Question: Fruit in the mountains
A friend of mine, has recently a house on the Apennines at 1400 meters above sea level, would like to plant some fruit trees but what resists this height?
Answer: Fruit in the mountains
much depends on where in the Apennines: near Bologna or near Rome? Because despite the 1400 meters, which are an objective indication, the Apennines run all along our peninsula, creating areas with very different climatic conditions. In general, when we go to a place where we do not know the climate, to choose the plants to be planted we look at the garden of our neighbor, it is certainly the best indication, because Italy is a very diverse country, with very particular microclimates, from area to area. For example, you will hardly see an olive tree in Modena, in the middle of the plain, because winters are excessively wet; and instead you will see whole olive groves around Lake Garda, because the lake gives a few more degrees during the winter, guaranteeing the survival of the plants. Even not knowing the area, I can safely tell you that peaches and apricots love a fairly mild climate, especially because they bloom very early, and they bear fruit very soon; then late frosts risk ruining the whole crop. The same applies to some varieties of plums, such as the "Queen Claudia" (those that remain green even when ripe). Most of the fruits that ripen in full summer or early autumn are instead decidedly indicated, because they bloom in late spring (and therefore do not fear late frosts) and in general they tend to develop in the spring and summer months, in which even in the mountains the climate is mild. Then plums, cherries (only some varieties, recommended by a local nursery), chestnuts, apples, some varieties of pears, quinces, caki, jujube and even some grape varieties. Typically, then, in areas with cool or cold climate, small fruits are cultivated, which you can plant at the foot of larger trees, such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants. You can also try kiwis, but they need a sunny area, sheltered from the wind, so maybe I'm a bit of a gamble.