Cherry tree recommendation for Albuquerue

allenabqFebruary 16, 2007

Anyone had much experience keeping a Rainier cherry tree in the Albuquerque area? This is my favority cherry next to Bing, but after reading this article (at the link below) I have a bit of reluctance over how successful one might be in our climate with the spring wind and temps over 90 in June. I don't want to put in the work of cultivating a young tree for a few years until it reaches fruit-bearing age only to find that the sensitivity of the fruit will just mean constant disappointment.

My next choice would be Bing. I have a friend who has a few Stella trees that do well. Any other recommendations for my area would be welcome. I also figure that since I want to plant just one tree, I will eventually do a graft of one or two other varieties onto the main tree that I plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rainier cherries are the peak of the crop

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abqpalms(Albuquerque, NM)


I do not have much first-hand knowledge with Rainiers, much less Rainiers here in Albuquerque, so hopefully someone a bit more familiar with them here will be able to lend some better insights.

I should note though, that in my admittedly layperson knowledge, I believe Albuquerque's summer heat may not be ideal for Rainiers. If you are living high in the Sandia foothills - above 6,000 feet or so - maybe it would be doable? But even then, the spring winds may be more of an issue.

But in most of the city, we have very bright, sunny, intense heat days which can start in early or mid May, and - depending upon the monsoon season - run through early September, where temps well above 90 degrees are not unusual. I think - much more than the spring winds - the strong hot sun could really be harmful to the Rainier.

But that is just my two cents...someone may set me straight.

Bing Cherries, on the other hand, seem to do fantastically well in ABQ, and I have seen some enormous Bing Cherry trees. In the NE Heights, there are so many aged Bing Cherry trees that typically you do not need a pollinator tree in your yard, because pollinizing can occur from all around. I have a Bing and it does really well...beautiful blossoms too...but the one issue can be fending off the insects that LOVE to eat the Bings!

I would vote for Bings in our sunny, warm climate, but again, maybe someone else here has had success with Rainiers.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 12:14PM
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It turns out that nurseries here do get a few Rainier cherry trees from time to time, but its the fact that they only get a small quantity -- if any at all -- that makes them rare here. They are usually snapped up VERY quickly. Probably goes the same for lots of other cherries that aren't "mainstream". The most common I've seen at every nursery including Home Depot and Lowes are: Bing, Black Tartarian, Stella, and Lapins (self-fruitful Bing). Anything else is a rare find although I'm certain many would do equally well here.

And I finally told my dad in E. Washignton what I was up to. He was thrilled. He has four Rainiers on his property and says they are the best cherries you could ever hope to succeed with. I'm encouraged because ABQ and E.Washington have such similar climates.

So in the end I did get a Rainier, actually a "Royal Rainier" to be exact mail-ordered from CA. But I hedged my bets too and also got a Craig's Crimson, Bing, and Van. My backyard has some protection from wind, so I'll just cross my fingers and hope for the best.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 11:24AM
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