16 Best Bountiful Fruit Trees for USDA Zone 8 Gardeners

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Written By Shannon Campbell

Off-Grid Gardener & Food Forager

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Home » USDA Zone 8 » 16 Best Bountiful Fruit Trees for USDA Zone 8 Gardeners

With average minimum temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees F, exceptionally long growing seasons, and short frost periods, USDA hardiness zone 8 is one of the best zones for planting fruit trees.

It is just warm enough for growing heat-loving tropical and Mediterranean fruits like citrus and figs, and just cool enough that apple and pear varieties can still be planted here. No doubt the average zone 8 gardener is spoilt for choice.

Keep reading for 16 of the most productive and attractive fruit trees for zone 8.

16 Excellent Fruit Trees to Plant in Zone 8

1. Gala Apple (Malus ‘Gala’)

Apple trees typically don’t grow well in hot weather, but apple lovers in zone 8 will be pleased to know that this zone is the cut-off point for many apple varieties. While your property won’t provide enough chilling hours for some, it will work perfectly well for the Gala and other cultivars.

The Gala apple was developed in New Zealand in the 1930s, a cross between the Golden Delicious and Kidd’s Orange Red, and has since become one of the US’ most widely grown apple cultivars. It is prized for its firmness and sweet tangy flesh, as well as its status as one of the best early-growing apples.

Plant this tree in moist, well-draining soil in a location that provides at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day and adequate air circulation. Like all apple trees, the Gala will need a pollination partner to produce fruit.

Growing Zones: 4-10

Average Size at Maturity: 12-18 feet tall, with a 10-15 foot spread (semi-dwarf), 18-25 feet tall, with a 15-18 foot spread (standard)

Fruiting Season: Mid Summer to Late Fall

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

2. Blenheim Apricot (Prunus armeniaca ‘Blenheim’)

A hugely popular cultivar in California, the Blenheim is a delicious apricot variety that will grow well in zone 8 without extra protection.

It is an early bloomer with sweet, aromatic fruits that have pale orange skin flecked with red, adding extra visual interest to your property in summer. Its pink and white spring blossoms are also gorgeous and will fill your garden with their floral fragrance.

Blenheim is truly an all-star fruit. The apricot is plump, juicy, and perfect for fresh eating and drying and preserving. They make lovely ornamental accents and work well planted in small, loose groupings in the landscape.

While the Blenheim is technically self-pollinating, it will produce significantly more fruit with a pollination partner.

Plant the Blenheim in a location with full to partial sun in deep, moist, well-draining soil. Make sure to prune regularly to encourage heavier fruiting.

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 12-15 feet tall, with a 10-15 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Mid-Summer

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

3. Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo)

This lovely evergreen shrub and small tree may not be related to the strawberry plant, but it is just as worthy of a place in your garden!

The strawberry tree is popular in landscape planning and urban design, with its shiny green leaves and profuse, fragrant white blossoms. And of course, it is notable for its unique spiny fruits which ripen in shades of red, pink, and yellow.

For some landscape gardeners and property owners the value of strawberry fruits is largely ornamental and make better food for birds according to the Washington State University Extension. These sweet fruits are entirely edible, and though they are mild in flavor, they are often compared to the taste of pears and are well worth trying.

The strawberry tree is relatively adaptable, just plant it in a sunny spot with well-draining soil. It can thrive in sandy, loamy, or clay soil, and soil should have a pH level anywhere from acidic to slightly alkaline.

Other Common Names: Madrono, Strawberry Madrone, Killarney Strawberry Tree, Cane Apples, Dalmatian Strawberry Tree

Growing Zones: 7-10

Average Size at Maturity: 10-35 feet tall, with an 8-20 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall

Available at: Nature Hills

4. Montmorency Cherry (Prunus cerasus ‘Montmorency’)

A truly classic cherry cultivar, the Montmorency has taken the crown as the most beloved sour cherry variety. It was first cultivated in the Montmorency Valley of France hundreds of years ago, but quickly spread to all corners of the world. These dark, crimson fruits are known for their ornamental value and incredible flavor.

They look like small red jewels glimmering amongst the green foliage in spring, and their flavor is a delicate balance of sweet and tart. They are excellent for eating fresh and are particularly prized in desserts and preserves.

Local wildlife will be a big fan of this tree as well, flocking to enjoy its fruits every season, so make sure to buy some netting to protect your harvest!

While it thrives in colder climates, the Montmorency can be planted successfully in zone 8. Keep the tree well-watered and consider planting in a location with some protection from the afternoon sun. Otherwise, plant in loamy or sandy well-draining soil.

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 12-18 feet tall, with a 10-12 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Mid-Summer

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

5. Nagami Kumquat (Fortunella margarita ‘Nagami’)

Who wouldn’t be enchanted by these tiny jewel-like fruits that look exactly like miniature oranges? The Nagami Kumquat is a gorgeous evergreen citrus tree that grows well in zone 8 – it is one of the most cold-tolerant citrus trees on the market!

They also grow exceptionally well in containers, reaching just 6 feet tall and making a perfect patio tree.

With its dense, vivid foliage and tiny bright orange fruits, the Nagami Kumquat makes the perfect ornamental, but don’t overlook the taste of these fruits. Nagami Kumquats have a zesty, sweet, and sour taste, and their thin rind is completely edible! They are delicious eaten fresh and used in sweet and savory dishes.

If you’re planting this tree directly outdoors, make sure to provide moist, well-draining soil but be careful not to overwater. They are also adequate self-fertile producers.

Growing Zones: 8-11

Average Size at Maturity: 15-18 feet tall, with a 12-15 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Winter

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

6. Chicago Hardy Fig (Ficus carica ‘Chicago Hardy’)

As you may have guessed by its name, the Chicago Hardy is an adaptable tree with a preference for warm climates. It may just be the cold hardiest fig tree you can buy!

It’s an excellent choice for zone 8 gardeners, and not just because of its hardiness. This tree is highly ornamental, produces delicious fruits, and can grow equally well as a container plant.

The fruits of the Chicago Hardy figs are medium-sized with a deep purple and mahogany hue when fully ripe. The delicate pink flesh is rich and sweet, a decadent treat that you’ll be able to spoil your family and friends with in fall. The tree itself will add a touch of the Mediterranean to your property with its 10-inch lobed leaves and silvery-gray bark.

The Chicago Hardy tree can be used in the landscape as a specimen, patio plant, or even planted in dense rows as a privacy tree or plant.

Other Common Names: Hardy Chicago, Bensonhurst Purple

Growing Zones: 5-10

Average Size at Maturity: 9-15 feet tall, with a 5-12 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Late Summer to Early Fall

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

7. Shinseiki Pear (Pyrus ‘Shinseiki’)

Next, we have a unique pear cultivar, the Shinseiki. This Asian pear is a worthwhile diversion from the European pear, with all the sweet and delicate taste of a choice pear variety but an unusual look.

The lemon-yellow Shinseiki looks much more like an apple than a pear, with a very rounded form and a crisp, firm texture. They aren’t quite as juicy as European pears, but they are just as good for fresh eating and use in desserts and preserves.

The Shinseiki tree is beautiful and self-fertile, with lovely, fragrant pink and white spring blossoms and deep green leaves. It is known for being an abundant producer, yielding as much as 500 pears per harvest at just 6 or 7 years old! In fact, the Shinseiki can begin producing in small batches after just 2 or 3 years.

Unlike European pears, Asian pears will ripen on the branches so you can enjoy the Kinseiki fresh from the tree in summer!

Other Common Names: Shinseiki Asian Pear, Chinese Sand Pear, New Century Asian Pear

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 12-18 feet tall, with a 10-12 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Summer

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

8. American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

Want a fruit tree that is beneficial to your local ecosystems as well as your pantry? Consider a bountiful native species like the American persimmon.

This large deciduous native has been growing wild in the US for thousands of years, and with a hardiness range of zones 5 to 10 it can thrive in most regions of the US!

The American persimmon produces large orange and red fruits in fall, with an unusually chalky texture and very sweet flesh that has almost caramel-like undertones when ripe. The tree is appealing, with slightly drooping branches, and bluish-green leaves that turn brilliant yellow and red in fall.

Choosing an American persimmon to plant has its benefits and drawbacks. Though it is one of the easiest fruit trees you can grow in zone 8, it will be harder to find in nurseries than more common fruit trees.

Other Common Names: Common Persimmon, Eastern Persimmon, Date Plum, Jove’s Fruit, Possumwood, Possum Apples, Winter Plum

Growing Zones: 5-10

Average Size at Maturity: 30-50 feet tall, with a 20-35 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

9. Elberta Peach (Prunus persica ‘Elberta’)

The Elberta peach is truly the pick of the bunch. Its large fruits are incredibly fresh and flavorful, with a firm, juicy texture and yellow skin with a bright red and pink blush.

First developed in the late 19th century, today it is one of the best peach varieties you can grow in your backyard and one of the finest fresh-eating peaches on the market.

After 3 or 4 years of growth, the Elberta tree begins producing fruit, and once it reaches around 8 to 10 years old it can bear 150 pounds of peaches per season.

This tree is pretty and delicate too, with a handsome, rounded habit and a lovely spring display of pink and purple blossoms. It can be used as a small shade tree, or pruned into any shape you prefer.

Peach trees typically require full sun exposure, and the Elberta is no exception. Plant this self-fertile fruit tree in sandy, consistently moist, well-draining soil.

Other Common Names: Alberta Peach

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 15-25 feet tall, with a 10-15 foot spread (standard variety)

Fruiting Season: Late Summer

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

10. Methley Plum (Prunus salicina ‘Methley’)

First planted in South Africa, the Methley plum arrived in the US in 1922 and over the years its popularity has taken off. This Japanese plum cultivar is small and ornamental, with a graceful, upright growth habit that looks exceptional in winter, and abundant fragrant white flowers in spring.

The fruits of the Methley ripen in summer, turning a deep reddish-purple color. Their flesh is very juicy and sweet, perfect eaten straight from the tree or used in preserves, jellies, and even dehydrated.

The Methley is one of the most productive plum trees, so you can guarantee a large harvest every year that will require multiple pickings before it stops producing. The tree is self-fertile and an effective pollinator for other Japanese plum varieties.

For the best fruit and flower production plant this plum tree in loamy, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to slightly alkaline pH and full sun exposure.

Other Common Names: Methley Japanese Plum

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 18-25 feet tall, with a 18-20 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Summer

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

11. Pineapple Guava (Feijoa sellowiana)

A South American fruit that is extremely popular in New Zealand, the pineapple guava (also known as feijoa) is undervalued in warmer US climates where it is easy to plant and grow.

This semi-tropical tree is small but showy, with grayish evergreen leaves that have a rather Mediterranean look, and white and red flowers that add significant visual interest in summer.

The fruits of the pineapple guava ripen in fall. They are gray-green, the same color as the leaves of the tree, and have a strong, sweet, slightly tangy flavor. They are best eaten fresh or used in smoothies. The flowers of the tree are edible too and can be used to brighten summer salads.

Plant the pineapple guava in loamy, well-draining soil in full sun to partial shade. According to the Oregon State University Extension, it can withstand significant training and pruning, making it useful as a screen, hedge, or espalier.

Other Common Names: Feijoa, Guavasteen, Guava, Acca sellowiana

Growing Zones: 8-10

Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 feet tall, with a similar spread

Fruiting Season: Summer

Available at: Nature Hills

12. Red Mulberry (Morus rubra)

The Red Mulberry is a lovely fruiting native that has sadly been overtaken by the highly invasive white mulberry in recent times. Planting this high producer is a great way to boost the numbers of this US plant while adding beauty to your garden and reaping the rewards of juicy, sweet purple fruits.

When planted in the right conditions and maintained correctly, the Red Mulberry is a large, handsome fruit tree with a rounded crown and uniquely-shaped foliage that turns a pleasant yellow in fall.

The fruits are tasty but can be somewhat messy in summer, so consider planting away from streets and paved areas. This is one of the few downsides of growing this native fruit tree.

Plant your red mulberry in moist, rich, well-draining soil with a neutral to alkaline pH and as much sun exposure as possible. Make sure to water weekly until established, and only prune during winter to avoid “bleeding” from snipping the bark.

Other Common Names: Common Mulberry

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 25-60 feet tall, with a 35-40 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Summer

Available at: Nature Hills

13. Sugar Cane Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba ‘Sugar Cane’)

Zone 8 gardeners with a sweet tooth have found the perfect healthy treat with the Sugar Cane Jujube. This jujube cultivar hails from China and is popular all over Asia due to its small, reddish-brown fruits which taste like sweet, sugary apples.

They are enjoyable to eat fresh but are most often left to dry so their flavor and sweetness become concentrated.

This small tree is an abundant producer and has a unique ornamental quality, with fine, lacy foliage and fragrant white spring flowers that have been said to smell like grape soda! If you want to add an interesting twist to your edible garden or home orchard, the Sugar Cane Jujube might be what you’re looking for.

In China, the fruit is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and stress-relief properties. This tree is easy to grow and highly adaptable, with considerable drought tolerance and pest and disease resistance.

Growing Zones: 6-10

Average Size at Maturity: 20-40 feet tall, with 10-15 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall

Available at: Nature Hills

14. Nam Doc Mai Mango (container) (Mangifera indica ‘Nam Doc Mai’)

One of the most popular mango varieties in Asia is the Nam Doc Mai, a Thai cultivar adored for its high-quality fruits.

The golden yellow Nam Doc Mai mango is very firm, sweet, and juicy, with a creamy, fiberless texture. It can be scooped away from the skin like ice cream, hence why it is referred to as a “dessert-quality” variety, and has a slight taste of honey with spicy notes.

The Nam Doc Mai is an attractive tree, with dense, bushy foliage and long green leaves. In zone 8 it will need to be grown in a container and moved indoors during winter to protect from frost. This is no issue as it is a “condo” mango, i.e. a variety that grows just as well in a container as it does outdoors.

Other Common Names: Nam Dok Mai

Growing Zones: 4-11 (indoors/container), 9-11 (outdoors)

Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 feet tall, with a similar spread

Fruiting Season: Early to Mid Summer

15. Ruby Red Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi ‘Ruby Red’)

A truly gorgeous grapefruit for fresh eating, the Ruby Red is a stunner both on and off the tree with its smooth light orange skin and vivid red flesh.

While a typical grapefruit may be too sour for some fruit lovers, the Ruby Red is a citrus hybrid between an orange and pomelo, so it has a wonderfully balanced sweet-tart flavor with low acidity. These fruits are also seedless, making them super convenient for peeling and eating wherever you are.

The Red Ruby tree is highly productive and looks beautiful in the landscape, with a neat, compact shape and glossy evergreen leaves. Keep in mind that it is sensitive to frost and will need protection in zone 8. You may even want to plant it in a container to ensure success.

It needs well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight, around 6 to 8 hours per day. Make sure to water weekly for the first year of growth.

Other Common Names: Red Blush, Ruby

Growing Zones: 8-11

Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 feet tall, with an 8-10 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Mid Winter to Early Spring

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

16. Australian Finger Lime (Citrus australasica)

The Australian finger lime puts a twist on the more conventional lime varieties with its long thin shape that almost resembles a pickle!

But the truly fascinating part of these fruits is on the inside – these limes are filled with pale green pulp that looks exactly like tiny balls of caviar, hence the alternate name ‘caviar lime’, and have a zesty, refreshingly sour lime flavor.

Though the climate of its home country is typically much hotter, zone 8 gardeners will be pleased to know that they can plant this Australian lime variety outdoors!

It is a small, dainty evergreen tree that is perfect for small gardens, and its delicate leaves and white flowers add ornamental appeal. It also grows perfectly well in containers if you prefer a patio plant.

Plant the Australian finger lime in a location with partial shade and moist, well-draining soil. This lime tree isn’t always easy to find in US nurseries, but it’s worth searching for!

Other Common Names: Finger Lime, Caviar Lime, Australian Caviar Lime, Citrus Caviar

Growing Zones: 8-11

Average Size at Maturity: 6-8 feet tall, with a 4-5 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

Plentiful Harvests and Lovely Ornamentals

Whether you want stone fruits or citrus, an indoor or outdoor plant, a classic fruit variety like the Gala apple, or something more exotic like the pineapple guava, there is a fruit tree that will suit your needs.

While these are some of the best fruit-growing options for zone 8 gardens, it is far from an exhaustive list. There are myriad options for fruit trees that will triumph in the warm, balanced climate of zone 8.

With careful research and attention to the growing conditions that your property provides, you’ll find a number of trees that are perfectly well-suited to your edible garden or home orchard.

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Shannon Campbell

Off-Grid Gardener & Food Forager

Shannon has always loved looking after trees and plants since as long as she can remember. She grew up gardening with her family in their off-grid home and looking after her neighbor's plant nursery. As a child she also participated in native tree replanting, and as an adult has volunteered in reforestation programs in northern Vietnam. Today, she puts her horticultural efforts into tending her vegetable and herb gardens, and learning about homesteading and permaculture. When she’s not reading, writing, and gardening, she’ll be out fishing and foraging for edible flora and fungi in the countryside around her home.

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