What exotics do well in Oregon?

Figs growing on fig tree.
Photo credit: Judy Scott
Q:

What kind of exotic fruit trees can i grow here? Where is the best place to get them and other fruit trees?

- Douglas County, Oregon
A:

Our area has a pretty mild climate but every 3-4 years we have a cold outbreak in November or December that lasts 4-5 days with low temps into the teens. This limits the exotic fruit grown outdoors with no covers to deciduous trees and vines that go dormant. You can grow any fruit that can survive in a USDA zone 7 or 8 depending on your site. If you are on a hill where cold air will drain away to lower ground, and you use some kind of seasonal temporary cover, you can get lemons to survive.

Growing figs, persimmon, hardy kiwi, and fuzzy kiwi are good nearly all years. You can get olives, pineapple guava, pomegranate, and sea berry to mature in mild winters and hot summers. These all need spots with good drainage to prevent root rots in years like the present. I have never seen most citrus make any significant quantity of fruit here without using winter protection.

Look online at two catalogs, Northwoods nursery, or One Green World. I haven't seen exotic plants in our local nurseries. 

Steve Renquist
Horticulture Extension Specialist
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