Romance series cherries in Arizona (8a)

So, because there won’t really be info on production for a while, I figured pictures might be the better category.
Spring 2016 we bought Carmine Jewel, Romeo and Juliet plants from Honeyberry USA.
The Romeo and Juliet were quite small, but we figured we’d get more growth per season here. We planted them in a nursery type area on drip irrigation about a foot apart, in rows 3 feet apart.

We are finally finishing clearing the planting site of trees and stumps, and should be planting them out in a couple/few weeks!

Recently hubby has ground out about 7 cottonwood stumps ranging in size from large to enormous! Here are a few pictures.

The biggest contrast would be where the giant tree’s log and stump were.
Here is before.

And here is the site after they got out there on Jan 20-22.

Here they are splitting up the last of the logs for firewood.

Since then they have shifted to finally getting the sprinklers in the rest of the orchard. The property line where the cherries will be is toward the back of the picture.

The watering system is important as the cherries will be on bubblers, but the rest of the ground being watered makes a huge difference in keeping the ground here from getting too dry.

We still need to dig the grindings out of the large stump hole, and backfill with good dirt. Then we will probably plant the cherries, and mulch the area good with wood chips before putting in the watering system.

I will share more pictures as we make progress.


It looked like a lot of work


It has been work for sure, but will in the end make things easier. Watering 45 trees with hoses for the last 7 years has been ineffectual and a royal pain in the arse!
Now we will really be able to get some growth on the trees and grow grass too, which will help keep our sheep fed. It’s a win win!

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What part of Arizona? What kind of chill hours do you all have?

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You might want to try Acerola and Cherry of the Rio Grande as well. Eric Amadio (user name amadioranch) had problems growing sweet cherries near Phoenix. Tart cherries grow best in a Michigan type climate.One cannot easily change the growing environment that they happen to be in.

The amount of chill depends on the year. We can grow sweet cherries here, and the Carmine Jewel have bloomed in the nursery. The 6 inch Juliet plants we bought are already taller then I am. I think they will do well.

@RichSV I have followed Eric Amadio’s sweet cherry trials. We are further north in the mountains and are 20 degrees cooler.
Arizona is not all low desert. :slight_smile:


Your going to have a very nice orchard. The longer you live there the nicer it will be because you are good hard workers. You will be able to cherish your orchard and farm all the more. I hope your cherries do well. Thanks for sharing. It’s nice to have all that room and sunshine.


The Juliet that I have will be in its third leaf this season in zone 9a. They are recommended for zones 2 to 7. As zone pushers, let’s hope that these Canadian bred cherries work out for us. Good luck!

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Will be interested in how you do. Fwiw flowering has ZERO to do with setting. High chill trees still bloom like crazy for me yet set no fruit. Carmine jewel and the others grow very well for me down here in Phoenix but like everything else dont set. You look like you are in Camp Verde?

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We had a few cherries on the larger carmine Jewel last year, and our sweet cherries set well. Stella, Lapins, Ranier, Utah Giant.
I’m hopeful, and will certainly keep posting updates.
We are actually higher then the Verde valley. Skull Valley specifically, and at 4400 foot elevation.

Edited to add that those Carmine Jewel did set a few cherries in the nursery.

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Goodness thats awesome! Good on ya! I still have a few tricks up my sleeves with cherries but in general I consider them mostly hopeless here in Phoenix, no matter what the line the boys at Dave Wilson are selling people.

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Today was the big day! We finally planted out the cherry hedge. :smile:

In the last few days my men folk got the trenching done for the watering system, and most of it laid in. Need to get a few more risers for the bubblers, and some 90 degree fittings to finish it up.
This was yesterday shooting down from the valve box.

Then they used the earth drill with the 18 inch nursery auger to punch some planting holes every six feet.

Today we got out there and dug the plants out of the nursery planting and put them out along the property line.
These energetic little people that still have too much energy for indoors now at 7:14 pm did the bush transporting and also helped turn the hose on and off, and backfill the planting holes.

Here is a big happy earthworm that was moved while we were digging up plants. Had to make the girl let him go.

We finished before the sun went down…but not by much. Here is a view from the oposite end of the row. You have to blow it up to see the people at the other end.

They were just swelling green buds, so it was close. Next year we plan to expand the planting up along the apple trees. About another 160 feet.
This year we planted roughly 380 feet. There are 20 Romeo, 30 Juliet, and 13 Carmine Jewel. There are still about 28 Carmine Jewel in the nursery for next year, to extend the row. They were planted on a better spacing at 2 feet apart so they were better to leave in the ground.
These grew ROOTS!

I will get some more pictures as we get the wood chips over the area. The plants will be more visible once they leaf out.

One step closer to cherries running out of our ears. :yum::grin:


Wow, that’s a lot of plants, good job. Nice to have all that free help. That auger is really cool.

I do wonder considering how much these plants sucker if that might be an issue with those vigorous roots damaging your irrigation pipes?

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They shouldnt be a problem. Hubby put in pvc instead of poly pipe because gophers can and do chew into the black poly stuff.
These roots shouldnt get thick enough to damage the pipes.

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Its fun to see your kids working so hard and your whole farm improving because of the great projects you are doing. AS you know, most kids today spend all their time playing video games and watching tv. I always wonder what the long term impact of those lifestyles will be. But your family doesn’t have to worry about that. Your kids get to interact with animals, nature, and grow food- and do lots of hard work in the process. Good for you and your whole family! And good luck with the cherries! My Romance cherries have been really slow growers for some reason.


Hubby said “They aren’t exactly free help…they EAT a lot of food, and wear out a lot of clothes and shoes.” We’re sure they wouldn’t work up as large an apetite playing video games…but we would much rather they be healthy capable country kids.
It is nice when we can work together on projects. Team effort! :slight_smile:


Yeah, it’s good to be outside when you’re a kid (or an adult)- lots of sunshine, good exercise and getting dirty helps build up your immune system.

I imagine y’all will be selling these cherries when they eventually start producing? Or maybe your kids really, really like cherry pies? Guess you can do both…

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thats the way i was raised. my kids were watched a lot by my parents and Dad quickly put them to work as well. i remember one time i went to my parents to pick up my kids and to my horror Dad had my 11yr. old son cutting tree length firewood with his chainsaw! i asked him why he was letting a fairly young kid to use such a dangerous tool. he said ‘’ don’t worry, I’m watching him’. he’s in the Marine corps now so he did something right. :wink: we use to raise a lot of chickens and the whole family got involved in the butchering and shared the meat. when my parents were in the garden, so were we. we got 2 hrs. on sat. to watch tv , then my mother ‘‘thew’’ us out.


You have some good growth on those bushes already. It looks like you have a great thing going on there. I hope you have lots of cherries. They will be a money maker for you. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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Thanks for the good wishes!
Food maker is the goal, money tastes like you know what. :slight_smile:

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