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Leah Sattler
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after asparagus and asian pears, cherries are on the top of the list for planting at the new place. I really want sweet cherries but I'm told (by one person) that you can't grow them here in oklahoma? why would that be? or do you think that is bs (it could be she couldn't grow them not oklahoma )

I have 100$ to spend in lieu of my past birthday and christmas presents as per my request to my husband. so I want to be reall careful to get varieties that will be successful, I just can't afford to experiment.

what about the two-fer-one deals in sparks where two different varieties are grafted on to the same root stock? are those just a novelty or can they be hardy and productive trees? I don't want to have just a few cherries to pick every year these (all the fruit trees) need to make a significant contribution.
 
Brenda Groth
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You can grow them, just make sure you get really hardy ones, for your area.. I put in 4 cherry trees last year and then we had a horrible drought all summer, and needless to say i may have lost them even with a lot of water and mulch, as it seems that a lot of the small trees i planted last year suffered seriously from the drought.

Sour cherries are hardier than sweet ones, but there are Northern and Canadian varieties that are hardier, you might want to go to some of the canadian hardy plant sites to find out what you can about any newer cold hardy varieties..

I was told I couldn't grow them here and had beautiful crops of cherries before our fire when we lost our orchard..hoped these would be a good planting, but alas, i'll be lucky if they survived first the drought and then the horribly cold hard winter we have had..they don't seem to be alive

also if you go to local nurseries, esp those NORTH of you, you should be able to find some locally grown cherry trees that will be more likely to grow well in your area..mail order only from areas that are near by your area or have similar growing conditions..sometimes we tend to mail order things from areas that are so totally different from our climate that they don't have a chance to grow and thrive..
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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Your local Cooperative Extension Service should be able to provide names of varieties suitable for your new area.

Choose from the whole U.S.:  http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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thanks sue! that surely I can track down some varieties that have a chance of doing well through the osu.

ronbre- that is so true about ordering from places that are not local, especially for me. in fact I don't think that the problem for me will be cold hardy so much as just plain hardy as in tough. we get most of our rain in a gush with spring storms then july and august are brutally hot and dry. we have ice storms and wild temperature swings. I know a late blooming variety is probably what I want because it always likes to warm up some for a few weeks and then we get one more whopper of a cold snap, I'm not sure if freezing hurts the cherry buds or not. I know that the local peach growers pay helicopters to fly over their orchards some years to try and save their crops when the trees have been fooled into blooming. something about pushing the warmer blanket of air down on to them.
 
                          
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Leah- dunno if this is an issue for the WA/OR posters- I don't think so- but your big issue is probably CHILL HOURS. I recommend you google that term if it's new to you. I was/am, I expect, South of you in TX and now in AL (zone 8a) and cherries don't fruit here nor TX because there are not enough hours below 45 F or so in the winter to convince them to bloom and fruit. (I actually got TWO cherries to eat- one year out of four lived in TX- from one of the two Stella cherries planted there by my predecessors, had blossom a few more times than that). So find out maybe from your extension how many chill hours you get (I only get 200-400) and then select (if any exist) a cherry tree which needs less chill hours than your area gets.  Also applies for apples and most other fruit but they aren't uniformly as unlikely to do well in the South as cherries.
 
Leah Sattler
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aha! that makes sense. thank you! now I know at least what questions to ask.

do sweet cherries need more chill hours? we had a pie cherry tree that did well when I was growing up. but I have been told the sweet cherries won't work.

 
                          
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Leah when I last looked in '96 sour cherries can tolerate less chill hours than sweet, but still can't fruit often where I live so it is too painful for me to research. Hopefully you are further north and they may be a good option for you.

BTW I purposely got peach trees which run the gamut of chill hours for my area so I should get a crop from ONE or more of them every year no matter the vagaries of the frost dates and total chill hours, and the others lose their pretty blossoms to the later frosts in normal years/ don't even bloom in warm winter years.
 
                          
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the annoying thing is that (like me before moving to TX) most gardeners especially the NE/English types more likely to have a gardening book out know nothing about this. Good old Stark Brothers nursery don't even list chill hours last I looked in their catalog so you have to track down the stats elsewhere when buying from them and many others. Raintree now is more sensitive to us Southern gardeners' needs.
 
Brenda Groth
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Leah how are the cherry trees doing? Ours ..i put in two sweet and 2 sour..are just about reaady for bud break here in Michigan..oh I'm so excited..the cherry trees I had before got killed during all the construction here after the fire..so these are my babies..they are dwarf and just loaded loaded loaded with buds..

my pear and apples are also mostly loaded with buds as well..and we should have a beautiful week when they all pop at once !!

can we see pictures Leah
 
Brenda Groth
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a few flowers have opened on my baby cherry trees i put in this spring..yeahh!
 
Leah Sattler
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I picked out the best four suckers to plant and coddle! (thanks again sue) I pruned them to a primary and dusted the bits of roots with rooting hormone. although i am really tired of the drenching endless rain it has at least relieved any worry about them getting enough water while getting established.....my peas are drowning but I would rather have cherries for years than peas this year.....I think they are doing well considering the assault of being dug up and shipped bare root to a completely different climate!

 
Brenda Groth
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wow they are lovely..loo good to me..i see green !

we have a full moon tonight so I'm really hoping for cloud cover..as most of our fruit trees are in bud or blossom..and a freeze would kill all the fruit again this year..did last year..we lost all of our fruit from every bloomin tree in our yard !
 
Leah Sattler
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thats a bummer. we had a late freeze here that has likely zapped alot of the fruit trees. I can still find some little baby fruits growing so it obvioulsy didn't get them all. I would be soooo dissapointed....I don't have any years to compare it to so that I know how bad the harvest was reduced (if at all)  with these trees. it very well may have done me a favor by just thinning them somewhat for that matter.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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dropped to 34 lastnight..no frost yet !!
 
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