Recommend a cherry?

rosieo(7 NC)May 14, 2013

I'm in western NC near Boone. I need something that blooms late because we're subject to late freezes. (have one due tonight, ugh.) I think cherries do well here. We have a lot of wild cherries and a black cherry, according to our extension agent. (It looks about 50' high, I dunno if it has cherries or the birds get them all.)

I just planted a Black Gold and I'd like to have one more. I want something for fresh eating primarily. I want something that is tough, dependable, TASTY, and doesn't require a lot of coddling/spraying.

Should I go with a Black or White Gold or one of the new Cornell varieties? Or is there something better out there? What would you suggest?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I haven't seen any better recommendations than what you have identified. I like the looks of the Pearl series enough to want to try them in my greenhouse. There isn't a trouble free cherry but for you those should be about the best candidates.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 10:30PM
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rosieo(7 NC)

Thank you fruitnut. What do you think is the best size for a cherry tree? I bought my Black Gold from Edible Landscaping. It's on a Krymst 5 rootstock and they say it gets 8-12' tall. I'm debating adding another one from Stark on a semi dwarf rootstock. It would get 15-18' tall.

On the one hand, wouldn't you get more cherries from the bigger tree? On the other hand, would the birds end up getting most of them?

On the one hand, you'd get fruit sooner from the dwarf tree. On the other hand, wouldn't the larger tree bear for more years?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 7:54AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

You can keep the Stark tree smaller by regular summer pruning. It's the delay in bearing that would put me off, probably about two years.

I'd go for four small trees planted close in a square, 8ftx8ftx8ft tall, and covered with one big piece of netting. That's the most efficient way of fending off the birds. Around here they take 100%.

Several of my Krymsk 5 trees died of bacterial canker so I don't grow that root anymore. Not saying that will happen to you.

I don't know how long any sweet cherry will bear, the real question is how long will they live. If you get 10-15 years from any that would be good, very good. My idea is to get fruit fast and plant more trees as needed.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 9:30AM
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" I want something that is tough, dependable, TASTY, and doesn't require a lot of coddling/spraying". It's a rather tall order for growing a sweet cherry tree in the humid East Coast.

I don't want to discourage you but would like to paint a realsitc picture for you. If you search this forum on sweet cherry topic, you'll see that a number of East Coast backyard cherry growers have a number of issues to deal with including fungal and bacteria diseases, cracking and birds. As long as you are prepared, you'll be fine.

I have my Black Gold on Gisela 5 from Raintree Nursery. It has grown very well. Mine fruited early, a few fruit in year 2 and a lot more after that. It is supposed to be dwarf but if you don't prune, it can take off.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 7:16PM
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