University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #HS1218

Directory of Certified Deciduous Fruit and Nut Crop Nurseries in Florida1

Peter C. Andersen, Robert C. Hochmuth, and Lei Lani L. Davis2

The sustainability of fruit and nut crops as a farm enterprise is dependent on the proper selection of a species and cultivar in relation to the specific region where the crops are to be grown (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg367). Florida represents several climatic regions. The proper selection of species and cultivars is probably the most important decision that determines the success or failure of a farm enterprise.

The University of Florida has released many fruit crops, including peaches/nectarines (http://www.hos.ufl.edu/extension/stonefruit/stone-fruit-varieties), plums (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs250), rabbiteye and southern highbush blueberries (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ac031), muscadine grapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs100 and http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs401), bunch grapes (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg105), an apple (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs764), and a pear. All of these releases have a low chilling requirement, which is critical to all growing regions of Florida. Many of these UF specialty crop cultivars ripen in early spring during a market window with little or no worldwide competition. Site selection is extremely important for successful production of most fruit and nut crops in Florida. Potential orchard sites should have soil that is well drained and slightly sloped for cold air drainage.

A number of cultivars have been developed for North, Central, and South Florida, and a continued emphasis for the breeding program is to increase the diversity of germplasm for the entire state. However, small and large producers seldom are aware of, nor can they find, these Florida-adapted cultivars of fruit and nut crops from local nurseries. Many of the UF cultivars are patented through the Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc. (FFSP, http://ffsp.net), and bud wood is made available to those nurseries that purchase licenses. It is important to buy patented varieties from licensed nurseries. FFSP is a nonprofit corporation and direct support organization of the University of Florida. FFSP works closely with the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (FAES), an agricultural and natural resources research program of the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

According to a 2007 agricultural census, 91% of all farms in the United States are classified as small farms (gross cash farm income < $250,000). Likewise, more than 90% of all Florida farms are small farms. Florida is unique, however, in that it is one of the few states that showed an increase in the total number of farms in the 2007 census. This 8% increase in the total number of farms was essentially all in the small farm category. Small farmers in Florida have great opportunities because of the large urban centers, the mild climate, and abundant natural resources available. Most small farmers choose to directly market their products to the consumer to maximize profits. A diversity of fresh products to offer, such as fruits, nuts, and vegetables, generally is preferred at most direct-market venues. Some direct marketing strategies include farmer’s markets, on-farm sales, roadside stands, subscription sales, community-supported agriculture (CSA), U-pick, and sales directly to restaurants or institutions, such as schools (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy597).

Florida is poised to increase the number, sustainability, and profitability of small farms with increased access to new and improved cultivars, further exploitation of market windows, the development of new information and technologies on culture, and management and pest control, which includes insect monitoring, the use of trap cropping, safer targeted pesticides, and biological control. UF/IFAS is conducting research throughout the state to identify the key limiting factors to sustainability and profitability of low-chill fruit and nut crops by evaluating new cultivars, developing new production and management strategies, and using traditional and novel marketing dissemination methods.

Florida's subtropical climate is suitable for the culture of numerous fruit and nut trees. Certain species and cultivars can be grown successfully in Florida with a minimum of inputs (well adapted to Florida) or only with the investment of substantial inputs (marginally adapted), while others cannot be grown at all (non-adapted).

Agricultural sustainability is largely a function of identifying and selecting adapted species/cultivars for a given geographic region. Proper crop selection results in minimal inputs, such as pesticides, irrigation, fertilizer, and labor. Sustainable crops are those with minimal inputs and consistent outputs, including yield, fruit quality, and minimal environmental impact. Crops that meet these criteria are candidates for organic practices, small farms with limited resources, and/or a desire to avoid extensive inputs. However, there is not always a good correlation between profitability and sustainability. Other crops may be less sustainable (southern highbush blueberry) but still be attractive because of high potential profitability. Cultivar selection is the orchard’s foundation. Appropriate cultivar selection minimizes inputs and maximizes profits.

This publication was developed to assist farmers in locating recommended cultivars of fruit and nut crops from Florida nurseries. The nurseries listed in Table 1 offer fruit and nut trees and are listed as certified nurseries with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (http://www.freshfromflorida.com/pi/plantinsp/nursery_directory/nur_directory.html). The nursery certification process is regulated by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (http://www.freshfromflorida.com/pi/plantinsp/docs/brief_summary.pdf). Many nurseries listed in Table 1 only offer a few cultivars, while others offer several cultivars of many fruit or nut crops. Table 2 lists fruit and nut cultivars that University of Florida Extension specialists currently recommend or suggest on a trial basis. Maintaining an up-to-date list of cultivar inventory at each nursery is very challenging, so contact the nurseries directly to determine current inventory, or view their websites if available.

Tables

Table 1. 

Directory of certified Florida nurseries offering fruit and nut crop trees

Nursery business listing

Crops

Adam's Plants

8135 Southern Blvd.

West Palm Beach, FL 33411

Phone: (561) 793-4303

adamsplantsinc@yahoo.com

http://www.adamsplants.com

Banana, citrus, fig, muscadine grape, peach, plum

Agri-Starts

1728 Kelly Park Rd.

Apopka, FL 32712

Phone: (407) 889-8055

Fax: (407) 889-2523

info@agristarts.com

Banana, blackberry, southern highbush blueberry, rabbiteye blueberry, fig, muscadine grape, peach, raspberry

Berry Blue Farm & Nursery

2903 W 60th Hwy.

Plant City, FL 33567

Phone: (813) 508-1104

http://www.berrybluefarms.com/

Southern highbush blueberry

Blue Gold Growers

5645 WO Griffin Rd.

Plant City, FL 33567

Phone: (813) 748-5817

Southern highbush blueberry

Bluestar Nursery

8115 SE US Hwy. 301

Hawthorne, FL 32615

Phone: (352) 481-3300

Southern highbush blueberry, rabbiteye blueberry

Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery, LLC

480 CR 416 S

Lake Panasoffkee, FL 33538

Phone: (352) 793-6861

Fax: (352) 793-3674

order@briteleaf.com

http://www.briteleaf.com

Cold-hardy citrus

Carlton Myers Nursery & Orchard

14451 NE CR 339

Trenton, FL 32693

Phone: (352) 463-6602

Persimmon

Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, Inc.

15105 NW 94th Ave.

Alachua, FL 32615

Phone: (386) 462-2820 / (800) 669-2067

Fax: (386) 462-4330

chestnuthilltreefarm@gmail.com

http://chestnuthilltreefarm.com

Apple, banana, blackberry, southern highbush blueberry, rabbiteye blueberry, cold-hardy citrus, chestnut, fig, grape, nectarine, olive, peach, pear, pecan, persimmon, plum, pomegranate

Dewar Nurseries, Inc.

625 W Keene Rd.

Apopka, FL 32703

Phone: (800) 329-1188

http://www.dewarnurseries.com

Banana, blackberry, fig, southern highbush blueberry, muscadine grape, pomegranate, kiwi

Dole Berry Company East / Mixon Farms

3510 State Rd. 546 East

Haines City, FL 33844

Phone: (863) 294-8856 / 4301

Fax: 863-439-4134

Rhonda Richardson

Rhonda.Richardson@dole.com

By appointment only

Southern highbush blueberry

Excalibur Fruit Trees 5200 Fearnley Rd.

Lake Worth, FL 33467

Phone: (561) 969-6988

Fax: (561) 641-3028

sales@excaliburfruittrees.com

http://www.excaliburfruittrees.com

Apple, banana, blackberry, southern highbush blueberry, fig, grape, nectarine, peach, pear, persimmon, plum, pomegranate

Florida Hill Nursery

PO Box 530318

Debary, FL 32753

Phone: (386) 873-8064

floridahillnursery@yahoo.com

http://www.floridahillnursery.com

Banana, blackberry, southern highbush blueberry, fig, muscadine grape

Going Bananas

24401 SW 197th Ave.

Homestead, FL 33031

Phone: (305) 247-0397

Fax: (305) 247-7877

goingbananas@bellsouth.net

http://www.going-bananas.com

Banana

Green Sea Farms

6360 Johnston Rd.

Zolfo Springs, FL 33890

Phone: (863) 604-3778

Cindy Weinstein

Greenseafarms@yahoo.com

http://greenseafarm.com

Pomegranate

Green Scene Nursery

7544 Number Two Rd.

Howey, FL 34737

Phone: (352) 324-2560

Kali Frey

gsn@atlantic.net

http://greenscenenursery.com

Pomegranate

Green's Nursery

5844 Round Lake Rd.

Apopka, FL 32798

Phone: (407) 889-3611

Fax: (407) 889-0204

http://www.greensnursery.com

Ray and Ann Green (owners)

Apple, banana, blackberry, southern highbush blueberry, chestnut, fig, muscadine grape, mayhaw, nectarine, peach, pear, pecan, persimmon, plum, pomegranate

Hopkins Nursery

25355 Shultz Grade

Immokalee, FL 34142

Phone: (239) 658-0370

Fax: (239) 658-0390

http://hopkinstropicalfruitnursery.com

Banana, blackberry, southern highbush blueberry, fig, muscadine grape, nectarine, olives, peach, persimmon, plum, pomegranate

Island Grove Ag. Prod. Nursery Div.

2600 SE 193rd Ave.

Hawthorne, FL 32640

Phone: (352) 481-5558 / (352) 274-3835

Fax: (352) 481-5093

bsheffield@islandgroveagproducts.com

http://www.islandgroveagproducts.com

Bert Sheffield

Blackberry, southern highbush blueberry, rabbiteye blueberry, fig, muscadine grape, nectarine, peach, pomegranate

Just Fruits and Exotics

30 St. Frances St.

Crawfordville, FL 32327

Phone: (850) 926-5644

Fax: (850) 926-9885

justfruits@hotmail.com

http://www.justfruitsandexotics.com

Apple, banana, blackberry, southern highbush blueberry, rabbiteye blueberry, cold-hardy citrus, chestnut, fig, grape, mayhaw, nectarine, olive, peach, pear, pecan, persimmon, plum, pomegranate, walnut

Lee's Nursery, Inc.

US Hwy. 27 E., PO Box 26

Branford, FL 32008

Phone: (386) 935-1410

Fax: (386) 935-3020

LeeNur1@windstream.net

James and Linda Lee

Apple, blackberry, southern highbush blueberry, rabbiteye blueberry, chestnut, fig, muscadine grape, mayhaw, nectarine, olive, peach, pear, persimmon, plum, pomegranate

Lora's Lovely Plants

11206 S US Hwy. 441

Lake City, FL 32025

Phone: (386) 590-0390

Fax: (386) 755-9728

Apple, southern highbush blueberry, citrus, fig, nectarine, olive, peach, persimmon, plum

Lychee Tree Nursery

3151 S Kanner Hwy.

Stuart, FL 34994

Phone: (772) 283-4054

http://lycheetreenursery.com

Fig

Miller Blueberry Plantation & Nursery

394 CR 315 South

Interlachen, FL 32148

Phone: (386) 684-6362

Fax: (386) 684-1812

info@millerblueberry.com

http://www.millerplantnursery.com

Jimmy Miller

Southern highbush blueberry, rabbiteye blueberry

Oasis Tropical Plants and Trees

Springhill, FL 34606

Phone: (734) 308-4264

oasiscustomersalwaysfirst@yahoo.com

http://oasistropicalplantsandtrees4u.com

Banana, citrus, fig

Pebbledale Farms

12729 Amber Ln.

Lithia, FL 33547

Phone: (863) 450-8202

Tina Connell

tina.pebbledale@hughes.net

Southern highbush blueberry

Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery, Inc.

1697 Rucks Dairy Rd.

P.O. Box 1318

Frostproof, FL 33843

Phone: (863) 635-1948

Fax: (863) 635-7624

Email: rucksnursery@aol.com

Cold-hardy citrus, low-chill peach

Pine Island Nursery

16300 SW 184th St.

Miami, FL 33187

Phone: (305) 233-5501

Fax: (305) 233-5610

info@pineislandnursery.com

http://www.tropicalfruitnursery.com

Apple, southern highbush blueberry, fig, muscadine grape, nectarine, olive, peach, persimmon, plum, pomegranate

S.E.M. Nursery

12328 NW SR 45

High Springs, FL 32643

Phone: (386) 454-8084

Art Striver – appointment only

Banana, rabbiteye and southern highbush blueberry, chestnut, fig, muscadine grape, kiwi, olive, peach, pear, persimmon, plum, pomegranate, black walnut

Simple Life Farms

8135 N Brook Way

Citrus Springs, FL 34433

Phone: (352) 302-9559

Southern highbush blueberry

Simpson Nurseries LAA

PO Box 160

Monticello, FL 32345

Phone: (800) 874-3571 / (229) 224-8242

Fax: (850) 997-2518

Chip Culbreth

http://simpsonnurseries.com

Apple, blackberry, rabbiteye blueberry, fig, bunch and muscadine grape, nectarine, peach, pear, pecan, persimmon, plum, pomegranate

Spyke's Grove

7250 Griffin Rd.

Davie, FL 33314

Phone: (954) 583-0426

oranges@att.net

http://spykestropicalnursery.com

Apple, banana, blackberry, southern highbush blueberry, rabbiteye blueberry, cold-hardy citrus, chestnut, fig, muscadine grape, nectarine, olive, peach, persimmon, plum, pomegranate

True Blue Plants

8701 Rhodes Rd.

Hudson, FL 34669

Phone: (877) 237-5268

Fax: (727) 674-4067

http://www.trueblueplants.com

Southern highbush blueberry, rabbiteye blueberry

Twigs and Berries Nursery

300 Cheney Hwy.

Titusville, FL 32783-5712

Phone: (407) 832-8326

Steve Kopacz

steve@twigsandberries.net

miraclefruitman@aol.com

http://www.twigsandberries.net

Apple, banana, blackberry, southern highbush blueberry, cold-hardy citrus, chestnut, fig, muscadine and bunch grape, nectarine, olive, peach, pear, persimmon, plum, pomegranate

Table 2. 

Recommended fruit and nut species and cultivars grown in North and North Central Florida

Species

Recommended cultivars

Recommended for trial

Pecan (Carya illinoensis)

Cape Fear, Elliott, Curtis, Stuart, Sumner, Moreland

Amling, Caddo, Excel, Forkert, Kanza, Desirable, Pawnee, Lakota, Gafford, Headquarters, Baby B, Apalachee, Creek, Giftpack, Oconee, Byrd, Mandan, Kiowa

Peach (Prunus persica)

North Florida: Flordacrest, Flordaking, Gulfking, Gulfcrest, Gulfcrimson

North Central Florida: Flordabest, Flordacrest, Gulfking, UFBeauty

Central Florida: UFSun, UFOne, Flordaprince, TropicBeauty

North Florida: Gulfprince, GulfAtlas, Gulfsnow, UFGlo

North Central Florida: UF2000, UF Blaze, UFO, UFSharp, TropicSnow

Central Florida: UFBest, UFBeauty, Flordaglo, UFGold

Nectarine (Prunus persica)

North Florida: Suncoast

North Central Florida: Sunbest, Sunmist

North Florida: Sunmist

North Central Florida: UFQueen, UFRoyal

Plum (Prunus salicina)

Gulfbeauty, Gulfblaze, Gulfrose

For extreme North Florida only: Au-Homeside, Au-Producer, Au-Roadside, Au-Rosa, Au-Rubrum, Byrongold, Excelsior, Ozark Premier, Robusto, Segundo

Southern highbush blueberry (Vaccinuum corymbosum × V. darrowi)

Emerald, Farthing, Jewel

For Central Florida only: Snowchaser, Springhigh, Primadonna, Meadowlark, Scintilla

For North Florida only: Georgiagem, Oneal, Rebel, Sweetcrisp

For North Central Florida only: Springhigh, Meadowlark, Primadonna, Snowchaser

Rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium virgatum)

Austin, Climax, Brightwell, Powderblue, Premier, Savory

For North Florida only: Arapaho, Ira, Ochlocknee, Yadkin

Blackberry (Rubus spp.)

North Florida: Ouachita, Natchez (both thornless), Kiowa (thorny)

North Florida: Apache, Arapaho, Navaho (all thornless), Tupy (thorny).

North Central and Central Florida: Brazo, Oklawaha, Flordagrand, Tupy

Muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia)

Fresh-market grapes: Black Beauty, Black Fry, Fry, Granny Val, Ison, Pam, Pineapple, Tara, Polyanna, Southern Home, Summit, Supreme, Sweet Jenny

Processed grapes: Alachua, Carlos, Noble, Welder

Fresh-market grapes: Majestic, Southern Jewel, Delicious, Eudora, African Queen, Big Red, Darlene, Doreen, Early Fry, Florida Fry, Nesbitt, Lane

Processed grapes: Creek, Golden Isles

Southern bunch grape (Vitis spp.)

Processed grape (wine): Blanc duBois

Fresh-market grapes: Daytona, Orlando Seedless, Emerald, Blue Lake

Processed grapes (wine): Suwannee, Stover, Black Spanish, Conquistador

Apple (Malus domestica)*

Anna, Dorsett Golden

Tropic Sweet

Pear (Pyrus serotina)*

Baldwin, Flordahome, Hood, Tenn, Kieffer Orient, Carnes, Pineapple, Moonglo

Housi, Shinseeki, 20th Century

Oriental persimmon (Diospyros kaki)

Fuyu

Izu, Matsumoto Wase Fuyu, Ichikikei Jiro, Hana Fuyu, Jiro, Suruga

Chestnut (Castanea mollisima)

Seedlings which are best propagated from large seeds

Carolina, Revival, Heritage, Williamette

Mayhaw (Crataegus aestivalis)*

Insufficient data

Lori, Lindsey, Big Red, Red and Yellow, Heavy, Mason’s Super Berry, T.O. Super Berry, Highway Super Berry, Super Spur

Fig (Ficus carica)*

Brown Turkey, Black Spanish, Celeste

Alma, Conadria, Jelly, Osborne Prolific, Pasquale, Tena, Ventura, Champagne, Green Ischia, Kadota, LSU Gold, LSU Purple, Magnolia, O’Rourke, Tiger

Olives (Olea europaea)*

Although Arbequina, Mission, and Manzanillo appear adapted to North Florida, we have insufficient data at this time.

Arbequina, Mission, Manzanilla, Ascolana, Lecino, Frontio, Coratina, Kalamara, Arbosana Koroneiki

Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

None (insufficient data at this time)

Thomson, Cranberry, Don Summer South, Don Summer North, Nikitski Ranni, Pink, King, Eve

Kiwi (Actindia deliciosa)

None (A prior trial at North Florida Research and Education Center based on the Hayward cultivar was not successful.)

Hayward, ZESPRI Green, ZESPRI Gold, ZESPRI Organic

Banana (Musa spp.)

None (Bananas require cold protection and usually require 12–18 months to produce a crop.)

Cavendish (protection required)

Satsuma (Citrus unshiu)

Owari, Brown Select, Kimbrough

Early St. Anne, Xie Shan

Kumquat (Fortunella × crassifolia)

Meiwa, Nagami

Murumi, Hongkong

*Not recommended for commercial production at this time.

Footnotes

1.

This document is HS1218, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date April 2013. Reviewed March 2016. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Peter C. Andersen, professor, Horticultural Sciences Department; Robert C. Hochmuth Regional Specialized Extension Agent, Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center, Live Oak; and Lei Lani L. Davis, agricultural technician, Live Oak; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.