Downtrodden has been an avid gardener since a young age, exploring and trying new growing methods. He is located in Houston, TX (zone 8B.)
Below is a list of fruit, nut, and spice trees that will grow in zone 8b (USDA Hardiness 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, Austin, TX to Gainesville, FL). I've put together this list for those interested in beginning to research an orchard or fruit tree grove. I've included general characteristics about the tree, harvest time, height, and applicable hardiness zones. Additionally, I've included Latin names for all varieties to make future research easier. Please note with many of the rootstock varieties, researching by Latin name versus commercial name may be more difficult.
After reviewing, please let me know if there are varieties I am missing, or if you have tips or tricks to share on faster growth and/or better yields. You can leave comments below or send me a message directly.
Black Walnut zones 4-9 - Can grow to more than 130 feet (40m) tall, yields whole fruit with husks around October. Crops tend to alternate crop yield (e.g. heavy, light, heavy, light). (Latin: Juglans nigra)
Black Walnut (Carpathia) zones 5-9 - Can grow to more than 105 feet (31m) tall, yields whole fruit with husks in autumn. (35m) (Latin: Juglans regia)
White Walnut zones 4-7 - Can grow to 60 feet (18m) tall, rarely above 90 feet (27m), yields whole fruit with husks in mid-autumn. (Latin: Juglans cinerea)
Chinese Chestnut zones 4-8 - Can grow to 60 feet (18m) tall. (Latin: Castanea mollissima)
Hardy Pecan zones 5-9 - Can grow to 130 feet (40m) tall and sometimes rarely past 144 feet (44m) tall, yields fruit mid-October and can live and yield fruit for up to 300 years. Part of the hickory family. (Latin: Carya illinoinensis)
Shagbark Hickory zones 4-8 – Can grow up to 80 feet (27m) tall, yields fruit in autumn. Can live and yield fruit up to 200 years. (Latin: Carya ovata)
Hazelnut zones 4-9 – Grows to about 12 feet (4m) tall, yields fruit in September to October. (Latin: Corylus americana)
Bay Laurel zones 8B-10 – Can grow to 60 feet (18m) tall, leaves (bay leaf) are used for cooking. Dried laurel berries can be also be used as spices/ food seasoning. (Latin: Laurus nobilis)
Fruit Trees (Non-Citrus)
Cold Hardy Banana Tree zones 5-11 - Grows to a height of about 15 feet (5m) tall, including leaves. (Latin: Musa basjoo)
Stella Cherry Tree zones 5-8 – Grows up to 100 feet (32m) tall, fruit becomes edible mid-summer. Note all parts of the tree, but the fruit, is slightly toxic. (Latin: Prunus avium)
Plum (Gulf Beauty) zones 8B-9 – Grows to 20 feet (6m) tall, fruit ripens late summer. (Latin: Prunus angustifolia)
Apple (Carter's Blue) zone 8b – Normally grown on rootstock, height is limited. Fruit is ripened and ready to pick by November. (self-fertile) (Latin: Malus domestica)
Maroon Crabapple zone 7-8B – Grown as cross-pollination source for orchard, fruit is not palatable when raw. (Latin: Malus angustifolia)
Peaches (Gulf Crimson) zones 8A-8B – Grows to about 30 feet (9m) tall, fruit is ripened by late summer. (Latin: Prunus persica)
Pears (Pineapple) zones 8-9 - Normally grown on rootstock, height is limited. Fruit is ripened and ready to pick by November. (needs Golden Boy Pear to pollinate) (Latin: Pyrus communis)
Pears (Golden Boy) zones 8A-9 - Normally grown on rootstock, height is limited. Fruit is ripened and ready to pick by November. (needs Pineapple Pear to pollinate) (Latin: Pyrus communis)
Olive zones 8A- 11 - Grows to 20 feet (6m) tall, although typically shorter. Fruit is late fall / early winter. Depending on variety, typically self-fertile, however recommended that they be planted in groups of three of more. (Latin: Olea europaea)
Citrus Fruit Trees
Mid Sweet Orange zones 8B-10 – Grows to about 35 feet (10m) tall, fruits are harvested in winter. (self-fertile) (Latin: Citrus sinensis)
Clementine Tangerine (Fina Sodea) zones 8B-10 – Must be cross-pollinated to avoid seeds in fruit, fruits are harvested in winter. (needs Orlando Tangelo to pollinate) (Latin: Citrus reticulata)
Orlando Tangelo zones 8B-10 - Must be cross-pollinated to avoid seeds in fruit, fruits are harvested in winter. (needs Clementine Tangerine to pollinate) (Latin: Citrus tangelo)
Meyer Lemon zones 8B-10 – Grows to about 10 feet (3m) tall, fruits are harvested in winter. Quick growing variety, from seed to fruit takes about four years. Large bushy tree. (self-fertile) (Latin: Citrus meyeri)
Limequat zones 8B-10 – Grown in a container, more cold-hardy than limes, however a slow fruit producer. (self-fertile) (Latin: Citrus floridana)
Red Rio Grapefruit zones 8B-10 – Grows normally to 20 feet (6m) tall, but can reach as high as 50 feet (15m) tall. (self-fertile) (Latin: Citrus pardisi)
Please let me know if you live in Zone 8B and you see something missing or have feedback and/or tips that have worked for your trees.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: This article is great-thank you! We live on a salt marsh. The rear of our home faces the marsh and has full sun exposure for most of the day in the summer. What fruit and nut trees would you recommend that could handle the salt air?
Answer: I live near the coast as well and all of my citrus does beautifully. Good luck!
Question: Can I plant a Jacaranda tree in zone 8?
Answer: I don't think Jacaranda is a fruit or nut tree, but it looks like the hardiness zone is more tropical at zones 9B to 11. Good luck!
Question: What about apricot trees?
Answer: A lot of the hard fruits like apricots and apples, require cooler temperatures. They will likely grow, but the fruit won't be very good as it's too warm in 8b. Apricots do well in Zone 5-8.
Answer: Yep, looks like they will grow in zones 7 to 10. I'll add them to my list to research more and add in. Thank you!
Question: Will a tropical beauty peach Halford tree grow in zone 8b?
Answer: Zone 8B is likely to cool for the tropical beauty peach Halford, as they need zones 9a, 9b.
Question: Will pomegranate trees grow in zone 8B Florida?
Answer: Yes, pomegranate trees will grow in zones 7 to 10. So 8B should be suitable.
Question: I'm in zone 8b in south Baldwin County, AL. I inherited a small Kumquat tree with fruit and a FUYU Persimmon tree loaded with fruit which I just picked. My interest is to grow lemons and grapefruit but my space is limited. Any recommendations?
Answer: Lemons and grapefruit can be grown in containers. Lemons are going to be easier than grapefruits though (Grapefruits can get very tall, where as Lemons are more "bushy".) Lime trees and avocados as well. Kumquats, as you likely know now, are a great one for containers. For my container trees I like adding shade herbs to the bottom. Things like peppermint and spearmint do really well under citrus trees.
Question: What about planting zones for Dwarf Fig trees?
Answer: Yes, they should grow in 8b, and I need to research further to add them. Thank you!
Question: We live in Central AZ 85531. Our olive (olea europaea) trees are freezing in spite of precautions. We get a very cold drying wind that lasts for a week and it kills these trees. Suggestions?
Answer: It's hard for me to see what zone you're in, but olea europaea will do fine in zones 8 to 10. However, looking at Central AZ, it looks like it can range from 6 to 9a. Further, depending on your geography, it can impact temperatures as well. E.g. many olives are planted on hills so that cooler air does not settle round them (like a valley would.) As far, as trying to protect them, are you able to put up wind breaks to shield them more?
Siri Garden on March 14, 2019:
Thank you for accepting into this conversation. I have a question. Would fig trees grow well in south Georgia?
DowntroddenInDC (author) from Houston, TX on February 25, 2019:
Thanks for adding - will update! Haven't had much luck with blueberries yet, but giving them a shot now!
John WILKERSON on February 24, 2019:
Satsuma oranges grow very well in this area. Fl. Panhandle was the satsuma orange capital at one time.
Blueberries are another fruit that produces prolificly here, but are more of a big bush rather than a tree.
DowntroddenInDC (author) from Houston, TX on April 27, 2018:
Me personally, I net my garden which helps a little. My other suggestion, as least for rabbits, is to fence in the area (if you can.) Also, I've heard many animals don't like the smell of coffee grounds.
Patricia on March 26, 2018:
I have had a satsuma orange, it did.well down to 20 degrees, below that it froze back, but because well established it came back.
GRL on March 04, 2018:
Satsumas do well here, 8b, Alabama.
john doe on October 28, 2017:
Most of these zones are off: lemons and limes are unlikely to grow in zone 8 without protection. Olives zones are good. Apples, Pears and stone fruits will grow from zone 6 up, maybe even colder. Hickories will also grow in zone 9. All other nuts zones look ok.
Danielle Durgin on July 31, 2017:
Figs, Japanese persimmon, jujubees, not to mention fruiting shrubs : blueberry, service berry, black berry, raspberry, pomegranate.
Shawn on July 14, 2017:
What about Figs?
Steve on June 01, 2017:
I live in the Sierra foothills, the or hard will be at about 1950 ft. South facing 7 - 10% slope, mineralized soil, water disappears immediately. I am amending the soil, the Orchard will be irrigated by spring water from the upper part of the property, supplemented by well water if necessary. It can get down to 15 degrees F. Will the trees listed for 8b work for this area, especially the citrus?
Beth on May 11, 2017:
There is a Murcott orange tree in my yard that produces every other year (Lake City, Fl)
. The fruit is like a tangelo, but better. Sweeter. It didn't produce well last year, most likely because there was very little rain here. I will make sure it gets enough water over the next year and a half so it will produce well in 2018, like it did in 2014. The fruit matures by December/January.
Anna on March 31, 2017:
There are two varieties of apple trees that will do well in this zone as well- Anna apple, which is an Israeli variety, and Golden Dorset.