove hardy against a common disease of the pear tree known as fire blight. Many of these varieties are self-fertile; however the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service recommends planting at least two trees of different cultivars for optimum crop yields.
Pears begin to ripen in early July in southern Alabama, while northern counties can continue to harvest fruit through September. Asian pears can normally be stored under refrigeration for a period of one to three months after harvest. Asian pear cultivars commonly grown in Alabama include Early Asian, Doitsu, Chojuro, Megeitsu, Kikusui and Korean Giant.
Apple Trees in Alabama
Apples are grown in most of the state, with the extreme southeastern county of Houston being the exception. Red Delicious and Golden Delicious cultivars are the most widely-grown. Cumberland Spur, a type of Red Delicious apple was discovered in Jackson County, Alabama and shows great promise not only in Alabama but throughout the southeast.
Jonathan, Rome, Granny Smith, Arkansas Black, Ozark Gold and Ginger Gold are other popular cultivars. Gala apples are usually the earliest-producing variety in Alabama. Most of the apple production is in the cooler northern portion of the state. There are a number of u-pick fruit orchards in Alabama, most of which open for the season in July and close during December. A few of the orchards are open year-round.