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  • From: "Sam Brungardt" <>
  • To:
  • Subject: RE: [NAFEX] Cherries -- Longish, questions and comments
  • Date: Sat, 02 Aug 2003 10:56:59 -0500

Hi, Dave. This is Sam Brungardt, down in St. Paul. I can't remember whether we've met personally, but I'm Del's friend, who was "outed" by Fluffy Bunny after I privately objected to him about his use of limp-wristed liberals.

I read with great interest your message, and it occurred to me that it might be good to have Yellow Glass in your cherry collection. This cultivar has been touted as being able to fruit at River Falls, Wis. Perhaps it would be a good measuring stick to compare with the newer sweet cherry cultivars. Undoubtedly the folks at River Falls enjoy a somewhat milder climate than you do up at Cold Springs.

I do have a question for you. Which of the tart cherries that you grow are the sweetest when fully ripe? I'd heard great things about the sweetness of a fully ripe Evans, which fruited for me and the neighbors in harvestable quantity for the first time this summer. Quite frankly, I didn't find it any sweeter than a ripe Montmorency. But then, we may not have let the fruit ripen to their full potential, racing to beat the birds to them. -- Sam

From: "Griffin Gardens" <>
Reply-To:,North American Fruit Explorers <>
Subject: RE: [NAFEX] Cherries -- Longish, questions and comments
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 13:36:35 -0500

Hi Richard,
For what it is worth, these are my survival/recovery stats on cherries
for last year in central MN, zone 4a. I say for what its worth because we
had an atypical open "prairie" winter with little snow and deep frost, lots
of sun, wind, and low humidity. The low temp was only -17 F, and so damage
seems to have been by desiccation, which is not generally the case here,
rather than by our usual cold. Such damage is more erratic with the same
cultivar having vastly different damage in different locations in the
orchard. I have decided that I cannot make any valid conclusions about
hardiness based on these results as this kind of winter is only a once in
ten or fifteen year event here.
I imagine that your winters are generally like our more typical ones and
so these results would have little usefulness for you as well. Recovery
rates may have some meaning though, and my assessment on June 6 gives a
rating of good for vigorous re-growth to Kristin, Lapins, Sweet Sept.,
Attika, Regina, and Schmidt(best).

Ratings are for dieback and are on a scale of 0 - 10, with 0 being dead and
10 indicating no dieback. Ratings in the first column were made on May 19.
The second column(*), on June 6, when recovery assessment of new growth
vigor was also noted.


7 *4
VAN 4 *4
SAM 1 *0



Dave Griffin
Cold Spring, MN

> [Original Message]
> From: <>
> To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
> Date: 7/28/03 2:11:30 PM
> Subject: [NAFEX] Cherries -- Longish, questions and comments
> Greetings,
> I have a bunch of questions (and comments) about cherry-growing in a cold
> climate. The USDA seems to have put my plot of land, which is in Vermont,
> on the 4a/3b border, but I believe the new edition moves it into 4a for
> what that is worth. As many of you will probably agree, last winter was of
> the sort-the-men-from-the-boys type, such as we have not had for several
> years. In particular this summer has brought me the unsatisfactory total
of 8
> cherries, from a total of about 8 trees which are bearing age! Still, I am
> only mildly discouraged, after all cherry trees are very decorative.
> Question: Winter injury. How permanent is it? I am talking about the
> that produces tuft leaf growth, presumably corresponding to considerable
> vascular damage. I did not see any trunk damage, but the trees are wrapped
> in nylon-cloth wrap (why is that stuff so expensive?) Here is a little
> report in decreasing order of severity:
> Kristen:- Stone dead, even though it was in a quite protected spot.
> Morello:- Severe damage, still has only limited leaf out. This was in its
> fifth year and had grown well, although not in a particularly protected
> spot. I will probably leave it over next winter to see, but I suppose it
> done for. By the way, although listed as a sour cherry this looks much
> like a sweet cherry to me both in leaf and tree character.
> Van Sweet, Yellow Glass, Stella, Stark Gold:- These all lost around 1/3
of their
> branches, were late in breaking dormancy, initially had only tuft growth
> but have subsequently filled out pretty completely on the remaining
> branches. All flower buds killed. The `Yellow Glass' by the way is the
> successful sweet cherry here, no fruit (of course you might say) but in
> previous years has flowered heavily, but without a pollinator.
> No need to tell me I shouldn't be trying to grow sweet cherries, I know
> that doesn't stop me from trying!
> Danube (Erdi Botermo), Surefire, Early Richmond:- These three lost a
> of branches each, were slow to leaf out but seem to have recovered and are
> growing strongly this summer. I was particularly surprised at the damage
> `Early Richmond'.
> So, does anyone have a guess as to recovery? Should I expect long-term
> even in the less severely affected trees?
> As to other sour cherries, `Meteor' seems to be the most resilient here
> although the oldest tree (6 years) only has a half dozen cherries this
> year. The others which survived the winter apparently unscathed are
> `Balaton' (with a cherry) and `Bali' (ditto; silly me I have bought both a
> `Bali' and an `Evans' not realizing they were the same -- although my
> look a bit different in leaf colour). `North Star' (2) I have had decent
> crops from this in the past but nada this year. In fact it seems to be
> susceptible to what I take to be bacterial canker. I lost two trees (which
> were bearing quite heavily) before I realized what was happening, now I
> it out (viciously) each winter. None of my other cherries seem to get
> Question:- Does anyone know the habits of bacterial canker, does it
> Does it infect apricots, since something on one `Sungold' looked
> suspiciously similar.
> Continuing:- `Mesabi' (young) did fine as did `Montmorency' (the first of
> seems to be dwarfed by something, possibly soil conditions, the second was
> supposed to be a dwarf but is now larger than the first, although 3 years
> younger ..). Also
> Question:- `Erdi Jubileum' does anyone have any experience with the cold
> hardiness of this Hungarian? I planted one this year, as always in hope.
> Question: Does anyone know how to, preferably legally, import the Canadian
> cherries (where I use the term in the wide sense) `Carmine Jewel',
> and `Rose'? It occurred to me that these might be hardy here and bear even
> in bad years. Even a cutting would be welcome.
> It has not been a great fruit year -- apples have also set very poorly
> (including wild trees and usually reliable cultivars), no pears (not to
> mention quinces and medlars), few blueberries, dead apricots, no plums;
> grump. The bananas aren't doing well either. BUT there are currants,
> mulberries (surprising that, the trees are not really hardy but the buds
> must be tough), raspberries and, having rained heavily last week, it is
> `porcini' season so who cares!!
> Question:- Does anyone know which bird puts mushrooms in the trees? I
> suspect Bluejays, but have not caught them at it.
> Ah, so many questions.
> Richard Melrose
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