Geez, I don’t know how anyone is supposed to make sense of any of this.
OK so I am in zone 8A and the coldest it has gotten is 11 Fahrenheit.
But also, I’m supposed to be in a Mediterranean climate where I have long summers?
Hey, I was told not to plant anything outside before June 1 because it’s known to hail on Mother’s Day.
First we get snow could be November 1. That is not a long growing season.
I picked a bunch of trees based on reviews and also a whole lot of research, but knowing my situation, what’s the best fruit trees you think I could grow in a place with a climate like that?
We’ve only been here two years and I was told that was an extraordinarily rough winter, so maybe not normal?
You can grow cold adapted cultivars of all the Mediterranean classics: figs, feijoa, all the stone fruit, mulberry, pomegranate, and kiwi. People typically think of the Greek Isles or Los Angeles when they ponder places with a Mediterranean climate. But lots of places with very chilly winters have Mediterranean climates. Western Oregon and parts of Portugal have a nearly identical climate. You are at a fairly high elevation so that’s unfortunately why you have the short growing season. But that shouldn’t impact your choice of fruit trees too much. However, it will make it harder to ripen some of these fruits. Though all of them have short season cultivars that make it possible for you. You might also consider a greenhouse. Inside a greenhouse you could have a zone 9 without any heat. If you added a little electric heater you could have a zone 10. I keep a small heater in my greenhouse that prevents the temp from dropping into the 30’s. I only use that a handful of times each winter.
Forget about the hail. In California it’s a non-factor. What will bite you occasionally are spring freezes. But compared to most areas that’s not a big threat either.
I’m zone 7/8 boundary with about 6 hailstorms a year on average. Way more freezes than where you are. What I did was built a greenhouse. It’s the best thing I ever did fruit wise. I now have a zone 11 climate with a 45 day chill cycle and 10.5 months of high heat and light. There’s almost nothing I can’t grow all the way from high chill stone fruits thru mango and even dates.
But you don’t need a full out greenhouse like I have. What you need is freeze protection roughly November thru March or April. Then the rest of the year just a screen house to keep out the critters and larger insects.
In absence of local, trustworthy guidance (e.g. from a seasoned fruit grower neighbor), I would plant an assortment of fruit trees representing different types of fruits that you like, e.g. nectarine, plums, pluots, pears, apricots, apples, persimmons and figs, 15-20 trees in total. In a few years you will learn what works well and what’s too challenging and then you can remove the losers and plant more of the winners.
In my location, hailstorm occurs every year. We don’t bother to claim hail damage insurance. The weather conditions changes every year. some years, early spring but late frost;some years the spring seemed never come; some years, lot of rain during the bloom period; someme years, drought… there are never a good year to grow fruits abd veggies. But, against all odds, I pray +work harder and work smarter, I still have more harvested than I can consume, this especially true for the veggies which have short growing season and are easier to grow. Don’t know what kind of winter ahead, but life is going on, so does the fall/winter gardening