Fruit Trees for Colorado
Just about any of the deciduous fruit trees (apples, pears, apricots, sweet and tart cherries, peaches/nectarines, and plums) can be grown in Colorado. Key factors to consider are tree hardiness, the length of time of cold dormancy, season length requirements, and disease susceptibility.
All of these crops can handle minus 25 degrees F winter temperatures except peaches and nectarines, which are damaged starting at minus 12 to minus 14 degrees F. It is very important to plant in sheltered locations that have gradual temperature drop into the winter months, stable (no major fluctuations) winter temperatures, and gradual spring warm-ups. Short to medium length growing season varieties are better because many Colorado locations have shorter growing seasons. Disease risks include fire blight on apples and pears along the Front Range due to warm moist conditions favoring infection in spring and early summer.
Documents on the Western Colorado Research Center website provide recommendations on fruit tree varieties for Colorado. One focuses on fruit trees for cold climates, the other on disease resistant varieties. They can be accessed at the following web address: http://www.colostate.edu/programs/wcrc/pubs/research_outreach/fruitinfo.htm. Click on the titles, Tree Fruit Cultivars for the Colder Locations in Colorado and Suggested Fruit Tree Varieties for Colorado (disease resistant varieties). These documents change as new information becomes available.
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Updated Monday, February 10, 2014