A tree bearing red berries in summer splatters your landscape with eye-catching color. Many begin their screen with showy and sometimes fragrant blossoms in the spring. While some trees, like strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum), have edible berries, other trees have poisonous berries, including summer holly (Comarostaphylis diversifolia).
Evergreen for Moist Soil
Boxleaf azara (Azara microphylla), also known as chocolate azara, has yellow blooms in spring that become small edible, but bitter red or orange berries in the summer. It grows 12 to 25 feet tall in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. Surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora), also known as pitanga, bears white flowers in spring that become an abundance of large edible red, orange, yellow or mostly green berries in the summer. It attains 25 feet tall and grows in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 10. Both trees have fragrant blossoms and prosper in moist soil and prefer full sun to partial shade.
Very Large Berries
Some trees produce fruit so big, you won’t think they are berries. Strawberry guava, also known as common or cattley guava, exhibits white blooms that become lots of edible, medium-sized red, purple or black berries you choose from mid-spring via mid-fall in USDA zones 10 and 11. Pomegranate (Punica granatum) shows red, pink or orange blooms from spring to summer and bears a whole lot of red or brownish fruit from July through October. It grows in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 14. Both trees grow 20 feet tall.
Western North American Natives
Planting native trees provides your lawn a natural appearance. Red coastal elderberry (Sambucus racemosa var. Callicarpa) begets cream or white flowers in summer or spring that morph into several crops of small red berries in summer and autumn that are poisonous until ripe. It grows 20 feet tall in USDA zones 6 through 10. The madrone tree (Arbutus menziesii) bears pink or white blossoms in spring that eventually become bunches of small, edible red or orange berries in late summer through autumn. It grows 50 to 65 feet tall in USDA zones 7 through 9.
Southern California Native
Summer holly (Comarostaphylis diversifolia) is a Southern California native and also an evergreen. It exhibits white blossoms in spring that eventually become a profusion of very small, inedible, red berries in late spring to summer that attract wildlife. Summer holly prefers for wet loamy to sandy soil, grows 20 feet tall in USDA hardiness zones 7b through 10 and has good fire resistance.