Too Late To Bare Root a Stella or Bing Cherry?

farmboy1(5)June 8, 2014

I'm happy with the two apricots I got as bare root trees from a nursery in the PNW so far.

The big box Bing Cherry I planted in March has continued to decline, probably due to getting frozen earlier this year before it was sold. Lots of trees at area retailers have suffered.

I'll just return it, rather than waster time trying to nurture the remains. The Black Tartarian Cherry I got from a big box store and planted a few years ago is doing well.

But I'd like to have a proper pollinator growing near it. And so I'm wondering, is it too late to order a bare root Bing or Stella cherry from a nursery?



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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I think it's getting late for a bare root. Unless the nursery has extremely good storage conditions the tree might arrive in bad shape. Plus it's getting hot for establishment. If you give partial shade and do everything else right it might work.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 12:49PM
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I think you are wasting time to return that cherry as it will recover. If it wasn't going to the whole tree would be gone by now. It's have been done in by now, you are only witnessing the finally desiccation of the damaged plant parts the parts that are look healthy now will remain healthy and the rest of the plant will start to recover over the summer.

My pear's killed leaves have just finished turning completely brown the rest of the tree is recovering.

If you do return the tree then probably can find some that are rooted and in reasonably good shape at a local KMart if you call a head in advance at the ones in your area. My KMart still have fruit plants but they have been reduced for clearance as it is already well into June.

You can plant this late, have done it many times, but I'd call real local nurseries to see what they have in stock and resort to ordering bareroot or trees dug to sell you as a last resort. Some nurseries won't sale until September again anyway it they bareroot or dig their trees to sell.

If the tree was has been potted all spring and properly cared for then it's not a problem to plant. That's why I said a place like KMart is your best bet. I saw a tree yesterday that was basically base root (lots of good roots though) as it had come out of the pot and still thriving despite the heat and only once or twice weakly rains in Somerset, Kentucky.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 1:36PM
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I started thinking about bare root as the apricots were still dormant when I planted them on 5/21. They are now growing small leaves. So I wondered if a cherry might work as they seem to be so far behind the other trees I have.

The existing Bing Cherry has been dying back, and dying back, and is now about 2/3 dead wood, with no leaves. I'd wonder if the root ball will stay alive.

No stores or nurseries around here have Bing or Stella cherries. They don't seem too interested in ordering any, either. Menard's had some, but they were weak and all died off. No K-Marts left around here, though they did occasionally get some interesting small trees several years ago.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 1:34AM
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If I were you, I'd listen to Fruitnut. He's one of the best contributors on this forum.

If it were I, I'd wait to plant a bare root cherry next spring. A bareroot tree establishes better. Why buy leftover tree right now? A stressed tree will be susceptible to diseases. For cherry, even the healthy one will have a number of diseases/problems you need to learn to deal with.

You can place your order this Sept, Oct for next spring shipping. In the meantime, you can spend time this year learning from old posts on this forum about growing sweet cherry, their need for pollination (or not if self-fertile), rootstocks that will do well for your area and your liking, possible disease and pet problem, etc.

When I first started to grow fruit trees, I went out and bought a Bing cherry from Lowe's. I've found out later that Bing is not even suitable for my area in MA. Lowe's and Home Depot still sell it now.

You'll save time (and money) when you research well before going out and spending your hard-earned money.

By then, you may decide not to plant a cherry after all.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 6:19PM
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I'm counting on unusual weather to help my late bare-root plantings.......

I really have no way of knowing, but here's my story:

I received a Redhaven from Stark Bro's on 5/16/14, it had some HUGE roots, but virtually no little "feeder" roots. It had a tiny green dot at about 2" above the graft. Now (25 days later) that little dot is a couple leafs about 1 1/2" long. But nothing going on anywhere else on the tree - nowhere!

If it doesn't get better in awhile I'll get it replaced. Stark has a good policy that way.

After that I got 2 more peach trees and a cherry tree on 5/24/14 from Stark Bro's. They were just starting to show some real tiny green leaf in several places upon arrival.

All three of these are looking PERFECT 17 days after planting. Lots of growth and all that.

So, given that I went on ahead and ordered two more apple trees that will ship from them on 6/13/14.

I don't know if they'll work out, I'm just going by the fact that a big place like Stark is still shipping so I figure they must think they'll survive.

BUT.., if they don't - they'll replace them.

So for me, at the bargain basement sale price that some of these trees are coming in at, I'm taking the gamble. I may be missing something (like stress on the tree and future impact of that, etc) but if I'm not, I figure all I'm out is the time and effort to plant them. If it doesn't pan out, I get to do it all over again. It's no big deal.

But sometimes I just can't pass on a bargain.....

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 8:34PM
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It's true that different strokes for different folks. That's why we are here to share our experience and our best practice.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:34PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Probably too late, but i did just get bare root trees from Gurneys (cheap) on Friday...Mericrest nectarine and a nectacot... both had tiny green shoots coming out... probably not much growth on either one this year..but we'll see..maybe fall will be mild and they'll be able to catch up.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:47PM
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I have virtually NO experience with this late of planting bare root trees LOL!!!

So it's just kinda like a "Let's see what happens" thing with me.

Because I've always been pretty leery of planting too late, but then I read someplace that bare-root can be successfully planted throughout the growing season. (That's all it took for me!) And that may have come from Stark as well, can't recall.

But I'm not sure I buy that, because if they don't have a chance to get firmly established they'll surely fail.

I know a ton of places have stopped shipping, and that ought to tell us something...

So I still think it's a gamble, but feel like in a sense I'm playing with house money.

We'll see..., it may be the last time I try this!

Oh it's fun though!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 10:11PM
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Thanks for the info. Fuitnut's post was interesting, he said it's getting late, but did not specifically say it's too late. That was what I was wondering about.

If you'll reread my post, you'll see that I cannot find a Stella or Bing Cherry at a store/nursery near me, and the reason I am specifically looking for one of those is to act as a pollinator for a healthy Black Tartarian Cherry nearby.

I've had a lot of success with trees from the big box stores, except this year, where it seems the cold weather affected the stock they received before it was sent to the stores. I've seen far more dead or otherwise affected stock at stores than usual.

I've gained a lot of experience transplanting trees and shrubs, too, some with success, some not, but looked at as experiments.

For the past few years I've been spending time mostly on the Trees or Shrubs or Name That Plant Forums. I came over here to start finding more info on some of the fruit trees I've planted.

Based on my firsthand experiences and what I've read, I would like to try a bare root Bing or Stella Cherry, but a look at Raintree's site (who I got my apricots from) says bare root season is over. Since that avenue appears to be closed, it's time to push the local nurseries a bit harder to find what I'm looking for.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 11:31PM
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Very similar situation. I got 4n1 from big box in March not working out. I ordered another one from raintree and planted a bare root cherry (crag's crimson on newroot-1) on May 29 . . so far It seems pretty happy. It was shipped across the country (West coast to East coast). When it arrived, the buds almost break and entire thing woke up very quickly. (or it was already awake?)
see my previous question post for picture.
have a little gum coming from the top of whip but after a clean cut seems doing fine now

This post was edited by FruitNewbieNYC on Tue, Jun 10, 14 at 0:52

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 12:47AM
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Regarding your sweet cherry search and late-date issues, understand that IâÂÂm not pushing the concept of planting bare-root this late in the season for anyone, for all the reasons already discussed. ItâÂÂs a first for me this year, so I have no words of wisdom on the matter.

I only posted to share what/why IâÂÂm doing this, and to try and describe the condition the trees arrived and have progressed (or not) so far. And I also donâÂÂt grow sweets (which I think may have a few issues that tarts donâÂÂt) so with all that disclaimer stuff out of the wayâ¦, if you ARE planning on looking into mail ordering a bare-root this late, as of this morning Stark BroâÂÂs does still show Stella and some other cherry trees available for shipping. Which may be an option for you if you canâÂÂt source one locally.

I assume Stark must have a pretty good cold storage system because the things IâÂÂve been getting have been either totally asleep or just barely waking up.

But again, I think the very valid comments that Mamuang and Fruitnut have made regarding at least the potential for a less than stellar outcome should not be dismissed. (And itâÂÂs entirely possible that my liâÂÂl bargain hunting could turn out to be no bargain at all!)

Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 9:10AM
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An update on this one....

The Bing Cherry continued to die back; there is still some green showing in the trunk, but I'm not sure if that will survive as I've seen other trees die back and eventually the trunk dies as well.

I'd decided to hold off on looking for a bare root candidate, thogh the above info on Stark's made me real curious to take a chance. The two Apricot trees I got were definitely in refrigerated storage as they were so late in leafing out (but doing well), so I figured there would still be a chance with a Cherry.

Oddly enough, I happened to stop by a Meijer store that was a bit farther away last week. They had one Semi-Dwarf Stella Cherry in stock, kind of beat-up, but looking otherwise good. Actually, the best looking Cherry I've seen all year! So I bought it, and it seems to be hanging in there pretty well.

Thanks for all the very interesting info and comments! I'm now wishing I had more room to plant more fruit trees....


    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:25AM
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Well my fire blight infect Bartlett pear basically lost the left hand side of it's branches but I'm keeping planted because I have 1 year, to Sept 2014, to return and replace at Roses.

The Kiefer Pear I bought l last Sept 2014 was killed in April by Fire Blight.

And the two extremely nice sized and very well branch peaches too. :-(

All four of those may have been ultimately my fault as I kept them potted over winter outside but they seemed fine and were growing though until 2 late bizarre Kentucky frosts done them in.

My cherries and plums are doing fine although they were potted trees and looked lush I found 3 of the 4 were bare root trees that have a ways yet to develop a good root system. Sometime that extra $15 - $30 for a good root system is worth it but you really can't tell until you get home to plant it. I don't like bare root trees in my poor clay soil.

The biggest problem is my soil is really hard clay and alkaline and the deer browsed them about a week after planting so the leaves are just filling back out (they don't browse the same trees twice in a year).

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:43AM
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