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Cherries in Texas

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1 Cherries in Texas on Mon May 31, 2010 10:54 pm

Posted to Texas Civilian Yahoo list January 2008.

Since Washington County is mainly acid soil they may have done well there. Any place west of Austin or the line we now call I35 is alkaline and they may not do well in that kind of soil. Anyone else have thoughts on that?
Debbie Russell

I am wondering if temperature is not also a factor. Some things (and I thought cherries among them) need X-number of hours of sub-freezing temperatures in order to be able to bloom and set fruit. I would have bet fruit-bearing cherries could not have been grown in Texas, but Affleck says so, so that settles that! I am just very surprised, like you Debbie.

Terre Schill

I was thinking the same thing myself about chill hrs on cherries. Washington County is about the same planting zone but it also has more humidity then the hill country. Now peaches have to deal with chill hrs also and the longer the chill time the better. I don't know. Time for some research I guess.
Debbie Russell

Come to think of it, maybe the cherry tree project was an experiment that Affleck later realized was not panning out? Does he say anywhere that he actually got cherries off these trees ten years down the road from when he planted them? Or maybe he was growing them as ornamentals or shade trees and not expecting fruit? You can grow banana trees in central Texas, too, if you don't expect fruit (and don't mind them rotting in the springtime). They will come back from the roots.

Terre Schill

Posted to Texas Civilian Yahoo list January 2008 by Annette Bethke

Let me clarify...he did not say they had beared fruit yet, just that they were doing well. Here is the full paragraph.

The cherry, when budded on a kind known as the Mahaleb, grows with extraordinary vigor and beauty in the stiff black land. How it will bear is yet to be seen. But, with such a vigorous, thrifty growth, it will be strange if fruit is not produced.

Posted to Texas Civilian Yahoo list January 2008

Feb. 1860
The Cherry wants a dry, mellow, tolerably rich, and not too sandy
soil. The tree grows most thriftly with us; though as to its bearing qualities we can only as yet say, we have some fruit. But we hear of bearing trees and fine fruit in various parts of the country. Our youong trees, both those worked on the Mahaleb or St. Lucie and on the strong growing Mazzard Cherry, are as promising as we could desire; and we have the utmost confidence in producing the finest varieties, in perfection, upon both stocks. Two or three years, will settle the question; and until then we will not dipose of trees. The Mahaleb is a Southern tree, and seemed to require an acclimation here. It grows thrifily on any dry soil, though quite poor; but, to
sustain fruit, would require such soil to be enriched. It has the
effect of dwarfing and throwing into early bearing, any of the
varieties worked upon it. The Mazzard is a stron growing kind, and those budded on if form large trees.

Since I don't have access to any further years, and since the
nursery and almanac, I belive, stopped production during the war, we may not find out about Affleck's experience with cherry trees.


Well darn. Thanks that sounds interesting. I wonder if those varieties are still available. I gave up the idea because I was told they didn't grow here.
Debbie Russell

My parents tried a tree or two up here in Tyler, and they produced so poorly that they cut them down. We do have a native cherry in the woods of East Texas, but the tiny fruit is good only for birds. The ones who would know would be the Ag Extension folks, and then it would be the modern varieties.

Vicki Betts

Well I have asked about cherries here and got a no for an answer but never a reason why. I think our soil is just not right for it. Now you may be lucky to find someone who knows antique varieties of trees and other plants. The extension guys who are really good horticulturist are starting to go back to that. Also A&M is getting back to natural fertilizers and pesticides. They are studying and testing them and presenting it to the public. So finally they are getting up to speed with doing it the way our forefathers did.
Debbie Russell

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