The life expectancy of fruit trees varies with the type of fruit tree, and the rootstock that they’re grafted onto (if they’re not growing on their own roots).
Trees on dwarf rootstock tend to have a shorter life span than their larger counterparts because the way that the dwarfing effect is achieved is due to the root system being smaller and less vigorous.
Fruit Tree Life Expectancy List
The list below includes many common fruit tree varieties, and their average lifespan in years. Note that the lifespan may be longer in ideal conditions.
- Almond* – 40-‐50
- Apple (full size) – 35+ years
- Apple (semi-dwarf) – 20-25 years
- Apple (dwarf) – 15-20 years
- Apricot – 20-30 years
- Cherry (sour) – 15-20 years
- Cherry (sweet) – 20-30 years
- Citrus – 30 to 35 years
- Fig – 50–75 years
- Guava – 30‐40+
- Jujube – 100+
- Loquat – 100+
- Mango – 200+
- Mulberry (black) – 100+ years
- Mulberry (red) – 75 years
- Mulberry (white) – 100+ years
- Olive – 500+ years
- Pear (full size) – 35-45 years
- Pear (semi-dwarf) – 20-25 years
- Pear – (dwarf) 15-20 years
- Peach – 15-20 years
- Persimmon – 50-‐75
- Plum – 15-20 years
- Pomegranate – 200 years
- Quince 30-40 years
- Sapote (white, yellow) – 100+
Almonds are included in this list because they’re related to peaches and nectarines, and are actually just fleshless peaches, not true nuts.
Apples range in their longevity, but some can be exceedingly long-lived. Some espaliered apple trees have remained productive after 150 years, because they are less susceptible to breaking branches. For this reason, espaliered trees can have an incredibly long life span!
The fruit of olives are botanically classed as a drupe, like the fruit of a peach or plum, and therefore appear in the list. They’re also one of the longest-lived trees, that can live well over 1,000 years. The ancient olive tree of Vouves, located in the village of Ano Vouves on the island of Crete, is believed to be the oldest olive tree in the world. It is estimated to be over 2,000 years old, and up to 4,000 years old. and even more incredibly, still produces olives.
Apricots can live quite a long time, but plum-apricot hybrids (plumcots and apriums) tend to have a short life span in very cold regions.
- University of Vermont, Master Gardener Fruit Trees in the Home Garden, M. Garcia <https://www.uvm.edu/~orchard/fruit/treefruit/tf_homeorchards/Mastergardenertreefruit.pdf>
- University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Horticulture – Espalier, Susan Mahr <https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/espalier/>
- PlantVillage – Figs https://plantvillage.psu.edu/topics/fig/infos
- Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “olive”. Encyclopedia Britannica, Invalid Date, https://www.britannica.com/plant/olive-plant. Accessed 13 July 2022.
- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Citrus Tree Values, EHT-011, 7/13, Juan R. Anciso and Luis A. Ribera https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/EHT-011.pdf
- University of Georgia Extension, Pomegranate Production, Circular 997 https://secure.caes.uga.edu/extension/publications/files/pdf/C%20997_7.PDF
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension, How and when should I prune back sprouts to encourage more lateral growth without prompting more water sprouts on my apricot tree? July 7, 2022 https://extension.umaine.edu/gardening/2022/07/07/how-and-when-should-i-prune-back-sprouts-to-encourage-more-lateral-growth-without-prompting-more-water-sprouts-on-my-apricot-tree/