Strawberry Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 8 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11


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The Strawberry Tree is a drought-resistant, ornamental fruit tree that produces small, tart berries that have a taste that is between a strawberry and a mulberry. When grown in the ground the Strawberry Tree will reach a mature size of between 15 and 30 feet tall, and 12 to 18 feet wide. The annual blooms are small, white, bell-shaped and hang down in clusters from branch ends. The fruit takes one year to ripen, and is picked when the next round of blooms appears.

Strawberry Trees are suitable for growing in the ground in USDA Zones 7 to 11, or in a container in Zones 4 to 11. When trees are young they have thorns, but as the trees mature, the thorns go away on the main trunk and leave behind a smooth bark. Some thorns remain on upper branches, which provide protection for nesting birds, while the dark green leaves create ample shade.

Strawberry Tree Care

The Strawberry Tree fruit and the tree itself are remarkably resistant to insects, pests, and diseases. While some commons pests can affect the Strawberry Tree, it is not overly sensitive to any particular threat. The tree need not be pruned to grow fruit, but it can be trimmed to maintain it at a certain size, or to shape the canopy. The combination of deep green leaves, white bell-shaped blooms, and red fruit makes a striking ornamental specimen for any garden.

Choose a location that gets full sun to partial shade. Be sure to water the tree at least weekly for the first year. Drip irrigation or a soaker-hose that provides long, slow, deep watering is the best method. This will help the tree establish a deep root system and the foundation that allows the Strawberry Tree to become so drought-tolerant.

Fruit & Harvesting

Strawberry Trees bloom in spring and the slow growing fruit takes an entire year to mature. Once the flowers mature, they are followed by clusters of round, green, bumpy fruit about an inch wide. The fruit will slowly turn from green, to yellow, to red or red-orange. The fruit of the Strawberry Tree can be eaten fresh, but some find it sour or acidic. However many people enjoy the tart, strawberry-mulberry flavor.

Fruit of the Strawberry Tree can also be used for making jellies, jams, desserts, and baked goods. In addition to these traditional uses, the tart red berries of the Strawberry Tree are used to make a powerful Portuguese fruit brandy called medronho.

Growing Zones


Strawberry Trees are capable of growing in poor, rocky soil as long as there is good drainage. They prefer acidic to neutral soil. You can increase the soil acidity by adding peat moss to the growing area. If possible, choose a planting location that is protected from strong north winds. Plant in a hole that has at least 6 inches of growing room on all sides of the root ball. Dig the hole to a depth that places the top of the tree’s root ball at the surface of the ground. Back fill and water in well.

You can also grow a Strawberry Tree in a container. Select a pot that provides 3 to 4 inches of growing room and that has holes for drainage. The Strawberry Tree can tolerate cold temperatures but leaves and blooms can be damaged by strong winds. Bring your potted Strawberry Tree indoors if severe storms are expected.


How big is the fruit of a Strawberry Tree?

Strawberry Tree fruits are small and grow to anywhere between 1 inch and 2 inches in diameter. As the tree grows larger, the fruit it produces will also increase in size.

Do the berries of a Strawberry Tree really taste like strawberries?

Fresh berries from the Strawberry Tree have a taste that is described as somewhere between a tart strawberry and a mulberry. They have also been described as having a melon-like flavor.

Can a Strawberry Tree take freezing temperatures?

Yes. You can grow Strawberry Trees in USDA Growing Zones 7 to 11, and the trees can take temperatures as low as 5 degrees F. In winter, the leaves turn yellow and drop, to be regrown in spring.

When should I prune my Strawberry Tree?

Strawberry Trees do not require pruning, but if you plan to trim the limbs, do so in winter when the tree is dormant. New spring growth will appear in March or April, and blooms will soon follow.

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