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What fruit trees grow well in Melbourne?

Garden advice
What fruit trees grow well in Melbourne?
All Green
All Green
January 9, 2023
minute read

Have your attempts to grow fruit trees in Melbourne so far been, well… fruitless? All Green Nursery and Garden can help! Growing the right fruit trees for the climate is important, which is why we’ve created a guide to assist. 

There are a large number of options that are ideal for Melbourne conditions, which is considered as a medium chill area in Australia. So, if you’ve had rotten luck so far, don’t worry! You’ll be able to grow a bunch of fruit trees that can handle the cold as well as the hot weather found in Melbourne.

What is a “medium chill” area?

Chill refers to the number of hours a year a tree is exposed to below 7 degrees Celcius while dormant, making it set to bear fruit. High-chill trees require a lot of hours exposed to the cold, while medium to warm require far less — ranging between 0 – 550 hours a year. This is where Melbourne is categorised, making it ideally suited to a large number of fruit trees. Armed with this knowledge, growing fruit trees is going to be a breeze! 

What are some of the trees most likely to produce abundant fruit in Melbourne? 

There are many fruit and citrus trees that are well suited to Melbourne’s climate, including;

While these fruit trees are more likely to bear fruit, that doesn’t mean you are limited to these options. There is always some overlap and you may have luck with some more hardy trees that can produce fruit in multiple climates. There are also plenty of Melbourne native trees to choose from!

If you’re interested in adding a new fruit tree to your home garden, All Green has a wide range of fruit trees for sale. Once you’ve figured out what will best suit your garden, you can order online or drop by your nearest store — there are multiple sites across the state. If you order online, there are also delivery options for fruit trees, landscaping supplies, garden supplies and building supplies within select areas.

What deciduous fruit trees grow in Melbourne? 

Deciduous fruit trees are defined by their seasonal foliage. When the season changes, so do the leaves. Deciduous trees will experience changing colour and dropping of the leaves as they move into cold winters, followed by regrowth in early spring. 

Some examples of deciduous fruit trees that grow in Melbourne are: 

  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Plums 

Deciduous fruit trees will be bare for a number of months before visible fruit begins to grow. They are often compared to their counterparts, evergreen trees, which keep their leaves all year round. An example of an evergreen tree is citrus, which we’ll discuss more below. 

First, how do you plant fruit trees that are deciduous? The ideal time is in winter when they have bare branches. This allows them to establish and settle into the soil before the blooming season comes, enabling better plant growth and for the tree to successfully bear fruit.

Types of citrus trees that grow in Melbourne

There are many different types of citrus trees and many of which will grow well in the Melbourne climate. Certain varieties of citrus fruits do especially well in cold winters and in hot, dry summers. These include: 

  • Sweet oranges: there are multiple varieties of sweet oranges. As they tend to be more sour in colder climates, you can choose a sweeter kind to offset the tangy palette.
  • Blood oranges ripen mid-winter, making them the ideal spring fruit for fresh harvest!
  • Lemons do great in the heat but struggle with frost. If you can place your plant in the sun, it will do well in the Melbourne climate. 
  • Cumquats are common in Melbourne and are especially good for home gardens. You’ll have marmalade stores for months!
  • Finger limes are a tough Australian native, they’ll tolerate all kinds of soil content and grow well in Melbourne. 

Interested in adding a citrus tree to your garden? There are plenty of options - this is not an exhaustive list! If you’re unsure of what you want, you can always speak to the friendly All Green team. Our experts have 40+ years of experience and will be able to recommend a suitable option for most Australian gardens, whatever your needs are.

Ripe lemons on the tree.

Other fruit trees 

While Melbourne is ideally suited for certain types of fruit trees, there are plenty of others out there. If you have a green thumb and want to learn more, check out some of the other fruit trees below: 

  • Avocado trees
  • Nut trees
  • Apricot trees
  • Pomegranate trees
  • Plum trees 

To see whether any of these trees might be suitable speak to the friendly team at All Green. Depending on your set-up, you may be able to successfully produce fruit even if the Melbourne conditions aren’t perfect. 

Should I choose a bare root or potted tree?

Bare root trees are an affordable alternative to their potted cousins for a few reasons. Firstly, they are more portable due to their size and durability. When a plant is removed from the soil, it goes into a state of dormancy. 

Where most fruit trees in pots must be kept alive and hydrated, a bare root tree will revive once replanted. Easy as pie, or at least it will be when you get some delicious fruit! Secondly, bare root trees require less labour and packaging. Without a bulky pot to worry about, it can be easily transported to our facilities and then straight to your home. 

So, how do you plant a bare root tree? The process is quite simple. 

  1. Prepare your planting hole, roughly twice the size of a root ball 
  2. Remove sawdust packaging prior to planting 
  3. Mound soil inside the planting hole 
  4. Mix fertiliser and compost into the soil 
  5. Spread the roots out before planting 
  6. Ensure the bud union is above the soil level
  7. Stamp the dirt down to allow the best chance for contact between the root and soil 

Fruit trees bare rooted or otherwise usually require good sun and drainage, so make sure you account for that when digging your hole. Finding the right spot is also key to allowing your fruit trees to thrive. Check out our guide on bare root fruit trees for more information! 

What fruit tree is best for you? 

As Melbourne is not considered a tropical or subtropical climate, there are some fruit trees that are not suitable for the area. Tropical and subtropical climates are considered warm temperate climates with low chill and high humidity. This climate is typically found in Queensland and some areas of Sydney. Some examples of fruit trees that do well in humid climates are: 

  • Bananas 
  • Lychee berries
  • Mango
  • Papaya 
  • Some stone fruits 

While tropical fruits may not be on the cards, dwarf fruit trees certainly are! There is an assortment of fruit trees that come in dwarf varieties for those with smaller gardens or compact areas. Dwarf types typically don’t grow as big as a full-sized tree but often bear just as much fruit. If you don’t have a large space to grow your fruit tree, then a dwarf tree could be perfect for you. 

Cross pollination

Common bee pollinating garden flowers.

Keep in mind that some fruit trees require cross-pollination in order to bear fruit. This occurs when the tree needs pollen from another flower or plant of the same species in order to promote active growth of fruit. Some fruits like apples or pears require two separate trees and need to cross pollinate to provide fruit. If space is an issue, ask the All Green team for advice on a better option – the range of fruit trees available is huge!

If you’re looking for low upkeep and ready to plant trees, there are also a range of indigenous plants too. Natives are well adapted to the local climate and soils so they need very little maintenance. 

We hope you are one step closer to choosing the right fruit tree for you. There are so many fruit trees that grow well in Melbourne. If you are already a grower of fruit trees and want to add to your collection, you can browse All Green’s extensive range online or in-store.

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