A good time to plant a tree: Having read promising reports about these two recent low-chill Cherry varieties (200 chill hours), I decided to try them. 'Royal Lee' and 'Minnie Royal' require each other for pollenization. The nurseryman said 'Royal Lee' is lately considered the better fruit, so I got one 'Minnie Royal' and two 'Royal Lee'.
Bare root and grafted on a dwarfing rootstock. Mature size is 8'-12' (240 cm - 360 cm). Growth is slow.
The Dave Wilson company is a wholesaler of trees to commercial growers with a smaller sideline business supplying home gardeners. Their website is helpful if you are interested in a fruit tree, and it lists retailers for their trees
(Disclaimer: I have no connection to the Dave Wilson company, they are not paying me anything or giving me any free stuff; these are trees I bought)
I planted the trees only about 52 inches (140 cm) apart, but they are dwarfs and slow growers.
Just after I got them planted and watered in, it rained. A better omen I can't imagine.
I don't expect any fruit the first year, and only a handful next year, but I hope we'll get a special treat of our own cherries in summers to come. I celebrate the new year with new trees and high hopes.
In the mean time, the little 'Dancy' mandarin is producing a small winter crop--three or four dozen of these little sweeties. Pick and devour. Yum!
I'll update this post as the cherry trees develop.
Update 2/17/2013: The first leaves on all three trees emerge--they're alive!
Update 2014: a half dozen cherries, sweet and flavorful, after a winter of no chill at all.
Update 2015: several dozen fruits, sweet and flavorful, after four years of drought and very little winter chill, perhaps 100 hours. I'm a believer now.