Fruit Trees in Texas
Texas lies in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zones 6 to 9, which means this state experiences a wide variety of climates and growing conditions. Texas gardeners must select a fruit tree according to their Hardiness Zone as well as the tree's mature size, fruit type, bloom color and bloom time. Many fruit trees that perform well in one Texas region will not grow at all in the others. Several fruit trees commonly perform well in Texas home gardens.
The Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana), sometimes called the bigtree plum, belongs to the rose family (Rosaceae). Mature Mexican plum trees reach between 15 and 35 feet tall. Fragrant, white or pink flowers appear from February through April. The blossoms give way to purple plums that mature from late summer through early fall. The Mexican plum naturally occurs in prairies, woods and river bottoms in North Central to Northeastern Texas. The Mexican plum needs well-drained soils in partly shady to fully sunny locations.
The black cherry tree (Prunus serotina), a member of the Rosaceae plant family, matures up to 60 feet in height. This cherry variety features shiny, green leaves and showy white flowers that bloom from March through June. The blossoms give way to ornamental red fruit that ripens to black in late summer. The cherries work well in pies, juices, wines and jellies. The green leaves turn yellow in the autumn and smell like cherries when crushed. This fruit tree prefers well-drained, moist soils in partially shady to sunny positions. Black cherry trees naturally grow in woods, fields and thickets across Texas.
The chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), another rose family member (Rosaceae) that does well in Texas climates, only reaches between 20 and 30 feet in height. White flower clusters bloom from April through July. The blossoms give way to ornamental deep red, purple or black fruit that ripens from June through August. Tent caterpillars often infest this fruit tree. Chokecherry trees naturally occur along Texas roads, stream banks and woodland margins. This plant tolerates various lighting conditions, but requires moist soils. Many Texas gardeners use chokecherries for erosion control.
The pawpaw tree (simina triloba), a member of the custard-apple plant family (Annonaceae), features aromatic green leaves that turn yellow in the autumn. Non-showy, purple flowers bloom in April and May, followed by edible yellow to dark green berries. Mature pawpaws reach between 10 and 40 feet tall. This fruit tree naturally occurs in Texas ditches, flood plains and ravines. Pawpaw trees needs slightly acidic, moist soils in partially shady to fully sunny positions. While the fruit is edible, it contains chemicals that causes stomach upset in some people.
The southern crabapple (Malus angustifolia), also called the wild crabapple, is a Rosaceae family member that naturally occurs in Texas fields and woods. This small fruit tree variety reaches about 30 feet in height. Fragrant, pink blossoms appear from March through May, followed by yellowish-green fruit. The southern crabapple needs well-drained, moist soils that receive only partial shade. This Texas native plant remains semi-evergreen during mild winters.