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help me find adapted stock

 
pollinator
Posts: 1699
Location: Denver, CO
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We will be planting an orchard in Denver, CO. Where is the best place to buy bare root fruit trees adapted to this climate? Heirlooms from the pioneer days would be nice.

Does anyone know what peach, plum, and apple rootstocks do well here?
 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I generally recommend people to get their tree stock from as local as possible.
Besides getting stock that is accustomed to the climate, it is also used to other prevailing conditions - soils, pests, diseases, etc. A local wholesale nursery will not waste their time and money on stock that will not perform well in the region.

I am not familiar with any CO nurseries, but there is a well respected one in Montana (near Missoula).
Their site offers some good info on available root stocks.
Lawyer Nursery
Constantly updated Availability listing (includes pricing).

They offer a wide variety of sizes from small to larger (if you are in a hurry, or just want to build for future growth).
Their prices are very competitive.
As a heads-up: while they grow the deciduous trees there, many of their evergreens are from west of the cascades.


 
Posts: 95
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I've bought from Lawyer Nursery, Inc the past and found the quality of their trees (I bought conifer seedlings) to be exceptional.
 
Posts: 724
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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Lawyer was who was recommended to to me also.

 
pollinator
Posts: 477
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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The best rootstock really depends on your climate conditions: Cold tolerance, drought resistance, and soil type. Most rootstocks are "clonal" so you will get the same genetics no matter where you order from, and you can research the characteristics in depth.
Eastern Washington has some conditions that may be pretty similar to you and they are huge in apple, pear, and cherry varieties for commercial growers (Check Van Well)
If you're grafting your own, Antonovka is probably a good apple stock, which they have at Lawyer.
 
Posts: 160
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From the USDA zone map, I'd guestimate you're somewhere in either a zone 5 or maybe a zone 4 area. That assumes you're not on a higher mountain slope where the temperatures with plumet even lower. Your best bet I think will be apples, which have a few varieties that go all the way down to zone 2 hardyness. Van Well is a good nursery, and I have their trees in my orchard right now. Another good western nursery that sells the kind of stuff homesteaders crave is http://www.burntridgenursery.com/fruitingPlants/index_product.asp?dept=17&parent=7

I through out some names that are amonst the most cold hardy that might perform well in your area. For apples, look at Transparent, Gravenstein, Honeycrisp, Spartan, and Norther Spy. As Eric mentions try to get Antonovka rootstock. It's the most cold hardy. Montrose apricot, Reliance Peach, and Vetern Peach might work. For plums, skip the Japanese, but look at European plums like Stanley, Superior, and Green Gage. A few more choices might include American persimmon, and Northstar Cherry.

Site selection might be very involved. In general, for cold climates, plant on the north side of a hill. The south side warms faster and stimulates earlier bub-break. You don't want that. A northern slope will slow budbreak till after late killing frosts have passed.

Good luck,
Michael
 
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