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Old 02-22-2012, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
6,719 posts, read 11,734,498 times
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In a few months I am moving into a house on a lot that's about 1.3 acres. It backs up on conservation land so has lots of tress (honestly, it's the lot that sold me on buying this house!). I would like to plant some fruit trees, especially cherry, but am a little confused about what will work in NH.

I was reading this document from UNH -- http://extension.unh.edu/resources/f...585_Rep607.pdf -- and it says that sweet cherry trees are hardy to -10 to -15, but then it says that they "require a very frost-free site." Aren't those 2 statements contradictory? How can a site that occasionally gets down to negative 10 or 15 be frost-free? Clearly I am missing something.

thanks,
Karen
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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Any other cold-weather gardeners or arborists out there?

I think I will try the New Hampshire forum too ...
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
In a few months I am moving into a house on a lot that's about 1.3 acres. It backs up on conservation land so has lots of tress (honestly, it's the lot that sold me on buying this house!). I would like to plant some fruit trees, especially cherry, but am a little confused about what will work in NH.

I was reading this document from UNH -- http://extension.unh.edu/resources/f...585_Rep607.pdf -- and it says that sweet cherry trees are hardy to -10 to -15, but then it says that they "require a very frost-free site." Aren't those 2 statements contradictory? How can a site that occasionally gets down to negative 10 or 15 be frost-free? Clearly I am missing something.

thanks,
Karen

I donít know if this will help? I found this one link to pick-your-own orchards in NH: http://www.pickyourown.org/NH.htm I see that at least one farm list pick-your-own cherries. Perhaps you could call and ask what varieties would survive their winters? Here is a link to the farm that list cherries: http://www.pickyourown.org/PYO.php?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.alysonsorchard.com

By the way; there are many farms that list apples and some grow pears and peaches.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
6,719 posts, read 11,734,498 times
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Fisheye, thanks for the reply! I will call a couple of places. I was most confused about the document wording -- clearly "hardy to -10 degrees" and "requires a frost-free site" must not be contradictory (as they sound to me) since those kinds of trees are grown in NH.

I love cherries and would love to grow my own! :-)
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:04 PM
 
Location: In a house
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Pears, apples, maple, crabapples, and chestnuts are the big food-producing trees in New England. Cherries too, but the ripening season is precarious. Most people have flowering cherry trees because they're gorgeous in bloom, rather than for the fruits.

You can probably do well with grape arbors too but they also have a short growth/productive season. Berries of all sorts do great up here, especially mulberries which require little to no care at all, and wild blackberry bushes.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:32 PM
 
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The terms do seem contradictory on the surface and I double checked to see what else the site covered to make sure how the terms were used. A frost is when temps drop below freezing and water vapor crystallizes. It doesn't have to get below 20 for that to happen, just below freezing with moisture present.

Cherries are borderline survivors in southern NH. If there is a period of much colder than average temperatures the cherry trees may not survive which is one concern but the "frost free" designation may be more specific to frosts in the late winter early spring period. The tree will not die from these frosts but there will be damage to the blossoms which open very early in the season and are very cold sensitive. Recently I experienced just this with my decorative cherries which bloomed prematurely with the extraordinarily warm winter days we've had. We had a strong cold snap over 2 or 3 nights which turned all the blossoms from pink to brown, never even getting a chance for being pollinated.

Another publication from the NH Cooperative Extension service more specifically does not recommend cherries for all of NH: http://extension.unh.edu/resources/r...589_Rep611.pdf (scroll down to page 3 and 4 for apricot and cherries) for the reasons I mentioned.

The most likely cherry to survive would be a native if you have your heart set on cherry trees. One that is native to northern USA and Canada would be the Pin Cherry. It is probably not a great eating cherry but can be used for making jellies.
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