Searching for the best fruit trees for Colorado Springs to grow in your yard?
Fruit trees can do very well in the Colorado soil, particularly if they are well taken care of. They do require a bit more work than most other trees particularly early on, but they are well worth the effort if you stick with it.
Most fruit trees generally require more work upfront in the first 10 years after they are planted, but once their roots are established, they can continue to thrive naturally without too much extra effort, such as regular tree trimming service.
Selecting the right fruit tree for your yard and then pruning, watering, and caring for it can result in a beautiful, healthy, fruit-bearing tree.
Choosing the Best Fruit Tree to Plant
Although some fruit trees are not native to Colorado Springs, they can do well with proper care. Fruit trees that blossom later in the spring season tend to do better in the Colorado area. The Colorado climate can be unpredictable when it comes to spring frosts. Trees that blossom too early may lose those blossoms in a late spring frost. For this reason, trees that blossom later in the season are more likely to produce fruit that will be ripe and ready in the fall.
Another important thing to consider is whether the tree is self-fruitful or whether it will need another tree to cross-pollinate with. Some fruit trees need a different variety of the same sort of fruit tree to cross-pollinate with before they can bear fruit.
The following is a brief list of three of the best fruit trees that can thrive in the Colorado climate. For a more comprehensive list of resources on this subject, see the Colorado State University’s Plant Talk page on fruit trees: https://cmg.extension.colostate.edu/gardening-resources/online-garden-publications/tree-fruits/.
Apple trees are a hardy fruit tree that can do very well in the Colorado Springs area with the proper care. Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, and Cox Orange are some examples of common apple trees that grow well in Colorado.
Apple trees need to be planted with at least two varieties for cross-pollination in order to bear fruit. Apple trees need to be planted in full sun. They should be pruned in the winter or early spring for full healthy fruit production. Apple trees need to be sprayed in late March to protect against insects such as worms that will eat away at the apples.
Plum trees are an excellent choice of a fruit tree that will dependably produce fruit in the fall. Plum trees need to be planted in soil that drains well in an area with full sun exposure. Plum trees need to be planted in a group of at least two varieties.
Plum trees may blossom at different times, so it is important to choose two varieties that will blossom at the same time to cross-pollinate. Planting two similar varieties of European plum trees, for example, is one way to ensure the same blossoming time. Plum trees need to be sprayed for insects in early July to protect the fruit from insects such as pear slugs.
Sour cherry trees tend to do better in the Colorado soil than sweet cherry trees.
The convenient thing about cherry trees is that they can be a stand-alone tree; they are self-pollinating and do not need another variety to be able to produce fruit. Cherry trees also need to be planted in full sunlight and they need soil that will drain well.
Cherry Trees need to be sprayed in early July to protect them from insects such as peachtree borers and cherry slugs.
Tree Pruning for a Healthy Fruit Tree
Young fruit trees need more maintenance until their roots become established. They need to be pruned regularly in the early years to train them to grow full and healthy. Tree pruning encourages healthy growth throughout a tree because the growth is directed to strengthen core limbs.
When some of the limbs on a tree are pruned out, the tree’s vascular system can send more water and nutrients to the rest of the tree. This will strengthen the tree as a whole, which is particularly important for fruit trees that need strong limbs and branches to carry the weight of fruit.
Fruit trees will also be able to produce more fruit throughout the tree when the branches a pruned so that sunlight can reach the lower branches.
The best time to prune a fruit tree is in the winter or the early spring when the tree is dormant. Pruning during this time frame will help to maximize fruit production.
Tree Spraying to Protect Against Insects
Insects can really cause a problem with fruit. Fruit trees attract insects such as worms and slugs that may ruin the fruit before it is ripe to be picked in the fall. Tree spraying can help prevent these insects from getting into the fruit before you get a chance to enjoy it.
The timing for tree spraying and the type of insecticide that should be used is very much dependent on the type of fruit tree.
Mulching the Tree to Protect it from Frost
Colorado is known for having out of season frosts. If a tree blossoms too early, a late frost may kill the blossoms which will keep the tree from producing fruit in the fall. One way to mitigate this is to put a thick layer of mulch around the tree.
Mulch acts as an insulator which will help to regulate the spring temperature swings. This will help keep the tree from getting the signal to blossom too early. Mulching also helps to hold in moisture which is helpful in our dry climate.
Fruit trees require a little bit more TLC, but the fragrant blossoms and the home-grown fruit are well worth the effort. Taking care of your fruit tree early on will help it be healthier and more low maintenance later.