Can I Plant Fruit Trees in Colorado?

June 5th, 2020

The warmer weather has arrived, and planting is underway. From tomatoes to lettuce and peppers to beans, many people are starting their gardens to harvest through summer and fall. Although growing veggies is a staple for gardeners, did you know that you can plant fruit trees in Colorado?

Often when you think of fruit, you think of warm, humid weather; however, there are still many fruits that you can grow and harvest right here on the front range. Plums, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and apples and many more can all be grown right here in Colorado.

Plums

Plums are a sweet and delectable fruit that can be made into a jam or jelly. Plums require low humidity with occasional rainfall throughout the summer. That is why Colorado is a perfect place for growing this fruit! They need fertile and well-drained soil for good growth and require full sun. Plum trees can reach between 14-16 feet in height. Pollination requirements for plums vary, so be sure to talk with one of our experts at Fossil Creek Nursery to ensure you will get the fruit set you are looking for.

Cherries

Did you know that cherry trees have beautiful blooms? Not only are they planted for their fruit, they are planted for their pink and white blooms. Pruning cherry trees, as with many fruit trees, is important to produce better quality and quantity fruit. Remember, there are two kinds of cherry trees: sour cherries and sweet cherries. Sour cherries are great to cook with and sweet cherries are tasty right off the tree. Also keep in mind that sour cherries are generally self-fertile, whereas sweet cherries generally need a second tree for pollination.

Peaches, Apricots, and Nectarines

Peaches and nectarines can also be grown in the state of Colorado. Peach and nectarine trees need full sun and to be planted with proper spacing in order to grow. Their soil needs good drainage and to be on the sandy side. Pruning is needed to help manage fruit size and help the sunlight get through to fruit-bearing branches. They grow fruit in the summer that will be ready for an autumn harvest, with apricots being ripe earlier than peaches and nectarines. On the Front Range, these fruit trees would benefit from being planted in a protected location to help protect against late frosts and extreme winter temperatures.

Apples

There is nothing like crisp, juicy apples for picking in the late summer and early fall. You will want to plant at least two apple trees if there are no others nearby to pollinate the trees, however apples can generally be pollinated by crabapples, making this an easy requirement in most neighborhoods. Apple trees are particularly hardy and are one of the easier fruit trees to grow in Colorado. They need a certain number of chill hours so growing apples in Colorado is perfect. Apple trees are prone to pests so you will want to keep the areas around your trees clean and set up traps for Coddling moths right as blossoms begin to open. If you are not sure about timing for these traps or how to use them, ask one of our knowledgeable staff members at Fossil Creek Nursery.

With some careful planning and care, you can grow fruit trees here in Colorado. If you are unsure where to start or have questions about taking care of fruit trees, stop by Fossil Creek Nursery today or give us a call at 970.226.4924. Our friendly nursery staff is here to help!