University of Florida

Frequently Asked Questions

By Dr. Jonathan H. Crane

What is FruitScapes?

Hundreds of thousands of Floridians have fruit trees in their home landscape and practical information on how to plant and care for these trees is important to their ability to enjoy this edible landscape. Fruit trees provide not only food but aesthetic beauty.

FruitScapes is a University of Florida, IFAS Web site that focuses on growing temperate, subtropical and tropical fruit crops in the home landscape. The web site provides information to homeowners, Extension Agents, Master Gardeners, landscapers, and other interested people in written and audio/video formats.

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What are Factsheets, EDIS,
and Solutions for Your Life?

Factsheets are relatively short publications on specific topics providing science-based information on hundreds of topics. The factsheets are available from County Extension Offices and through a Web site called EDIS.

EDIS stands for Extension Data Information Source and is a major repository for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) factsheet publications. EDIS may be accessed via the internet at The Web site is searchable by key words or through a topics menu.

Another way to search the EDIS Web site is using any of the popular search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo) and adding the acronym "EDIS" after the keyword(s) search. For example: "mango edis".

The Solutions for Your Life Web site is the new University of Florida Extension Web site. The topics available through this Web site range from lawn and garden/landscape care, family life and consumer choices, commercial agriculture, community development, the environment and natural resources, and youth development. The Solutions for Your Life Web site may be accessed at EDIS may be accessed through the Solutions for Your Life Web site under the IFAS Resources section.

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How can FruitScapes help me (a homeowner)?

FruitScapes provides current step-by-step information on how to plant and care for fruit trees in your home landscape. For many fruit crops, specific and detailed information may be accessed through the downloadable publications. The video clips provide additional information.

Floridians that wish to speak with someone from the University or with questions may call their local County Extension Agent or Master Gardener. If the Agent or Master Gardener does not have an immediate answer they will contact someone at the University who knows and get back to the person.

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Does FruitScapes provide
information on rare tropical fruits?

FruitScapes provides information on over 50 fruit crops that may be grown under Florida’s climatic conditions. It does not provide information on many of the rare tropical fruit crops like mangosteen, breadfruit, and durian which are not adapted to the various climates found in Florida. True there are a few individuals who have found or created micro-climates where some of the very cold sensitive tropicals may grown but, for the vast majority of areas in Florida these crops will not survive our winter temperatures.

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Who is involved in FruitScapes?

FruitScapes is a collaborative web site between Dr. Jonathan Crane, Dr. Jeff Williamson, Dr. Carlos Balerdi, and Ian Maguire. The web site may be accessed through the Solutions for Your Life web site We are hoping to continually improve and expand the information provided by the FruitScapes web site and encourage people to provide us with feedback on how useful they found FruitScapes.

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Are fruit trees in the home landscape
good for landscape? Examples?

Fruit trees in the home landscape provide shade, texture, depth, variety, and best of all fresh fruit for the homeowner. In addition, local fauna like birds and squirrels sometimes benefit from a food supply and nesting area that fruit trees provide.

For example from an effect on landscape environment and energy efficiency standpoint for the home, banana plants placed adjacent to a sun exposed wall provides shade and cooling for the wall during the summer months thus lowering the heat load on the home and AC costs. In return, the warmth radiated from the wall during cool or cold weather provides some cold protection to the banana plant.

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If I have a question about
fruit-scaping whom should I call?

People with questions about fruit trees in the home landscape should contact their local county Extension Agent.

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