Cherry tree for Oklahoma?

melt_in_the_sun(9a)December 6, 2010

Hi all,

I typically hang out in the spinier areas of GW, so please bear with me.

I know nearly nothing about fruit trees, but am considering getting a cherry tree for my father-in-law this Christmas. He lives in Bartlesville, about an hour north of Tulsa. He had a cherry tree in Iowa years ago, but he says it's not cold enough for them in Oklahoma. Is he right?

Are there any varieties that anyone can recommend? Any places to buy them? I appreciate any help. Thanks!

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Hi, there, and I wish I was "melting in the sun" right now. It's like 29 degrees here right now.

I am going to attach a thread that Dawn started a couple years ago on fruit varieties for Oklahoma that includes cherry trees - producing fruit cherry trees. I am not sure if you are looking for a fruiting cherry or an ornamental cherry. A couple of good ornamentals are Yoshame and Okame.

Keep in mind that for fruiting trees, you will need another variety for pollination and you sometimes need specific pollinating varieties to produce good fruit. Dawn has provided a link to Dave Wilson's site that gives specific info on which varieties need to be pollinated by which variety. Make sense?

Hope this helps, and Dawn will probably come along with some more and updated info for you.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cherry Tree Varieties for Oklahoma

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 9:02AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Dear Melt in the Sun,

Welcome to our forum. We're a friendly bunch here and are always happy to have "visitors" from outside our state.

Cherry trees absolutely do grow well here and produce some years, which is to say they produce whenever the weather allows.

We have plenty of cold weather but the problem with many cherry varieties is that they bloom early and often get nipped back, losing their blooms and young fruit to a late frost or freeze. We have the exact same issues with plums, peaches, apricots and nectarines too, but that doesn't stop us from growing them.

Our spring weather in February through May is very erratic. Early "warm spells" cause the trees to bloom too early some years and then when more normal season cold weather returns, the trees that bloomed too early may lose their blooms or tiny fruit.

I'm only lived in Oklahoma for a little over 11 years but based on what I've experienced in the Red River Valley in southern Oklahoma, I'd say we get a good crop from our fruit trees about one year out of three, and 2010 was the most recent good fruit year. In fact, 2010 was the best fruit year you ever could imagine.

Sour pie cherries produce better in Oklahoma than sweet cherries, and in that group, Montmorency is the one I see planted most often in the southern part of the state. However, they are some other cherry varieties that also are recommended for Oklahoma, including Stella, Northstar and Meteor.

I've linked a fact sheet from Oklahoma State University that is about growing fruit trees in home gardens. At the end of the fact sheet is a chart of recommended varieties, and it includes a little info on each variety.

As far as a source, I'm not sure if you're looking for a local source or a mail order source. If you're looking for a local source, I can't tell you what other parts of Oklahoma have in the stores right now, but here in southern OK the bare-root fruit trees usually don't arrive in stores until after Christmas and the containerized trees are in stores either in January or February. Sooner Plant Farms is one Oklahoma nursery that usually has fruit trees (though not necessarily in December) and they have a great website.

If you want a mail order source, Stark Brothers is a good one and they are based in Missouri. Others include Dave Wilson Nursery, One Green World and Raintree Nursery.


Here is a link that might be useful: Home Fruit Planting Guide

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 9:20AM
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Susan and Dawn, thanks very much for the tips!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 11:25AM
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Hey Melting.....DAWN GAVE GOOD ADVICE. Stark Bros. in Missouri has always done me right. If a plant dies at anytime they will replace it,, no questions asked. ALWAYS. I had a Starkcrimson self pollinating sweet cherry when i lived in Edmond ok. and it never failed to be loaded down with beautiful red black delicious cherries. Ihad 2 plums and 1 pluot in the backyard on the south and late frost got them all the time , but the cherry was on the north side of the house unprotected by the wood fence and micro- climate around my greenhouse and maybe thats why it bloomed a little later. Or, maybe it was just a late bloomer. Whatever, i miss that tree. There are many self pollinating sweet cherries nowadays and starks and dave wilsons are a good place to start .TLC NURSERY IN OKLAHOMA CITY CARRIES dAVE wILSONS TREES AND I'M GOING TO GET A CRAIGS CRIMSON SELF POLLINATING CHERRY THIS SPRING THAT WAY I WON'T HAVE TO PAY SHIPPING PLUS ITS ALREADY GROWING IN A 5 GAL. CONTAINER. GOOD LUCK TO YOU

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 5:40PM
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Telow, are there any self-pollinating dwarf cherries out there?


    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 8:01PM
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susanlynne......the nurseries are working on trying different types of rootstocks all the time but so far the only real dwarf cherry cherry i know of is called Carmine Jewel. It only gets about 6 ft. tall and grows like a bush. Don't confuse it with the Nanking or Hansons bush cherry because they are beautiful bloomers but have really small cherries. The Carmine Jewel has full size cherries and is self pollinating. The only problem might be is that it is so new that it hasn't been tested this far south yet. I have 1 in the ground thats i got this spring and so far so good . It was very small when i got it and grew about a ft. before it got really hot. After about july it stayed nice and green but stopped growing. I'm really excited to see what it does next year. Most dwarf cherries that i have seen still get at least 10 ft. tall or bigger. Stella for instance. Henry FEILDS is selling a larger version this year for 39 buck plus shipping in case you are interested. Other than that can buy a dwarf of some kind and use limb spreders to force the limbs out instead of up and keep the top trimmed offto keep it shorter. Some might think this might weaken the limbs but cherries don't weigh very much.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 10:20PM
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