[nafex] Re: Exploring Not Quite Cherries

Christopher Mauchline mauch1 at aol.com
Thu May 10 12:11:07 EDT 2001


>>>
        Mongollian cherry, Prunus fruiticosa, is probably even 
hardier than Nanking cherry.  In the far north prairie provinces, it 
is about the only cherry-like fruit that can be grown.  It is to my 
knowledge only available as seedlings, not cultivars.  The plant is 
short, growing about 2-4 ft. tall, and the crimson fruit is smaller 
than that of Nanking cherry.  The plants sucker profusely.  The 
proprieter or St. Lawrence Nurseries says this bush cherry makes the 
best of all preserves.
>>>

I don't know if this would be a factor in selecting P. fruiticosa as 
a bush cherry, but this link 
http://www.goodfruit.com/archive/May_15-96/special11.html  
discusses cherry (dwarfing) rootstock trials.  The rootstocks with P. 
fruiticosa heritiage were particularly vunerable to viral diseases 
(is this only a factor in grafted trees??? and does not affect the 
health of the P. fruiticosa itself???)

Chris Mauchline
SE PA, zone 6

--- In nafex at y..., Sam Brungardt <samb at p...> wrote:
> Here's some info about bush cherries that may be useful in sorting 
> out the various kinds that are available.  There are several kinds 
of 
> bush cherries that northern growers may want to try:
> 	Nanking, Chinese bush, or Manchu cherry, Prunus tomentosa 
> (cultivar examples are 'Orient' and 'Drilea')--this cherry, 
generally 
> only available as seedlings, is fully hardy in Minnesota and much 
> appreciated for its fruit, which make fantastic preserves.  Fruit 
> holds well on the bush after it ripens.  Unfortunately birds are 
> crazy for the fruit and one just about has to cover the bushes with 
> netting to be able to beat the birds to it.  The bushes generally 
> grow about 6-9 ft. tall.  Fruit of the cultivars ranges from 1/2 
inch 
> to 5/8 inch in diameter.
> 	Mongollian cherry, Prunus fruiticosa, is probably even 
> hardier than Nanking cherry.  In the far north prairie provinces, 
it 
> is about the only cherry-like fruit that can be grown.  It is to my 
> knowledge only available as seedlings, not cultivars.  The plant is 
> short, growing about 2-4 ft. tall, and the crimson fruit is smaller 
> than that of Nanking cherry.  The plants sucker profusely.  The 
> proprieter or St. Lawrence Nurseries says this bush cherry makes 
the 
> best of all preserves.
> 	Western sand cherry, Prunus besseyi, is intermediate in heght 
> between P. tomentosa and P. fruiticosa.  It is generally available 
as 
> seedlings of the Hansen's Improved Bush Cherry, selected by Prof. 
> N.E. Hansen of South Dakota State University in the 1930s and 
1940s. 
> However, some nurseries sell cutlivars (examples are 'Brookings', 
> 'Black Beauty', 'Manmoor' and 'Ruby').  Fruit is generally a dark, 
> reddish black when ripe, although some cultivars have yellow fruit. 
> Size of the fruit of these cultivars is about 3/4 inch in diameter.
> 	'Jan', 'Joy' and 'Joel' are selections of the Korean bush 
> cherry (actually a plum), Prunus japonica , made by Prof. Elwyn 
> Meader of the Univesity of New Hampshire.  The plants grow 3-5 ft. 
> tall and the red, cherry-like fruits can be used in pies.  The 
fruit 
> is slightly less than 1/2 inch in diameter, and ripens in late 
> summer, when bird pressure is considerably reduced.  These 
cultivars 
> are not self fertilie; polliinate 'Jan' or 'Joy' with 'Joel'.--Sam 
> Brungardt, St. Paul, Minn.
> 
> 
> 
> >While ordering flats and whatnot, I succumbed to a saleslady's 
wiles,
> >and found myself ordering a nanking cherry, as well.  It arrived 
the
> >other day, looking pretty dead (or VERY dormant??) and I put it in 
the
> >ground.  But then I got to thinking. . .
> >
> >There are other bush cherries out there.  I doubt this one will 
make it,
> >but the spot I put it in would look nice with a flowing 
shrub. . .and
> >wouldn't it be great if it had edible fruit?  Now I really like
> >cherries.  I like sweet cherries.  I like sour cherries, eaten 
fresh.  I
> >used to live near some non-eating cherry (maybe a black cherry) 
that
> >dropped little fruits - a full-sized pit covered with about 3mm of 
black
> >flesh.  It was sweet and bitter and very cherry, and I enjoyed 
them a
> >lot, although there wasn't enough fruit on them to do anything 
more than
> >chew on a few as I wandered past.  So sour/bitter/seedy doesn't 
deter
> >me, and I don't mind attracting birds.  But I would like to be 
able to
> >nibble at it myself, and I'd like something short and bushy.
> >
> >Does anyone have experience with any of the bush cherries?  St. 
Lawrence
> >Nurseries offers a whole page of different ones (sand cherry, dwarf
> >ground cherry, Jan-joel-joy cherries, nanking cherries.)  Which 
might do
> >best with less-than-full sun - (bright shade for most of the 
day)?  The
> >spot is just downhill from a white pine, and is probably acid, 
too.  My
> >plan is to squeeze two into one large hole for pollination.
> >
> >Thanks,
> >Ginda Fisher
> >eastern Mass. zone 6
> >Where we went from 90 to below freezing in two days.  (Little 
visible
> >damage, blooms still blooming away.)
> >
> >
> >
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