Re: choosing apples for early fall frost, short season areas
RedAnn, I don't spend much time on research and I now realize that a quick Google search of Torrey showed proximity to Capitol Reef National Park and that is all I looked at and I came to the wrong conclusion.
You are right....my bad....Fruita is at 5436 feet and Torrey is 6830 feet.
Having said that, another (quick) search shows me (if I got it right) that Wisconsin is usually colder than zone 5 and I know for sure (because I have picked apples there) that they do well with apples. http://www.wisconline.com/almanac/garde ... iness.html
So, the real question may be not what gardening zone you are in, but the question becomes just how cold that first frost is and how bad of a bad boy it gets to be. I know from real world experience that growers often like that first little glimpse of a frost because it adds taste to the apples. But I also know that if it gets too cold .....and especially if it is below freezing for too many hours....then the apples will disintegrate into mush......and so there are indeed some critical temps there to watch. A little frost is good.....too much frost and for too long is bad.
John S. gave some good ideas on the Minnesota program and they are indeed a group to watch and they have good extension agents there who can help.....if you find their temps match yours in Torrey.
You will do well to research it, but another quick off-the-top-of my-head thought is to look at varieties like Gala that ripen early and forget varieties like Fuji that ripen late.
P.S. I hope you stay in touch.....to my mind it would be fantastic if there were actually no other fruit trees in your area as you would then have a chance at not having to deal much with problems with the bugs.....but my guess is that there are still a few surviving fruit trees in Torrey.