Cornelian Cherry won't Cherry

lizann(z9 CA)January 28, 2003

My Cornelian Cherry is now blooming (late January, fairly normal for Berkeley). Does anyone know how I can make these flowers turn into fruit? I never get fruit! Is it the lack of bees this time of year? Should I try hand-pollinating? Or does it need cross-pollination with another variety? I think I do sometimes get little green early fruits (maybe 1/8 inch diameter) which fall off. Does anybody know anything????? It is the variety "Golden Glory."

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Rodknee(Z 5 UT USA)

You must have two varieties or cultivars for pollination.
Mine were loaded last year - and very good to eat!
Another type of dogwood might pollinate it if they are in bloom at the same time.
Good Luck, LJ

    Bookmark   January 28, 2003 at 10:47PM
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I'm going to bump this query up , because I have a cornelian cherry that has born a heavy crop of fruit every year , and there is absolutely no other anywhere within miles of where we live !!!!
Where I bought it from ( I sent for it ), said nothing about it needing a pollinator , and it doesn't !
Also , ours blooms so early , there are no pollinating insects out , that I know of .
Mine is not a named variety .
Perhaps a summer drouth will cause the fruit to fall ??

    Bookmark   June 20, 2003 at 2:16PM
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I believe cherry trees need a good freeze to produce fruit.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2003 at 5:41PM
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lizann(z9 CA)

thanks for everyone's advice. I think that you are on to something, gardeningangel. we had anomalously high (like really really high, very very wet) rainfall in April this year. and the tree set more fruit than it ever has. since then I've been irrigating it more than I have in the past and I think the fruits are going to ripen...... maybe water is the key.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2003 at 10:37PM
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oldherb(z8 Oregon)

Two words...cold requirement. At least that's what I've been told. They don't set fruit without cold for a certain number of days. We get sporatic fruit set here in our climate as we are borderline for the cold they need. You could try contacting Northwoods Nursery in Washington State or One Green World here in Oregon to see if they have information on them. The other option would be the fruit & orchard forum. Someones bound to know the answer there.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2003 at 11:23PM
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Corneliancherry is not really even a cherry - it's a dogwood(Cornus mas), producing an edible fruit. Can't comment on chill hours, but I don't believe they need cross-pollination in order to set fruit, though fruit set *may* be heavier with a companion planted nearby.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2003 at 11:57AM
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Gardeningangel, could you please let me know where you purchased your Cornelian Cherry tree? It doesn't seem to be available in local northern Calif. nurseries.
Thank you!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2003 at 2:00PM
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lizann(z9 CA)

I got mine at Orchard Nursery in Lafayette, CA. Raintree has them mailorder.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2003 at 3:45PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

I have the vairety "Elegans" or Elegant I've forgotten which. I have it written down somewhere but it has bloomed for 4 years and has produced no fruit. I have two of the same variety and the nursery I ordered it from said it needed a different variety to pollinate but they only had the one. This fall I got a catalog from another nursery that had three different cultivars or varieties. I hope to order one in the spring. It's Hidden Springs Nursery in Cookeville, TN.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2003 at 6:34PM
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carol_the_dabbler(Z5/6 Indiana)

Don't be discouraged if your cornelian cherry flowers without fruiting for a few years. They have the habit of producing only male flowers when young, but then will produce perfect (male/female) flowers when they're older. In fact, the species name Cornus mas means "male dogwood"! (This info is from Lee Reich's book "Uncommon Fruits Worthy of Attention," which I hear is coming out in a new edition this spring -- great news!)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2004 at 5:09PM
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lizann(z9 CA)

thanks for this info, Dabbler Carol! I checked this book out of the library about 6 or 7 years ago and guess I didn't remember allll the details I should have about cornelian cherry! I read about medlars in there, planted a medlar tree and had my first substantial crop this fall. it's exciting! I will be patient and wait for my cornelian cherry to follow suit.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2004 at 7:58PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Thank you Carol, for the encouraging news! I too checked that book out of the library and didn't remember that information:-)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2004 at 9:19AM
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carol_the_dabbler(Z5/6 Indiana)

Once your trees get around to cherrying, please let me know what you think of the flavor. I am strongly considering planting some myself, and would like a variety that lives up to the description of tasting a good deal like a pie cherry.

I'm also wondering whether the fruit of any of the cultivars would lend itself to being pitted with a cherry pitter. That sure would increase the number of cornelian-cherry cobblers that would get baked around here!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2004 at 11:47PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

I have a cornelian cherry dogwood that is probably around 50 or 60 years old. It was a volunteer that popped up in the backyard of our 100+ year old house many many years ago, according to the previous owners.

It took me forever to ID it three years ago because nobody around here had ever seen it before! :) It is a wonderful multi-stemmed tree...VERY full and growing perfectly fabulously and sets a LOT of fruit.

The fruit is pretty sour and"dry" for lack of a better word. Dry like white wine (does that make sense?).

The robins absolutely gobble them up! I imagine other birds do, as well, but the squirrels never touch them. Maybe because they're spoiled w/ peanut butter and crackers. hehe

The fruit is pretty meaty, though oval shaped, not round. Not sure how a pitter would work on them...?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2004 at 6:05PM
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Fruit is, indeed, tart & astringent until dead ripe - they almost look rotten - dark and beginning to shrivel a little - before they're ready. My kids & I like them, but most folks I've shared 'em with don't care for them especially.
Most common description I've heard is that they taste like "cranberry-flavored cardboard".
Certainly a nice ornamental tree in its own right, the birds love 'em - and you may, as well, but it's not a tree to plant if you're really anticipating anything like a real 'pie cherry'.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2004 at 5:56PM
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Lena M

I definitely agree with the "cranberry-flavored cardboard" description above. The berries are very tart unless they are starting to rot, then they get softer and slightly sweeter. I love growing it, because I get tired of the same supermarket food.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 3:15PM
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