Cherry bush, Nanking or Hansen

helwhhle(6)May 11, 2009

Is anyone could tell the difference of those two cherry bush?

I had 4 bush, one bush shows a lot of small green fruits on stem and all the rest had nothing.

I am not sure if I need to order more of other type cherry to do work for them.

Any advice please.



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If it were me I would order in a Northstar cherry tree, and plant that instead of bush cherries. Northstar cherries have thicker flesh and a small stone. One Northstar tree, when mature, will produce more cherries than a half-dozen bush cherries. These trees are genetic dwarfs, and will end up at about 7-8 feet tall after 10 years or so.

If you ever get bush cherries, you will find they have a thin layer of cherry flesh over a large stone. Hard to pit, and not nearly so good for culinary uses such as pies.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 6:06PM
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mootube(UK 9 - 8b)

If you ever get bush cherries, you will find they have a thin layer of cherry flesh over a large stone. Hard to pit, and not nearly so good for culinary uses such as pies.
It could be that the natives are keeping the best forms for themselves again, P. tormentosa is the number 1 garden fruit in eastern Russia. Either that or it's because they're in zone -27b so it's either Nanking cherry or Lonicera kamtschatica. I'd say Nanking was voted tops by eastern Russian snow gardeners simply because it makes a more warming spirit.

*All the Lonicera voters freezing to death trying to locate a berry might have swayed the vote a bit also, imo.
Thanks for mentioning Northstar, it sounds like something I'd be happy to make space for if we can get them over here.

Helwhhle, I'm just about to buy a Nanking myself, didn't know they needed or were much aided by a pollenator. I can only suggest that you wait another year and also take Don's advice. If you want to add another Nanking which should cross polinate well with yours, you could try one of these cultivars.

The round fruit is up to 15mm in diameter. The thin skin is scarlet coloured, the flesh red, firm to melting, tender, sweet, pleasant, quality very good. The seed is small. The fruit is ripe in the last half of July in N. America. It is good for dessert, canning, jellies and jams. An upright, large, dense, vigorous, spreading bush, it is a very heavy annual bearer and is tolerant of dry conditions.
The dark-red fruit is about 12mm in diameter, the skin is moderately tough, the red flesh is meaty, juicy and pleasantly sub-acid, the seed is small and free. Fruit quality is very good for dessert and jellies. The fruit ripens in mid-July in N. America. A bushy, vigorous, productive tree,it is self-fertile and bears a crop the second year after planting.
'Pink Cloud'
The small dark red berries are sweeter than the species. A hardy bushy shrub, it bears unusual pale pink blossoms in early spring.
'Scarlet Gem'
The large scarlet red fruits are attractive and of very good quality. They are suitable for dessert, canning or baking. A vigorous bush, growing to about 2.5 metres tall, it is very hardy and productive, commencing to bear fruit in its second year after planting.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 8:17PM
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austransplant(MD 7)

Here in zone 7, Maryland near Washington DC Nanking cherries are ripe at the start of June. Last year I got plenty of cherries on my two bushes. But one bush died and this year no fruit set on the other bush. This suggests at the very least that cross-pollination is helpful.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 8:26PM
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My Nankings are ripe now here is So. Ill. I lill be taking them out this yr. and planting something that is more productive and less work as far as pitting is concerned. I love their taste but pitting is a CHORE.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 12:39PM
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Also to answer your question Nanking has the fruits up and down the branches Hansen is more like a cherry with stems on the fruit.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 12:43PM
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We nibble at the nanking cherries and spit out the pits. The birds get what we don't browse.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 2:39PM
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I agree with jellyman about the bush cherries being small with an unfavorable pit to flesh ratio. My parents have some nanking bushes and I have found out that the cherries do taste good, but are small with a thin layer of flesh. One thing that I really like about nanking, and this is from a beekeeper's point of view, is that they bloom very early and bees are really attracted to the blossoms. This gives the bees something to forage on before very much else is producing nectar or pollen. And that gives them a jump start in building up the colony, which means more bees when the apple and pear trees go into full bloom. I did plant some nanking and hansen on my yard last year, but they are still too small to be of much benefit yet.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 10:44PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I love taking a handful of Nanking and put in the the juice! The ripe berries stay on the bush at least two weeks.
Anything is good for bees getting a jumpstart, honey bees usually getting it with pussy willow around here, at least 3 weeks earlier.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 12:09AM
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Pollination of Nanking cherry was mentioned here. Will two plants of the same Nanking cherry type pollinate each other?

Also, how old the branch has top be to get bloom?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 10:51PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I had 2 bushes for years with no fruits, one year the moose destroyed one completely, the other is fruiting for many
years now, I think it gets pollinated from the plums, planted after.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 12:48AM
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That is encouraging. Thanks. The following document also mentioned that Nanking cherries are somewhat self pollinating but cross pollination increases fruit set:
I have only one "White nanking plant (from Shallow Creek Nursery) planted in 2007.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 1:44AM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

Nanking Cherries were one of the first fruiting prunus species I planted. I put in 6 and 3 Hansen's the first year we were in the house. Seven years later I have none, the last two were pulled last year. Hansen's were the first to go because after 4 years I had yet to have a single fruit (some did set, but the few that did were quickly snatched by birds, squirrels b4 ripe). Nankings fruited better and I did get to try a few each year (and I do mean a few because on the 6 bushes I rarely got more than just a handful or two each year altogether).

I replaced with Northstar, Evans and now Crimson Passion. Northstar is covered in fruit this year (as it was last year as well).

I only wish I had not wasted the time with the nankings and hansen's (though I will admit I bought them from one of those somewhat questionable plant mills, rather than a fruit speciality my plants were nothing more than seedlings, which I suspect most Nankings are with the exception of the black and white fruited varieties)


    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 8:16AM
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jennie(8 WA)

I had Nankings about ten years ago, and I mostly liked them for the pretty early Spring blooms. I moved and I haven't gotten more.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 2:08PM
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Can anyone suggest a better alternative for a small sweet cherry tree or bush?


    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 6:03PM
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