Are you eating cherries from your yard right now? You could be.
Have a look at these three cherry trees in my friend’s yard in Poway, San Diego County, that I filmed today:
Again, the varieties are (left to right) Royal Lee, Royal Crimson, and Minnie Royal.
I’ll get a full post on growing cherries in Southern California done soon because if you like to eat cherries — and especially if you have kids or grandkids who like to eat cherries — then you should consider growing them yourself. It’s possible.
In the meantime, let this post serve as an appetizer.
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I’ve got cherries on my Lapins and Morello this year, second year in ground, about 300 chill hour area. Royal Crimson and Minnie Royal didn’t set fruit, but perhaps next year!
Nice, Grae! I have Lapins and it does well for me. I’m in more of a 500-600 chill hour area.
My mini royal is the best producer and I have two younger Royal Lee that are producing and I have a 2-year-old lapens that has a few cherries on it and I replaced a dead crimson with a new crimpson 2 years ago that has two cherries on it and I planted a new one in January of this year 2023 and cut it back so it’ll branch. I’m located near San Diego State University. I’ve been eating cherries everyday for the past week or so. I found a couple green shield bugs and vacuumed them off, so keep your eyes open for them, they like tomatoes also.
Thanks, Rick. I look forward to hearing how your Royal Crimson does. So far mine is a light producer compared to the others I have (Lapins, Minnie Royal, and Royal Rainier).
On a hillside in Whittier, I have two sets of Minnie royal and Royal Lee, 4 years old from 5 gallon container in the ground and it’s a record set of cherries this year! I estimate about 150 total, last year was 60 total. Nice to see the year over year progression! Enjoy, haven’t seen any of those green shield bugs, will keep an eye out
Yeah, James! I want more cherries like you. I just planted two more cherry rootstocks this winter so I’ll have four cherry trees eventually also. I’m still deciding which varieties to graft them to.
In Costa Mesa I have Brooks, Rainier, Royal Crimson, Van, and Sweetheart as individual trees on Mazzard rootstock with decent output.
Plus a combo tree of Bing, Black Tartarian, Lapins, and Montmorency, which was planted this season.
Good to hear this, Don. Please keep me updated on these. I have a graft of Brooks on one of my trees that flowered but didn’t set fruit this year. I’m really curious about that one.
I’m guessing that any variety that does well for you in Costa Mesa will do well almost anywhere else in Southern California.
I have a craigs crimson semi-dwarf, which is supposed to be self pollinating, it’s about 8 or 9 years old, and i’ve only seen about 10 or 20 cherries from it last year (similar previous years, but only a few made it to full size) and the birds stole all but 2, but they tasted very good. It’s a nice size beautiful tree about 8 inch trunk diameter, 10-12 feet tall. This year, for the first time, it set 100’s of cherries, which seemed to quickly get about 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch, and then sort of stalled, they are still mostly green and a few are yellow/red and maybe 1/2 inch in size, many have and are still dropping. I hope it doesn’t have little cherry / x-disease. I did plant another 4-1 last year, which blossomed this year, so that may have helped. I’m just not sure if cherry trees can take this long to establish and fruit, or if there is something wrong with it. It’s in the San Jose bay area, so we certainly had chill hours and it has good full sun. I did give it yearly nitrogen for the first 6 or so years, which may have caused the quick growth. Starting last year, I only used 0-10-10, to try to encourage fruiting and slow the growth. I’ve been tempted to remove the tree every year, for the last 3 years, but decided to leave it, thinking next year it will fruit! And to note, I do scan the greater area for Cherry trees, and there aren’t too many left around here, it seems, and of the ones I do see, i also don’t see many cherries on them. I know Sunnyvale (CJ Olson Orchards) used to grow them, I just wonder if the weather is different these days, or only certain varieties like it here?
I’ve got gobs and gobs of cherries on my Minnie royal and royal lee. These are the only stone fruit trees in my yard that I let grow taller than what would normally be in backyard orchard culture. The Minnie’s came first and are about done and the royal lee is pretty loaded still. I’ve got a royal crimson that just went in a few months ago so hopefully will produce well in two years. My lapins looked like it died but came back and is very small with no cherries for a few years.
Thanks for that, Bob. And everyone should know that you are in a spot with little winter chill. In your yard there are also coffee bushes, coconut palm, mango . . .