Growing fruit trees along the Front Range in Colorado can be challenging but also satisfying. Late frosts, heavy spring snows, and several pests and diseases make this interesting to say the least! However, in successful years, the gardener can be blessed with bumper crops of apples, cherries, plums, and often peaches and apricots.
Here are some varieties that are considered among the best for success in Colorado recommended by J. R. Feucht, former Landscape-Plant Specialist, CSU Extension; and Curtis Utley, Jefferson County CSU Extension.
The more reliable varieties are:
The most dependable cherries for the Front Range are the tart type. Varieties most suitable are:
Peaches are not as dependable as apples, plums or cherries for the Front Range. They flower early and are often are nipped by frost, thus preventing fruit set. They are rewarding if you can get past the growing difficulties. Recommended varieties:
Plums are considered among the hardiest tree fruits for the Colorado Front Range, and are relatively dependable as far as fruit set. Among the selections that can be made, the following are considered best:
Apricots are even less dependable than peaches for growing. This is not because of hardiness but because their early flowering habit makes them subject to frost. Try a thick mulch of wood chips after the ground has frozen in fall. The varieties Goldcot and Moorpark are worthy of trial in Colorado.
Having successful fruit trees starts with proper planting and care. Here is an extensive Fact Sheet on how to plant a tree properly. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/636.html
This Garden Note will show you how to successfully grow tree fruit in Colorado: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/Gardennotes/771.pdf
Take the time and energy to plant and care for your trees properly. It will pay off in the long run.
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