Carmine jewel - how sour?


I keep hearing, here and elsewhere, that CJ is a pain to pit…in the same paragraph where people say they are great in pies.

So, how DO folks with CJ pit them?



I leave the pit in and juice them with a steam juicer


anyone using the fruit for pies though?

(I will probably “juice” a lot of them, as wine, just freeze and then thaw/ferment, but interested in how folks make pies if anyone is doing so…)


I use a knife to make a small slit at the stem end, but I pit them all by hand.

And the bride makes lots of pies…

It’s not that bad if you you don’t have a whole lot to do, and it gives you a chance to have a look at each one…just in case :slightly_smiling_face:

Last year I pitted 8 1/2 gallons of the 31 1/2 harvested off the CJ’s, and 14 1/2 of the 23 gallons harvested off our ER. Both these varieties have small pits…


id probably pit by hand for the ones i don’t eat fresh.


I bought two Juliets from Henry Fields last year to add to my collection. They were the largest ones I received for planting. One of them flowered and grew one cherry that disappeared out of thin air when it was about ripe! Can you imagine that? They grew about two foot last year. I do remember sing a water shoot that came up an inch away or so from the trunk. I’ll dig down and see if it has roots and try and make another bush.


You’re about the only guy I’ve heard espouse the greatness of Early Richmond. I have never heard of it before you brought it up. Is ER just another tart cherry tree? Where did you get yours, and do you remember the rootstock? How soon did it start to fruit. Just curious.


Are you saying your Juliet flowered the same year you planted it? That’s a good thing to hear, mine did really well, as I mentioned earlier. I have a Gurney’s catalog, and they’re selling them for only $22, I’m kinda tempted to pick up another one.

They have some peaches also that are pretty cheap, about $17-24 for a “Standard Deluxe” size, whatever that means. They don’t show the rootstock on any of their trees.

Not to derail this thread too much, but has anyone ordered fruit trees from Gurney’s, and if so, how did they look when you got them?


Yes, it’s another tart cherry tree variety. It’s kind of an old world thing, I think it was originally planted around 1500 in England and brought over when they colonized here.

It’s so similar to the Montmorency that even I can’t recommend it over a Monty, simply because of the pit size. I had read one time that the thing that kept the ER from ever becoming commercially successful was because they would not work in the commercial pitters. Caused too many stoppages and breakdowns, etc.

But my tree has been prolific for a lot of years, and the Iowa winters don’t seem to hinder it at all. This year may be the real test as I recorded a -21 here on 1/18/18 and several that were in the negative teens as well. But it’s been in the ground since '95 and I think began bearing in year three.

I love everything about it, except the small pit size.(But I do think a juicer like Clark uses and recommends is in my future…) I love the aroma, the hardiness, prolific nature, the overall tree size/shape, and the flavor of the pies (and for me particularly the jam) is just other worldly!!!

Anyway, I got it from a local Nursery as a container plant that was incorrectly identified as a North Star. Big probably 5 gallon or so black plastic pot with huge NORTH STAR written on the pot in thick silver pen. So I thought it was a North Star for quite awhile, and only after doing some sleuthing was I able to pin it down. (I mean once bearing and it had bright red skin over yellow flesh… you don’t have to drop a ton of bricks on my head…)

It’s getting a little long in the tooth so I got some root stock from Turkey Creek thinking I’d be able to graft some, but I think I screwed that up…

I don’t think I’ll ever run out of cherries in any case. I just pulled some ER’s dated 7/11 from the freezer and a bag of CJ from 6/15 and made up some cherry concentrate. Trying to load up on some antioxidants before the flu bug comes calling :wink:


I bought some apple trees many years ago that weren’t what they said. Also tulip bulbs that turned out all random kinds. I have bought other items that were fine. They are good about replacing things. They used to have a lifetime guarantee, but I think are down to one year now. I used to give them precedence just for that guarantee.


Yes it flowered and grew one cherry last year after planting it in the spring. It’s about five foot tall now.


My two cents on CJ. 1) It does produce prolifically 2) I made one of the best cherry pies I’ve ever had last year with it (and put less sugar in that the recipe call for)…it was just outstanding in terms of cherry flavor 3) I agree with clarkinks though…it is small and a lot of work to get enough for a pie.


Thanks @derwag I agree with everything you said! For people not harvesting CJ yet let me say it again normally cherries with lower flesh to pit ratio is undesirable but yes in this case a little larger pit would be a bigger target to hit with a cherry pitter. I to have made pies with CJ which is how I know spending hours hand pitting cherries is not a task I would wish on my worst enemy. Some things need to be learned the hard way but remember my words.