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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] Nanking Cherries

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  • From: mIEKAL aND <>
  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Nanking Cherries
  • Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 22:51:13 -0600

On Feb 24, 2010, at 3:52 PM, Douglas Woodard wrote:

mIEKAL, have you had any indication that Nanking cherry plants from some
sources produce better seedlings than from others, especially from the
point of view of size and usefulness of the fruit?

A lot of my early seedling stock was from Bear Creek, & the mother plants were all fairly uniform. Over the last 15 years I've been growing out seed from the best fruiting & most vigorous trees. As Ernest says, you get a little bit of everything. & for me there is high percentage of mortality with nankings, I've had a lot of them die on me literally overnight. They definitely don't like wet feet & my site is on heavy clay loam.

We had a planting on well-drained bottomland & they grew like weeds, full sized & fully fruiting in 3 years.

I wonder if some nurseries sell plants of seedling lines that have been
selected for the fruit while others sell unselected plants. I seem to
recall that in the past one or more nurseries on the Canadian Prairies
claimed to sell seedling plants from selected lines though I've
forgotten which.

I've never seen "improved strains" of Nanking, & for zones 4-5 upper midwest where we don't have a lot of cherry options Nanking has always worked well. & in particularly, for my purposes, they make really good wine, lot of character without imparting that fake cherry taste that a lot of commercial cherry juices have. I've also used them in permaculture plantings where they make a good understory species as long as they get a half day sun or more.

Brian Smith from UW - River Falls has convinced me try Prunus Besseyi which he is having a lot of luck with. I've located some generic nursery seed, I hoping some day to get some of his selected seeds.


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