Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Low Chill Cherry Trees

A good time to plant a tree: Photobucket 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'. 
Low Chill Cherry Tree
Bare root and grafted on a dwarfing rootstock.  Mature size is 8'-12' (240 cm - 360 cm).  Growth is slow.
Low Chill Cherry Tree
Graft:
Cherry tree graft
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)
Low Chill Cherry Tree
I planted the trees only about 52 inches (140 cm) apart, but they are dwarfs and slow growers.
Low Chill Cherry Tree
Just after I got them planted and watered in, it rained.  A better omen I can't imagine.
Rain
 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!
Mandarin
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!

 

10 comments:

  1. What better way is there to celebrate the new year than with planting a tree? (or trees in your case)

    I'd love to try a cherry tree again -- mine died when still quite small.

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    1. And you probably have a better climate for them, with your winter chill.

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  2. You can grow oranges AND cherries? You lucky dog! It's very nice of you to plant bird food, er, I mean cherry trees.

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    1. If there's water we can. The bird netting is ready. They didn't get a single peck of fig last summer, and they ain't going to get a single peck of cherry!

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  3. Good luck with your trees, and I hope your cherries taste great! I love Dave Wilson's trees and am fascinated with the Zeiger hybrids :). It is great that you have room to plant individual varieties - I think they are better than multi-grafts.

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    1. Whats this low chill thing. Do you mean it does not get cold enough where you are for the trees to grow well or fruit. So you go for special trees ??
      I live in a cherry orchard area. I have two planted last winter - Compact Stella. As it is summer here in Central Otago New Zealand it is cherry season. So we were doing a comparitive taste test along our road. (tough work not) Dawson, Pellisier, and Sonnet. Sonnet wins by a mile.
      But Sonnet is an old variety and not so popular commercially. I might have a problem getting hold of some. But if I can I will.

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    2. Yes, without a certain amount of winter chill, stone fruit and apples simply do not bloom, or bloom poorly and don't set fruit. Low-chill cultivars have been developed especially for climates such as coastal Southern California that get very little winter chill. We also can't grow herbaceous Peonies that bloom, and plants such as Hosta and Delphiniums must be grown as annuals, as they do not come back the following year.

      More info on chill hours for fruit trees here:
      http://www.davewilson.com/homegrown/gardencompass/gc14_jan_07.html

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  4. Happy New Year. Good luck with the cherry trees.
    There is an avenue of cherry trees planted at the top of our road. I was going to feature them on my blog last spring, but our UK weather had other ideas. Just as the blossoms were opening, they were destroyed by a deluge of rain. If we get a repeat performance this year, I can look forward to seeing your blossom instead.

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    1. I hope your avenue gets to bloom this year Crystal, I'd love to see photos of them on your blog! Let us hope. :)

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  5. I planted Minnie Royal and Royal Lee a couple years ago, and I'm pleased as punch with both. I hope they do as well for you as they do for me.

    Glad to have found you. I have just ordered a Julia Child rose and got here via a link on Garden Web with photos of your glorious beauties.

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Always interested in your thoughts!