[NAFEX] Evans/Bali Cherry

Dr. Lucky Pittman lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu
Mon Jul 25 11:50:20 EDT 2011

Since this one has come back up for discussion, I'm  resurrecting some
previous posts from the past, as follows :


Bernie Nikolai, from Aug 2001:

"My Evans cherry is now 60% ripe, a gorgeous red, a real show stopper.  I'm
pruning my Evans to be a "tree", not a bush.  Its about 10 ft. tall after 5
years from tissue culture, and looking very much like a "tree" with a single
trunk and nice lateral branches.  Left without pruning Evans looks like a
Nanking cherry bush, with multi stems. I thin the fruit only because Evans
seems to want to produce huge quantities of cherries, even in my tough
climate, at the expense of tree growth.  I hope to grow it to at least 15
feet as a traditional "tree".  The taste this year is particularly
excellent, the best "tart" cherry I have ever tasted.  When frozen whole in
a plastic baggie, they lose much of the tartness and are almost like a true
sweet cherry, but I like them just fine fresh off the tree.  If you live in
a northern climate, zone 3 or 4, and want a very hardy, reliable, very
productive, excellent tasting tart cherry, get Evans.  Nothing comes
remotely close from what I've seen.  It MUST be on its own roots however.

It may be okay to have it grafted on Mahaleb or Mazzard.  It hasn't been
tried up here as those two rootstocks would not normally be considered hardy
in zone 3.  We just get tissue cultured plants or dig up root suckers.

Evans grafts readily, but seems to invariably die over the winter unless its
on its own roots.  It seems to do best with grass competition right up to
the trunk, and no or very little fertilizer.  It virtually seems to thrive
best on neglect, quite an unusual trait for a cherry tree.

Re root suckers on Evans, only one tree/bush in every 2 or 3 will send out
root suckers.  The trees that do pop them up much like poplar trees on your
lawn, little suckers that "magically" appear 1 to 8 ft. from the mother
plant. You can also rototil the soil to encourage suckering, or simply dig
and cut a section of root and plant the sections vertically in a pot and
many will form new trees.

Bernie Nikolai

Edmonton, Alberta zone 3


Kevin Bradley, July 2001:

"I just got off the phone with Dr Evans, so here is more on the Evans and
its origin: 

Dr Evans discovered this cherry in 1976 and slowly but surely got people
interested in trying it.

Some outstanding points of the Evans are:

The highest yields in MI are about 50 pounds per tree. The Evans produces
around 150 pounds per tree!

It does very well in light soil. Heavy soil it does ok but tends to be
winter damaged more.

Blossoms are not killed by temps as low as five below centigrade, which is
quite remarkable for a sour cherry.


> Here are my notes on the origin of the Evans, as per Dr Evans:  

"Probably brought from Minnesota in first place, 100 years ago or so. 

It is probably NOT an escapee from the Alberta Tree Nursery".(in the 

FN and B Inventory it says that it may be that it originally came 

from this nursery, this info was supplied by me, later to be

learned that the original Evans cherry probably had nothing to do with that 

nursery except the coincidence that the original tree was found

NEAR there, growing in someone's yard. 

Dr Evans believes that it did not get in that person's yard via that nursery
but rather elsewhere and most likely circuitously from the Minnesota cherry
breeding program)


A Mrs Borward from the Henwood area near Edmonton, Alberta has been growing
the Evans since about 1923. She is in her 80's now and says that she got the
seeds from her neighbors who got these from the "English" which according to
Dr Evans actually meant "Americans" and specifically from Minnesota as the
Minnesotans largely settled this part of Edmonton. These Minnesotans were
probably of either Ukranian or Norwegian decent and had probably been
growing this cherry since the late 1800's.

Kevin B.





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