cherry tree selection

rcweston(5B)March 15, 2013

I'm in need of replacing a cherry tree with one that is more manageable. I currently have a full sized Van that is over 40 feet tall and 35 feet wide. it is loaded with fruit but I never get any due to the birds. I can scare out of the tree over 200 birds every few minutes. They clean the tree of fruit in about 5 days well before the cherries reach the ripe stage! I'm left with an occasional cherry that is well out of reach for my tallest ladder.
I need a tree that can be netted to keep out the birds.
I also live in a small depression where the cold air can settle causing my night time temperatures to dip well below those in the area surrounding us, often giving me very late frosts for this area. Therefore I loose a lot of fruit on the early blooming trees due to late frosts.
I'm looking for a small tree, probably a full dwarf , one that blooms as late as possible , but mostly important one that is very sweet and very tasty. A tree that I don't enjoy will be of little value.
A couple of tree I have looked into are the Stella for its self pollinating properties, the Rainier for its flavor and sweetness, the Lipen for its late fruit and self pollinating and the Van I currently have is a good cherry. Very firm and quite sweet. but I need something much smaller.
I could easily plant two small trees in the area of this beast sized tree we now have!
I welcome anyone that has experience along this line.
Thanks Rex

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Rex:

You need some trees on Gisela 5 or similar rootstock. That's what mine are on and I can keep them to a few feet if needed. Judging from the size of your other tree your soil must be pretty strong. Still trees on Gisela 5 could be kept small. About four trees on Gisela 5 would fit in the space of your Van and you could keep them at 8-10 feet tall. That's small enough to be netted or build a bird shelter over them. You could have a combination bird shelter/ frost shelter with netting and tarps.

Many of the self fertiles tend to bloom late: Sandra Rose, Lapins, Sonata, Skeena, and Sweetheart. Not sure how much this will help in Utah but DWN bloom chart:

http://www.dwnbeta.com/product-information-commercial/bloom-sequence-and-pollenizers-cherry

Some of my cherry observations are linked below. They may not help much either because cherries can perform quite differently across locations. But I have found Van very good.

Here is a link that might be useful: sweet cherry report

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:29PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Rex,

You can give Carmine Jewel and Crimson Passion cherries a try. These guy are pretty sweet and cold hardy to zone 2. Brix up to 19. Only grow 6-7 feet tall for easy netting. You can buy them at Honeyberryusa or Felco nursery for around $17.

Tony

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:39PM
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rcweston(5B)

Ok:
Great information, now you have really peeked my attention! How does this "BRIX" index work? What does it stand for? Is it good in all parts of the country? or specific to a certain region?
Rex

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 1:28AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Rex:

Brix is basically a measure of percent sugars in the fruit. You measure it with a refractometer which can be bought at Amazon for about $40. But a meter isn't necessary to enjoy your cherries and after a while you can get good at estimating by taste.

The one linked below reads 0-32 brix but probably like mine allows estimation a little higher. So some of my cherries topped out above the scale...that's sweet!

Here is a link that might be useful: brix refractometer 0-32 scale

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 9:22AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Rex,

Here is the link for CJ and CP. You can read more about it. Good luck.

Tony

Here is a link that might be useful: Carmine Jewel & Crimson Passion cherries......More

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:19AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Tony,

Can you give me an idea when CJ and CP ripen?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Olpea,

CJ ripen in late July to early August and CP ripen in middle of August.

Tony

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 2:07AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Thanks Tony,

Can you comment on the suckering. That is, how much and how far away do the suckers travel.

I'm considering a couple rows of these cherries and am wondering about spacing. I read the link you posted but am still unclear about some of the cultural aspects.

Do these romance cherries fill in like a hedge of erect blackberries, or when they sucker do the suckers stay in a clump like blueberries.

The link recommended 5-6' spacing for CJ and 3-4' for CP, but I never quite know if I can trust spacing recommendations. When I originally planted Triple Crown blackberries, I followed the spacing guidelines but through experience, found out the spacing was way too close. I ended up removing every other plant.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 12:12PM
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mamuang_gw

Thank you, Tony for your recommendation and the link.

I just ordered a Crimson Passion for myself and a Carmine Jewel (a gift for my BFF) this morning.

I hope it'll be easier to grow than my sweet cherries!!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 1:07PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Olpea,

I had CJ and CP for 4 years now. They are about 5ft tall and 4 feet wide. I think 6-7 feet a part would be adequate for me to walk between them. They are on their own root from the nursery and if you accidentally chopped them down to the ground. They will re- grow the same tree again. So far no suckering. I grafted 3 more of each on a colt rootstock from One Green World and they all put on about 2 feet of growth last season. I hope this Infos will help.

Tony

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 2:28PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Thanks Tony,

The info. about suckering really helps. The plants are so expensive, I'm looking for a cheaper way to start a planting. I thought maybe if I planted them at a wider spacing, they would fill in with suckers. It doesn't sound like that's the case though.

I'd thought of grafting, but I thought CJ and CP were patented varieties? No judgement from my corner on you either way, but I'm honestly wondering if they are legal to propagate? I've come across a reference or two that they are patented, but haven't seen any patent numbers.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 2:37PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

olpea,

I bought it 4 yrs ago at HenryField's and the site did not mentioned a patent variety.

Tony

Here is a link that might be useful: CJ

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 8:13PM
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rcweston(5B)

Through all the information i could get my hands on, I found very conflicting results. But the one thing they almost all had in common was that the Bing cherry is sort of a standard for the middle or Means of the cheery trees sections. There are as many earlier as their are later producing cherry trees. But production time wasn't the goal, blooming time was my goal, And size was an important factor. I did find that late production and late bloom time did not always coincide.
Thanks for all the references and charts; that helped a lot!
here is my results;
The Gisela 5 seems to be the root for a good dwarf, although they have a couple more that have just started to be produced and used.
Finding the right tree on this root stock has been a real challenge. None of the nurseries within 25 miles carry this root stock or even carry much of a selection of dwarf trees. They are almost entirely semi dwarf and standard trees.
I ended up buying bare root from an on line source that has a terrible rating to get a Rainier on a dwarf root stock. My hopes are big but my doubts are many that this site will give me a live and growing tree. The price was cheap so if it doesn't work out, I'm not out much.
Along with the Rainier, I also bought a Lapin and a Mount royal Plum. I didn't find a Van on a dwarf root stock that wasn't less than $65.00. More than I fee it's worth.
I'm going to graft my van on some other cherry trees in the area and later on re-graft them back on one of these dwarf root stocks I have coming.
Wish me well and in a few years, I hope to have success.
Rex
PS. I stared grafting apples 5 years back and have had great success using a root stock called P3 a pollish root stock. My trees are short and strong and winter well. I should have fruit this year.
Even better, I have been able to propagate the root stock to use for other grafting more varieties. Although you burn up a lot of years in the process!
I hope to do the same with these cherries.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 11:29AM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

Have you been to the Raintree website? They've got a good selection on the Gisela 5 rootstock. That is where I picked up my Black Gold self-fertile sweet cherry tree last year. Price was okay -- it's the Gisela rootstock that is really the driver on cost, not the top of the tree. Hoping I get a couple of cherries this season, and then in 2014 & beyond... look out!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 2:11PM
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ABz5b

Have black gold on a semi dwarf rootstock. Its both disease resistant and late blooming. sometimes our local springs get a little out of whack :)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 9:39AM
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ABz5b

Have black gold on a semi dwarf rootstock. Its both disease resistant and late blooming. sometimes our local springs get a little out of whack :)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 10:42PM
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