Southeastern Alabama’s climate allows a wide variety of fruit trees to flourish. Humid summers give way to mild winters with low risk of heavy frost, which allows the fruit trees to have long growing seasons. Most fruit trees need to have other varieties nearby in order to cross-pollinate. An exception to this is the common fig tree, which does not require pollination in order to bear fruit.
Many types of apple trees do well in southeastern Alabama. Whether you want to grow red or green apples, you can find several varieties to try. Gala, Granny Smith, Mollies Delicious, Yates and Braeburn are only a few of the different apples to try in your garden. Some apple trees mature more slowly and produce fruit after 4 to 6 years whereas others can produce fruit in 2 to 3 years. If you are looking for a crop of apples within a shorter period of time, choose nonspur apple trees like Mollies Delicious or Yates.
American plum trees do not generally grow well in Alabama, but Japanese plum trees do much better. Commercial farmers tend to grow plums as secondary crops only. These plums are sweeter than American plums, and are available in a variety of different colors. Japanese plums are susceptible to diseases, causing the trees to have shortened lifespans. Varieties to try in your home garden include Crimson, Ruby Sweet and Black Ruby.
Peaches can be cling or freestone. Cling peaches refer to the fruit’s ability to cling to the stone in the center of the fruit. Freestone peaches are easier to remove from the pit. Most peaches fall along the spectrum of cling or freestone. In southeastern Alabama, some peach varieties to try in your home garden are Flordaking and June Gold.
Fig trees are fairly small trees compared to other fruit trees; in fact, some may appear to be large shrubs. The common fig does well in southeastern Alabama. This is a seedless fig. A seeded variety of fig that also does well in this area is the San Pedro fig. Fig trees are quite hardy, even in northern Alabama where frost hits harder and earlier than it does in the lower parts of the state.