Van cherry on Gisela 5

waiting_gwFebruary 9, 2013

I am stoked to find a nursery that offers bareroot Van cherry trees on Gisela 5, and that ships to California.

Van is an old variety, ripening several weeks before Bing here in central California. It was fruitnut's favorite cherry either last year or the year before.

I also ordered an Early Burlat, and a Comice pear on Quince rootstock.

For us Californians who are, for many fruit trees, limited to what we can obtain from California, Oregon, and Washington, I'm glad I found Cloud Mountain Farm Center.

Neither I nor anyone I know has financial interest in this nursery, just pointing it out as having something I couldn't find elsewhere.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cloud Mountain

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Thanks for the pointer about that nursery. Haven't heard of them before.

My Van ripens near Bing. But it's really hard for me to tell when any of the sweet cherries ripen. All I can do is taste and see if they are sweet enough to start. Then they get sweeter for several weeks before getting overly soft and finally shriveling. Outdoors with birds most people probably harvest weeks before brix peaks.

Van is very precocious and sets heavily. It bore more fruit in 2nd and 3rd leaf than anything else I have. Along with that comes oversetting and small lesser quality fruit as the tree matures. Heavy pruning will cure the oversetting issue if you can keep the tree growing.

It is a very good eating sweet cherry and topped DWN taste testing.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:16PM
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greenorchardmom(Ga Mts 7)

I wish I had not overlooked Van
when picking my bakers dozen cherry cultivars
I was having a dreadful time with a container grown Bing from lowes
Van desciptions tend to comment on its similarity to Bing also that its a great pollinator which I didn't need.
But if it ranks #1 with DW & fruitnut thats some cherry!
Gisela 5 I really like very precocious & vigorous, early/ heavy bearing, some virus resistance
requires support pretty much forever though

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:45PM
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I've been "dabbling" with cherries for two years, now, since I found out about dwarfing rootstocks.

My efforts at open-vase training have yielded less than steller results.

This year I've got 10 new trees and an expensive quart of Promalin. I'm going to try to do a "fruiting wall" with either Tall Spindle or Slender Spindle training.


Here is a link that might be useful: Tall Spindle

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:02PM
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GreenOrchardMom, which varieties did you go with? On which rootstocks?

I have a 2 year old Bing, on Zaiger, in a 30 gallon pot that is really healthy. What size was your container?

I grow peaches, apples, and Mandarins, but cherries are absolutely my favorite fruit.

When I was young my family were migrant workers, they stopped and took other jobs when I hit school age (55 years ago).

We knew lots of farmers and were always welcome to work weekends and during times of unemployment. I've spent a lot of time in cherry orchards. The last time was probably in 1985, when Rainiers were first coming into production. Van, Bing, and Royal Ann were it, save for a few old 40' tall Lambert orchards.

I don't think I've ever had a ripe Van, they were always picked early because the farmers wanted to reap the higher prices for first-to-market.

As fruitnut said, Van sets heavily, even on full-size rootstocks.

Bing cherries can fool you, they may look ripe but still not be at peak. A fully ripe Bing will be nearly black and maybe even have those sugar dots like apples and plums. They will take your breath away.

This year I'm planting 3 Bings (one each on Zaiger, G5, and K6); Rainier (on Zaiger, G5, and K6); Sweetheart on Zaiger; Samba on K6; and the Van and Early Burlat on G5.

When I can get an Attika and a Skeena on a dwarfing rootstock I think I'll have all the varieties I want (until something new comes along).

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:05AM
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greenorchardmom(Ga Mts 7)

Waiting thats an impressive resume, the stories you must have to tell!
If I lived in your climate I would ask you a gazillion questions.
I have Black Gold, Blushing G, White G G5
Hudson, Sam, Ranier yeah I know... its for a VERY good gf
Danube, Balaton, Jubileum most G5

I lost a large shipment of cherries 2011 due to a very late delivery
Attika & Skeena were 2 I ordered
I tried every trick up my sleeve to coax them out of dormancy
but no luck they got too dry & hot yanked em out that fall
If you ever want to advise me on ANY matter growing cherries
they are my very extraordinary favorite fruit too
go for it

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:36PM
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For good or bad, I'm more expert in EATING cherries than in growing them.

I was going to ask you for tips :-)


    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:23PM
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greenorchardmom(Ga Mts 7)

I prune most of mine open vase to fit under the tunnels I built
so you probably don't really want my tips!
but ask away.... if I know I'll tell you

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:16PM
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Gisela rootstocks are not drought tolerant. They easily get drought stressed in our Central California climate, expecially if your soil is well drained. They also tend to overproduce. Make sure they are properly irrigated during summer months.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:12PM
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