cherry trees

Asked August 14, 2019, 7:51 PM EDT

Is it possible to grow a sweet cherry tree in Kentucky? I love the Ulster cherry but I can not seem to get them to survive. Would it make a difference what root stock they are grafted on? I keep trying to find a way to grow sweet cherries, but I guess I'm out of luck unless I move to Michigan. Thanks for any help you can give me.

Grant County Kentucky

1 Response

Most cherry trees in Kentucky are grown on Mazzard rootstocks. However, recent research on growth-controlling rootstocks has produced more choices. New dwarf varieties are now being grown on Gisela rootstocks, and new European rootstocks are being tested each year. The most common Gisela rootstocks are Gisela 5, Gisela 6, and Gisela 12. They produce trees that are 50, 70–90, and 60 percent of Mazzard, respectively. Other new rootstocks include MxM2 (100 percent), MxM60 (100 percent of Mazzard), and MxM14 (75–85 percent of Mazzard). They bear earlier and have better disease resistance than Mazzard seedlings. Sweet cherries generally do not survive or produce well in Kentucky. Some of these newer rootstocks are available to home gardeners from a few mail-order nurseries in the Pacific Northwest. Sweet cherry varieties that are somewhat successful in Kentucky are Black Gold, Hedelfingen, Lapins, and Sweetheart. For more information you can search for HortFact 3002 - Fruit and Nut Cultivar Nursery Sources.