BurgandyPearl cherry - anyone growing?

A friend of mine really wants to grow sweet cherries in Kansas, zone 6a. I am looking at BurgundyPearl and BlackYork sweet cherries in Schlabach’s catalog. These two are both described as hardy and resistant to canker. Further searching found they also are somewhat resistant to cracking. Normally the Extension service and other folks will say that sweet cherries can’t be grown in Kansas because black knot will eventually kill them. On the other hand, I have had random folks tell me they had sweet cherries growing for years and never had problems.
I would be happy to hear about anyone’s experience with either of these two cherries!

I have Burgundy Pearl on order from Schlabach’s… no tree yet. Your best bet in Kansas is probably White Gold or Black Gold. You should look at this thread and the links in it. Black York is discussed and the problems of growing Sweet Cherries in humid regions with lots of rain is covered.

Thanks mroot. I did read those and it looks to me that BlackGold is susceptible to canker and so is not one I would want to try. BlackYork got good marks for canker resistance.

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Yea that is the one weak point for Black Gold unfortunately. However, I think several members on the forum have been successful with Black Gold even with some canker problems. I think White Gold is a better choice overall except for it’s earlier bloom time. One big advantage of White Gold and Black Gold is their both self-fertile. That makes them good pollinators and when you have only two trees if the other tree dies you still get fruit.

Still like you I want to try the Pearl series of cherries but information on them is sparse. I think that’s a combination of poor availability of the trees and the longer track record of the Gold series. Which leads to the Gold series being more widely planted.

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Thank you for explaining further. It will be interesting to see how the Pearl series fare. Do you have any information as to bloom time for the BurgundyPearl? Good luck with yours by the way!

Absolute bloom times (the actual date of bloom) vary depending on your climate. Even at the same location bloom times shift depending on the weather in the Spring. It also depends on how temperatures in the Spring ramp up. If the temperatures ramp up slowly like in England there is a wide spread between early blooming cherries and late blooming cherries. If your in a location where the temperature in the Spring ramps up quickly the spread of blooming dates is compressed. So basically for comparison purposes you use relative bloom times to compare cherries.

The link below will take you to a chart that has relative bloom times and pollen compatibility. The chart includes both the Pearl series cherries and the Gold series.


:roll_eyes: I totally missed the bloom times on that chart. I had already bookmarked it and was using it to check for pollination partners and missed the obvious. Thanks for point that out!! Obviously some of us are a little slower than others :laughing:

One thing I’ve noticed, the colder is your zone, the closer is the bloom time of fruit varieties. For example, further south, different varieties of pears bloom a noticeably different time to the point that it may not overlap.

Where I am in zone 6, most of my pears, Euro and Asian (and I have about 15 varieties bloom closer to one another and have overlapping bloom time.

I have 4-5 sweet cherries on one tree, they are bloom are also overlapping. Black Gold may open bloom a bit later than White Gold, Sweet Heart or Utah Giant but they overlap here.

Apples are different as there are very early apples and very late apples. Some may not have overlapping bloom time.

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Thanks so much for that info, mamuang. That is very important for several reasons. What little I know about some apricots I am growing is that “early” vs “later” bloom times can be a difference of 2 days. Sometimes that 2 days could mean getting a crop or not getting anything. But in general 2 days difference in bloom time is not very helpful when looking for those varieties that are going to miss the late freezes - be it apricots, peaches or cherries. Thanks!!

I used to have Tomcot, Orangered, Robada, Hoyt Monrose, Zard on one tree. They all had overlapping bloom time. Zard bloomed the latest and Tomcot had the longest bloom time. That’s why some of my Tomcot flowers survived the late freeze last spring. The surviving ones had not opened yet when the freeze hit.

Right now that tree was removed. I only have Tomcot, Orangered and Florilege on another tree. Apricot is a hit or miss here, too.

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Very interesting! I am not sold on the idea of sweet cherries here. I know some friends that are trying them. I hope they have success, and if they do, I will probably look back and wish I had planted some this spring!! :roll_eyes:
I was considering putting in 1 or 2 self fertile sweet cherries, and then maybe grafting some others that have “earlier” bloom times onto them and see how they all do. Those varieties are probably still under patent for quite awhile though.

Black Gold is quite cold tolerate in zone 6a (sometimes 5b). It’s very productive, never skip a year. It tastes fine but the texture is a bit softer than what I like. It is in no way near as soft as those Romance sour cherries.

I like White Gold a bit more than Black Gold just because it was a tad firmer. As for canker. My 10/year old Black Gold has not had any noticeable canker. When I had Vandalay, that one had serious canker issue.

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Thanks mamuang, that is helpful. Do you see any signs of canker in White Gold? And would you say canker is definitely an issue in your environment, in general?

My White Gold are two grafts on Black Gold. There are small branches, too small to be able to fully assess canker on them.

Yes, canker is an issue here on my stone fruit.

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OK, thanks mamuang!

If you have space and patience, try one of those Pearl series. Cherries produce on year 3 after planting a bare root. If I have space, I want to grow Utah Giant because of its overall better quality (firmness, taste and size) than my Black Gold.

When I was new to fruit growing, I really wanted to grow stone fruit like peaches, plums and cherries even though I know it would give me more trouble than pomme fruit.

After several years of fighting problems (not including pests yet), I am sick of brown rot and black not (canker is a lesser issue than those two). Now, when I removed some troubled fruit trees, I am leaning toward jujubes. I cannot eat a lot of pawpaw but I can eat lots of jujubes.

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I would plant some trees. If you have space go with four or more. The most expensive thing when it comes to growing fruit trees is time. If you put off planting you lose that time and never get it back. Plant some carefully selected cherry trees and in 5 or 6 years you will know if they work for you. Just don’t expect you can plant them and ignore them. You have to spray them.

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You can re-read the UMass article I posted on the other thread and decide on which one variety plus Black York.

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The one downside to those is they fall under the early bloom period. How much earlier in my area, I don’t know till I try!
I am trying not to plant fruits that are borderline in withstanding the late frosts. I already have apricots taking up space and doubt I will see much, if any fruit from them. This is to be expected with apricots here.

I am currently growing sour cherries - Montmorency, Stark Surecrop, Carmine Jewel and Romeo. All of these have been getting cherry leaf spot the last couple years, even with sprays. I have been using Captan and Immunox for this, but my timing could be off, or maybe I am not applying enough fungicide. Maybe I need to use something else.

I will - thanks!
I have been following along some threads where you and others discuss jujubes. They just don’t sound very good to me. I suppose if I ate one and really liked it, then I would want to grow them. The low inputs required are very appealing!

I don’t like to spray, but then do any of us?? If I know what the problem is, what and when I need to spray for it, then it is worthwhile, definitely. The leaf spot issue is really irritating me. I need to get that figured out. I am not under the illusion that I could grow sweet cherries here without a good spray schedule. Especially since I am challenged growing the sour cherries. :confused:

I understand time is precious, you are so right. I know I wish I could have started this orchard sooner, and I am sure I am not alone in that. I will give it some more thought. I originally posted my question so I could give some better information to friends who want to grow sweet cherries. My previous opinion on them has been not to bother - the combination of the black knot threat and late freezes being (almost) the norm, it just didn’t seem like a good bet.

@mamuang, I am searching for an answer to this question -
What is the timing of rain that results in cherry cracking? One journal article mentioned anytime within 3 weeks prior to harvest. Has that been your experience?