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Summer Fruiting Trees


December 14, 2023


The Searles Gardening Team

Picking a crop from a fruit tree in summer is so rewarding. Many of us think of a summer fruiting crop as just citrus, but there is so much more. Depending on your region, there is variation, but the tastes of summer are vast.

For an iconic summer fruit cherry, have it. It is a cool climate tree and is always present on the Christmas table. 'Sir Don' Cherry has a respectable resistance to fruit cracking caused by rain before picking. Aside from the beautiful flower display, it is a self-pollinating variety in colder regions.

Plums are next on the list, and there are some low-chill (don't need very low temperatures to produce fruit) varieties. 'Gulf Ruby' and 'Sunrise Gulf' are amongst the first to ripen in the low-chill regions. In the cool/warm temperature regions, 'Santa Rosa', 'Spring Satin', 'Plumcot', 'Satsuma' and 'Narrabeen' will be cropping for the Christmas table. The Japanese plums will fruit after these, and then the European plums at the end of summer.

Low-chill peaches and nectarines are fruiting from spring to Christmas. The cool/warm regions you can plant and collect fruit from are 'Angel', 'Anzac', and 'White Gold' peaches, and they are becoming more popular to purchase in garden centres. The 'Angel' peach is a subtropical peach with yellow or white flesh. 'Early Beauty' is well worth trying. An early cropping variety of fruit tree, fruit fly is less of an issue. One of the best early peaches is 'Anzac' for most climates.

'Indian' peaches are a rarely seen blood peach with black flesh, but they are slowly becoming available to purchase. It has a high chill, so it is suitable for cold regions, and it is spectacular visually and tasty. Nectarines for the cool/warm region include 'Tango', 'Flavortop', and 'Sunset Super Dwarf red leaf' which will be fruiting in late summer.

Apricots do best in cool or warm, dry temperature regions and will be ready for picking from November with 'Fireball' to 'Tilton' in February. 'Tilton' and 'Trevatt' apricots are suitable for areas with late frosts as they flower and set fruit later in the year. Fireball (a low chill) is better for gardeners in hotter climates as the fruit is ready to crop before the summer heat destroys the fruit.

Pears fruit at the end of summer, and varieties for cool/warm temperatures and subtropical pears are now available. Apples also fall into this wide range of growing regions. In the subtropical region, 'Tropical Anna' and 'Golden Dorset' apples have been available in garden centres for many years and crop heaviest when one of each is planted for cross-pollination.

Almonds are best for hot, dry conditions in South Australia, Northern Victoria, southern New South Wales and Western Australia. They will be ready for picking from January to February. The plethora of summer fruit also includes pomegranates and persimmons in the late summer. Figs start to fruit in late summer and then go into autumn, as do many lychees. The fruit trees mentioned above have only scraped the surface for fruit available to grow. There are so many more when we delve into exotic tropical fruits that have come into popular gardening.

Plums: 'Gulf Ruby' & 'Sunrise Gulf'
Peach:  'Angel Peach'
Apple: 'Tropical Anna' & 'Golden Dorset'
Pear: subtropical Pears 'Bonza' & 'Dwarf Sunshine'
Nectarine: Nectarine 'Tango' & 'Super Dwarf Sunset Nectarine'

Warm temperate
Peach: 'Angel', 'Anzac', 'Dwarf White Gold' & 'Super Dwarf Sunset Red Leaf Peach'
Nectarine: 'Tango', 'Flavortop' & 'Sunset Super Dwarf'
Apricots: 'Tilton', 'Trevatt' & 'Fireball'

Cool Climates
Peach: 'Angel', 'Indian Peach', 'Anzac' & 'Dwarf White Gold'
Nectarine: 'Tango', 'Flavortop' & 'Super Dwarf Sunset Nectarine'
Apricot: 'Tilton', 'Trevatt' & 'Fireball'