Will cherry trees grow in NC??

nettles17(z7 NC)December 15, 2005

I'm talking about the edible cherries, not the ornamentals. Has anyone had any luck...and if so what kind? In addition, what fruit trees have you had the best luck with...I'm in Raleigh. Thanks for any help. I'm just sitting inside on this cold nasty day dreaming of Spring and Summer fruit!:)


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I see cherries around here that are loaded with fruit. I live near Smithfield, which is about 30 miles south of Raleigh. Unfortunately I can't tell you which kind.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 7:34PM
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Tammy Kennedy

sweet cherries don't do well. sours do ok. if you have sandy soil they'll be alot happier- they like drainage. they need some winter chill, too. i'm having ok luck with a couple dwarf culivars in big tubs. also, consider bush cherries. faster fruit, less disease, and easier to net. tam

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 11:38PM
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I have Prunus serotina growing wild - love the bark. NCSU pubs note that fruiting cherry can be grown as a specimen here, but not as a crop - too picky about care.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 6:38AM
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Last night DH told me he'd read that sour cherries can be grown here -- sweet cherries don't do as well. We tried a sweet cherry and it died, but there's a lot of wilt in the soil in that area.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 8:05AM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

A friend of mine had a cherry tree, but could never harvest any for the birds. Edible Landscaping has a good selection and I've been told that they're very helpful in making selections for your area. One of the biggest problems with Cherries around here is the late frost we get. Some of the bush cherries are getting popular.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eat-It.com

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 7:11PM
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mtindixie(7A, SC)

Just an aside here, remembering Traverse City, Michigan a gorgeous part of the state and self proclaimed "cherry capital of the world", the little microclimate afforded by lake Michigan grows some of the best sweet cherries... tons of roadside stands in season just bursting with bushels of dark black/red fat fruits... could eat them until you are literally sick!!!!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Michigan Cherries

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 8:50AM
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I second mtindixie's aside - been there for the cherry festival and as a result I have my Michigan connection bring me a box of dried cherries (the BIG box) from the airport every year! yummy - specially made into oatmeal cookies.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 12:23PM
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I had my first crop of Balaton cherries last year on a tree I planted two years ago. It is a registered variety from Stark Brothers. It's semi-dwarf and now about 5' tall. I was cautioned by the order-taker at Stark that I needed excellent drainage and that cherries do not do well in NC. No one told my tree that. The flowers are beautiful too! I do not expect to have a bushel-basket full ever, but enough for a couple of pies would be heavenly and well worth it as I would know they are truly organic. Come on Spring!

Nancy the nancedar

Here is a link that might be useful: Stark Brothers Balaton Pie Cherry

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 1:29PM
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ffaguy(z8 NC)

My mother-in-law lives in Martin County. She has two of the tart type cherries in a flower bed that is shaded by three big pine trees. Her trees are full of fruit every year and they make the best pies and cobblers I've eaten. The only drawback....the birds. You will have to watch your cherries closely and pick them as soon as they are ripe. One day off and the birds will devour them. Good Luck!!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 11:00AM
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I live an hour south of Raleigh NC. I have 2 cherry trees (14yrs old) 1 Bing, 1 Blk Tartarian. I have NEVER had one cherry from either. This yr.. I had maybe 25-30 blooms (the most ever) but no cherries. Each spring I get a few pretty blooms but they don't last but a few days---My honeybees like them.. They came from StarkBro. I prune/fert. as suggested by them... I thought it might be because I didn't have enough chill days... Who knows...

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Royal Lee and Minnie Royal Cherries (from S Cal nursery) growing well, and 4th year from planting now have a handful of CHERRIES on 2 of my 4 trees (have two of each, one of each with fruit) after hundred plus blooms on each tree, and a few frosts hitting during that bloom. Next year hopefully with bees will do even better. (I am in zone 8 SE AL)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:36PM
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I'm trying 'Danube' and 'Kristin' in my garden. One is a sour cherry and one is a sweet Cherry. Keep in mind that those classifications are just general terms. Two different species, cerasus and avium. The sour cherry species does better here but there are plenty of problems even getting them to perform. There are sour cherries that are sweet and sweet cherries that are sour (I know, it's confusing and made worse by catalogs that don't include the species name). Lots of people in climates similar to ours have had good crops off of some of the newer varieties. 'Northstar' is supposed to be the best for Raleigh but my tree died while still young (it did produce full sized fruit the year it died!).

The trees I have now are healthy and growing just fine but are too small and young to gauge how well they will do here yet.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:47AM
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Many years ago, my Ex and I bought an old farmhouse outside of Dallas NC. It had a HUGE cherry tree that bloomed profusely every year, produced lots of fruit and the birds ate every single cherry before it was ripe. If I recall correctly, from the handful of fruit we got from the tree, it was a sour cherry. I have no idea the name but it was an absolute delight to see in the spring.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 8:23PM
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