Fruit trees come in all shapes and sizes. While some fruit trees grow into statuesque towers, other fruit trees develop into small shrub-like trees with little height and ability to stand erect. The variations come not only with nature’s creations, but with the engineered hybrid fruits. Even with the large selection of fruit, many of the most common fruit fall into just a few types.
Pome fruits are members of the Rosaceae pomoideae family. These fruits have a central core of seeds with a thin, tough outer-membrane that is edible with the fruit. These deciduous fruit trees have a moderate growth rate, thrive in full sun and require several months of cold dormancy for quality fruit production in the following season. The apple tree is the most commonly known pome fruit and is grown in every state in the U.S. Other pome fruit trees include the pear, loquat, hawthorn and the medlar.
Similar to pome fruits, stone fruits have a center core with a thin but tough and edible outer-membrane. The center core of the stone fruit, however, is comprise of one stone-like drupe in the center of the fruit, rather than a series of small seeds. Common stone fruits include the peach, plum, nectarine, apricot, cherry and almond trees. The almond tree can bear fruit for more than 50 consecutive seasons, unlike its counterparts that range from 25 to 35 years.
Citrus fruit trees produce acidic fruits filled with juicy pulp that is encased by an outer membrane. Though the membrane is generally not consumed, the zest of the membrane is commonly used for its flavor and scent enhancements. The level of acidity, like the sweetness, fluctuates by variety. Citrus fruit trees include the orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, grapefruit, clementine and kumquat. The state of Florida has positioned itself as the world’s second largest producer of oranges and number one in the country.
Berry fruit trees produce the simplest fruit. Created from one ovary, the berry fruit has a thin, edible membrane with a fleshy, juicy interior. Though most berries look appealing, some are poisonous when consumed. The most common berry fruit trees include the grape, currant, tomato, cranberry and persimmon. Produced from a single ovary, the banana and watermelon are also considered to be true berry fruits.