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Monday, April 25, 2011

Recommended Fruit Tree Varieties for the Mojave Desert

Fruit tree evaluations were made from 1993-2008. Most of the fruit tree selections were provided by Dave Wilson Nursery for research and demonstration purposes in the Eastern Mojave Desert of southern Nevada. More general information about these fruit can be obtained by visiting their website at http://www.davewilson.com/homegrown/homeindex1.html

Almonds – Most almonds do extremely well in southern Nevada and make excellent landscape trees.

Recommended rootstock: Nemaguard but others do well here as well

Top Choice

All in One – Genetic Dwarf, Self pollinating

Garden Prince – Genetic Dwarf, Self pollinating, flowers white with purple

Notable Mention

Carmel

Neplus Ultra

Nonpariel

Price

Under Review

None at this time

Apples – Not all apples do well in southern Nevada and range from “best apple ever tasted” to “tasteless” depending on variety

Recommended dwarfing rootstock: M111; avoid extreme dwarfing rootstocks due to fruit sunburning

Top Choice

Dorsett Golden – Early Season, yellow fruit

Fuji – Mid Season, orangish-red fruit

Pink Lady (Cripps Pink) – Late Season, red over green fruit

Notable Mention

Anna

Einshemer

Gordon

Mutsu (Crispin)

White Winter Pearmain

Under Review

Akane

Arkansas Black

Asmead Kernel

Babe (Genetic Dwarf)

Gala

Granny Smith

Red Fuji

Scarlet Sentinel Columnar

Yellow Newton Pippen

Apricot – Most apricots do well in southern Nevada and have wonderful flavor

Recommended rootstock: Nemaguard preferred but others have performed well

Top Choice

Blenheim (Royal)

Flavor Delight (Aprium; actually a plum apricot hybrid but fruit marketed as an apricot)

Gold Kist

Moorpark

Royal Rosa – excellent landscape tree

Notable Mention

Canadian Blenheim White

Chinese

Early Golden

Flora Gold

Katy – excellent landscape tree

Under Review (Early results are good on all)

Autumn Glo

Early Autumn

Goldcot

Harcot

Tomcot

Aprium – Plum apricot hybrid that does extremely well in our climate

Recommended Rootstock: Nemaguard but others have performed well

Top Choice

Flavor Delight – See apricot

Asian Pear – Performs surprisingly well in our climate and we are currently working on increasing the size and quality of the fruit

Recommended Rootstock: OHxF333 but others have performed well

Under Review

Chojuro

Hosui

Kikusui

Shinko

Shinseiki

Tsu Li

Twentieth Century

Ya Li

Blackberry – Struggles in this climate and soils but produces acceptable fruit

Top Choice

None at this time

Notable Mention

Rosborough

Womack

Under Review

None at this time

Cactus, Nopal – For fresh vegetable (nopalitos) and fruit (tuna) and extremely well adapted for this climate. Being removed from trials in 2010.

Top Choice

Copena F1

Copena V1

Notable Mention

None at this time

Under Review

None at this time

Cherry, Sweet – Inconsistent fruit production and not reliable in this climate

Top Choice

None at this time

Notable Mention

None at this time

Under Review

Bing

Black Tartarian

Craig's Crimson

Lapins

Royal Ann

Cherry Plum – Hybrids between cherry plum and Japanese plum

Recommended Rootstock: Nemaguard preferred but others have done well.

Top Choice

None at this time

Notable Mention

None at this time

Under Review

Delight

Sprite

Figs – Most figs do well in this climate.

Top Choice

Black Mission – dark purple skin with strawberry colored flesh

Janice – greenish-yellow (white) skin with light greenish amber flesh with few seeds

Notable Mention

Kadota

Under Review

Brown Turkey

Celestial

Flanders

King (Desert King)

LSU Purple

White Genoa

Grapes, Table – Nearly all table grapes do well in our climate

Top Choice

Blush

Fantasy

Flame

Notable Mention

Harmony

Himrod

Perlette

Thompson Seedless

Under Review

Italia

Princess

Black Monnuka

Grapes, Wine – Many wine grapes are very productive in our climate but taste evaluations and winemaking with the fruit is underway

Recommended Rootstock: own roots, 110R, 1103P but others have done well

Top Choice

None at this time

Honorable Mention

Primitivo

Summer Muscat

Zinfandel

Under Review

Alicante Bouschet

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Sauvignon

Chardonnay

Grenache

Marsanne

Merlot

Sangiovese

Sauvignon Blanc

Syrah Noir

Tempranillo

Viognier

Jujube – Chinese Date or Indian Fig does very well in our climate

Top Choice

Li

Honorable Mention

Lang

Contorted

Under Review

None at this time

Nectarine – Nectarines do well in our climate but vary in fruit quality

Recommended Rootstock: Nemaguard but others have done well in our climate

Top Choice

Arctic Star

Honorable Mention

Acrtic Glo

Arctic Rose

Desert Dawn

Desert Delight

Double Delight

Under Review

Arctic Gold

Garden Delight – Miniature

Goldmine

Independence

Liz’s Late

Necta Zee – Miniature

Panamint

Peach – Peaches do extremely well in our climate and have received praise from internationally recognized chefs

Recommended Rootstock: Nemaguard but others have performed well

Top Choice

Babcock – White, mid season

Eva’s Pride – Early season

May Pride – Early season

Mid Pride – Mid season

Starks Saturn – Donut peach, white flesh, mid season

Honorable Mention

Arctic Supreme - white flesh, mid season

Desert Gold -

Earlitreat – Earliest producer

Early Amber – Early season

Early Elberta -

Elberta – Mid season

FlordaPrince – Early season

Red Baron – Showy flowers, good landscape tree, mid season

Red Haven – Mid season

Under Review

Arctic Jay – White

Carnival

Double Jewel

Elegant Lady - White

Fairtime

Gold Dust

Harken

Indian Free

July Elberta (Kim)

Nectar White - White

O’Henry – Late season

Rio Oso Gem

Snow Beauty - White

Snow Giant - White

Snow King - White

Strawberry Free - White

Sugar Lady - White

Summerset

Sweet Bagel – Donut peach, yellow

Tra Zee – Late season

Tropic Snow -White

White Heath Cling - White

White Lady - White

Peach, Miniature

Top Choice

None at this time

Honorable Mention

Bonanza – Mid season

El Dorado – Mid season

Pix Zee – Mid season

Under Review

Honey Babe

Garden Gold

Garden Sun

Pear, European – European pears do quite well in taste but suffer from visual appeal

Recommended Rootstock: Any

Top Choice

Kieffer – Salad pear, nicknamed “Jicama pear” with flavor resembling an Asian pear, good for canning and baking

Honorable Mention

Bartlett

Monterrey

Red Bartlett

Under Review

Bosc

California

Comice

D’Anjou

Hood

Persimmon – Struggles in this climate but fruit is good quality

Top Choice

Fuyu

Honorable Mention

Hachiya

Under Review

Chocolate

Coffeecake

Giant Fuyu

Niunai

Tamopan

Plum – Plums do well in our climate. The most common fresh plums are Japanese plums.

Recommended Rootstock:

Top Choice

Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa, Weeping – landscape tree form of Santa Rosa

Burgundy

Emerald Beauty

Honorable Mention

Beauty

Burbank

Elephant Heart

French Improved – Prune

Italian Prune - Prune

Under Review

Catalina

Green Gage – European plum

Nubiana

Plumcot – Apricot plum hybrid

Under Review

Plum Parfait

Pluot – A very complex hybrid of apricot and plum that has developed a very high sugar level and complex flavors when tree ripened

Recommended Rootstock:

Top Choice

Flavor King

Flavor Queen

Flavor Supreme

Honorable Mention

None at this time

Under Review

Dapple Dandy

Flavorosa

Flavor Delight

Flavor Finale

Flavor Grenade

Geopride

Pomegranate

Top Choice

Eversweet

Wonderful

Sweet

Honorable Mention

Utah Sweet

Under Review

Ambrosia

Grenada

Sharp Velvet

Quince

Top Choice

Pineapple

Under Review

Orange

Smyrna

21 comments:

  1. I live in Needles - any recommendations for citrus?

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  2. Most of your selection for citrus will be similar to Phoenix or Yuma which will be fine for citrus. You are nearly always going to be safe with the most cold tolerant of the citrus: kumquat (delicious fresh, just pop one in your mouth skin and all), Myers lemon, grapefruits and most lemons, oranges such as Mandarin. The most tender citrus may be a problem only if you are in a geographical low area like the bottom of a valley or a spot exposed to strong winter winds. If you pick a spot in your landscape that is protected from winds and has some reflected heat in the winter then you will be fine with any citrus including Bears lime and Wahsington navel oranges.

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  3. Hi Robert you have been a great help with my chioce of grape vines. thanks
    I have a youtube video of my garden here in vegas if you would like to see it.

    http://youtu.be/g3oznE64Z7E?hd=1

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  4. Nice looking garden, Steve. Keep up the great work! Of course nothing grows in the desert of Nevada.

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  5. Bob,

    In reguards to your 21 July 2011 article in the Review Journal, "Birds Eating My Fruit".

    For a 2 or 3 dollar investment and a trip to a party supply store the problem can be fixed with the purchase of a pin-wheel and a few packages of
    tinsel garland.

    Mount the pin-wheel in the center of the tree on a tall pole that extends beyond the height of the tree, drape some of the garland on the outer limbs,(like you were decorating a Christmas tree), cut some of the garland in 12-18 inch strips & tie it to the tips of the limbs.

    The motion of the foil pin-wheel and the garland along with the reflection it gives off, keeps the birds away. You can also use old throw-away aluminum pie tins, cut in pie shaped wedges, attach a piece of string & hang them on the tree limbs.

    This Has been keeping the birds away from my fruit trees for decades!

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    Replies
    1. I've found that flash tape works very well in keeping the birds away from my jujube trees. Have to replace it about every summer but it's cheap.

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  6. I am glad to hear that! I hope you dont get our birds. We have tried hanging CD's, Christmas tinsel, fake owls and even an electronic bird caller (set on hawks, birds in distress, etc. Bird Gard Electronic Bird Repeller - Starlings, Robins, and Blue Jays, Covers 1 & 1/2 Acres, Model# 0033-1A) with no long term success. We have noticed this. If we do put any type of bird scaring device in the trees it will last for one to two weeks before they discover it will not harm them, they get comfortable with these devices and then they no longer work. Bird scaring devices work only if they are put in the trees one to two weeks prior to harvest. Our problem is that we harvest from May and into December with different fruits. We dont have a window of opportunity for them to work except the first couple of weeks in May. So if you have fruit that comes in pretty much all at once you may have a good shot at it in my opinion.

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    Replies
    1. I put up flash tape in the spring and it keeps the birds out of my jujube trees all year. Flash tape available from Roger Meyer at xotcfruit@yahoo.com,

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  7. Anybody else with some suggestions???

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  8. This is a great list!!! I live about ten miles east of 29 Palms. Does the list hold up for an area like mine?

    The orchard I've started is protected from the the winds from the north, west, and east. With the only exposure from the south that will eventually have a wind screen of palms or jojoba soon.

    Also, any rec's on watering techniques? Currently doing drip heads into the basins. Tried putting a 2.5-3' piece of 3/4" PVC down in the ground on the edge of the basins, but it was either too late (August) or didn't make much difference.

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  9. Love Dave Wilson trees and have used for years in SoCal with superior results. But, we are struggling a bit in 29 Palms either with ground heat or alkaline water, etc. The water from the well is hot, and as it goes through the drip system, it can get scalding hot. The trees do well until the July, August, heat and wind then struggle or die. Would be helpful with your choices with any thoughts on water usage, salt tolerance, heat,etc. But excellent work, and much appreciated.

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  10. From my visits to 29 Palms I see alot of similarities where you are and in Las Vegas. For instance our raw desert saline soils can reach over 100 mmhos with boron levels in some areas over 40 ppm. Our soils are corrosive with high levels of salts in particular sulfates and chlorides. Much of this is just good soil preparation, the use of soil ammendments such as composts (even though they can also be high in salts and even boron). But my experience has been that good plant materials such as Dave Wilson stuff, good soil preparation (dont listen to the research in this particular case because it has all been done on fairly decent soils) and organic mulches are the keys.

    Irrigate at night when your tubing is cooler. Plus our tubing is under the mulch. There is no problem with irrigating with drip at night.

    I do struggle with Hachiya persimmons with fruit drop in the spring even though I have tried shade cloth and even installed a second drip irrigation system just to give them some extra water without watering other trees. It has helped but I am discouraged with the small fruit set on these. The other persimmons are fine.

    As far as watering goes I give these trees 30 gallons at each irrigation. In midsummer this is three times a week when temperatures are consistently over 110F. Remember these trees have 6 to 8 inches of mulch over their roots and irrigated area. I will post more on how we irrigate the trees in a separate posting.

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  11. My best estimate is that this list will hold up at elevations at about 1500 to 3500 feet or more in the Mojave Desert. I am not comfortable with this list at 500 feet or lower. Some of them should work fine at that lower elevation elevation but some of the more "delicate" fruit trees may struggle. I dont think the PVC pipe installed in the soil will do much for you unless you have some drainage problems. But even if you had drainage problems I would think planting them on a mound about 18 to 24 inches high and six to eight feel across would be better. About the only thing those verical pipes are good for is for checking to make sure the soil has drained before the next irrigation. But if you have those kinds of problems then I still think mounding is better.

    Our soils in the Las Vegas Valley are bad in most locations. We have salt levels in raw desert that can get to be more than 100 mmhos (4 mmhos is the generally agreed upon upper limit for an acceptable soil). Boron levels can reach over 40 ppm in some locations while a number of plants begin to struggle over 1 ppm and most plants die at over 5 ppm except some grasses and palms. We have corrosive salts as well with high levels of sulfates and chlorides in many of our soils. There is virtually no organic matter in the soils. So the use of LOTS of organic matter at the time of planting (dont listen to the research on this one as all of it is done on fairly decent soils)and the use of organic surface mulches. We use chipped trees that were going to the landfill, provided by First Choice Tree Service (I will give them lots of credit since they were the only arborist in Las Vegas who would work with us when the local arborists association would not work with us on this project. They feared the perpetuation of insects and diseases which is not true at all.

    As far as irrigation goes I will post something on our irrigation that we use and our irrigation schedule on this blog. It is too lengthy to post now and I have lots of pictures on this one.

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  12. Is the Orchard testing the new low-chill cherry varieties from DWN, Minnie Royal and Royal Lee? Thanks...

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  13. No, we are not. After testing about 8 cultivars of sweet cherries with very poor results we have shifted to sour cherries. The low chill sweet cherries are hard to come by right now due to their popularity. I feel that there is much more you can do with sour cherries and may have a broader market for small scale producers here. Sweet cherries mostly are just eaten fresh, out of hand.

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  14. I have a pomegranate tree, about 6 years old, beautiful flowers, trimmed as a tree, healthy, about 7' tall, no fruit. Suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. A six year old pomegranate that is only 7 feet tall is a very small tree for that age. There is dwarf pomegranate like "Nana" but it does not get that big and it does still produce fruit. Unless you have been pruning it to keep it small there is something wrong with its growth.Pomegranates require lots of water and prefer a well prepared hole when planting. Pomegranates are typically self fertile so a pollinator is not typically needed. Watch the flowers closely and see if fruits begin to form from the base of the flower and then fall off or if the fruits never form at all from the flowers. Careful observation will help us figure out this problem.

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  15. I am moving to Henderson and am so excited to have a very large yard. I plan on planting several fruit trees this fall. This list is extremely helpful. Thank you! Just a few questions... Is the list of Top Choices in a particular order? Should I look for the first on the list or are they all equal? Also, are there any lemon or lime trees that would grow that you could recommend? Thanks again.

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  16. The issue with lemons and limes is compared to all other citrus they are the most frost sensitive . . . .Even the more hardy citrus types like oranges and grapefruits will suffer some winter problems in your neck of the woods . .

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  17. This is a common mistake people make about my recommended list. The trees were ranked on a five point scale. To achieve a rating of five, the fruit from that tree had to be an OMG piece of fruit. What I mean is, when you tasted it you thought to yourself OMG I have never had fruit this good! I would say that in the entire orchard there are probably only a handful that ever get this rating. The next step down, a category four, is still better than you will get from the store. When you get into that three rating then you are getting into fruit that is about store quality. As an example, Anna apple doesn't rate as high as Pink Lady. Pink Lady is a show stopper, its an OMG piece of fruit when it is grown in our climate. But Anna is a very good apple when it is grown here.

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  18. Wolfberry-Goji Berry. The world's most nutrious fruits. Desert natives thrive in the worst soils and hottest spots. Goji's are mongolian-Chinese but the natives are also highly nutrious. Slow growing shrubs that mostly fruit in spring, some in autumn. True super food!

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