New to Hybrid Fruit Trees in Utah

Hi everyone…

I’ve been growing standard fruit trees for 10+ years now (peaches, nectarines, apples, plums, pears, apricots, sweet/sour cherries) - about 20 trees.

A friend suggested pluots and now I’m finding a whole new world of ideas…persimmons, paw paws, pluots, pluerries, etc. But the local nurseries don’t carry these, so I’m trying to navigate purchasing online. It’s hard to pin down USDA zones (it varies by 2 zones for the same species sometimes), flowering period, chilling hours and breaking dormancy early, etc.

Hoping to get some advice on what to buy and try growing…

I live in northern Utah:
Zone 5b/6a
1700 chilling hours
Hot dry summer with cool nights (I irrigate)
Last frost is around May 10; first is around October 24 (approx. 145-160 growing days)
Hard freezes can happen in mid- to late-April, even May - I get apricots about every other year since they are the first to bloom often lose the fruit.

  1. Pluots - It sounds like Flavor Supreme and King would be the best tasting, but they are early bloomers and might get hit with a freeze frequently. Is that true? Can I delay bloom by keeping the roots cool with snow, mulch and placement? Other variety recommendations?

  2. Plum Cherry or Pluerry - I was thinking Sweet Treat, but would be interested in other ideas.

  3. Peach Plum - Tri-lite?

  4. Pollination - Many of these hybrids seem to require a Santa Rosa plum for pollination. Other options to consider if not a specific hybrid pairing? I don’t have other true Japanese plums.

For reference I love my Flavortop nectarines, sweet cherries, Arctic Gem white peach, and honeycrisp apples if that helps. My wife really likes apricots too.

Thanks for whatever suggestions I get…

I grew Flavor Supreme, Flavor King and a bunch of other Pluots and cots in Delaware (Zone 7a; >1000 chill hours). Flavor Supreme bloomed about 5 days after Blenheim apricot, Flavor King about three days later than F Supreme. Flavor Grenade is another late blooming Pluot and would be a good pollinator for FK.

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The air temperature is a big influence on blooming.If a person can grow Japanese Plums,then Pluots and other interspecifics might be possible.
Most of my Asian Plums/Pluots flower about the same time,usually too early for the bees to be out,so it’s up to me,for most of that work.

I did some more research and found out on DWN that my local nursery is going to carry a sweet treat pluerry and a flavor king pluot this year, so I’ll go with those. Thanks for responding!