[NAFEX] need help with cherry ID

Brungardt, Sam Sam.Brungardt at state.mn.us
Tue Aug 3 14:24:02 EDT 2004

I have all the three of the P. japonica (Korean bush cherry) hybrids in
my mother's yard down in Kansas, where they yield very well.  No disease
problems that I can tell, but then the climate in west-central Kansas is
unlikely to have extended periods of high humidity, due to both heat and
the prevailing winds.
Up near Brainerd, Minn., Del Stubbs has some seedlings grown from the
pits of mom's fruit, but I don't believe they are fruiting yet.  There
will likely be some segregation of fruiting characteristics in these.
I always saw the dense bushy growth of Jan, Joy and Joel as a real plus;
seems they ripen very well with minimal bird predation. -- Sam
Brungardt, St. Paul, Minn. (USDA Zone 4b)
-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Lon J. Rombough
Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2004 12:06 PM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] need help with cherry ID

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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