Cherry trees aren't really gown commercially here in the Algarve but we do however have a few micr climate exceptions.
My land possibly has a couple of micro climate options and hence my question is this?
In winter there is a sheltered valley that gets quite chilly, especially at night, sometimes even a little frost.
I also have a hill side (which faces north) thats around 200 meters above sea level.
Would I be better off planting the cherry trees below in the valley or higher up on the hillside?
Is there anyway I can measure the temperature at night without physically going there in the middle of the night? i.e. a thermometer that registers temperatures and records them.
A book I have on fruit trees says the higher the better with regards to cold temperatures.
I would try both. Also, I would see what varieties you can get to experiment with.
I am not positive, but I think that the larger cherry varieties might be better for warm climates, owing to their need of more growing time to produce fruit.
Are other stone fruit grown in your area, apricots and peaches and the like? Any plums? I would think, as you have indicated, that it is largely too warm a climate for them.
What else are you looking at?
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Cherries have a required number of chill days, these should be listed on any placard attached to the tree. If you are growing from seed you can do a google search for "chill day requirements for cherry trees"
Larger, sour cherries don't need as many chill days and are also less prone to sunburn than some of the sweet cherries.
Like Chris suggested, trial some in both areas and keep a note book, you can always move them if they are not doing well.
In warm climates you will need to check the heat tolerance and the number of chill days for any fruit trees that aren't normally grown in your area.
You can usually buy cherry trees for around €3 in the autumn in Portugal. I'd plant a few in each place and see which does best.
I'm a bit further north than you, just a little south of the main cherry growing area of Fudao, and cherries grow really well here. Just don't be tempted to use bone-sauce on the cherry trees to keep critters away - it seems to react badly with them and kill them, as I found out to my cost.
Here very south.... we curiously have an either wild or gone wild cherry... it is the size of a small sour cherry, but they are not sour! They have an intense taste. Thgouh small they are sold in markets. They can grow here with zero watering. They often grow where it rains a bit more, around 700-1000m, but I have some at my place 500m.
I would send seeds if it can be of some help to try them... I guess they can be grafted and that they can be a good root stock? All guesses of course! Here thay are called guindas. They might be just ordinary wild cherries, but they are adapted now to a dry and no chill place, and self-seed.
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