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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] Nanking Cherries

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  • From: "Judson L. Frisk" <>
  • To: "'North American Fruit Explorers'" <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Nanking Cherries
  • Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 12:03:46 -0600

I usually got my Nanking from the Iowa DNR. They would fruit well for about
5 years then die. I always picked them by the handfuls as I mowed on my
riding lawn mower. Usually too small to do anything but snack on. Every so
often one will show up in the strangest places where the birds have seeded
them. Judson L. Frisk SW Iowa zone 5

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of mIEKAL aND
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 10:51 PM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Nanking Cherries

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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