Minnie Royal and Royal Lee Cherry Tree First Crop :-)

hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CAMay 9, 2012

Okay, this is a stretch, but I DID get my first TWO cherries this year from my Minnie Royal and Royal Lee cherry trees. Or, I should say, just two cherries from the Minnie Royal. They were large, red pretty firm and absolutely delicious. Really, really good! And, DWN says the Minnie Royal is just "good flavored", while they describe the Royal Lee as having "excellent" flavor. So, I'm going to go back down to my little orchard and see if I can find any cherries on the Royal Lee. The blossom timing is still just a wee bit off, with the Minnie blooming a little bit ahead of the Royal Lee. So, maybe next year I'll get a better blossom timing and a real crop. Very impressed and I would definitely recommend them for flavor here in my low chill area.

Patty S.

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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

Patty,

My Minnie Royal and Royal Lee were out of sync this year too. The Minnie Royal bloomed about 3 or 4 weeks before the Royal Lee. Both bloomed heavily so it is unfortunate. I hope it is only because the trees are young.

It was the first year they produced any fruit after planting two years ago. Each one had a few cherries. The Royal Lee had bigger cherries. The birds got to them before me so I can't comment on taste.

Tom

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:02PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Thanks, Tom. Glad to know. Yes, I had lots and LOTS of blossoms on both, so I was really disappointed. Think mine were about a week apart, closer than the year before, which was more like 3 weeks. I planted 2 years ago, too, so sounds like you and I had about the same experience. Let's cross our fingers for lots of cherries next year!! The Royal Lee is supposed to be a prolific producer, and I'm shocked those two lone cherries were still there. I do have netting I plan to use next year. Not willing to share with the birds. I will have cherries for my birthday, very cool :-) Makes it easy to remember ripening times, too!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:08PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I haven't tried these yet. The fact that you need both and that they might not bloom together is the main reason for my reluctance. DWN has several more very early maturing sweet cherries that are probably mostly low chilling. But they aren't yet sold retail and might never be. They are all in the Royal series: Tioga, Tenya, Lynn, Ansel, Hazel, and Lee. They ripen in that order with Royal Tioga about 10 days earlier than Royal Lee. If I could get all on a dwarfing precocious root I'd buy them in an instant.

Here is a link that might be useful: DWN cherries

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:44PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Well, they're definitely blooming closer together this year, fruitnut. By about 2 weeks for me (I'm keeping notes). And cherries are probably the most finicky about chill hours. At least for us here in Calif. I can order a couple more of these lower chill hour commercial varieties through our CRFG chapter. We're putting in a large group order and can get what we need on the wholesale side, as long as we have enough of each tree (think there's a 5 tree min). But, same as you, I would need them on dwarfing rootstock. If I can get them on Colt, that would be great. Let me see what I can get. And, what varieties are the best tasting, of course. Maybe? just adding Royal Hazel might bridge the gap for me. Good comment, we have to put in our order in the next week or so, so I can add this to my list. At this rate, gonna had to find another lot to start planting on. I'm running out of room, lol!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:06PM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

Patty, is there any way I can get in on the CRFG group order? I am interested in a Royal Lynn and/or Royal Hazel on Colt if possible.

Tom

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:24AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Sure, Tom. Just email me via my profile link. I'll get you the email to one of our CFRG board members. You might need to join CFRG if you're not a member, already, but there are lots of nice perks, plus it's a great group.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:34AM
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home_grower(SoCal Z9 S18)

If you have any cherries it's a good sign.

I planted a pair of Royal Rainiers about two years ago and was on the boarder of chill hours. Last year I ended up with three cherries on one and one on the second. They are planted next to each other so I have no idea why one grew so much larger than the other.

This is my favorite cherry by far so I am so pleased that as of today I have over 60 cherries growing on my larger tree. I expect it will only get better each year.

The larger tree only had about a 1 in 10 flower to cherry ratio but I am so happy with what it is producing. The smaller one only has two cherries growing.

I also have a Stella with lots of flowers. It had two cherries last year and a Bing that has had no cherries so far. Both are older than the Rainier but have many more flowers than before. I will be patient.

Fruitnut told me last year if I had a few I could expect many more in the years to come and so far, at least with the Rainier he was correct.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 4:08AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Well, reports in my and Tom's area (San Diego county, even RIGHT on the coast) gives both Minnie Royal and Royal Lee glowing reports, so I'm going to be patient. And, if I can get Royal Lynn and Royal Hazel through our CRFG order, then I'd be pretty happy. So would my hubby who absolutely loves cherries. I remember when I lived in Vancouver, BC as a kid, the huge cherry tree in my neighbor's back yard (probably a Rainier). Thousands of cherries, the tree was loaded. And it was probably 20 years old :-) It was the only tree my parents let me climb. Of course the ulterior motive was all the adults wanted cherries and no one wanted to climb the ladder to get them! Great cherry memories, even if some of those memories include not heeding my mother's warning about not to eat to many or I'd end up with a tummy ache (that was the polite way of saying I'd end up running to the bathroom.) Still worth it, lol!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:59AM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

Patty, Diego sent me the list of DWN items that can be ordered. It doesn't have Royal Lynn or Royal Hazel on it. Bummer!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:58AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

I'm going to check with Diego to see if we can order these from the commercial side and not just wholesale. We'll see if DWN will let us purchase these commercial varieties. Sty tuned...

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 1:02AM
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applenut_gw

Minnie Royal and Royal Lee took 4 years to finally get productive for me, and I got about 50 cherries this year (the blooms seem to sync as they get older). Excellent quality; plant them right next to each other, as without pollination you'll get squat.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:30PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Good to hear, applenut, I was waiting to see if you'd comment on this, I knew you had these varieties. So, do you find that the Royal Lee quality is substantially better than the Minnie Royal? I was very, very impressed with the Minnie Royal, frankly, so if the Royal Lee is better, then I'm going to be a very happy fruit tree person. Good to know that this syncing I think I'm seeing is indeed a trend. Do you have any of the other "Royals" that seem to be only available to commercial growers? Fruitnut and I would surely love to get our hands on them. Same with Tom who lives in my neck of the woods.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 1:12PM
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Katgum(8 or 9A)

Hi, I've been interested in getting the Royal Lee and Mini Royal.

Applenut, you said that you planted the trees close to each other. How close did you plant them?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 2:35PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Not applenut, but my Minnie Royal and Royal Lee are about 8 to 10' apart, but my stone fruit are all in a "one hole" type of row planting. For cross pollination purposes, cherry trees shouldn't be more than 100' apart from each other in order to get best pollination results.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 4:20PM
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