Houston Area Royal Lee and Minnie Lee Cherries

blueboy1977(TX9A/B)July 30, 2011

Any one in the Houston area trying to grow these cherries? Im very interested and want to hear the pros and cons. My wife wants me to grow some but Im not sure about this area for cherries! Help!!!!!

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Little to no chance for cherries in Houston. If you want something like a cherry try the tropical Cherry of the Rio Grande. It can survive to 22F. I used to have a mature one here in Beaumont,TX

Here is a link that might be useful: mrtexas

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 3:47PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


Since you're not getting anyone with first hand experience I'll give my opinion. I think they'll get enough chilling so that's a good start. There are reports that the two don't always bloom together and without cross pollination no fruit. Then there's the issues everyone faces: birds, rain, disease and insects. Perhaps you don't have much of the later two.

It's a lot of effort for most likely a small amount of fruit. The other stone fruit usually yield much more.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 4:32PM
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Thanks Fruitnut, what would you suggest for a tasty stone fruit for this area? It will be grown out doors in a pot or in the ground. Which do you think would be easier? I did trim those long canes on my blues to about 2/3 the length.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:06PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Arctic Star nectarine would be much more fruit for the effort and is superb if not over watered. It is very low chilling and early maturing, not much later than the cherries, probably May or early June down there.

Were you the one growing Inca and Golden Nectar plums in that area? They would be a June or July fruit.

Texas Aggie Hort has recommendations for peach. Just don't get anything earlier than Arctic Star. That early stuff is usually poor.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:27PM
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Sweet, I will have to order a couple this fall. That wasnt me growing plums although I wouldnt mind trying a few. I havent tried growing any fruit untill this year. I done vegetable gardens in the past but this is all new territory for me. So far Ive got strawberries, Kiowa blackberries, blueberries, and 4 citrus. All are growing pretty good so far.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 11:19PM
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I tried growing both varieties. The first time I received 2 to 3 year old trees on the rootstock with the interstem for earlier fruiting. They did fruit, but canker got both before ripening. They made about 90 days before dying. The second try I received younger trees without the interstem. They made about 6 months before dying of canker. I am stubborn, so tried one last time and had this set growing on the southwest part of town. They were younger trees and made about 18 months before dying of canker. They will fruit here if you are in a part of town without disease pressure. When I lived in the Bear Creek (northwest) area, I did not have to spray for bugs or disease....no fungus, bacteria, or PC. The area I now live in Kingwood (northeast) is high in disease and bugs. I doubt that you could keep them alive in the Houston area. If anyplace here has a chance, It would be Bear Creek or west side.

Believe it or not, I still have 2 cherry trees. A royal ranier and a lapins. My lapins is @6 to 7 years old and flowered and fruited for the first time this year. It only produced a few blooms and fruit, so I did not net it for birds. The birds ate the few that it made. The lapins is on GM61 and doesn't seem to be as susceptable to canker. Waiting to see what happens next year.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 4:29PM
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Well cant comment on the cherries but if you are looking for ideas on other stone fruit I can tell you I know people who have done well in H town with Burgundy plum and a peach called Scarlet Robe and another called LA Feliciana. Google Gulf Coast Fruit Study group. Very smart and knowledgable people in that group.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 11:09PM
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Both those varieties and Royal Rainier and Lapins blossom profusely here with our 250 chill hours, but a cold wet spring prevented any bee activity; they are all bee-pollinated, so without any bees we got only one or two per tree (which were wonderful). High hopes for next year.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 10:26AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Lapins is self fruitful and is a good cherry, better than I expected. There are better cherries but not any low chilling types that are self fruitful. No others that I'm aware of anyway. I've heard that Lapins is low chilling but didn't think 250 hrs, man that is low!!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 11:30AM
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girlbug2(z9/10, Sunset zone 24)

Fruitnut, thanks for the pics.

I have been considering cherries for a while but for some reason thought Lapins was too high chill for my area (I get 400 hrs on a good year).

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 2:50PM
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