[NAFEX] need help with cherry ID

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Tue Aug 3 13:06:01 EDT 2004

Your observations are generally consistent with what I've had over the
years.  Here are a few more thoughts on the Pacific NW.
   I never have a total failure on apples as a mix of varieties insures that
something comes through no matter what.  This year the Gravenstein crop is
absolutely massive, and there was a window of warm dry weather right when it
bloomed.  Some of the other varieties bloomed during wet spells and they
have small crops.
   Grapes are affected by temperatures at bloom time and ripening.  Cool
weather at bloom time and after means smaller berries.  Cool weather at
ripening can increase flavor, but doesn't bring acid down as much, so the
fruit tastes less sweet, even though it might have sufficient sugar levels.
The solution there is to plant varieties that ripen as early as possible,
while the weather is still warm.
   The persimmon problem can be solved with varieties that ripen
sufficiently early.  Only a few Asians do consistently well here, while
American persimmons do much better.  The main rule of thumb I've found with
the American persimmons is to stay with varieties that ripen with or before
Early Golden.  Later ones will be hit or miss, or at least won't have much
quality.  Age of the tree makes a difference, though in that case I think
it's because as the tree gets larger, the fruit in the upper limbs get more
sun and ripens better.
   As an alternative to Prunus tomentosa, try the Jan, Joy, and Joel series
of bush "cherries" bred by the late Prof. Elwyn Meader.  They ripen in
August here, though they are susceptible to pseudomonas if it's too wet at
bloom time.  Part of that is because they are so close to the ground they
don't dry off well.  They are actually plum species and as such are graft
compatible on plum rootstocks.  Since they are natural dwarfs, being 4 to 6
feet tall at most, you could graft them on top of a trunk of something like
St. Julian to get them up out of the cool, most air at the surface, to
increase the crop.  What you would get would be like a tree rose.

   -Lon Rombough

> I had P. tomentosa for at least ten years and never got one fruit.

Thanks... We have similar weather and no fruit after about 8 years.
I was about to order some more bushes and try some experiments.

>From my trials it appears that some general rules about
Pacific Northwest Springs might be:
* Most stone fruit (peaches, plums, apricots, etc.)
  are impacted by our cool springs.
* Pears and apples have good and bad years.  The good years
  are very good and the bad years impact selected plants.
* Grapes always grow strongly but long cool springs sometimes
  impact sweetness.
* The kiwi must be niche sensitive.  Our issai does great but
  is reported marginal by others.  The fuzzy kiwi's have
  frost problems at times.
* The Desert King fig is dependable.
* Persimmons grow but the fruit has trouble ripening.
* Paw Paw are dependable

-Jeff Owens
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