I would like to add a pale colored cherry tree to my yard. I have one Bing and two Black Tartarian trees already in the yard. Should I plant a Ranier or Royal Ann?
Which would be the best choice based on pollination requirements?
Pollination would not be a problem, but it is my understanding that Rainier has better flavor than Royal Ann, but I have not compared them side by side myself.
Carla in Sac
Rainier and Royal Anne are two quite different types of cherries, though both are usually yellow/pink blush. Rainier is a large, crisp, West Coast type cherry. It will keep after picking for 10 days to 2 weeks in refrigeration, and quite a while even without refrigeration. It is a wonderful cherry, but quite difficult to grow in the east and midwest.
Royal Anne is a smaller, softer cherry, with a much shorter shelf life. You just about have to eat them within 48 hours or they will begin to brown up and lose quality. Nevertheless, they are delightful to eat when fresh off the tree.
It would be interesting to know where you are in Wisconsin, and if your location enjoys a micro-climate similar to those parts of Michigan where larger sweet cherries can be successfully grown. I know I can't grow them here because of summer heat and humidity which causes cracking and rots. They are also not super-easy to pollinate. Bing is notorious for pollination difficulty. Have you harvested crops from your Bing and Black Tartarian trees, and, if so, how was the quality?
Royal Anne is partially self-fruitful, though it can benefit from a compatible pollenizer, and one of the varieties I can easily grow here. But if I could grow Rainier, believe me I would. If you have not yet picked cherries from the trees you already have, I would be cautious about planting another of the large crisp types and might choose the Royal Anne.
Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
Royal Anne makes delicious dried cherries. Rainier; not so much.
Raineir is not a good candidate for Z.5 in my opinion. It is reltively cold-tender, even for a sweet cherry. Sure, it tastes much better off the tree than Royal Ann but I doubt the tree will survive a test winter there. First grow Kristin and see how it does if you want to grow a high quality sweet. Yellow shmellow, my birds go for both and netting is required.
Mud must be near the lake in Milwaukee or maybe up in Door County (they grow sweets up there).
Sweets is one thing but Ranier in Z5 is something else.
I would not bother growing Royal Ann in your situation. I would grow Balaton. IMHO Royal Ann is flavorless. It is, or was, the predominant briner or canner cherry in Oregon, I can't remember which any more. They might grow some in Michigan, but I don't think it is a large quantity.
Growing cherries can be very frustrating. You have to contend with spring frost, then rain can crack the cherries as they begin to ripen. After all that the birds can take the crop in one day. And if it gets to below zero too far or for too long you lose the buds in the winter. Balaton can endure much colder winter temps and blooms later in the spring. I haven't seen them bothered by rain much. You will still need to net them.
Knowing what I know, and if I lived where you do, and if I had room for a large number of trees; I would plant a Rainier, but I just wouldn't depend on it. The potential rewards are great. You will have to net it. Maybe put a sprinkler under it for spring frost. Bing and Rainier do a great job of pollinating each other for me.
Another cherry which people are missing out on is Regina. It blooms late and you absolutely need a Sam or Gold or Sandra Rose for pollinating. Regina is highly tolerant of bacterial gummosis. It is resistant to mildew. It ripens late and misses more of the rains which come in June. Even when rained on it doesn't crack nearly as bad as Bing. Expect it to ripen about July 4 or later depending on where you live. You must let it get real ripe before picking. Regina should be grown on a Gisela or Krymsk rootstock. Regina is from Germany.
I'm growing Kristin, Lapins here in southwest WI. I have very little faith in EVER getting ripe cherries. I think since the climate flipped a few years back (up here it did), our winters have been downright nasty. The next ten days may test the buds on my trees (if there are any) along with the buds on my peaches. The time may come where the Husky chainsaw will get a quick workout :)
mud104, try White Gold. It was developed in Upstate NY z5.
Here is a link that might be useful: White Gold Sweet Cherry
Actually harvesting high quality cherries in the humid regions has to be amongst the greatest challenges for home orchardists. If you happen to get a dry June you may be in business but otherwise they require a seperate fungicide regimen from any other species. Something needs to be protecting the fruit for the entire month of June (here in southeastern NY), almost until fruit is ripe. And that will just stop fruit from rotting- not splitting. And then there's the birds....
Someone has posted the virtues of growing fruit like this under plastic and I have read articles about doing this commercially in the trades but I haven't the time. At least the fungicide usually protects some kind of a crop if I net the trees and there are no hard late frosts. Use a systemic!
1. I live near Lake Michigan.
2. I hope to dry the fruit.
3.The Black Tartarian and Bing trees have yet to produce fruit. I am hoping they will this year. :)
4. I am now looking into all the suggestions. Thank you everyone.
I would like to get a family member a gift of a cherry trees. He already has bing and black tartarian. He lives in Napa, Calif. Zone 8B.
Suggestions for that zone?