When to Pick
This harvest calendar provides general guidelines for harvest periods. However, ripening times could differ due to weather, sun and wind exposure, slope, elevation, fruit variety and other factors. Keep your eyes on the trees to judge when to harvest. Mature soft fruits should be harvested right away to avoid decay and beat the birds to them.
GENERAL RANGE OF HARVEST PERIODS FOR ARIZONA EDIBLE TREES
In general, harvesting at the time of optimum maturity will produce the best tasting fruit. Harvest in the early morning when the fruit is cool and chill the fruit as soon as possible to make your fruit last longer. Many types of citrus fruit can stay on trees until you are ready to use them, and some continue to sweeten and get tastier on the tree. Keep an eye on the weather to avoid damage to citrus and other tropical trees due late freezes or rainstorms. Risk of frost could make it worth harvesting early.
Some fruits and pods are vulnerable to mold after summer rains, such as mesquite and dates, so protect them from the rain or harvest early. Some fruits, such as persimmon and medlar need to over-ripen on the trees before they can be eaten and should be harvested late in the season. Different varieties of the same species may have very different ripening times—early summer apples may ripen in June while late winter varieties can stay on the tree until December. Check the Edible Tree Directory for specific harvest recommendations.
Abundant harvest of quince fruit at Mission Garden in Tucson.
CAUTION: Never eat anything that is not properly identified. It is your responsibility to ensure that all fruits, nuts, seeds, pods and other edible products of trees and shrubs are correctly identified and safe to eat before eating them or serving them to others.
LEAF is under the fiduciary stewardship of the Arizona Community Tree Council, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
70 S Val Vista Drive, Suite A3-186, Gilbert, AZ 85296