Arkansas is divided into two growing zones, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. The northern half is growing zone 7 and the southern is in zone 8. These areas have hot summers and winters that are not extreme. Although a wide selection of fruit trees and berry plants grow in Arkansas, some varieties are more suitable than others.
Red Delicious Apples
The Red Delicious apple (Malus domestica) is one of the recommended varieties for the state by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, which also calls it one of the most famous American apples. It grows to a height and width of 10 to 25 feet. It s a juicy and crisp apple with a sweet taste. It requires an average of 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. Grown in the USDA zones 5 through 8, it is has a bright red color. Red Delicious is a medium-size apple with an oval shape. It thrives best in acidic and moist soil with good drainage. It is considered a fast growing tree and is harvested from the middle of September through the middle of October. It is eaten both fresh off the tree and used in desserts.
The Kieffer pear (Pyrus communis) is on the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture's list for recommended pear varieties to be grown in gardens in the state. It grows to a height of 25 feet or more and has a strong branches. It prefers full sun and rich soil with good drainage. The pear ha an oval shape. Harvest a Kieffer pear before it is ripe and allow it to ripen in storage. Grown in USDA zones 5 through 9, it has green and deciduous leaves that make it an attractive tree for landscaping purposes. It produces fragrant flowers that are either pink and white. It is tolerant to heat and humidity, and has normal water requirements. The pears are harvested in late summer or early fall. A medium-to large-size pear, Kieffers are often used to make preserves.
One of the varieties of blackberries that does well in Arkansas, the Apache was first released by the University of Arkansas in 1993. It grows on a medium-sized and thornless shrub that produces blackberries over a five-week season. The berries themselves are large, firm and considered tasty. They also have an oval shape. According to the Texas Agriculture website, the Apache blackberry has shown no vulnerability to diseases and orange rust. After the fruit is harvested, the canes are cut back and new shoots with fruit grow the following spring. It is considered winter hardy. The University of University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture rates its sweet taste as very good.