Planting Rainier Cherry Trees In Atlanta

Q: I’d like to plant several Rainier cherry trees just to see what happens. I LOVE them.

A: So, I see you are a gambler! Sweet cherry trees have a tough time bearing fruit in metro Atlanta. Temperature swings in winter usually cause them to flower out of season. The resulting cold damage leaves few flowers to develop into cherries. The trees themselves may survive for several years but you may only get enough cherries for one pie in that time. If you think peaches are prone to disease and insect damage, cherries are even worse! Leaf spot, fruit rot, trunk canker and Japanese beetles can do tremendous damage. If you decide to go ahead with your project, remember that ‘Rainier’ cherries require another cherry variety blooming nearby at the same time to provide pollen. Let me know how it goes!