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What are you growing/harvesting in pincherries?

Posted by cmmwiebe 2b to 3a (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 31, 09 at 18:50

Here is another prairie hardy fruit that can have exceptional flavour! We started seedlings a number of years ago from seed from my folks farm near Codette, Saskatchewan. These berries were the best flavour I have ever found. But as we know, seedlings do not follow their parents well in these open pollinated plants. So we have a wide range of fruit types and flavours. Several are close so we try to pick them when we can. Again the birds are the big problem.
I also have a couple of plants which I got from the U of S Horticulture Dept. when they did a clean out from some projects. These have not produced yet and I don't know if the grafted tops have survived as they were named varieties. Or were they rooted cuttings. We will find out when the fruit arrives some year soon????????


Here is a link that might be useful: U of Sask information

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What are you growing/harvesting in pincherries?

Here we picked about 70 kg Evans Cherries, still have more, this picture from yesterday, showing the size difference to pin cherries. This year, I must say that I have never seen pincherries loaded like this in the last 15 years, this is good news for birds, this means they stay more or less away from the Evans cherries.
I was doing some Brix reading, [sugar level in fruit] tonight and the Evans cherries had around 16 1/2% Brix, this dry weather the last several weeks sure pushes up the sugar level. Around 2 weeks ago when picking first time the reading was around 15 Brix. The pincherry reading went beyond the scale of over 17% Brix, my Instrument [Refractometer] had only a scale of up to 17, probably not the right meter but we use this one in the machine shop for testing coolant.
I'm pretty sure the UOS cherries are on their own root, ...hopefully you get to pick some pincherries, nothing wrong with these little guy's, just a allot harder to pick and process...good luck!

Pin cherry / Evans cherry

Aug. 30, 09

Aug. 30, 09


RE: What are you growing/harvesting in pincherries?

Nice pics Konrad, Yes, it's a very good year for cherries, saskatoons, chockcherries and raspberries.

I don't have many pincherries here, though on the farm we'd pick in several locations. Like Clayon had mentoned, these can vary alot in size and taste. One stand had the largest berries I had ever seen, though these had been destroyed due to road construction. There was also some that had a unique and very delicious taste.


RE: What are you growing/harvesting in pincherries?

My friends at the U of S have said that softwood cuttings from very low on the plant can be rooted so it would sure be good if we could rescue some of these stands before they are bulldozed down! Of course suckers can always be taken.


RE: What are you growing/harvesting in pincherries?

You must have the magic touch Konrad. I NEVER get anything that even comes close to that. My Evans had one cherry but then the deer shredded it the year before. But even at their best they don't perform like yours.

RE: What are you growing/harvesting in pincherries?

Thank you Terry & Beegood!
Hm..thinking of your story Terry, about this site harvesting berries and got lost due to road construction.. reminds of a spot around Edson I used to go picking mushrooms, then when the highway was divided all got lost, ...must have been over 10 years ago.

It could be that your Evans cherry location might not be the best?
Its funny, about 20 meter away from this tree, [first picture] which is the bottom of the hill I cant grow any either.
I found out the higher the better, this means it's usually dryer and this is what they need for hardening off before going into winter, otherwise you have too much winter kill.
Grafting onto existing pincherry on edge of the bush is also good, [picture] has allot of competition, taking away moisture and nutrient, thus gives them a slower growth rate and hardening off better.

Picture from Aug.14, cherries still on the tree today.

Aug. 14, 09


RE: What are you growing/harvesting in pincherries?

That is great news to me as we are a very dry area here and I will get an Evans this fall to plant. My 2 U of S cherries (supposed to be the same, Crimson Passion but the plants are different) have struggled in the dry and one did have berries this year but the robins go the best part of the crop.

I have a few pincherries here so am going to try to get some grafting stock and give this a try.

Thanks for your great pictures.


RE: What are you growing/harvesting in pincherries?

In general I would recommend working with choke cherries rather than pin cherry. Chokes generally have fewer clusters but more berries per cluster. Makes for much faster picking.

The berry scoop from Lee Valley works very well with choke cherries.

Like the rest of the cherry (prunus) family, both pin and choke are suceptable to black knot. If you want a lot of cherries, plant several stands with some distance between them to slow down the spread. Check for blackknot after leaf drop in the fall.

I fertilize in the fall too -- about 1/4 to 1/2 cup balanced fert. with sulphur coated urea as the N source (slow release) Spread from 6" from clump to dripline.

Also -- tent caterpillar can be a nuisance. Clip and burn the branches as you find them.

For berry production, you may want to prune the tops to keep the fruit within reach.

To keep the birds out:

A: Hexagonal nylon mesh. This is sold at fabric shops 6 feet wide for pretty darn cheap. Often used to make scrubbies, wrap favours at weddings. Really fast to stitch together with darning needle and yarn.

B: Sheer curtain liners from salvage stores like Good Will and Salvation Army.

C: Used shade cloth. Get the lightest grade you can.

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