A large number of Colorado fruit and nut trees can be grown in backyard gardens. Low Colorado temperatures of minus 20 degrees F. can be the most important factor in deciding what fruit tree will bear reliable crops of fruit. Sour (tart) cherry trees will withstand CO. cold temperatures and the red Montmorency cherry tree and the North Star red cherry are the top cherries to grow. Both of these cherries are excellent for making cherry pies and jelly, jam and cherry preserves. Apple trees such as the Red Rome, Arkansas Black apples will ripen in late Fall. Apple cider, fresh apples and Apple pie are top desserts for Thanksgiving and Christmas banquet table. Peach and Nectarine trees are not generally recommended for Colorado gardens, because peaches and Nectarines loose the fruit on the trees when late freezes come. Native growing, wild plum trees are cold hardy enough to produce plums in early summer. Plum trees are valuable fruit trees for wildlife bird nesting, and the plums are great for attracting and feeding wildlife animals. Several pear tree cultivars are cold hardy enough to fruit in Colorado and the pears are perfect for wildlife deer feeding in late fall when wildlife fruit, nuts and berries are scarce. Black American walnut trees (Juglans nigra) trees are native and adapted home garden trees to grow in Colorado. The most cold hardy walnut tree in Colorado is the white walnut, Juglans cinerea. The white walnut is also known as the Butternut, because of the high oil content of the Butternut Kernels. The American filbert, called also the hazelnut is native to Colorado and produces sweet, tasty, small nuts that are collected in the fall by children and wildlife animals. The crabapple tree is also a native fruit tree that will produce medium size fruits that are loved by wildlife deer and game birds. Many backyard fruit growers plant a Dolgo crabapple tree that is the perfect pollinator for other apple trees. Apple trees will not produce fruit unless cross pollinated. Red raspberry plants will produce gallons of berries if the proper cultivar is planted especially the red Latham raspberry bush. Black Hawk raspberry plants will grow in sheltered Colorado gardens, but the black raspberry has a short shelf life and should be eaten soon after picking.
Thorny and thornless brambles like blackberries can be grown in backyard gardens, and the new hybrid blackberry plants that were developed at the University of Arkansas berry and blackberry project show great promise for increasing berry production of high quality berries at pick-you-own organic blackberry farms. Colorado berry gardeners are demanding berry plants that produce organic berries in Colorado that can be grown without using inorganic fertilizers and without using insecticide chemicals and fungicides.
Great interest has been shown in growing cold hardy grapevines, such as the concord blue grape and the Niagara white grape. The red Catawba grapevine produces large clusters of red wine grapes that also are popular in grape jelly making, grape juice and to eat as table grapes. The black Fredonia grape is an excellent cold hardy table grape that makes excellent red wine.
Windmill palm trees are cold hardy palms that will survive the severe Colorado winters, and that tropical look is important when considering pool and patio landscapes. The windmill palm tree survives ice and snow even in Switzerland and Canada. Bamboo plants such as the black bamboo will form an excellent, dense privacy fence that will keep out noisy neighbors and automobile highway noises. The Chinese Golden Goddess bamboo is a colorful border plant, as are the Blue Henon bamboo plants and the Alphonse Karr striped variegated bamboo tree.