One of the fabulous things about living in our Northern California climate (zone 16) it the ability to transform our yard into a mini orchard. The biggest challenge so far has been patience, given that it takes fruit trees at least a few years to hit a level of maturity at which they produce fruit.
Even if we want fruit right now!
Currently, we have a lime tree, a pomegranate tree, and an avocado that are only making “practice fruit”. You can tell they’re trying, but they’re just not yet at the point where they can produce anything full-sized or edible.
We also have a fig tree which last summer produced literally a handful of figs. Maybe this is the summer it will shift gears and give us a bigger harvest.
Aside from our lemon tree (which is always happy to give us lemons), the other fruit trees in the Free-Ride orchard demand another sort of patience. Even when the tree delivers fruit, that fruit has a particular season. You can see it coming, but until you hit just the right time in the calendar, the fruit hanging from the trees won’t be ready to eat.
There’s fruit on the apricot tree, but I think we still have a couple of weeks before the first apricots will be ripe enough to pick.
The apples on the apple tree probably have at least another month before the first ones are ready to pick. With luck, coddling moth caterpillars will not have annexed the core of every single apple this time around.
There are also wee fruits growing on the Fuyu persimmon tree. Those should be ripe by October or so.
Although they’re on a bush, not a tree, the blueberries are taking their time ripening. They’re a new enough addition to our garden that I don’t yet have a feel for their rhythms.
The year our avocado tree is finally ready to carry avocados to term (as it were), I suspect it will test the limits of our patience. Depending on the variety, avocados typically take 12-18 months on the tree to mature.
Dr. Free-Ride’s better half and I are currently in negotiations about planting one more fruit tree in what might be the last suitable spot for one in the backyard. We’re trying to decide between a peach tree or a mandarin orange tree. Or maybe a cherry tree. There may be an outside chance of a Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, but I don’t know if they grow well in our zone.