Viability of wild black cherry tree in zone 9

zoozue(9 Lakeland)September 9, 2008

O.K. We are trying to plant for wildlife instead of using commercial seeds and the like. We need a small fruit tree, of less than 20 feet. Many bird sites recommend wild black cherry but they all seem to grow only as far south as zone 6.

Can anyone suggest small fruit trees (non-citrus) that will provide wild food for our feathered friends. Nuts and seeds are taken care of with the neighbors pecan tree and wild millet, safflower and nyer that we allow to grow.

Suggestions would be appreciated. As a kid in south Florida we used to have mulberry trees but I'm not sure if they would grow up hear.

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Mulberry can be grown here. Birds in my garden enjoy figs,grapes,peaches,plums,nectarine,strawberry guava. They do not seem to bother the persimmons both wild and Japanese
nor my cooking pears.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 8:04PM
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I found that mulberries are what the birds like to eat the most out of my fruit trees. I had the everbearing type which means that it has a couple of crops per year.

Loquats are also a favorite. If you want cherry types, consider Cherry of the Rio Grande (hardy to Gainsville), and Surinam Cherry. Hope that helps.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 9:12PM
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Christine,I just read that Cherry of the Rio Grande can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 f.
That is great. I never consider it. Thank you. Now I want one!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 10:26PM
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zoozue(9 Lakeland)

Thanks Felix and Christine. Great suggestions once again.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 6:07AM
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Felix--if you can't find a Cherry of the Rio Grande this year check out Hopkins Nursery vending site at the annual Leu Gardens plant sale in March if you live close enough to Orlando. Hopkins doesn't sell retail anymore so you have to get it at a plant show or a nursery that sells their plants. They are the only one that I know of that sells them.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 9:46PM
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Kerby's in Sefner (just east of Tampa) has Cherry of the Rio Grande. It's a beautiful little tree and bears fruit the first or second year. I got mine on a recommendation from Lisa (the Fruit Tree Goddess) and I've been delighted with it. I have to admit though that I've only gotten a handful of cherries off of it because the birds beat me to it!


    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 9:54PM
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The wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) grows very well in zone 9. I have one that is about 30 ft tall at the moment. According to sources I read it will grow up to 60 ft.

It is an excellent tree for wildlife. Many birds enjoy the fruit and about five different types of butterflies use it for larval food. It grows all over the place in Central Florida.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 11:44PM
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