19 great fruit trees to plant this winter: From the classics to peach and feijoa varieties
Gardening teacher and landscaper Kath Irvine shares her favourite fruit tree varieties. Fruit trees must tick three boxes — delicious, hardy and reliable.
Who: Kath Irvine
Where: Levin, 90km north of Wellington
What: permaculture landscaper
1. Apple – Captain Kidd, medium-sized, crisp fruit with red streaky skin.
2. Pear – Seckel, also called the honey pear, small, juicy fruits that taste like honey and spice.
3. Nashi – Hosui, a crisp, delicious nashi with unusual russet skin.
4. Apricot – Fitzroy, a consistent cropper of sweet, juicy fruit, self-fertile, good for North Island gardeners as it will produce without a winter chill.
5. Plum – Hawera, self-fertile, freestone plum with dark red skin and flesh.
6. Fig – Brunoro Black, a sweet, tasty, dark-skinned fig that’s perfect for cooler places.
7. Peach – Wiggins, early, white-fleshed, freestone, full of flavour, juicy.
6 peach varieties to try
8. Red Haven – Widely grown and popular for home gardens, early to mid-season, red skin with yellow flesh, semi-clingstone.
9. Golden Queen – Doesn’t need much winter chill (low chill), deep orange flesh and full flavour, excellent for bottling, late season, clingstone.
10. Gordon’s Glory – Similar flavour to Golden Queen, self-fertile and resistant to leaf curl, clingstone.
11. Blackboy – Late-season, delicious purplish-black skin with sweet pinkish-white flesh, hardy, fast-growing, resistant to leaf curl, freestone.
12. Goldmine – Old nectarine variety, deliciously sweet, white flesh, mid-season, vigorous growth and health, freestone.
13. April White – Technically a ‘peachcot’ (peach-apricot cross), white flesh with a pink centre around the stone, late harvest, quick-growing, resistant to leaf curl.
6 feijoa varieties to try
14. Apollo – Produces medium to large fruit, sweet in May, grows up to 2.5m tall, semi self-fertile — one plant will produce some fruit, but will benefit from another plant.
15. Unique – The only truly self-fertile variety, produces an early crop of medium-sized fruit in March and April.
16. Mammoth – Produces large oval fruit in May and June, trees can reach 3m, needs a pollinator.
17. Triumph – Small to medium-sized variety, good for cross-pollination (especially for Mammoth), produces medium-sized oval fruits with sweet flavour in June.
18. Tagan – Strong-growing feijoa specially bred for South Island conditions, grows 2-3m high, makes an excellent hedge, plant with variety Tagan II to increase fruit production.
19. Bambina – Semi self-fertile dwarf variety that produces small fruit with a thin, edible skin, ideal for stewing.