The Perfect Fruit Tree To Grow For Your Climate

We are spoilt for choice in Australia when it comes to fruit. With different climates all year round in various states across the country, it makes it possible for us to grow fruits in each season of the year. 

 Whether you love the crisp summer fruits or enjoy the citrus ones throughout winter, at PlantNet, we have a range of dwarf fruit trees for sale that are perfect for growing in your climate, wherever you are in Australia. 

How To Know What To Plant

It’s no surprise that some fruits grow better in some climates than they do in others, so before you know what fruit trees to plant, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you get frost?
  • What are the lowest overnight temperatures?
  • What’s the average humidity in summer?
  • Do you get a lot of rainfall?
  • Does my soil have good drainage?
  • Has my planting site got enough sunlight?

Although these questions may be simple, these subtle climatic differences can be easily overlooked and maybe the reason your fruit won’t grow well.

These are the climates you can expect to find throughout Australia, and which fruits will grow the best:

Chill

Chill is a term used to describe the suitability of many types of deciduous fruit trees that can grow in various climates. Chill relates to the required number of hours below 7 degrees Celsius while trees are dormant for the tree to set fruit. One factor that can offset or reverse chilling is high maximum day temperatures!

Low chill varieties are best suited to warm temperate climates (including sub-tropics) as they will set fruit with as few as 0-400 hours a year below 7 degrees Celsius while trees are dormant. Low chill varieties of fruit trees we sell include some varieties of:

  • Nectarines 
  • Peaches
  • Blueberries
  • Fig

Medium chill varieties are suited to areas which receive 450-550 hours a year below 7 degrees Celsius while trees are dormant. Medium chill varieties of fruit trees we sell include some varieties of: 

  • Apples 
  • Almonds
  • Nectarines 
  • Peaches
  • Apricots 
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Blueberries

High chill varieties need as many as 600 hours per year below 7 degrees Celsius before they will set fruit. High chill varieties are only really suitable for the colder regions in the country, such as in the south of Australia. Our high chill fruit trees include: 

  • Apples 
  • Almonds
  • Nectarines 
  • Peaches
  • Apricots 
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Cherries
  • Blueberries


Temperate

Temperate regions are generally medium chill areas in Australia, such as on the east coast from Port Macquarie south to Victoria. 

A lot of fruit varieties fall into the temperate category, which means most Australians living in these areas can quickly grow:

  • Peaches
  • Nectarines 
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Figs


Subtropical

Sub-tropical areas will generally be low chill areas. Coastal areas from the east coast near Port Macquarie north to Rockhampton in Queensland are generally sub-tropical. 

The best areas to grow subtropical fruits however include Sydney through to Rockhampton. Subtropical fruit trees which can be planted and grow here include: 

  • Banana
  • Low chill stone fruits
  • Figs
  • Citrus fruits
  • Subtropical varieties
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries


Tropical

Tropical fruit trees are best planted and grown in Queensland where the temperature is tropical, humid, and the trees are protected from winds all year round. 

Some of the best fruit are grown in tropical climates, which include: 

  • Banana
  • Low chill stone fruits(Only on the Atherton Tablelands)
  • Figs
  • Strawberries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Blueberries
  • Tropical varieties


Arid/Desert 

An arid or desert climate is where there an excess of evaporation over precipitation. The desert of Australia holds little moisture and quickly evaporates the little rainfall it receives, making it a dry area all year round. 

Examples of fruit trees we sell that are perfect for growing in arid climates include:

  • Figs 
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Citrus fruits

 

Planting Fruit Trees 

Fruit trees grow and fruit best in sunny positions, and where possible, you should try and plant them there. 

Part shade during the early morning and late afternoon is sufficient, provided the fruit trees receive enough sunlight during the rest of the day. 

If planting a row of fruit trees, try and plant in a north/south aspect. 

In the warmer areas of Australia, you can plant fruit trees on the southern side of your house. This ensures it receives the coolest evening temperatures to meet winter chilling requirements and to minimise exposure to extra hot temperatures that can burn the leaves and fruit. 

 

Pruning Fruit Trees

 

A key feature of many PlantNet fruit trees is the minimal pruning required at any stage of their life because they are genuine dwarf varieties. 

Majority of our dwarf fruit tree range will do most of their growing in the first couple of years and will grow to their full height by then. After this time, the tree will move into a fruiting cycle, and the tree will not grow much more in height but will start to produce large quantities of fruit-bearing branches. We recommend that you prune them straight away after planning. 

An excellent guide to pruning: the more, the better! Don’t be afraid to prune your new tree after planting, it may seem harsh, but it will be beneficial for the fruit tree in the long-term. 

You can prune young trees that are up to two years old lightly 4-5 times a year. We recommend that mature trees are pruned during their dormant period. 

 

Harvesting Fruit Trees 

Depending on the climate in which you live and the type of fruit trees, the fruit growing will become ripe at different times of the year. 

Below are the months in which you can expect specific fruits are ready to be harvested: 

 

Almonds

  • Midseason 

Apples

  • December to May

Apricots 

  • December to late March 

Cherries

  • December to March

Citrus

  • Most of the year

Figs

  • December to June

Nectarines

  • October to April 

Peaches

  • October to April 

Pears

  • February to April

Plums 

  • November – March 

How to Summer prune young apple trees(December 2019)

Presented by Mark Dann of PlantNet.

How to Summer prune young stonefruit trees(December 2019).

Presented by Mark Dann of PlantNet.

Winter pruning young stonefruit trees Year 1.

Presented by Mark Dann of PlantNet.

Winter pruning mature/fruiting stone fruit trees- Part 1

Presented by Mark Dann of PlantNet.

Winter pruning mature/fruiting stone fruit trees- Part 2

Presented by Mark Dann of PlantNet.