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Oregon growing zones

Oregon CropMAP

Oregon Tree Fruits and Nuts

Prepared by Kim E. Hummer, Research Leader and Curator, USDA ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository, 33447 Peoria Road, Corvallis, Oregon 97333-2521, hummerk@bcc.orst.edu © 2000.

This is a list of tree fruit crops that are either currently grown, are recommended alternate crops, are experimental crops, or are not recommended for Oregon. The tree fruit production regions of Oregon can basically be divided into five regions, defined by growing season.

Zone 1. Coldest areas in Eastern and Central Oregon—Less than 150 days of growing season. Minimum temperature: can reach -30 to -40°F. This zone has striking climatic variations within short distances. Air currents, canyon walls and rock outcroppings can create warmer microclimates imitating zone 2. Freezing temperatures could occur any month of the year. Pendleton, Oregon has a growing season of 163 days. Towns in Central Oregon have very Short growing seasons ranging from about 100 days in Madras, 90 days in Redmond, and Prineville, and 80 days in Bend and Tumalo-Sisters. Areas south of Bend to LaPine and at higher elevations have shorter seasons where frosts can occur any day of the year. Growers in these areas describe fruit production as follows:

Apples: once every four to five years
Pears: once every six years
Sour Cherries: most years a partial crop, occasional failure
Sweet Cherries: not recommended
Peaches: occasional partial crop
Wild plums: two out of three years
Apricots: not recommended

Zone 2. Columbia gorge and milder winter areas—150 to 180 days of growing season. This zone includes some extensive commercial fruit growing regions of the state. Apples and pears can reach perfection here. Peaches and apricots develop high levels of sweetness. Orchards tend to be located above the valley floors to avoid frosts, which are a frequent hazard at lower elevations. This climate is a land of sunshine having twice the amount of total heat units per year as compared to that in the valley west of the Cascades.

Zone 3. Western Oregon with higher elevations—180 to 210 days of growing season. This area has a long, frost-free season and winter injury is rare. Winters are wet. Minimum temperatures reach 3°F. Summers are fairly dry with moderate temperatures. This climate has high winter humidity which can promote fruit diseases. Scab, mildew, brown rot of stone fruit can destroy fruit crops at any time. Drainage is important to prevent crown rot oFruit trees.

Zone 4. Willamette Valley and Coastal areas—210 to 240 days of growing season. The Willamette Valley and its foothills produce hazelnuts, cherries, and many other fruit crops and ornamental trees. Minimum mid-winter temperatures are seldom a difficulty. These temperatures can range from -2 to -14°F. Diseases are a challenge for fruit growers in the cool, rainy Willamette Valley. Summers are generally dry although heat units may be insufficient to mature some types of tree fruit crops.

Zone 5. Coastal and warmest regions of Oregon—240 to 270 days of growing season. This climate has a definite winter season with hot summers. Most fruits and nuts produce well although late spring frosts may damage the early blooming or leafing crops. Apples and pears grow well, but almonds and apricots are difficult to grow where spring frosts are frequent or where cold air settles in low valleys. Walnuts may be damaged at high elevations. Pecans may grow above 1500 ft. elevation but the nuts may not fill completely. Chestnuts or hazelnuts are recommended instead.

Additional links

Fruit Cultural Data from the California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.

Northern Nut Growers Association

Tree Fruits

Existing Crops
Recommended New, Alternate or Underutilized Crops
Experimental New Or Alternate Crops
Not Recommended

Existing

Crop
Information
Links

Cydonia oblonga Mill. quince

Adapted to most of Oregon but does not do well in low deserts.

Oregon

NewCROP

Malus baccata Borkh. Siberian crab apple

Medium to large tree native to Northeast Asia. It is very cold hardy and has been used to breed cold hardy apples. Many cultivars of this species have been selected for their ornamental value because they have showy white flowers in spring and small red or yellow fruit in fall.

Oregon

NewCROP

Malus floribunda Sieb. flowering crab apple

This species is known for floriferous ornamental cultivars. This species has provided a source for a dominant single gene for apple scab resistance.

Oregon

NewCROP

Malus × domestica Borkh. apples

The most widely adapted of all temperate zone fruit. Apples are adapted to almost all climatic regions of the western states. Apples are more cold hardy than any other fruit tree.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus americana Marsh American plum

Native from Connecticut to Montana; most prolific source of cultivated native plums for colder regions. Fruit has a pleasant flavor but the skin is tough and stringent.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus armeniaca L. apricot

Early blooming limits apricots to areas where late spring frosts do not occur. Apricots are adapted to areas with high summer temperatures and requires 600 to 900 hours of chilling. Cool, humid coastal districts cause poor, low quality crops.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus avium L. sweet cherry

Cherries are generally more cold hardy than peaches but less so than plums, pears, or apples. The trees are hardy to -20°F. Chilling requirement is about 1000 h. Spring frosts can be a hazard to bloom. Rain at bloom time can interfere with pollination. Rain at harvest time can cause fruit cracking. Fruit quality is better when temperatures are not too hot. Humid summers are undesirable because of brown rot. Hot summers can cause "double" fruit in the subsequent year. Most sweet cherries are not self-fruitful and require a pollinizer.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus besseyi Bailey sand cherry

 

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus cerasifera Ehrh. cherry plum

Native to western Asia in the Caucasus Mountains. This species is one of the parents of the economically important European plum; seedlings of this species are good rootstocks; clones have been selected for ornamentals; fruit is used in native locations for jam.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus cerasus L. sour cherry

Ideal garden tree. Better adapted to more rigorous climates. These trees are selFruitful and can be planted singly.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus dasycarpa Ehrh. purple apricot

Natural hybrids between P. cerasifera and P. armeniaca. Useful as ornamentals.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus domestica L. European plums

The most economically important plum species in the United States and Europe. Plums do best in regions which lack rain and high humidity in summer, which have sufficient winter chilling, and which are not severely cold in winter. In the Willamette Valley later blooming varieties are preferred because they more often escape spring frosts. Brown rot and plum curculio are limiting factors.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus insititia L. damson plum

These plums probably originated in Southwest Asia but have escaped from cultivation and are now found wild throughout Europe. These plums are more cold hardy, but have smaller more compact trees, smaller leaves, more slender branches, with more clustered infloresences, smaller flowers and smaller fruit than that of P. domestica. Selections of this speces are used as ornamental street trees.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus mahaleb L. mahaleb cherry

Used as rootstock for both sweet and sour cherries.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus mume Sieb. And Zucc. Japanese apricot

Native to China but ornamental selections came to the United States through Japan.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus nigra Ait. Canada plum

Native to eastern Canada and the northeastern mountains of the United States. This is the most northern and most hardy native plum.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus persica Batch. peach, nectarine

Peaches do best in a climate with mild winters and long, hot summers. Diseases are a problem when grown in rainy climates such as that of the Willamette Valley. Peaches bloom in early spring and the crop can be reduced by rain or cool temperatures.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus serrulata Lindl. Japanese flowering cherry

 

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus tomentosa Thunb. Nanking cherry

Used as a dwarfing rootstock for peach and other Prunus species

Oregon

NewCROP

Pyrus communis L. European pears

Oregon has about 9,000 acres of European pear production including the summer cultivar 'Bartlett', and the winter pears, 'Bosc', 'Comice', and 'Anjou'. Pears require a minimum of 600 hours of chilling.

Oregon

NewCROP

Pyrus nivalis Jacq. snow or perry pears

Astringent fruited pears used for the production of an alcoholic beverage called "perry."

Oregon

NewCROP

Pyrus pyrifolia (Burm.) Nakai sand pear

Japanese pears are complex hybrids involving this species. Slightly less cold hardy than European pears. Susceptible to pseudomonas, especially after winter injury.

Oregon

NewCROP

Pyrus ussuriensis Maxim Ussurie pear

Chinese pears are complex hybrids involving this species. These pears bloom and grow very early and are subject to early spring frosts, although their maximum mid-winter cold hardiness is greater than that of European pears.

Oregon

NewCROP

Recommended New, Alternate or Underutilized Crops

Diospyros kaki L. Japanese persimmon

Oriental persimmon trees are hardy to 0°F; Rarely fruits in desert climates. Fuyu seems to survive the winters but lack of heat in summer prevents the development of good quality fruits. These fruits are good for the home garden but can't compete with persimmons grown in California. In Zones 1 and 2, where there is plentiful summer heat, the winter temperatures would kill the tree.

Oregon

NewCROP

Diospyros virginiana L. American persimmon

Hardier that Oriental persimmon but has fruit half of the size. Fruit must be very soft when ripe, otherwise they are astringent. Some new selections are as large as D. kaki. Willamette Valley can produce seedless D. virginiana fruit. Early selections do quite well and could be commercial for processing into a pulp for fruit leather or dairy flavorings.

Oregon

NewCROP

Mespilus germanica L. medlar

Popular European pome fruit that grows well in the Willamette Valley. Requires "bletting" prior to being eaten. Is eaten fresh, used in desserts, wines and preserves.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus maritima Marsh beach plum

Native on the east coasts of the U. S. from Maine to Delaware. Interesting dwarf tree. The fruit is small but makes good preserves. It is late blooming with good disease resistance. Can be propagated by seed best to take root cuttings of desirable trees in autumn.

Oregon

NewCROP

Experimental New or Alternate

Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Elliot aroniaberry, choke berry

Good commercial possibility. Fruit plentiful on selected clones grown in the Willamette Valley. Excellent dual purpose for landscape. Can be grown as a shrub or grafted onto Sorbus to make a tree-rose type standard. This allows plant to escape dear browsing and makes picking easier.

Oregon

NewCROP

Asimina triloba Dunal. pawpaw

Temperate fruit native to the Eastern United States. Fruit ripens much later (two months) in Oregon than it does in the East. Lack of pollinators could be a problem for fruit set.

Oregon

NewCROP

Cornus kousa Hance Korean dogwood

Edible fruits approach golfball size. Some clones are better than others. Fruit quality poor to fair.

Oregon

NewCROP

Cornus mas L. cornelian cherry

This species has ornamental characteristics. Scarlet fruit ripen in the fall for use in jams and jellies. Blooms very early, but survives frost well. Some selections with fruit over 1 to 1.5 in.

Oregon

NewCROP

Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl. loquat

Can survive in the warmest part of Oregon during most years. The tree will survive temperatures of 20°F. If the temperature reaches 28°F during bloom, flowers will drop off and will not produce fruit.

Oregon

NewCROP

Ficus carica L. figs

This tree can be grown in the warmest areas of the state. This crop is not reliable for commercial production. Spring frosts can hit the early crops; fall rains can destroy the fruits. Frequently, fruit do not completely ripen because of insufficient summer heat units. Figs could be grown by homeowners where temperatures do not drop below 15°F. 'Desert King' has withstood 0°F if grown in dry conditions to encourage early acclimation. Trees may freeze back once in about 25 years.

Oregon

NewCROP

Gingko biloba L. gingko

Hardy throughout Oregon. This species is used as an ornamental street tree in Oregon. Gingko nuts are eaten in China.

Oregon

NewCROP

Morus alba L.

Foliage of this tree provides food for silkworms. The fruits are

Oregon

NewCROP

Morus nigra L. black mulberry

 

Oregon

NewCROP

Morus rubra L. American red mulberry

'Illinois everbearing' has been very reliable in the Willamette valley, producing over a long season.

Oregon

NewCROP

Musa basjoo Siebold & Zucc. ex. Iinuma banana

Bananas are native to tropical Asia. Most cannot survive frost and must be protected from wind. This species has a selection that has survived temperatures as low as -20°F. The fruits of this banana are not "eatable." The tree is ornamental.

Oregon

NewCROP

Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf. trifoliate orange

Can be grown as ornamental in Oregon where minimum temperature is > -14°F

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus subcordata Benth. Pacific Plum

Native in southern Oregon and Northern California, this plum may be suited to Zone 1, the driest parts of the state. It is very disease ridden elsewhere. Has special culture requirements but the fruits of some selections are excellent, even fresh

Oregon

NewCROP

Rosa sp. rose hips

Some large fruited selections perform well. Ripening period of different clones range from August through January.

Oregon

NewCROP

Sorbus acuparia L. F. edulus edible fruited mountain ash

Some selections may have commercial potential for source of food color for anthocyanin content.

Oregon

NewCROP

X Sorbopyrus auricularis (Knoop) Schneider sorbopear

Intergeneric hybrid of pear and mountain ash. Globose 2.5 in diameter fruit ripen in mid-August. Hardy to at least -14°F. This tree may have difficulty setting fruit without ample available pear pollen.

Oregon

NewCROP

Zizyphus jujuba Mill. Chinese jujube

Temperate tree from China. May survive in the warmest part of Oregon. More varieties, such as the northern types from China, may do well in the Willamette Valley. These fruits also require long hot summers for fruits to mature.

Oregon

NewCROP

Not recommended

Annona cherimoia Mill. cherimoya

Subtropical fruit that can tolerate a light frost if protected from wind. Native to the Northern Andes.

Oregon

NewCROP

Citrus reticulata Blanco tangerine, mandarin

Subtropical fruit. Most cultivars are insufficiently cold hardy for Oregon climates. 'Changsha' tangerine, Kahisi Papeda (C. litipes) may be hardy enough for sheltered areas in the Willamette Valley.

Oregon

NewCROP

Malpighia glabra L. acerola, Barbados cherry

These trees are natives to Tropical America. They tolerate a light frost and are hardy to 30°F.

Oregon

NewCROP

Olea europea L. olive

Cannot survive temperatures below 12°F. Green fruit is damaged at about 28°F. Trees are adapted to hot valleys and desert regions.

Oregon

NewCROP

Persea americana Mill. avocado

Mexican varieties are more cold hardy than Guatemalan varieties. Foliage of the Mexican type may survive 24°F.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus hortulana Bailey hortulana plum

Native to the Mississippi valley. Bears smaller fruit than P. americana but is resistant to brown rot.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus munsoniana Wight and Hedr. Wild goose plum

Native to the southeastern United States. Resistant to spring frosts and the mature fruit is resistant to brown rot.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus salicina Lindl. Japanese plum

Japanese plums are less cold hardy than European plums. Spring frosts limit their cropping in the Willamette Valley.

Oregon

NewCROP

Punica granatum L. pomegranate

Pomegranates require long, hot, dry summers to mature sweet fruits. Fall Rain and winter freezing are problems in Oregon. Pomegranates withstand temperatures from 10 to 15°F, but are subject to damage from late spring frosts. The trees thrive in hot valleys and desert regions. Heat accumulation increases the sweetness of the fruit.
The very earliest low acid types may have possibilities, especially in sheltered areas, such as near buildings.

Oregon

NewCROP

Nuts

Existing Crops
Recommended New, Alternate or Underutilized Crops
Experimental New Or Alternate Crops
Not Recommended

Existing Crops

Crop
Information
Links

Corylus avellana L. European hazelnut

Grows best in a Mediterranean climate with mild winters. The Willamette Valley is very suitable for hazelnut production.

Oregon

NewCROP

Corylus colurna L. Turkish tree hazel

Upright, tree form; used as non-suckering rootstock for grafted hazelnuts.

Oregon

NewCROP

Juglans hindsii Jeps. Northern California black walnut

This California native is the major rootstock for the English walnut because of resistance to oak root fungus.

Oregon

NewCROP

Juglans nigra L. black walnut

This species is native to a large part of eastern United States and Canada. A number of cultivars have been named and established from this species.

Oregon

NewCROP

Juglans regia L. Persian or English walnut

This species originally native through eastern Europe was brought to America from England. Though walnuts survive throughout Oregon the present climate indicates that Oregon is unsuitable for regular commercial production.

Oregon

NewCROP

Juglans sieboldiana Maxim. Japanese butternut, heartnuts

These were originally imported by Luther Burbank because of their cold hardiness. Now grown as a farm or homestead tree.

Oregon

NewCROP

Recommended New, Alternate or Underutilized Crops

Castanea sativa Mill. Chestnut

Beginning to be planted

Oregon

NewCROP

Juglans cinerea L. butternut

This species is one of the hardiest Juglans species. It has fine quality cabinet-type wood and has good nuts. Clones of this species have resistance to butternut canker.

Oregon

NewCROP

Experimental New or Alternate

Carya illinoensis (Wang.) K. Koch. pecan

Can survive in the warmest part of the state at higher elevations. The earliest of the northern types should be well adapted and will fill. Plantings in Corvallis, with lower heat units than other zones, did not fill.

Oregon

NewCROP

Carya laciniosa (Michx. F.) Loud. shellbark hickory

Some selections have sweet kernels but have thicker shells than do shagbark hickories.

Oregon

NewCROP

Carya ovata (Mill.) K. Koch. shagbark hickory

Some selections have potentially valuable nuts that are thin shelled with sweet kernels, but the trees are slow growing. Trees do not come into bearing for 10 to 15 years.

Oregon

NewCROP

Castanea dentata Borkh. American chestnut

Could be planted; chestnut blight is not present in Oregon.

Oregon

NewCROP

Castanea mollissima Blume. Chinese chestnut

Most resistant to chestnut blight; most cold hardy; being planted Zones 2, 3, and 4

Oregon

NewCROP

Corylus americana Marsh American hazelnut

Eastern North American species that has conferred cold hardiness and eastern filbert blight resistance in crosses with the European hazelnut, the nut of commerce.

Oregon

NewCROP

Corylus cornuta Marsh. beaked hazelnut

Western North American species of hazelnut.

Oregon

NewCROP

Pinus monophylla Torr. and Frem. Pinyon pine

Native from Idaho to California. This is a source of edible pinon nuts.

Oregon

NewCROP

Pinus edulis Englm. Rocky mountain nut pine

Native from Wyoming to Texas; California and north. This is a source of edible pinon nuts.

Oregon

NewCROP

Pinus pinea L. Italian stone pine

This species is the pignolia nut of southern Europe.

Oregon

NewCROP

Not Recommended

Bertholletia excelsa Humb. And Bonpl. Brazil nut

 

Oregon

NewCROP

Castanea crenata Sieb. and Zucc. Japanese chestnut

Less cold hardy than Chinese chestnut; nuts inferior quality used for livestock feed in Japan and S. Korea

Oregon

NewCROP

Feijoa sellowiana Berg. feijoa, pineapple guava

This native of Brazil could survive in the warmest regions of Oregon. The fruit ripen 4 to 7 months after flowering. The tree is hardy to 0°F but the fruit needs such a long season, it must be grown in a pot to be taken indoors to finish ripening.

Oregon

NewCROP

Macadamia integrifolia M. & B. Queensland nut, smooth shell macadamia

This native of Australia is hardy to 25°F.

Oregon

NewCROP

Macadamia tetraphylla L. rough-shell macadamia

 

Oregon

NewCROP

Pistacia vera L. pistachio

Needs long, hot, dry summer to mature the nuts and sufficient cold winters to break dormancy.

Oregon

NewCROP

Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D. A. Webb Synonym = Prunus amygdalus Batsch. almond

Almonds are not recommended for Oregon, commercial production or for the home gardener. However, a few hobbyists have had limited success. Almonds are the earliest blooming of all deciduous fruit or nut trees and might be grown where no frosts occur during the bloom period. Small immature nuts are also frost sensitive. Almonds are adapted to areas with warm, dry summers. Some of the late blooming almonds, such as 'Roy' (which blooms with the Japanese plums) set. Unfortunately, Blue Jays eat the nuts off the tree.

Oregon

NewCROP

The Tree Fruits and Nuts listing was compiled and written by Kim E. Hummer, Research Leader and Curator, USDA ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository, 33447 Peoria Road, Corvallis, Oregon 97333-2521. hummerk@bcc.orst.edu © 2000.