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Minnie Royal Cherry Tree

Best low Chill Cherry Cultivar for Southern California


“Minnie Royal” is a cherry cultivar desirable for its low chilling requirement, productivity and early, flavorful fruit. It is a beautiful tree with traditional white cherry blossoms followed by bunches of fire engine red sweet crunchy cherry fruits.  Minnie Royal grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 6-10. Minnie Royal has the unique feature of being the earliest cherry to produce – harvesting in April and May of each year. Harvests appear to be light one year followed by a very heavy harvest the following year.
Minnie Royal
Minnie Royal Cherry
Dave Wilson Nursery describes the Minnie Royal as a medium-sized, firm and flavorful red cherry that is mainly used as a pollenizer for Royal Lee. The Royal Lee Cherry is the designated sister or buddy tree to the Minnie Royal. Harvesting 2-3 weeks later and having sweet, dark purple Cherries with an exquisite melting texture. Minnie Royal cherry is Very productive with a pollenizer such as Royal Lee , although it cannot set fruit on its own. Low chilling requirement of 300-400 hours.
Minnie Royal is a medium-sized red cherry; firm with good flavor: It ripens 11-14 days ahead of Bing. There are several rootstock choices available for the Minnie Royal Cherry.
Colt rootstock will allow the tree to reach a max height of 22 ft. Newroot rootstock will easily hold the tree at 8-12 ft. , although not a lot of difference is seen between these two rootstocks in the first 4 years of growth. Finally, a Minnie Royal on Mazard rootstock will allow the tree to reach 40 feet. This is not a very practical choice for most home owners, considering not too many folks are interesting in renting a literal cherry picker( mechanical bucket which raises high into the air).
Minnie Royal
Minnie Royal Cherry
Because of its high quality fruits, low chill advantage, and early fruiting ability, the Minnie Royal and Royal Lee Cherry trees are quickly becoming a must have for all backyard fruit trees enthusiasts. David Archer, owner at Bonita Creek Nursery tells us that “No home orchard is complete without a pair of cherries!”
I’ve eaten thousands myself and I must say I anticipate the cherry harvest every spring like nothing else throughout the year. I still can’t believe we can successfully grow stone fruit cherry trees right here in low chill San Diego. How lucky are we!
About the Author: Nalani is a fruit tree specialist living and working in San Diego. She provides a range of services to the community including Home Consultation, Diagnosis of pests and diseases on fruit trees and veggies, correction of nutritional deficiencies in the soil and in the individual tree, Pruning, Organic spray applications, garden planning, and organic fertilizers and nutrients for sale.