[NAFEX] Sweet cherry report.
Jwlehman at aol.com
Jwlehman at aol.com
Thu Jun 2 11:02:23 EDT 2005
We have picked about 7 gallon of wonderful (at least by our standards) sweet
cherries. The cultivar is Galaxy and on MxM60 rootstock. The tree is about 20
feet high and we picked them by using the loader on our tractor. Barb moved me
around the tree while I picked. Took about 3 hours. May was 1.49 inches below
average rain fall. No cracking. Brown rot was a minimal problem. Neither of
these afflictions are severe problems normally, but this year even less.
Biggest problem is birds.
The tree is about 15 years old, purchased from Hilltop in Michigan. MxM60 is
a hybrid rootstock of Mazzard X Mahaleb and is supposed to be more tolerant of
heavy clay soil than either Mazzard or Mahaleb, which is what I'm on here. I
purchased 3 trees on MxM60 and this one is very healthy. No rotting wood which
is quite normal for sweet cherries. Tree is basically central leader.
I also purchased a yellow sweet cherry which is long gone. Rootstock seemed
OK, but fungus got in the wood and the tree declined by rot. The other tree, a
Montmorency type sour cherry is in severe decline and this is it's last year,
I'm sure. Hope to get a few cherries from it. However the rootstock seems to
be OK and hope to graft the sprouts it is sending up. In both cases I believe
the MxM60 rootstock did it's job in this heavy clay soil.
Trees on either Mazzard or Mahaleb in the past never lived long enough to get
a good crop. My experience is this hybrid is an improvement over both.
In my opinion the flavor of Galaxy not as good as Bing, but good and dark red
in color. The fruit doesn't ripen all at once as I'd like, but we picked the
entire crop and usually do to save them from the birds. Barb is canning them
(hot water bath method) as I write this.
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