Iowa Fruit Trees For Sale

Want to know all about growing fruit trees in Iowa? There are different things to consider for growing and choosing from the right Iowa fruit trees for sale, such as the

  • Climate
  • Soil type
  • Precipitation
  • Growing zones
  • How to choose the best suited fruit trees for Iowa

Iowa Overview

Filled with indescribable caves, hills, and lakes, Iowa is predominantly the ancestral home of the Dakota, Sioux, Illinois (Illini), Ioway, Missouria, and Otoe tribes. These native tribes have vast knowledge on how to take care of the land in ways that cultivate biodiversity, protect trees from diseases, and don’t harm nature. After white settlers colonized the region, Iowa entered the Union in 1846. Due to the introduction of many different fruit varieties, Iowa now has many orchards growing apples, tart cherries, peaches, and many other fruit trees. In fact, we have listed some of the best-suited Iowa fruit trees for sale below.


The climate has a huge influence on fruit trees, just as trees have a large impact on the climate. For example, many fruit trees require a certain number of days of cold temperature in order to bear fruit in the spring (chill hours).

  • Iowa has a humid continental climate, characterized by warm to hot, often humid, summers and cold winters.
  • The average high during the summer ranges from the 60s-90s.
  • While during the winter, the temperature range from 5°F – 34°F.
  • Moreover, during the spring, Iowa gets thunderstorms and even tornadoes.

Soil Type

Most fruit trees need mineral-rich, well-drained, and loamy soil.

  • Although Iowa has many different types of soil, the state soil is the Tama soil. This soil is not only fertile, loamy, and rich in minerals, but also covers around 825,000 acres of fertile land.
  • If you would like to know the soil in your county, check these USDA soil surveys.

If you would like to see what soil type you have in your backyard, you can do a simple squeeze test.

  • When you do the squeeze test, you will know that you have loamy soil if after squeezing a handful of moist soil, the soil holds its shape but crumbles after lightly poking.
  • If you want to also check for Ph, drainage, worms you can try these DIY easy tests.


Most established fruit trees will need about an inch or so of rainfall every 7-10 days in order to grow and be healthy. Annually this would mean a minimum from 36 – 52 inches of rain. Periods of drought can harm the tree while long periods of rain can cause diseases such as scab and canker for apple trees.

  • Iowa gets on average around 38 inches of rain annually. However this average can vary from year to year.
  • Thunderstorms are also common throughout the spring and summer.
  • Additionally Iowa can get about 40 inches of snowfall.

Iowa Growing Zones for Fruit Trees

What is a growing zone?

Growing zones help growers know which trees will thrive in their region. Moreover, it is defined by the temperature hardiness, or ability to withstand the minimum temperatures of the zone. For example, certain peach trees which can grow in 5-8 growing zones, shouldn’t be planted in zone 3 because they won’t survive the low temperatures.

  • Iowa has growing zones ranging from 4b to 6a.
  • In summary, temperatures get cooler the further north one gets.

In fact, the map below shows the growing zones of the different regions in the state, with some regions reaching -25°F and others reaching -5°F. You can find the zone for your zip code here.

iowa growing zones USDA
USDA Map of Iowa Growing/Planting Zones

Best Iowa Fruit Trees For Sale

There are many trees that will grow well in Iowa. In fact throughout the regions, there are already many apple, peach, plum and various other fruit orchards. In order to pick the right trees for your specific location and needs, you should therefore also consider the following characteristics for each tree. You can read more about these considerations here.

  • Pollination
  • Rootstock
  • Chill hours
  • Disease resistance

Recommended Fruit Trees to Grow in Iowa

  • Stone Fruits
    • Overall, sweet cherries, peaches, nectarines, and apricots are not reliably hardy or productive, even in southern Iowa. However, some gardeners plant a few and are do have some a successful crop.
Tart Cherries
  • Montmorency (for central and southern Iowa): red skin, yellow flesh; the most widely grown sour cherry in the U.S.
  • Northstar: red skin, red flesh, natural dwarf tree which grows to a height of about 8 to 10 feet, very hardy.
  • Meteor: red skin, yellow flesh, ripens about 7 to 10 days after Northstar, medium size tree, very hardy.
  • Apples, especially cold hardy, do really well in Iowa. However do make sure to plant on well-drained soils.
  • Even though European pears are more tolerant of wet soils and are almost as hardy as apples, only a few cultivars perform well in Iowa. Additionally, Asian pears are not well suited for Iowa’s growing conditions.
  • Harrow Delight (for central and southern Iowa): medium size fruit, yellowish green skin; has good resistance to fireblight; developed in Ontario, Canada.
  • Summercrisp: medium size fruit, green skin with red blush, hardy; good resistance to fireblight.
  • Bartlett (for central and southern Iowa): medium to large fruit, thin yellow skin, white flesh, good for eating fresh and canning; susceptible to fireblight.
  • Maxine: large fruit, yellow skin, firm juicy white flesh, good fresh and canned; resistant to fireblight.
  • Seckel: small fruit, yellowish brown skin, excellent for cooking and canning; some resistance to fireblight; also known as Sugar Pear.
  • Kieffer: medium to large fruit, coarse gritty textured white flesh, poor for fresh use, best suited for processing, hardy.
European Plums
  • Stanley: dark blue fruit, yellow flesh, freestone, bears heavily.
  • Green Gage (for central and southern Iowa): small to medium fruit, yellowish, green skin, amber flesh, clingstone.
  • Moongold: orange skin, yellowish-orange flesh, freestone; self-unfruitful, pollinate with Sungold; hardy; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
  • Sungold: gold skin with orange blush, orange flesh, freestone; self-unfruitful, pollinate with Moongold; hardy; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
  • Moorpark (for central and southern Iowa): large fruit, yellow skin with orange-red blush, orange flesh, freestone; self-fruitful.

Browse more varieties of fruit trees for sale here.