12 Best Fruit Trees for Colorado Front Range

Many people associate fruit trees with more tropical environments, but what many people don't realize is that there are many different varieties of fruit trees that grow well and even thrive right here in Fort Collins, Colorado! You can enjoy a juicy peach or a delicious apple grown right from your own backyard. If this sounds appealing to you, learn more about the best fruit trees for Colorado Front Range!


Can Fruit Trees Grow in Colorado?

Despite our arid environment, you would be surprised how many different kinds of fruit trees can grow in Northern Colorado. While you might not have much success growing banana trees or mango trees, some great Colorado fruit trees include apple trees, peach trees, plum trees, and even nectarine trees! Below we will go into more detail on specific varieties of fruit trees for Colorado.


What Fruit Trees Grow Well in Colorado?

There are countless fruit trees that grow surprisingly well in Colorado. So, if you are wondering specifically what fruit trees grow well in Colorado, here is a list of suggestions!


Bartlett Pear (Pyrus x 'Bartlett')

Large and richly flavored, Bartlett pears have thin skin and are sweet and tender. They are easy to grow and adapt to most conditions, making them ideal for Northern Colorado! They do need a pollenizer to produce fruit, which we recommend 'Bosc' or 'Anjou' varieties.

Bartlett Pear

Bartlett Pear Tree Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-8

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 10-15 feet

  • Width: 10-12 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: White

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Easy care, edible fruit





Summercrisp Pear (Pyrus 'Summercrisp')

This si an extremely hardy variety of pear tree, making it one of the best fruit trees for Colorado. It blooms early in May and produces fruit that should be harvested in mid-August when crisp and green with a slight red blush. Fruit can be stored for up to 2 months! We recommend using either 'Parker' or 'Patten' varieties as a pollinator for this tree.

Summercrisp Pear

Summercrisp Pear Tree Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 3-8

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 12-15 feet

  • Width: 8-12 feet

  • Bloom Color: White

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Attracts bees, attracts birds, edible fruit




Bing Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium 'Bing')

This is possible the most popular sweet cherry variety, known for producing exceptionally large, dark red fruit that is firm, sweet, and juicy. Excellent for eating fresh, canning, or preserves. We recommend planting a pollenizer such as 'Stella' or 'Rainier' varieties for best production.

Bing Sweet Cherry

Bing Sweet Cherry Tree Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-8

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 15-20 feet

  • Width: 15-20 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: White

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Attracts birds, attracts butterflies, edible fruit



Montmorency Cherry (Prunus 'Montmorency')

Montmorency cherries are a brilliant red fruit that is large, tart, firm, juicy. They are perfect for pies or preserves. These fruit trees are vigorous growers and are highly productive!

Montmorency Cherry

Montmorency Cherry Tree Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 12-18 feet

  • Width: 20-25 feet

  • Bloom Color: White

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Attracts bees, attracts birds, edible fruit



Honeycrisp Apple (Malus x 'MN 1711')

The charming pinkish-white flowers of this Colorado fruit tree provide a showy spring display, then produce large, red fruit with exceptional flavor and crispness. Great for fresh eating, cooking, or pressing for cider. Plant another apple variety such as 'Red Delicious' or 'Fuji' for the best fruit set.

Honeycrisp Apple

Honeycrisp Apple Tree Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-9

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 20-25 feet

  • Width: 10-15 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: Pink

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Edible fruit



Fuji Apple (Malus domestica Fuji)

One of the best home-grown apples, Fuji apple trees offer crisp, sweet, and juicy fruit with skin that ranges from yellow-green with red highlights to mostly red. Exceptional for fresh eating and also great for baking. Fruit is usually ready for harvest in October. Plant a pollenizer such as 'Granny Smith', 'Honeycrisp', or 'Red Delicious'.

Fuji Apple

Fuji Apple Tree Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 10-30 feet

  • Width: 8-10 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: White

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Edible fruit, winter interest







Reliance Peach (Prunus 'Reliance')

This is the hardiest yellow-fleshed freestone peach variety available. These medium-sized fruits have a rather dull blush over bright yellow flesh. These peaches are soft and juicy with delicious flavor.

Reliance Peach

Reliance Peach Tree Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-8

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 18-20 feet

  • Width: 12-15 feet

  • Bloom Color: Pink

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Attracts bees, attracts birds, edible fruit





Contender Peach (Prunus x 'Contender')

A freestone peach with bright yellow flesh. Matches 'Reliance' in cold-hardiness and tolerance of spring frosts, making it idea for Colorado growing. Sweet, extra-juicy fruit is an absolute delight for fresh eating, canning, baking, and freezing. Self-pollinating and usually ready for harvest in mid-to-late August.

Contender Peach

Contender Peach Tree Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 4-8

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 12-15 feet

  • Width: 15-18 feet

  • Bloom Color: Pink

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Attracts bees, attracts birds, edible fruit



Santa Rosa Plum (Prunus salicina 'Santa Rosa')

A showy display of white flowers in the spring yields an abundant harvest of dark crimson fruit each summer. The fruit has firm flesh with a wonderful flavor for fresh eating. Fruit production is higher when another plum tree is nearby.

Santa Rosa Plum

Santa Rosa Plum Tree Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 20-30 feet

  • Width: 20-30 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: White

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Edible fruit, winter interest




Pipestone Plum (Prunus 'Pipestone')

Pipestone plums are very attractive red plums with a golden blush. They have sweet, juicy, yellow flesh with excellent quality and impressive size. They are good for fresh eating or for use in jams and jellies. This variety is very hardy.

Pipestone Plum Tree

Pipestone Plum Tree Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 3-8

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 10-15 feet

  • Width: 8-12 feet

  • Bloom Color: White

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Attracts bees, attracts birds, edible fruit



Fantasia Nectarine (Prunus persica var. nucipersica 'Fantasia')

One of the most adaptable nectarine tree varieties for home gardens, Fantasia nectarines produce bright pink flowers that cover the branches in spring, providing showy color and attracting butterflies and birds. It has very large, freestone fruit with red skin and bright yellow, firm flesh. The fruit typically ripens mid-to-late July. Being hardy to zone 6, this is an ideal tree for areas with milder winters.

Fantasia Nectarine

Fantasia Nectarine Tree Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 6-9

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 20-25 feet

  • Width: 20-25 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: Pink

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Edible fruit





Flavortop Nectarine (Prunus persica var. nucipersica 'Flavortop')

This is a very vigorous and heavy-bearing tree that offers fruit with exceptionally good flavor and sweetness. Fragrant pink spring flowers yield a summer harvest of large freestone nectarines with yellow flesh and red skin. Flavortop nectarine trees are self-fruitful too, which is a plus!

Flavortop Nectarine

Flavortop Nectarine Tree Characteristics:

  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree

  • Hardiness Zone: 6-9

  • Light Requirements: Full sun

  • Height: 20-25 feet

  • Width: 20-25 feet

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: Pink

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Edible fruit



What to Consider When Buying Fruit Trees in Colorado

To make sure that your fruit trees in Colorado are as successful as they can be, do not forget to consider the following factors!


Pick the Right Location for Your Fruit Tree

This is perhaps the most important thing to consider. Not only will your fruit tree need full sun to be able to produce fruit, but it will also need space! Always consider the mature size of your plant to make sure that it will have room to grow without damaging the tree or other nearby structures. There are many dwarf varieties of fruit trees that may be a good option if you are working with limited space. Just remember that an unhappy tree, whether it is lacking sun, nutrients, water, or space, will not be able to produce fruit!


What to Expect for Your Fruit Trees Production

A fruit tree may also take a couple of years to begin producing fruit. Your new fruit tree will need this time to establish itself after planting, and once it is established, it will be able to start putting energy towards fruit production. So just remember to be patient with your tree and provide it with what it needs to grow strong and healthy.


Protect Your Fruit Trees

As much as you love the fruit that your tree produces, it is no wonder that other creatures find it delicious as well! When you plant a fruit tree, you are signing up for battle with your neighborhood critters too, and you will likely need to find ways to protect your fruit from birds, squirrels, raccoons, insects, and other unwanted creatures. This is no easy task either, as these critters are crafty and determined.


How to Plant and Grow Fruit Trees in Colorado

If you have more questions about how to plant fruit trees in Colorado, check out our Tree & Shrub Planting Guide. For questions or tips on how to grow fruit trees, contact us! Our Nursery is full of knowledgeable and experienced arborists that will be able to answer your questions and give you advice. And for even more options for the best fruit trees for Colorado Front Range, check out our Plant Finder!

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