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Natural Awakenings San Diego

California Tropical Fruit Trees

The Las Vegas Strip. The San Diego Zoo. Beverly Hills. Malibu. What do all of these have in common? They’re all places where trees from California Tropical Fruit Trees can be found. In fact, California Tropical Fruit Trees in Vista, California, has been gracing Southern California and beyond with their trees for 20 years. Owner, Perry Coles, originally got into the fruit tree business as a hobby. “I liked exotic fruits,” he recalls, “but I couldn’t find any around here.” His pastime started out modestly by saving guava seeds and planting them. “But,” says Coles, “like most hobbies, it got out of control.” Soon there were seeds and plants arriving from Florida. “The seeds kept coming and the variety of trees kept growing,” says Coles. Now he manages 29 acres which includes a nursery and growing grounds.

What will visitors to the California Tropical Fruit Trees, one of the largest fruit tree nurseries in Southern California, find once they arrive? A wide, healthy variety of stone fruit, citrus and exotic fruit trees. “We specialize in fruit trees,” affirms Coles. “And we’ve gone to great lengths to have a superior selection.”

Speaking of going to great lengths, Coles shares how during the recession, 60 percent of the local nurseries went out of business as landscaping came to a halt. “When people went back into production, there was a shortage of properly-sized trees,” explains Coles. But not at California Tropical Fruit Trees. Coles continued nursing his trees and has always remained completely stocked with materials, including citrus trees all the way up to 65 gallon containers. “We’ve been very successful in producing larger, nice quality trees. We have over 20,000 in stock,” says Coles. “Some of them are more than 25 years old. When somebody comes by we rarely have to say no. If somebody wants an instant orchard, we have it.”  

Don’t have a big yard or planting room for trees? Not an issue. California Tropical Fruit Trees offers a huge variety of container plants. “There’s no reason for anybody to have to plant a tree in the ground,” says Cole. “Container plants are a great alternative. They’re easier to maintain, and best of all, they’re portable.” Not only that, but they can transform a patio or walkway. “Imagine how much more beautiful your outdoor spaces can look, and feel, by adding a few container plants,” touts Coles. “And what’s better than having the freshest fruit possible at your disposal?”

Most of the trees at California Tropical Fruit Trees are priced inexpensively, starting at $45. “And that’s even if they are 25 years old,” says Coles. Most of the trees are available in 15 gallon containers and larger. However, there is a nice assortment of trees in five gallon containers to choose from as well. Those looking for more of a bargain can browse the second quality tree selection for half the price of the first quality trees. “All of our trees are healthy,” assures Coles. “But sometimes a tree might have grown at an angle, or it might not be as pretty. If that’s the case, then somebody can get a perfectly healthy tree, with a cosmetic issue or two, at discounted rates.”   

Over the years, Coles discovered that a handful of trees from Southeast Asia grow very nicely in Southern California’s temperate climate, so a wide variety of trees, including persimmon, bananas and dragon fruit can also be found at California Tropical Fruit Trees.

Dorset Golden Apples, Katy Apricots, Ice Cream Bananas, Surinam  Cherry Trees, Pixie Mandarine Tangerine, Thai Maroon Guava, Shinseiki Asian Pear Tree—the list goes on and on. And this is just a small sampling of the stock. Right now, visitors to the nursery will find American and Italian fig trees, lychee trees and mangoes just bursting with fruit and over 15 varieties of colorful, fragrant plumeria. In fact, the whole nursery is overwhelming with delightful fragrances and colors. “It’s the freshest you can get,” says Coles. “Fruit straight from the tree, picked fresh and perfectly ripe.”

Those seeking healthy trees, free of pests and disease, need look no further than California Tropical Fruit Trees. Be sure to visit for an extensive list of trees available.

California Tropical Fruit Trees is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Call 760-434-5085 for directions. For more information, visit

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