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 New bush cherries - ok in PNW? 
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Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:23 am
Posts: 1
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Post New bush cherries - ok in PNW?
I've always wanted a cherry tree to eat from fresh, but don't have the space. Recently I came across some new varieties of sour cherry that are sweet and SMALL, growing as a bush: bred at the University of Saskatchewan,
. I'd lean towards Carmine Jewel because apparently it has more ornamental value and I'd be planting it as a part of my front yard side hedge.

My one concern is that I've heard sour cherries need cold to do well. On one site I saw the range as up to zone 8 , and here at the southern tip of mild Victoria BC I'm 9a.

Also, these varieties are self-fertile but bear better with a pollinator. I only have space for one---will the yield be poor enough to not bother? And if I could squeeze two in, hows the taste of Nanking cherries fresh?

Anybody had experience with these new varieties? Or failing that, have experience with sour cherries in the PNW?

Should I abandon my cherry fantasies or not...

Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:38 am

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: New bush cherries - ok in PNW?
Montmorency pie cherries do extremely well here in PNW. Most of the sweet cherries grown in the us are grown here in PNW. I am also growing Danube, Jubileum, and Balaton, which are growing and healthy but haven't produced much yet. They're pretty new. North Star is delicious and produces but gets horrible bacterial disease.

Some bush cherries have problems with our wet springs. There can be pollination problems. I have one that I got from Forest Farm that lives, pollinates, gets diseases, and the fruit falls out. I grafted it once, but I neglected it and the plant took over the graft.

I ate some spectacular bush cherries up in the Wallowas, at high elevation in a really cold climate and they were outstanding. They have cold dry frozen springs, which most bush cherries like. I have heard from Theresa Knutsen, horticulturalist for Raintree nursery, that most of the bush cherries (such as Nanking) have the same problems that mine do here in the drizzly wet spring side of the PNW. I would love to hear your results. The expert on cherries and stone fruit around here is Rooney, and hopefully he will chime in. My knowledge in this area is nothing compared to what he knows. I believe he grafted Carmine Jewell onto Gisela rootstock and I think it does well for him.
John S

Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:09 am

Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Vancouver WA
Post Re: New bush cherries - ok in PNW?
kmuncaster, I have seen one of the spreading Sask bush cherries sold in a Kelowna BC nursery that had been grafted about 3 feet high on a straight stock as a fruiting ornamental. As John stated correctly about mine on gisela -I think it looks promising. I am able to get a few cherries on every spur for the past couple of years. Others as own rooted bought trees that I had imported from Alberta seem to be having problems producing cherries when ever they were grown outside of my eves that act as a rain shelter. So they will be not as productive as the gisela tree in my yard because under the eves being grown in 15 gallon pots.

The Late Lon R. had a different bush cherry for a long time in Aurora Oregon. They always bloomed and never produced fruit. So he removed them and donated a few to me. After comparing Lon's 100% bush cherry to Saskatchewan 50-75% bush cherry types it appeared the Sask types were much less effected by disease being away from the house.

A Cousin of mine in Oliver BC was given one of the Sask cherry bushes as pollinator for Vans and other cherries. In that location it was not slow to produce what they say were "perfect flavor" cherries (quoting my Aunt).

Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:02 am
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