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Suggestions for fruit trees in Houston Zone 9a

Discussion in 'Trees & Shrubs' started by RUNuts, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Dec 6, 2017
    RUNuts

    RUNuts Chillin' In The Garden

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    I'm losing oak trees due to root fungus. Decided to plant some type of fruit trees and reading all kinds of horror stories about expensive trees shriveling and dying. Need suggestions please.

    I live in the coastal plain, so think heavy clay. Usually moist to sopping wet, but when it dries, it gets hard. From what I know, the persimmon in neighbor's yard is no longer there and since she moved, I don't know when the tree was cut.

    Mulberrys are possible.
    Jujube are new to me and reported to do well here.
    Mayhaw would work if we get a lot of rain.
    Banana is interesting.

    Mandarin or satsumas would be great. Tempted to try them.
    Apples won't get enough chill hours.
    Peaches, pecans and pears need well drained soil

    I need to look into plums more. Wife likes plums.
     
  2. Dec 6, 2017
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    Meyers Lemon I have a potted one, they produce the best lemons. I wish i could have a big outside tree. Mulberry are one of my favorite fruit trees no spraying, Are you willing and able to spray ? A lot of fruit trees need it for good fruit.
     
  3. Dec 6, 2017
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    On mulberry trees they need to be planted far from anything you don't want stained. They can be very messy trees.
     
  4. Dec 6, 2017
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    That sopping wet concerns me, how well does the soil drain? You could try a percolation test to check for your drainage. It's basically dig a hole, fill it with water, let it set overnight, fill it with water, and see how fast the water goes away. You can look up the details. Some trees can stand wet for a little while but constant wet feet will kill a lot of trees and shrubs. Clay doesn't usually drain well but maybe you have enough other stuff mixed in with it that it will.

    Figs should do well in your climate and can stand some moisture but a poor draining soil might do them in. When I was outside New Orleans a friend had a fig that made a mound maybe 6' across that produced a lot of figs. His neighbor had a Satsuma that produced well and I had a lime that usually produced well but a freeze could kill the topsides. It would come back from the roots so if you plant something that vulnerable to frost or a light freeze you might not want something grafted but rather would want one grown from seed. Those may be hard to find.

    My lime froze to the roots a couple of times. It sprouted back and in a couple of years was producing some huge, thin-skinned, sort or yellow when ripe, really juicy limes. Those were different from the cultivar I planted so it had to be from the rootstock. They were not as pretty as the cultivar that had been grafted on but I preferred them. They produced a lot of good juice.
     
  5. Dec 7, 2017
    RUNuts

    RUNuts Chillin' In The Garden

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    Have 2 black fig trees on the porch at 1 foot tall. Started them from cuttings and daughter has taken charge of those. I'm told that they are too small and have to be left in the pots a while more.

    Drainage - after a good rain, the puddles will stay for 3 days. I've about got the property sloped for run off. Usually we have too much rain. My first attempts at a garden drowned. I've got a few theories, but it has been a decade and the soil and lighting has changed. Previous owner must have bagged grass and it has been rebuilding. Yard is greener now than when we moved it. Except where the dogs redecorate.

    Bought house with 33 mature oaks. 10 left. I don't have the problem of too little sun anymore. Will miss the shade on the house in the summer. Always worried that a hurricane would lay one of them into the house.

    Mulberries. Messy. Yes, I'm afraid of that. Don't park under the tree or where the birds roost after eating. Might be good in the front yard?

    Will look at the lemons. Hadn't considered them. MIL has a satsuma tree and I'm looking at the remains of a 5 gallon bucket. Sweet and delicious. Just have to go visit her when they are ripe. Great tree! Been doing that longer than we've been married. Bad part is the store oranges pale in flavor and juice.

    Thanks for the ideas!
     
  6. Dec 7, 2017
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    @RUNuts (I love that name) LOL I was raised in Houston, very close to the South Main and Buffalo Speedway intersection. I am very well acquainted with what you are describing. My Daddy always had a garden, carved out of the black muck that passed for soil. In one word-COMPOST. Humus will help with the clay.

    For the fruit trees, scoop out a good size hole and fill with compost. Make a mound and plant the tree in the middle of it. Top dress in the spring and fall with more compost. In the summer, when the black gumbo turns to concrete, cracks open up that you can twist and ankle in, WATER those trees. The climate is great for fruit trees. Plant them on the south side of the house or garage. We had oranges, grapefruit and kumquats in our backyard.

    You can plant all sorts of berry and grape vines, they will grow well for you. Plant a couple of pear trees.

    This is a nursery just outside of Nacogdoches, they raise fruit trees for our climate. I advise ordering as early as you can, like now. That gives the tree the winter to get established and hopefully make it through the summer. You will have to baby the trees in the summer until they get rooted good.
    http://leggcreekfarm.com/

    We moved from Livingston, 75 miles north of Houston, 3 years ago to north of Tyler. Still trying to adjust to the difference in climate for the garden. In Livingston, I grew vegetables all year around. Here, they freeze. We had a lot of 75-100 year old oak trees surrounding our house in Livingston. Hurricane Ike dropped one on our house and did a lot of damage. Ike also stripped limbs off several more and they died, had to be taken down. One by one, the rest of them died and we had them taken down. We sure knew the difference on the AC bill!

    There are white mulberry trees that don't make the bird-poop-purple- blobs on everything. But since the birds beat you to them, what's the point?

    Do you have rabbits or chickens? I know there was a campaign in Houston several years ago, Hens for Houston that was successful, allowing people to keep a small number of hens. They are great for making compost! Are you on a small city lot or do you have a little room?

    Are you in Houston city limits, inside Belt 8 or 610 loop? I lived in Baytown in my early 20's.
     
  7. Dec 7, 2017
    RUNuts

    RUNuts Chillin' In The Garden

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    Yep, black gumbo mud. Technically, I'm in Baytown, but closer to Mont Belvieu/Anhuac. And we have an HOA that says no livestock. So we've got 18 "pet Asian ground parrots". I call them Asian ground parrots, but they look, sound, act and smell very similar to chickens. <wink, wink, nudge, nudge> The eggs are awesome!

    I've got a pallet compost bin full and aging using city dump wood chip mulch and chicken poo. Heated up quick. Been hauling more composted wood chips from the dump and laying out a garden. First step, smother grass. The raised beds have given us 4 zucchini and the cherry tomatoes are just beginning to ripen. We may get in the 30's tonight, but the weather man said good last weekend, so I'll have to cover them tonight. I was hoping for a milder winter through Christmas. I'll probably be wearing shorts and BBQ Christmas dinner, but the plants have a couple more fronts to survive.

    Yep, building compost and raising the beds.
     
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  8. Dec 7, 2017
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    Might want to get a rabbit to go with Asian parrots. They are very quite and make the best fertilizer.
     
  9. Dec 7, 2017
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    Asian Ground Parrots!! :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

    Cruise the streets looking for bags of leaves on the curb. Look the yards over carefully to make sure you aren't picking up $%^^*$$%@# Chinese Tallow tree leaves/seed/demons. dump bags of leaves in chicken coop/run up to 3 feet deep and let them go to town on the leaves. In 3-6 months you will have rich black crumbly compost for the garden. Rinse. Repeat.

    I took this yesterday, you are on track with the wood chips. This is my mustard greens.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Dec 8, 2017 at 1:40 AM
    Smart Red

    Smart Red Garden Master

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    I'll let the southerners suggest fruit and nut varieties.

    Nasty stuff that root fungus. It travels from tree to tree by wind and insects, but also travels underground from the roots of one tree to the next so while there are suggested ways to slow the movement down, it's not a sure thing.

    I was thinking, however, that the fungus hits only trees in the red oak family and doesn't bother white oak? That may give you some long term options for shade trees.
     

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