Van Cherry vs. Montmorency in Zone 4?

oldryderJune 21, 2011

after a lot of research I planted about 50 Van cherry Trees last year. They're supposed to be OK for Zone 4 which I am in. Trees didn't grow much last year (which I was told was typical for 1st year sweet cherry).

About 10 trees died back to the graft over the winter but are now sprouting from just above the graft. per advice here I'm letting them grow. I also fertilized with urea this year as I determined with help from here that my sandy soil was nitrogen deficient.

I also planted several montmorency cherry trees which seem to have done much better. just a LOT more growth.

At this point I'm questioning the decision to go with the Van cherry trees, if they're going to be marginal maybe I should just go with the tart cherry. If they're a little more work and maybe will take a year or two longer to fruit thats OK as there is very little availability of sweet cherries locally.

looking for comments from anyone that might have info or experience on these trees in Z4.

thx. in advance for any help.

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northwoodswis4

I have a Lapins sweet cherry planted in 2008 that is growing well, but has never had cherries. I also have an Evans and Kristin, plus a sour cherry and three Carmen Jewel bush cherries. None of them have gotten cherries on them yet. I will consider any sweet cherries I might get a bonus, rather than an annual expectation. I wouldn't plant 50 of them. Fifty Evans cherries might be a possibility. Are you able to pick 50 trees when they mature, or do you plan to have a U-pick? I live east of St. Paul near zone 3.
Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 2:07PM
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oldryder

Northwoodswis: thx for reply. I also have an Evans planted same time as the Van Cherry and it seems to be doing better.

re picking; for now I like planting trees and the (very) steep learning curve I'm in regarding fruit bearing trees and bushes. Longer term my apple and cherry trees represent a potential retirement income opportunity. In the meantime I'm having a lot of fun even if I'm frustrated a good portion of the time.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 2:37PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I've gotten sweet cherries the last 2 years on Lapins, Kristin, Stella and Black Gold... I'm a little warmer here, but not much (vs Minneapolis). I really like Black Gold. Stella is full of sweet cherries, and we've been eating them the last few days, but that tree is in a pot and spends winters in the garage.

I removed my sour cherries because one of them wasn't growing for some reason and the other one was in a really bad spot and kept getting powdery mildew horribly every year.

Your sweet cherries might not be growing as quickly because of the rootstock they are on. I know mine on Gisela 5 seem to not grow much (dwarfing).

The one problem I already see with sweet cherries is that they crack horribly when they get near ripening stage. Something that is very bad here in the swamp I live in.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 5:12PM
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Maryna

Northwoodswis,
I live east of st paul also and will be planting my sweet cherries in the sping. I am thinking kristin, van, lapins. Has yours produced any cherries yet this year? Success or failure ?
Maryna

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 11:39PM
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canadianplant

I thought about growing van cherry up here. Believe it or not I am the same zone as minniapolis, although my climate may bot be considered to be the same.

I have read a few reports stating that some sweet cherries make it in a warm zone 4 but those might have been a few trees in town away from open exposure. There will be a big difference if you are in Minni, then a suburb outside.

Generally speaking sour cherries are the best choice in zone 4 and now there is a decent amount of choice. Personally I wish to try to graft some sweet cherry to my Evans (americans callit bali or evans bali) While tempting I dont think I would risk a sweet cherry here (that is, unless you have good success, then I would have to rethink my stance on this!)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:05AM
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oldryder

This is the end of my 3rd summer with Van Cherry in Zone 4 on std rootstock. No cherries but the trees that survived (about 2/3's) have a lot of growth this year even tho it's been quite dry. (my survival rate on 150+ trees including plum, apple, peach, and pear have all been above 90%)

Still definitely an experiment and I've switched to Montmorency for any additional cherry trees. Possible I'll get some cherries next year but I'm not optimistic. On std. stock I've been assuming it'll be at least 5 years which would be 2015.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 9:49AM
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canadianplant

I would maybe think the U of saskatchewan introductions. Evans, Romeo/Juliet, carmine jewel, crimson passion are just a few that apparently have great sweetness for a tart cherry. I believe that some are now available in the US.

Maybe you want to graft some of the van on the montmerency and see what happens. Its possible you may get a bit of hardiness gain from the monterency if only a degree or 2.

It is interesting that you have peaches survive though. What kinds and have they cropped there?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 10:39AM
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eboone_gw

oldryder,
Did your sweet cherry trees flower this past spring? And do you have a pollinator for that variety, Van?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:40AM
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northwoodswis4

I have yet to harvest a cherry from any of my trees or bushes. The lapins actually had three or four cherries high up this year, but the birds got them. The evans had some cherries forming, too, but the birds must have gotten them long before they ripened. I guess I will have to net the evans. The lapins is much too tall to net if it ever produces a crop. The carmen jewels have never produced anything yet. The meteor looked like it was getting cherries one year, but when they got about 1/4" in diameter, they disappeared. I wondered if they weren't pollinated properly. They are all in full sun on a sandy ridge. Maybe I need to water them more. My apples, strawberries, pears, and blueberries are doing well, though. Haskaps have had only a handful of berries. Apricots still too young. My many varieties of plums have been a disappointment so far. With enough variety, you are bound to get a harvest on something, I figure.
Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 12:55PM
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northwoodswis4

I have yet to harvest a cherry from any of my trees or bushes. The lapins actually had three or four cherries high up this year, but the birds got them. The evans had some cherries forming, too, but the birds must have gotten them long before they ripened. I guess I will have to net the evans. The lapins is much too tall to net if it ever produces a crop. The carmen jewels have never produced anything yet. The meteor looked like it was getting cherries one year, but when they got about 1/4" in diameter, they disappeared. I wondered if they weren't pollinated properly. They are all in full sun on a sandy ridge. Maybe I need to water them more. My apples, strawberries, pears, and blueberries are doing well, though. Haskaps have had only a handful of berries. Apricots still too young. My many varieties of plums have been a disappointment so far. With enough variety, you are bound to get a harvest on something, I figure.
Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 12:57PM
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oldryder

"Did your sweet cherry trees flower this past spring? And do you have a pollinator for that variety, Van?"

Sweet cherries did not flower except for a Evans that is one of several pollinators I have scattered thru the Van cherry planting.

"It is interesting that you have peaches survive though. What kinds and have they cropped there? " - Peaches (veteran and contender) are in their 2nd summer. Actually growing quite well but no flowers so far and I expect it'll be a couple more years. I was surprised to find any peach that is rated Zone 4 but figured it was worth a try.

Seems like my plums are the easiest to grow; they bear sooner and annually & require no spraying (so far, at least). Pipestone, alderman, and superior with a couple Toka pollinators.

Mark IN MN

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 4:09PM
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canadianplant

Evans is considered a tart cherry and am not sure it will pollinate the Van. You need another type of sweet cherry for pollinators.

Nice to hear about the peaches. I hope they actually flower and set fruit.

Plums are easy to grow because there are plums native to your area. Toka has some Prunus americana in its genes. If you had one or 2 wild plums planted for pollination it may be worth the extra trees.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 7:05PM
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