Hey everyone. I would like to attempt to grow cherries here in Lake Charles. All the advice available on the internet recommends the "Stella" variety. What are your thoughts?
I tried a Montmorency cherry in Jackson Mississippi. The first year it leafed out barely, the second year it never even came out of dormancy. I don't think we have enough chill hours for cherries here, but I may be wrong.
I replaced the Montmorency with a Fuyu non-astringent persimmon- they are relatively pest free for me so far, bear well, and taste divine!!!! I don't want to waste space with something that won't bear fruit well.
Contact the county agent for your parish - look under (probably) US govt. dept. of agriculture, or maybe agriculture extension office. They will have printed materials specific to your parish, sometimes even broken down into several micro-climates. Ours has "north of I-10" and "south of I-10." That's pretty specific!
You get more chill than we do, but the are definitely no cherries that can be grown in Lafayette. I really think most cherry varieties require at least 600 hours of temps below 45F to fruit. The tree might survive our climate for a few years, but you won't get fruit. Something like a Taiwan cherry is a very attractive tree that can produce bird forage. But usually just flowers.
Producing in my yard: starfruit, several varieties of guava, tamarillo, jujube, sapote. I will lose some of these if we get a really hard frost, but they don't *need* cold.
Good growing - Nancy
Petite Orange, I'm so envious that you can grow Tamarillos! Those things are so delicious. I love to just cut them in half and eat them with an iced-tea spoon...just like we eat Kiwis. Do they fruit reliably? Or are they hit-and-miss, like Bananas are in Louisiana? Someone told me that people are growing Avocados in New Orleans, and that they set fruit....and will add to the value of a house (sounds a tad optimistic, if you ask me).
But If we could grow Tamarillos and Guavas, we might just move to Thibodeaux, or at least have a weekend place there (too busy. Just dreaming). The neighbors here think it's weird that I make Gumbo every Saturday of the world (and me chopping Sassafras leaves in the Mini-Prep for File Gumbo totally amazes them).
Hope Im not posting this too late for you to notice but I wanted to say that there are some new Low chill varieties of Cherry available now. You will probably have to mail order them and I think a place called Bay Laurel has them for sale online. I'm told they are good. I live in Austin Texas and I have heard that these cherries are great south of us in San Antonio and I'll bet they may do good for you too. My family is from Lake Charles and I lived in SLouisiana for a long time and I still view this forum for fun sometime. Check out the cherries some time if you can.
Petite orange I sent you a message. I am really interested in learning more about those tropicals you mentioned.
My parents have had a wild cherry that fruits every year at their home near New Roads. However, according to local plant expert Louis Miller, there aren't many varieties of cherry that do well in South Louisiana because of the chilling houses. Flowering cherries don't bloom well either here. Dwarf flowering almond does grow well here, but no fruit.
The native black cherry will produce well, but the cherries are very small. North star blooms and produces small crops of small sour pie cherries in Hattiesburg. It is a natural genetic dwarf and self-fertile. You most cover it with a net if you hope to get more cherries than the birds.
I have Stella and it is healthy after three years but has never bloomed. My advice is to forget cherries other than the native black cherry.
I recently planted two montmorency trees on some vacant land in Wisconsin and came back shortly after planting to find almost all the leaves gone. Some feel it was probably deer, although there are also rabbits and squirrels in the neighborhood. A friend recommended spray to keep the deer away. Any suggestions?
We planted 1 bing, 1 tartarian & 2 montmorcy just to see what they might do. The plants were mail order, very small, bare root. One montmorcy died. They have been in the ground 3 years. This last summer the 2 sweets took a big growth spurt. They are looking good. The bing is loaded with blossoms. I am really.praying.
There are number of low chill hour cherries- lapins, kansas sweet, stella, tularen. I found them under Dukarte vine out of modesto ca.
Do yourself a favor avoid bare root plants of any kind. Do not fertilize the first year. Check with county.agent for chill hours. Go under the chill hours by at least.100 hours. Remember it is late freezes when blooms are set that cause crop failure usually.
Hey we are only 40 miles north of the beach. I made 4 rhubarb pies out of my one remaining plant last year, 3 years of babying. If it is something you really want... Go for it.