Some fruit trees take an age to grow and produce fruit. Their first harvest can take up to seven years, and a few take even longer.
I love to grow slow-maturing trees like pawpaws, but like most gardeners, I want some fruit quickly.
If you want to know which fruit trees to plant to give you the quickest harvest, then let’s get going because we will cover the most common and popular quick-fruiting trees.
11 Fast-Growing Fruit Trees To Try
With these fast-growing fruit trees, you can have fruit in just a few years. Look for quick maturing cultivars and have your fruit even faster.
Most mangoes (Mangifera indica) only take one to two years to bear fruit after planting. To increase your chances of an early harvest, choose ‘Glen Mango.’ Although the area they grow in is limited, if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11, you’re in luck.
The mango tree flowers from December to March and bears fruit around five months later.
You only need to plant one. The mango tree is a monoecious plant, meaning it has both male and female flowers on the same plant.
Mangoes can grow up to 100 feet tall and 30 feet wide, so positioning is essential. There are dwarf varieties you can keep in a pot, like the dwarf spotted mango, but they are more likely to bear fruit when planted in the garden.
Plant in spring when all danger of frosts have passed, provide full sun and well-draining soil.
Mulberry trees (Morus spp.) will bear fruit between one and three years after planting, depending on the type and the area. Grow in Zones 4 to 8, though make sure they are nowhere near any structures or paths because their roots can be invasive and damaging.
Bloom time for the mulberry tree is in spring, around April to May. Around two months later, the berries appear and last from mid to late summer.
Mulberry trees can grow between 30 and 60 feet tall and 30 feet wide.
The harvest on these fast-growing fruit trees is even quicker in areas with optimal temperatures between 68-86ºF.
For a smaller variety, try Texas mulberry trees (M. celtidifolia).
3. Dragon Fruit
Some dragon fruit trees (Hylocereus undatus) can bear fruit just six to eight months after planting. Talk about fast-growing fruit trees!
This is for the plants grown in the ground. Container-planted dragon fruit can take up to two years to bear fruit. Once they do, though, some dragon fruit cultivars produce crops up to six times in one year.
Blooms appear mid-summer to early fall.
Grow outside in Zones 9 to 12. Plant your trees in spring in full or partial sun. Expect this plant to reach around eight to 20 feet tall and three to 10 feet wide, depending on the cultivar you plant.
Because they come from tropical areas, dragon fruit doesn’t like the cold. The optimal temperature for a quick harvest after planting is between 65-85ºF.
In the right environment, lemon trees (Citrus limon) can produce a harvest in about a year. Less perfect conditions could take up to three years, but either way, as far as fruit trees go, this is quick. And who doesn’t want healthy, tart lemons and lemon juice as soon as possible?
Grow in Zones 8-11 and choose the variety best for your area. In Zone 8, you must consider cold-hardy varieties like ‘Meyer’ because most lemons need tropical or sub-tropical environments. They thrive in average temperatures of 75-85ºF and moderate humidity.
Lemon trees grow from dwarf sizes to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Plant in the spring, and you should see blooms around the same time next year.
Is anything more delectable than biting into a sun-warmed peach (Prunus persica)? You don’t have to wait too long once you’ve planted a sapling.
Grow peaches in Zones 5 -9, but if you live in Zone 4, some cold-tolerant cultivars also grow there. Try ‘Canadian Harmony,’ ‘Contender,’ or ‘Redhaven.’
Peach trees will produce fruit within two to four years when planted from a sapling.
Most peaches are self-pollinating, so you only have to plant one if you have limited space. You’ll get a larger harvest if you have several, though.
Dwarf varieties grow under ten feet tall, while the average height of a standard peach tree is around 25 feet. They are reasonably easy to keep pruned to a smaller height, though.
Plant in late spring or early winter. Peach trees need about 600 hours of chilling time (45ºF or lower) to get fruit in spring, though this varies depending on the cultivar.
Like a peach, the right apricot tree (Prunus armeniaca) will bear fruit within two to four years. Plant in full sun in Zones 5-8, and you should be enjoying your fruits in no time. The blooms don’t like spring frosts, so pick a spot near a brick wall to avoid blossom-killing late frosts.
There are cold-tolerant apricots available. Look for ‘Canadian White Blenheim,’ ‘Goldcot,’ ‘Tilton,’ or ‘Tomcot.’ Find the best one for your area before planting; otherwise, the tree may only be ornamental.
Bloom time for apricots is around April. The time to harvest depends on the variety, but over a three-week period, you will be gently picking the fruit with the stalk intact and eating and preserving them.
A mature apricot tree can grow up to 20 to 30 feet tall and equally as wide. There are reliable dwarf cultivars, though. Look out for ‘Wilson’s Delicious’ or any other dwarf cultivar for smaller spaces.
Plant apricots in the fall so they have time to set roots before winter dormancy.
It will take three to four years to fruit, but once guava (Psidium guajava) starts, they are prolific and reliable in the right environment. Once established, some guava will provide up to 80 pounds of fruit annually.
Grow in Zones 9-12, where frosts are rare or mild. Guava will withstand a short period of cold but will lose all its leaves if temperatures drop to 29ºF. The preferred temperature range of guava is 62-82ºF.
Honey bees are the primary pollinator of guavas, so they are perfect for attracting more bees in your garden.
In tropical areas, guava grows up to 30 feet tall. In subtropical areas, they may reach 12 to 15 feet tall. Plant in early spring.
Figs (Ficus carica) generally take up to three years to produce fruit. Some take up to five, but that’s not usually the case.
Plant in full sun in Zones 6-9. Fig trees produce fruit around May if all is going well (they can be fussy) and may continue until the first frost around November.
The fig tree will grow up to 20 feet tall and 10 to 20 feet wide. They can be messy when growing, so tidy up with a prune. Plus, pruning creates new growth for even more fruit.
Plant the young trees in spring or late fall. You can pick one up from Amazon.
9. Asian Pear
Harvesting Asian pears (Pyrus pyrifolia) is highly likely after just three years, and if you’re lucky, in just two. They thrive in Zones 5-8. You should be able to start harvesting between August and October.
This is a big tree. It grows 30 to 40 feet tall and the same wide.
Asian pears are self-fertile, but harvests are higher in number and quality if another pear cultivar is planted nearby.
Plant in spring when the danger of frosts has passed. They are cold hardy, but not when first planted. They need a chill period over winter of around 50 to 70 days with a temperature below 45ºF. Then they need long, warm summers to develop fruit.
10. Sweet Cherry
Sweet cherries (Prunus avium) can be harvested within two to three years after planting if it is a grafted tree. Own-root trees take several years longer. Plant in Zones 4 – 7. The tree will bloom in spring, produce fruit in May and June, and sometimes into early July.
Sweet cherry is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 65 feet tall. There are some dwarf sweet cherry trees that will also produce fruit in two to three years. ‘Stella’ is a reliable dwarf cultivar.
Plant in spring or early fall when the tree can take advantage of more moisture in the round.
Not every apple will produce fruits quickly. Dwarf cultivars will start fruiting in about two years, and there are a few fast-growing cultivars, as well.
‘Early-Harvest’ apple trees (Malus domestica ‘Early Harvest’) will give you sweet fruit within one to three years after planting. Plant in Zones 3-8. There are choices of sizes: full size, semi-dwarf, and dwarf.
Expect a harvest as early as June or as late as September.
Full trees grow up to 25 feet high and 25 feet wide. Dwarf early harvest apples grow to around 10 feet tall and wide. They can be planted in containers as well.
Plant early harvest in full sun and water well. They are not drought tolerant and need at least 1 inch of water every ten days, and more in dry periods.
If you have a bare-root tree, plant it in spring. If you have a container tree, plant it right up to mid-fall.