How low chill is Black Pearl cherry?
3 years ago I planted Black Pearl from Trees of Antiquity in my inland San Diego backyard. It is in a special part of the yard (extra morning chill) but still I was surprised by:
-compact synchronous bloom
-scattered fruit throughout the tree
-now it is one of the first to start ripening, after Minnie Royal/Royal Lee.
Maybe this is just a good year, but this is a great test candidate for higher chill areas of inland Southern California or marginal chill areas of coastal northern California. It also doesn’t hurt that it is S4/S13, the latter of which makes it pollen-compatible with almost every other cherry tree you could grow (since S13 is pretty rare).
So far it is showing signs of being as good as Brooks and Coral as a moderate chill cultivar. Also, it is not patented, just trademarked (NY8139 is the generic name).
Finally, if you have never tasted this and you are in Southern California, get it from Murray Family Farms this year and try it. It is one of those fruit where you remember the first time you tasted it. Crunchiest cherry I have ever had, perfect balance of sweetness and acidity, and the flavor was complex and a little different than the standard cherry.