[nafex] Exploring Not Quite Cherries

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Tue May 8 11:41:34 EDT 2001

The Jan-Joy-Joel cherries are botanically plums, though they look and taste
like pie cherries.  They get pseudomonas or brown rot in the shoots here,
but that's partly because they are low to the ground.  I know they are graft
compatible on St. Julian rootstocks and I suspect they would be healthier
grafted up on a trunk, like a tree rose, where they would get better air
    Prinsepia is another bush that has fruits that taste like cherries, but
there is precious little flesh on most of them - they need some breeding
work to improve them.
    Nanking cherries and Sand cherries (Prunus tomentosa and P. besseyi) are
a dead loss here in Oregon - brown rot and pseudomonas blast them at bloom
time in the cool, wet spring weather.  In the summer when it's warm and dry
they grow out of it and look great, but never have fruit.
-Lon Rombough
Grapes, writing, consulting, more, plus word on my grape book at

>From: Ginda Fisher <ginda at concentric.net>
>To: "nafex at yahoogroups.com" <nafex at yahoogroups.com>
>Subject: [nafex] Exploring Not Quite Cherries
>Date: Mon, May 7, 2001, 7:38 PM

>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.
>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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