Tropical Fruit Information
Cold Tolerant Trees
Guide to Choosing Fruit Trees or Tropical Vegetables for Cold Tolerance
Probably the main limitation to growing tropical fruits in Southwestern Florida is low temperatures. The following are what we hope are helpful charts to aid you in choosing fruit trees for your yard. They indicate the temperature minima of the various tropical fruit trees that ECHO carries. In using the charts below, please remember that these are simply our own suggestions, with the information gleaned from a variety of sources and not the ultimate authority on the matter. You may find different trends in your own area. Microclimates within your yard may raise the temperature several degrees above reported temperatures; check the temperature trends in several locations in your own yard. For example, depressions, or areas facing north may be quite a bit cooler, while areas next to walls, south-facing or mature landscapes protected from the wind may be several degrees warmer. Another thing to keep in mind is that these minima refer to sustained temperatures; if a low temperature is maintained for only an hour, that is a very different thing than a low temperature sustained for several hours. And keep in mind that younger trees are generally 3-4°F more sensitive than mature trees.Many people are determined to grow tender fruit trees in colder locations. There are options if you decide to go this route. You can cover younger trees during the cold nights. Many of these trees can be grown in moveable containers that can be brought indoors or to a protected location for the cold snaps. If you are willing to engage in heroics, there are publications available through IFAS detailing other measures that can be taken to protect fruit trees from the cold. At ECHO we rely both on overhead sprinklers and "frost blankets" to protect plants during frost and freeze conditions.
Table 7 Cold Tolerance of ECHO's tropical fruit trees.
Table 8 Avocado cultivar cold tolerance
Table 9 Citrus Species cold tolerance
Information in above tables adapted from Florida Fruit by Lewis Maxwell and Rare and Exotic Tropical Fruit Trees and Palms, by Carl W. Campbell and Seymour Goldweber, published by the Caloosa Rare Fruit Exchange; and A guide for choosing rare fruit trees for your yard by David and Tina Silber, published by the California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc. and our own observations and experience. . Most cold hardy sweet oranges: Ambersweet, Parson Brown, Hamlin. Most cold hardy mandarins / tangerines: Dancy, Orlando, Dancy, Robinson, Sunburst.Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 August 2007 )