Share your success (or not) with exotics in the inter-mountain west (paw paw, persimmon, etc)

Post your general area/zone as well as your last/first frost dates and what you are having success with, or not having success with regarding fruits that may be considered outside of their typical growing area.

I’m near Reno, NV in zone 7.
Our last frost is usually around the 1st week of May and our first frost is usually the second or third week of October.

Apricot trees absolutely thrive here. They love our alkaline soil and dry hot summers. Unfortunately, frost kills the blooms almost every year. I would really like an apricot that blooms in May. We never get apricot fruit despite the trees doing quite well.

I put 6 paw paw in the ground this spring in different places in our yard to see what would take. Of the 6, 3 are left. 1 tiny seedling on a sandy high spot in the yard in the shade of a locust tree has done very well. A Wabash planted in our lawn is living, but produced no new growth. A Pensilvania golden planted in full sun in 7.9ph soil was doing extremely well, with about a foot of growth over the summer after planting, but my kids broke the entire top off the tree in September and it never produced new leaves. A scratch tests revealed it is still alive. Hopefully it comes back this spring. I lost a Susquehanna, an Allegheny, and another seedling this summer.

I put in a Pinapple Guava this fall which so far has survived the winter.

Would like to see if there is a non astringent persimmon that would reliably ripen fruit here.


I have a friend in the Reno NV area who’s been growing butternuts, black walnuts, pecans, hickories there for 25+ years. The butternuts have done exceptionally well for him. Pawpaws struggled for him, as have persimmons, but he told me that some of his American persimmons did bloom for the first time this year. Apples/pears produce more than they can use or give away.
I recently sent him a ‘care package’ of bur oak acorns and shellbark hickory seednuts for a riparian bufferstrip planting.

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Interesting that the Juglandaceae are doing well here. I’m not surprised on the persimmon. We had a weird year that delayed a plants coming out of dormancy this spring, causing a lot of plants that would otherwise have their blooms freeze to be productive. Our neighbor’s apricot that has been in the ground for 10 years fruited for the first time this year as well.

I should add, I saw a YouTube from someone in the Salt Lake City are successfully growing a pawpaw that was bearing fruit without another pollinator. This inspired me to try it here. Hopefully I get a few to take.