Help! Passion Cherry

bdgardener(3 AB)May 7, 2013

I think I have asked this question but don't remember what forum it was on. Question, planted a passion cherry 6 years ago, it died back the first winter. Two years later it started coming from the base, left it alone hoping it would grow. Two years ago noticed a couple others (4) in the same area. (Thought it may have been seeded) Planned on moving them last year, didn't get around to it, TILL TODAY. Dug, dug, dug 4ft sucker roots. Long horizontal roots with the other bushes coming up every couple of feet. True? Do passion cherries or any other U of S cherries sucker? Do they come true if they do? I could be digging forever one root was very aggressive. Any info please!!!! If they do I will start an orchard spot. It was totally crazy, but not unwelcome if I can make this work. For those that have these, any problems, can you contain them somehow, or just mow down or rototill any unwanted? Thanks Cheryl

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weeper_11(2b SK)

Hmm...I'm guessing you mean Crimson Passion, one of the U of S introductions? I don't think it is supposed to sucker much at all, from what I've read. Maybe since it was under more stress from dying back it sent out an unusual number of suckers? They are on their own roots, so they would definitely come true.

Is it possible that you got a mislabeled? Maybe someone else with more experience with these shrubs can chime in, but I'm surprised that CP wasn't hardy for you, unless it had insufficient snow cover. Maybe you have an Evan's cherry? I think they are more prone to suckers, and they are more prone to dieback in our zones.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 3:40PM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

It's definitely labelled a "Passion Cherry" found the original tag, purchased it from the Saskatoon Farm in AB. I did purchase others from there that year and have had die back. We don't get a lot of snow cover some years, I"m in the chinook zone, so it comes and then melts away.

Even my raspberries last year did not produce because they had no snow cover. Sometimes I long for the snow in sask, (I can say that cause I'm from there) and the hot nights you get in the summer. C

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 4:02PM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

As far as I'm aware, there isn't any "Passion Cherry," just Crimson Passion. But even if they meant Crimson Passion, which I'm sure they did, the wrong label can still be put on the plant, it happens all the time. So it may not be Crimson Passion. You'd have to look at other characteristics, like the taste/size/color of the cherry, size and shape of plant, etc.

However, if it is CP, maybe it just can't deal with chinooks. Yeah, it's strange how Saskatchewan can be so miserably cold, often 10 degrees lower than the chinook zone in Alberta, and yet I didn't even have any tip dieback on my CP. Sometimes steady cold is a lot better!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 5:49PM
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If it is a U of Sask cherry, then it must be Crimson Passion because as others have noted there is no straight "Passion" cherry.

I looked at the U of Sask website just now, and in their description of the Romance series of cherries, Crimson Passion is the only one for which they specifically state "no suckers". (the other varieties sucker to varying degrees). It's possible that the dieback caused suckering, but that seems unlikely in this case because they got dieback during their breeding program in Sask. and still say no suckers.

So I don't think it's Crimson Passion. Has it produced fruit, and if so, what size, colour, sweetness/tartness?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 11:37PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Looks like you didn't get any fruits, I would contact the
Saskatoon Farm, when hearing it is them, I have raised the red flag, [shifty guy] and would never buy from them because of false advertising.

Crimson Passion is the one that is harder to grow from tissue...that's what I read, not as vigorous as Evans, so I would understand the lack of suckering, might have been grafted to Evans and you lost crimson?..I just did this a couple of day's ago myself, got one Crimson Passion last year and figured it might do better on a vigorous root stock.
I do see a potential on grafting some of these UOS cherries because most are slow growers.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:05AM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

Very interesting, I didn't see a graft when I lifted the original plant but who knows. It only fruited the first summer and they were med sized but the birds got them before I did. Even if it turns out to be an Evan's I would be happy, any fruit trees that survive, I jump for joy. I made the best fruit roll up for the kids out of Evan cherry last year from a friend ( wish I had picked way more)

So now do Evans sucker badly?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 8:34AM
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I know some people and and at least one company are experimenting with grafting now, but since both Evans and the Romance series do well on their own rootstock, any tree you bought years ago would almost certainly be on its own roots, not grafted.

As for whether it is an Evans or a Romance series, easy to tell just by looking at the shape of the tree. Here is a young Evans, about 7 or 8 feet tall, bought as a potted plant in spring 2010:

And here is a young bush from the Romance series, in this case "Juliet", about 3 or 4 feet tall, bought as a potted plant in spring 2011:

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 3:35PM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

HMMMMMM, so even though my Evans are bush like because of die back, I can see the difference from the ones I dug up and they look a lot more like the romance series in stem structure. All great info now if I can just get them to bloom. C

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 11:33PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Naturally, Evans grows into a bush form but you can prune it into tree from as Don shows it.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:33AM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

Think I will just try and get it to grow! LOL!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:05AM
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