Re: White Sapote hardy in usda zone 8a ?
Joe and I are in USDA zone 9 and what Sunset Western Garden Book calls Sunset zone 14 and they rate it for our climate, but not any colder, though I would think it's possible with protection. I've been told by others not far away in zone 9 and they say it will do fine here if it makes it without a harsh winter for the first few years. I'll plant mine outside soon and hope for the best next winter, though I'd probably put up some temporary protection if we end up with some harsh weather.
It seems that some cultivars are ever-bearing in some of the climantes that don't get as warm but I'm wondering if that won't be the case for me.
I think it's a great-tasting fruit and am looking forward to growing it. I now have a dozen or so potted trees.
On bit of trivia: if I recall correctly, I read that the white sapote is the record-holder of producing carbohydrates per square foot. One tree reportedly produced 6,000 pounds of fruit in one year! Last month I visited someone in Fallbrook and they once said they picked 1,500 pounds from a tree and when they were done with that you couldn't tell they had even removed an fruit from the tree. Incredible, IMO.