How to Choose the Best Fruit Trees to Buy

There are many fruit trees that will grow well throughout the United States but choosing the best ones for your region and site, takes some research. Therefore, we have created these thorough guides on how to choose the best fruit trees for your state and specific location (click on each state below for the full guide). In fact we cover the following.

Five Factors to Consider for Your State/Site

  • Climate
    • When you know the weather and climate in your region, you can pick the trees suited to that environment.
  • Soil type
    • Additionally, when you know which soils are in your region and how to test the soil in your backyard, you can see whether the soil has good drainage, is loamy, and whether its pH is suitable for your fruit trees.
  • Precipitation
    • When you knowing how much rain your region receives, you can gather whether the established fruit trees will get adequate rainfall.
  • Growing/hardiness zones
    • Knowing the minimum temperature in your region can help you see if your fruit trees can survive/is hardy enough for the low temperatures.
  • Recommendations for the best fruit trees for your state
    • There are certain trees that have historically grown best in different regions. There are other trees that have a historical significance for you state.

Four Considerations for Choosing the Best Fruit Trees

However we also wanted to share four other important factors for you to consider that relates to the specific trees. This will help you when choosing the best fruit trees for your state.


  • Most stone fruit and tart cherry trees are self-fertile and don’t need another tree in order to produce fruit. However other trees with a core and sweet cherries do need another tree in order to cross-pollinate and produce fruit. Moreover, some trees may not only need a pollinator but are sterile and won’t pollinate others.
    • Fruit trees can pollinate others in the same blooming period or in the range of their flowering group. For example, an apple tree with a flowering group 3, can be pollinated by groups 2, 3, and 4.


  • In addition to affecting the disease resistance, the specific rootstock also determines the size of the tree. In fact, generally fruit trees have three sizes.
    • Dwarf – They grow to 8′-10′ and are easy to maintain and harvest. In fact you can even grow them in containers.
    • Semi-Dwarf – These trees grow to 12′-15′ and produce almost twice as much fruit as a dwarf tree without taking up much more space. In fact for most backyards, they are the perfect size.
    • Standard – Standard apple, pear, and plum trees usually reach about 20′-25′ while standard peaches/nectarines only reach 12′-15′. Moreover, while standard trees may take longer to fruit, they will produce in larger quantity. However, you will need a ladder to harvest all of the fruit. 

Chill hours

  • Chill hours are the number of required hours between 32°F and 45 °F that the trees need in order to start to bud and grow in the spring. By ingeniously counting the number of chill hours, the fruit trees will bloom in the correct time after the threat of a frost and not when there is a warm spell during the winter. When a tree doesn’t get enough chill hours, the flower buds might not open at all or may open unevenly.
  • Moreover, each fruit tree type and also variety varies in their required chill hours. When you choose your fruit tree, be sure that your region has around the same chill hours as the tree’s required chill hours. If you grow a tree that needs only 300 hours while your region has 500, it will bloom too early and become damaged by a frost.
  • In general apple trees need more chill hours than peach trees, which is why apples are grown in colder states and peaches in warmer states.

Disease resistance

  • There are some varieties of fruit trees that are either naturally resistant or have been developed to be resistant to certain diseases. While spraying and maintaining a tree can help fight of diseases such as scab, cedar apple rust, canker, and rot, at the end of the day growing a resistant variety may save you from heartache.
    • Moreover, certain regions may be more prone than others to diseases. For example areas with long periods of rain may cause fungal diseases like scab and tree canker. Therefore, growing scab-resistant varieties, rust-resistant varieties, or other disease resistant varieties is helpful.

The Best Fruit Trees for Your State

Check out our guides for each state for more things to chew on!