hardy fruit trees

eatsivyFebruary 22, 2011

Hi all, I've been doing some research on hardy fruit trees.

I've narrowed my ideas down to a few varieties of apples, pears, and cherries I'm considering. I'm in zone four in the rocky mountains of Idaho.

It is my understanding that while some fruit trees may survive and grow in very cold winter conditions, they still may bear fruit sporadically due to cold snaps in the spring (killing the flower/fruiting buds when the tree is setting fruit). I'm here to ask if people in very cold climates have had good luck with any particular fruit trees. Perhaps some varieties of fruit trees flower later and thus are less susceptible to frosts in the spring.

I'm thinking that perhaps my best bet is to try and grow a sour pie cherry tree like a Bali, or Montmorecy.

Also considering these pear varieties - Ure, Summer, and Nova.

Apples on my short list include:

Freedom, Red Baron, Norland, Carrol, and Keepsake.

Does anyone out there have success growing productive fruit trees (trees that bear fruit most seasons) in zone 4 (or even zone 3)?

Thanks, would love to hear about how others are doing growing fruit trees in these cold, Rocky Mountains.

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me again - just thought I'd mention that I posted this on the "Orchards" forum too :) Will also post on some other forums that might be appropriate (northern gardening, etc.)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 4:31PM
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Montana State University's Extension has some resources that might be useful, including free pamphlets on plum varieties for zones 3 and 4 and apple varieties for Montana (though I haven't read that one, so it may be more applicable to the state's eastern plains).

Just checked the Idaho extension page - extension.uidaho.edu - and they have a number of pamphlets in the gardening section on fruit trees (at > Homes & Gardens > Fruits and Nuts). "Growing tree fruits in short season gardens" seems right up your alley. Again, may or may not be applicable to the mountains.

I'd also expect that both the MT and ID extensions would be open to a phone call.


Here is a link that might be useful: Fruit pamphlets

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 11:16AM
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Dan Staley

As it is one of the missions of the Extension to help home gardeners, I'm certain they'll take a phone call. I'd do that as the locals there have the experience and can suss out what it is you want and match it with where you are.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 12:06PM
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itallian dwarf plum. Does great in Colorado. I have a galla apple i planted 2 years ago (2 of them)one died, the other no signs of fruit, may be still too young. Cant give you much info on the apples.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 12:49PM
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Very helpful advice. Thank you for the link to the pamphlets. Thanks also for the suggestions to call my local ag extension office - good common sense idea (why didn't I think of that:). Plums sound intriguing for cold climates - I'll be looking into them. Thanks all, Chris

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 8:22PM
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