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Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Posted by hoosierquilt z10a/23 Vista Calif (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 8, 12 at 14:10

I'm going to give both of these a try and see if I have enough chill hours for both of them, along with a Lapins as a cross-pollinator for the Royal Rainier. I came across a very interesting article about Royal Rainier, mainly written for commercial growers about the variability of this cultivar when grown in various places. If I can find it again, I'll post a link to the article. But, I'm wondering if anyone is growing these varieties, and can offer up their experience with any of the three of them, but especially the Royal Rainier. Thanks in advance.

Patty S.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

You know my opinion on the Royal Rainier. If you find the article I would like to read it. My Lapins is just a baby but is happy and leafing out very well.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Home grower, you're the reason, actually, I'm going to give the Royal Rainier a try :-) That, and Fruitnut's 2011 Sweet Cherry Report, which was very helpful. Of course Fruitnut has a controlled climate going on, and my trees are out in the open, so that was the concern. I did find the article, so see the link, below. Where are you, exactly, in S. Calif? Your climate must be just right for Royal Rainier. After Tom's assistance in identifying my chill hours, which were much higher than what folks usually think of for Vista (which was no surprise to me at all, I knew we were pushing 700 ch here, we have some unusual weather conditions here in our wee little valley with an ocean breeze), so hoping all 3 of these cherry varieties will do well for me. I have the Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson on Mazzard, not my favorite rootstock as I'll have to prune significantly to keep these trees under control, except maybe the Craig's, since it is supposed to be naturally dwarfed. The Lapins is on Colt, which does well here in my area, and is supposed to keep the trees a little dwarfed, but I still have to significantly prune my Minnie Royal and Royal Lee, which grow like weeds. Now, to find some space to squeeze these all in. I'm finally running out of room!

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Good Fruit Grower - Variety Variation


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Patty S.

Thanks for that link, very interesting. My limited experience with Royal Rainier has been very good. I have even less experience with Craig's Crimson. I had a few fruit several years ago and have another tree now.

I do have three cherries that give me that sulfurous taste: Regina, Royal Edie, and Royal Helen. Terry at DWN brags highly of the later two. So I know what that article is talking about.

I'd never plant another cherry on Mazzard. Partly because the tree gets too big but mostly because it takes several years longer to fruit than the dwarfing, precocious rootstocks. I've been very pleased with Gisela 5 and DWN new 3CR178. They are perfect for my greenhouse spaced about 3ft by 6ft and held to 6-7ft tall.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

I know. Sigh. I may end up trying to SOFT order Royal Rainier on Colt or better yet, 3CR178. I like New Root 1 (3CF18) because of it's much more dwarfing capabilities. I don't have any real significant soil issues, so not so much worried about soil compatibilities, but even on Colt here, I doubt I'm getting any dwarfing. If I am, I can only imagine a cherry tree here on Mazzard, my Felcos are shuddering at the thought. I have pruned over 6' of new growth total off my Minnie Royal and Royal Lee last year and this year. The only benefit I see on Colt for me is that I actually got a few fruits this year, and I planted my MR and RL last spring, so this is really their first year. That is exactly what I want - fruit trees under 8' with minimal topping. I'm a horrible pruner. I have no idea why I have "Pruning Phobia" for goodness sake. I prune the hell out of my roses and the concept is basically identical. Now, if I can just find a 'Sandra Rose' cherry on 3CR178, I'll be in heaven. Highly unlikely, though, as this is a commercial variety and usually only on Mazzard or Mahaleb. Fowler's Nursery up near Carla doesn't have any grafted for next year, unfortunately. I would be MORE than willing to graft my own but it's a patented variety, boo.

Patty S.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Patty:

You can probably find Sandra Rose on Gisela 5 from Van Well or another WA nursery this next winter. I'll be looking for Sandra Rose, Cowiche, Van, those others we talked about, and probably a few more. I'm replanting half my greenhouse this winter.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

How weird, Steve. I just emailed Van Wells. My gosh, that's a huge undertaking for you. Wow. Gisela 5 or Krmsyk 6 would be other options. Can't wait to hear your line up for 2013. Let us know. Your results are so helpful to all the rest of us because of your "neutral" growing environment. And, you'll have to share more photos of your green house. I am always in awe. My green house is 8 x 12, lol!! And, I still haven't gotten the screening up to keep it under 130 degrees in the summer.

Patty S.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Patty, Thanks for the link, it was an interesting read.It's cool my pictures helped influence you.

I am up in the North part of Canyon Country, about 30 miles North of Downtown LA. We get hot summers 100+ for a few weeks and can get down below freezing a couple days per year.

Chris


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Okay, north of Santa Clarita, on the way to the Lancaster/Palmdale area. Very pretty up there. I would think cherries would do well there for sure. We'll see how these Royal Rainier do for me. Just wish they were not on Mazzard, but I'll see what I can get this bare root season, and if I can replace them on something more dwarfing, I'll pull them out and give them to my neighbor.

Patty S.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

My Royals are on Colt. My local nursery got them from Dave Wilson Nursery. I know they have a special order program that works with many local nurseries.

One listed In San Diego:
Walter Andersen Nursery
3642 Enterprise Street
San Diego, CA 92110

Here is a link that might be useful: Look in where to buy our trees.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Yup, know about the SOFT program. I'll probably not choose Colt, but go with something more dwarfing due yo space limitations.

Patty S.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Hi all,
How did your cherries do this year?
I'm thinking about planting 2-3 trees - possibly
Royal Lee, Mini Royal, Stella, and Craigs Crimson.
I'm also debating whether to go with dwarfing (ZD, newroot or gisela 5) rootstock or stick with semi-dwarf. Is there any downside to dwarfing rootstock for cherries?
thanks!


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

I didn't have any Royal Rainier or Craig's Crimson this year, hopefully next. Did have a decent crop finally of Royal Lee and Minnie Royal and they were fantastic. If I were to do it again, I would DEFINITELY go with a dwarfing rootstock, as cherries grow like weeds here in S. Calif. Not sure in your milder and cooler climate up in SF, but even on Colt, they are really full sized trees for me. I have to do significant pruning every year to keep them sized down. They got very big this year, I have to summer and winter prune. I'm franking a little terrified of my cherries on Mazzard!

Patty S.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 21, 13 at 20:33

I had a good crop of both Craig's Crimson and Royal Rainier this year. Both were good but nothing special. The more cherries I eat the more I think the better varieties are all about the same. Not the kind of differences you see in fruits like apples, pears, pluot, and apricot.

My trees on G5 and Z dwarf or whatever they call it now are miniature, 4-6ft tall, except for one. The downside is they can way overset resulting in small inferior fruit. To combat that they need heavy pruning and possibly thinning of the fruit. I plan to thin off about half the flower buds this winter. That's a lot easier than thinning fruit.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

I kinda disagree with you fruitnut, but it might be the environment? Certain cherries taste a lot better than others around here. Locally grown Rainiers are exceptional.
Good dark cherries are great too, but have a completely different taste. Also I would not describe them as nothing special. They taste so good you can't stop eating them, just about the perfect fruit. Meaty, dense, filled with flavor. What I really like about them is the firmness and hardness, yet fully ripe. Much firmer than peaches. Almost like an apple. except a lot better!
Certain firmer cultivars come out great here. It might be location? Or what good cultivars taste like here? Or my tastes compared to yours?


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 22, 13 at 9:03

Gee Drew what are you doing eating sweet fruit?? Cherries do seem to be location sensitive. Some that do great in one area can take on a sulfurous taste in another location. My cherries hit 25-32+ brix, the sweetest fruit I grow. But for my taste not the best flavor. The best nectarine, pluot, and apricot have better and more varied flavor.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

It is the one sweet fruit I really like. I really have not tasted a good pluot. being unable to find any decent for sale. Hopefully my tree will produce something better than what I had so far. I am at least enjoying berries this year. I had ton's and ton's of them, and no problem using them all either. Next year should be doubled the amount. I do really like the small fruit best. I added a huge strawberry patch and more black raspberries are coming for next year.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Patty

Any guesses on how tall the Minnie Royal/Royal Lee on colt would get with out pruning in your yard?

I plan to plant on the low side of a retaining wall so I can pick from up top...but want to make sure that is not the roof or they do not clear the 4 foot fence. (Hoping for something in the 10-12 foot tall range)


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Gosh, I would be scared to not prune it to find out, lol! Probably 25'. It is probably 10-12' right now. I have to try to bring it back down to reachable height for me (and I'm only 5'4" and a smidge). You should have no issues at all. Colt makes it very precocious.

Patty S.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Does anyone know how well New root 1 (3cr178) does in calcareous clay soil? If it is adaptable to it then I will probably be getting a Craig's Crimson if I can find a place for it.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Colt may not dwarf at all and grow just as tall as Mazzard and Mahaleb if left unpruned. For home growers wanting a smaller tree, there really is no difference.

I have no experience with New root. Literature from Dave Wilson claims trees do well in Clay Soil. Interesting that there aren't any downsides to this rootstock listed.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

I concur with CA Cherry Grower. And to add, Colt is more precocious than Mazzard in my experience. New Root seems to have some very attractive characteristics for those looking for more of a dooryard orchard.

Patty S.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

I wonder if any of you will see this because I have a few questions about my craigs crimson and royal rainier. I planted them 4 years ago and they just seem like they haven't put on much size. I planted them to be a part of a semi edible landscape. The rr is about 8' and leggy. The cc is 6.5' and doesn't have very many branches. The cc is flowering for the first time this year. They both receive full sun until 5pm. I really want to give these trees a chance so my questions are...

Any recommendations for soil amendments? We have clay alcaline soils. I worked a lot of compost into the ground and mulch every year so the top foot of soil is pretty worked in.
Will these trees look similar at all when they do put on some size?
If the cc is going to be a much smaller tree can you recommend another variety that will grow similar to the royal rainier and also help with pollination?
Thanks so much!
Josh


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 16:29

Josh my CC is only 4ft tall after about 4 yrs. It looked ready to die last summer and seems to be barely hanging on now. Has about a dozen cherries. I'll likely ditch it after harvest. RR is growing nicely and has a nice crop.

You might try Lapins as a pollinator for your RR. It's self fertile and a good cherry up here.

To get more growth water and nitrogen are usually the key factors. Up either or both if needed. I like ammonium sulfate, 21-0-0 but organic will work just as well.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

CC is normally a small, compact cherry tree (sounds like an oxymoron to me, lol!) Mine is small and still maybe only 5' tall after 3 years in the ground. I noticed yesterday, that the bark is peeling in several areas - not good. Have no idea what would be causing that. So, it may have to be replaced. My two RR's and robust, and blooming right now, next to the Lapins, which is also blooming. And fruitnut, I have two Sandra Roses that look like their full of flower buds, please send up a prayer to the cherry gods for fruit this year. I am very excited to try SR. I bought several other cherries that are either in or going in this year. It is the "big cherry experiment" here. I was again, at about 660 ch, which is so interesting, since you can drive maybe 2 miles from my house, and be 200 to 300 ch less. We are in such an odd and unique microclimate. Lots and lots of temps at night between 40 and 45 degrees. Rarely ever below 32. I feel so blessed being able to grow some stone fruits others in N. San Diego county could never be able to grow, right next to my papayas, mangos, avocados and citrus.

Patty S.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

They both leaf out each year really well they just don't have any spurs coming off the main branches.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 17:03

Patty:

Interesting that your SR is just now blooming. Mine in greenhouse bloomed a month ago. Outdoors they are past bloom. But the greenhouse SR didn't set a single cherry despite 1270 Utah chill hrs. So I don't know what else to do for them. Fortunately I like apricots better.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

Patty,

You probably didn't get 600 chill hours last winter. Your weather station, kcavista9, has a lot of bad data (-999) for temperature readings. It is not currently reporting data to wunderground either. I would guess that you would have been lucky to get 300 chill hours last winter.

Your station is reporting 150 hours for 45-32 for last season. The reason being all of the -999 readings are filtered out. So if you replaced the -999 readings with real temperatures you might be in the 200s somewhere.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

The temperature in the past 4 days is quite low. Will this add to the chill hours accumulated last winter? My Snow Queen nectarine doesn't have any flower yet. Santa Rosa plum only has one flower. I am hoping to use it as a pollinator for Flavor King Pluto. Now I have to rely on Sweet Treat Pluerry and Flavor King to pollinate each other.


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RE: Opinions on Royal Rainier and Craig's Crimson Cherries

econ0003 is there an easy way to figure out the chill hours from weather underground? If so I'm not seeing it.

My station KCACANYO12 Stonecrest station in Canyon Country.

BTW all my cherries are just starting to bloom and leaf out.

Here is a link that might be useful: KCACANYO12


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