Anyone here have experience with these here in Phx? Sun/shade exposure? Fruit probability and quality? Scource for large mature trees? Soil? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I purchased one small bare root tree of each Fall 2009. No fruit or flowers in 2010. One died due to neglect do to bad health. My replacement tree arrived early February 2011. The replacement trees did not bloom so there was no fruit set this year. The lone tree from Fall 2009 that survived is flourishing and had hundreds of blooms this year. If its pollinator would have flowered there would have been hundreds of cherries. Needless to say I am very much looking forward to next year.
There are no sources for large mature trees.
Best time to plant is in the Fall Planting Season. Plant in full sun in native soil. Deep watering with drip irrigation is preferred. Paint the tree with Tree White and add 6" of mulch over the planting area. I would also recommend Mazzard as the preferred rootstock. It's more vigorous and can better handle our soil and extreme growing conditions.
I have 7 planted in two different clusters in my yard. Two are Minnie Royal (one pollinator for each cluster). I had some fruit last year which was beautiful & my grandchildren loved them. Five of mine are planted with afternoon shade and are thriving. The other two are in full sun & have survived, but are definitely underdeveloped compared to the other two. I have tried three different rootstocks & would have agreed with mazzzard being the best until this year. I bought 3 bare root trees on the new 3CR178 dwarfing rootstock. It seems to be more vigorous than anything I've tried so far. I hope they hold up when it hits 110, but so far they are downright happy. The late freeze killed most of the blooms this year, so I'm not letting any of them carry any fruit. I have one Royal Lee on the northwest corner of my shed that is about 12' tall (on Mazzard) & seems happy. When I planted, I always put gypsum at the bottom of a hole deeper than it needs to be, I also usually add a few of the pellets designed to help retain moisture at the bottom. I then use amend to mix with the native soil build a berm to help with watering & mulch about 4". This has been a strange year due to the late freeze. Most of my trees were in bloom at the time of the 2nd frost, I was so worried about the avocados & other sensitive stuff, that I neglected the fruit trees. I have much less fruit growing this year than last. The positive is that root & leaf development should be better this year. Hopefully that helps. I have seen #15 containers at Baker's here & at Mesquite Valley in Tucson. I personally think the best way to go, is to order them bare root & have them delivered as early as you can get them. The ones I received the 1st week in January have already added over a foot in height & over two feet of new limb growth.
No current sources for big 24" box plants. They're patented by Zaigler / Dave Wilson, so you can only order them bare root through dealers in Phoenix like Bakers or RSI Growers or by mail order through Bay Laurel. What I've heard so far echoes what everyone else has said so far -- needs afternoon shade. Both varieties should have mature fruit before the monsoon season so I wouldn't really worry about wind here.
Thank you to everyone for all your help. Many of my questions have been answered. But I have 1 more. Is there a taste difference between the 2 trees? I found someone here in town with 4-5 year old trees for sale with fruit so I got to try both. I did not notice much difference between the 2.
The Royal Lee is the better tasting one according to taste tests. It is also a slightly larger fruit. You will need both if you want fruit. You could plant one Minnie Royal amongst several Royal Lees for optimum development.
You'll need both to get fruit as both require each other as a pollinizer.
Wondering if any of the posters on here can update on their cherry trees since these postings? I'm looking at getting a Royal and Minnie and based on these comments, I'm very encouraged!
The only ones that have done well on my property get 80% shade and lots of water. Two years in the ground on Z-Dwarf rootstock (CR178). I had some blooms (Minnie Royal >> Royal Lee), but no cherries this year. I know someone in Arcadia who has them on her property. Her trees are pretty large, but she was only able to get a handful of cherries this year.
I don't know of anyone that had them rooted on Mazzard that still have them in the ground.
Mine on Colt are now second leaf and survived their second summer. Look good.
Mine on Mazzard died of Cotton Root Rot mid-June, first leaf.
Mine on Newroot-1 are first leaf and I am very impressed with their growth rate compared with Colt.
Too early for any of them to produce fruit. Planted 18" apart. Flood irrigation. Arcadia area. Partial overhead and western shade required in summer, even on second leaf, to prevent severe leaf sunburn.
This post was edited by Fascist_Nation on Tue, Oct 22, 13 at 9:34
Second summer for mine on Newroot and they did much better than the first summer but still no fruit. The Minnie Royal flowered first and was almost done flowering by the time the Royal Lee flowered. They both set funny looking long cylindrical fruit that fell off when they were about three quarters of an inch or so long. Don't know if the difference in flowering times was why the fruit didn't stick. Hopefully third time's the charm...
This post was edited by rockmaker on Tue, Oct 29, 13 at 20:56