Carmine Jewell Cherry Yields increasing with age


That sounds good Clark. I can make jams and syrups, and have enough for a pie.
I’m only getting about 1/2 gallon at most this year, I will add with other fruit (currants) for jam. The jam last year was the best of all my jams. I really like cherries, these are really nice plants, glad they worked so well for you too. They are working for me for sure.


I’m jealous!


Well we’re getting closer Clark. My camera pictures doesn’t take them as dark as some of them really are, but we’re still a couple of days away from starting.

As you can see they are in various stages of ripening. I’ve eaten a couple handfuls of the most ripe and they’re pretty dark and soft, and yet still tart as ever. Seem to have a decent fruit load, and are still sizing up in the heat.

This is a shot of the ER and he’s a bit behind the CJ’s but loaded as well.

It’s overcast right now, and I’ve even heard thunder. It looks like we could get a bit of rain, and I suspect most everything else needs it around here, but my CJ’s don’t… We’ve been hot and dry for awhile, I think the last measurable rain was on 5/22. So If it rains and I lose a few to rain crack I can live with that - we need rain!

Here’s the standard front shot. I’ve not mowed in there since I decided to put the fence back up, so you can see all the suckers coming up, and the pix doesn’t do it justice, those things are just everywhere!

This is an opposite view I took just to show how if left un-pruned, even on 12’ centers they’ll grow to where they touch and you’ve got to either duck under or just push on through. You can probably see that in the first picture, but there’s another CJ bush behind there that kind of distorts things. This opposite view has no other bushes behind them.


Mine arent even turning red yet in ND… Couple more weeks and they should start to turn… Great pics and harvest!


We got 4/10th of an inch of rain (and it may not be quite over, but it’s not raining now anyway) so I attempted to shake the bushes some to try and get the water off but not sure how effective I was.

Here are those cherries inside where my camera seems to take pictures that more closely show the color as they appear on the bush, even after my flash went off inside.

Interestingly, even at this early stage my brix numbers are running mostly 13, with this one on the high side of that. I’d have to look back but I don’t think I got any higher than this all season on last years crop.

Here’s a closer look at the bushes closing in on each other. Same shot as the one above only I got closer.


Hello to all in the CJ-club. I’m in :slight_smile:. Planted a CJ 2 months ago.

Looking at all those beautiful and suprisingly large and dense bushes, don’t you CJ-owner think the plants would benefit when pruned more open? Sometimes fungal infections were mentioned but those bushes appear quite dense and therefore more prone to fungal infections.

When you prune, how do you prune your CJ? Most of my sour cherries I prune to a kind of a spindle tree with a central leader. Is it possible to do so with CJ or do they really want to be a multi leader bush? How do you prune those? Do they regenerate new shoots from the base (older wood)?

For better maintenance around the bush I am thinking about training a single stem and let it branch out at a foot hight or so. Does that sound reasonable in your experience?

Thanks in advance. I am looking forward to many more of your interesting reports. Since my CJ still is a very small plant, my reports about its fruiting qualities will be late to this discussion, I fear.


I cut a lot of inside growth from my CJ bushes this year, probably 1/3 total mass of each bush, most taken from the inside to open it up. We have a relative dry and windy climate so Im not too worried about fungus, but getting light down inside I think will help the bushes in the long run. I did plant some Juliet this year on my boulevard that Im going to prune to a tree form with a single trunk, so that should be interesting. I chatted with BobB a bit about this and he didnt think it was a GREAT idea, something about the bark on a bush isnt the same as a tree, etc, but Im going to give it a shot anyway. I will put white plastic on the trunks to help protect them during the winter.




Your bushes are getting there quick. Like the looks of yours bushes. I suspect the way the carmine Jewell’s sucker we might wind up with a new row regardless how we planned things. Really good bushes! I think they are the best release in a very long time.


That’s a lot of cherries, looks great! It must be a chore picking the higher ones. You have a lot of picking to do.


Carot, I think you would be better off to just let the CJ grow according to their natural tendency, which means a multi-stemmed shrub starting right at the ground. You might be able to train it with regular pruning, but I don’t see what advantage you would gain. At any rate, here’ my CJ this winter, having never been trained by pruning, showing off its natural growth habit.


Hi Don your advice is appreciated. My thoughts were about getting a healthier plant with better air circulation and better light penetration by pruning. Ease of maintenance is another point. I do prune shrubs too, eg cornus mas to accomplish the aforementioned. That way I hope for better shoot regeneration near the trunk/base and maybe bigger (but of course less) fruit.
In my experience most sour cherries, when grown on its own roots, tend to develop a shrub like appearance when not pruned.
But looking at the pictures in this topic and reading about very good yields from those unpruned shrubs your logic is convincing too.
I now think, if it wants to grow as a shrub I will allow a multi leader shrub. But since I love to train and prune trees I will keep its canopy as airy as possible. So its a kind of in between way. It probably wont hurt yields too much and might still accomplish my goals.


I’m going to agree with you on this @Don3a I think whatever gets trimmed off is going to cost cherries. If limbs are crossed or diseased I would trim them off. Controlling size is another good reason for pruning. The concept of trimming these to be more open is a noble cause because in theory applying fungicide would be easier and opening them up to air and sunlight seems smart. I’ve found the bushes fill right back in with vegetative growth and the pruning just costs cherries. Found out when the 17 year locust came and I pruned damage it caused lots of vegetative growth and less blooms as a result. Invigorating these bushes with a little pruning is a good thing when they need it If they need it. I’ve found they send out new growth on the top even when they are loaded with cherries. I think natural vigor is why they are sending out so many suckers and why they get so tall. At least for now they seem vigourous enough naturally and pruning them just seems to provoke them into had behavior. Im always open to suggestions and I’ve not made up my mind but what im seeing is these little bushes spread through the roots. The same roots share vigourous new growth like any hedge plums form. The same roots have plants flowering like crazy and making lots of new suckers. Since the same roots feed the new sucker Bush as the main plant they can grow 3 feet in a season. Now long term since they were released less than 20 years ago no one knows the life span of the Bush or how it behaves after 10,15, or 30 years of production.


Maybe someone with a CJ trained to a single trunk can chime in. If not, I guess I have to plant another one to do some testing :slight_smile:. Too bad my CJ is so small. It will take some years for results.

Of course I will never prune it like a peach or so. My sour cherries are more dense than most of my trees and naturally develop a slightly weeping form. In general I prune em light, taking out too narrow limbs, upright shoots, too downward shoots, dead and diseased of course. Next time I am in my little orchard I will take a picture.

I actually don’t plan to spray my sour cherries. If fungus is going rampage on them I am going to do something about it (spray). But until now I came away without spraying, fingers crossed.

Found one picture from this spring. The tree is already looking different now. Its 8 feet high, still growing. The structure is hard to see because of poor photographer skills…


I couldn’t agree more. As close to a prolific cherry machine as there is (when conditions are right) Aaaaaand, if the owner would only do his/her part to at least ATTEMPT to keep them in check, they’d no doubt be a more manageable bush in every way.

I absolutely think they would benefit from being more open, and yet I can’t even seem to find the time to prune them lower. I just kind of dropped the ball in that regard. I’ve not been hit with anything terrible in great numbers like Brown Rot or Cherry Leaf Spot on my CJ’s, and we’re pretty darn humid. I do spray against it though, and I see you don’t plan on that if you can avoid it, so yeah I’d try to open 'em up some but man like Clark says, they burst out with new growth and just explode, you’ll probably have to stay diligent about it.

I’ll have to see if I can locate the email, but in corresponding with Dr. Bors a few years ago (if I recall correctly) he recommended “renewal” cutting of a large trunk/stem every 5-7 years or so (?) I probably should have searched that out before commenting, but I know he’d said that he believed they could go on indefinitely. (I may do that out of necessity on one of mine, as I see what may be some canker. I’ll look closer, but it had a pretty good leak going it looked like)

Yes, and that’s EXACTLY what I didn’t want when I got these. I just love the idea of doing everything with my feet on terra firma… and yet, when they grew to something more than advertised I somehow let it happen. I think I kept thinking - next year they’ll slow down or stop… that kinda mentality. Duh!!! So yeah, now I’m back to getting a ladder out. Thinking when dormant I’ll take the plunge and get them down some this year.


I found the email I got from Dr. Bors on 7/1/14. Here’s an excerpt that might interest you:

“For best longevity one should grow the cherries as bushes with multiple trunks. Using renewal thinning you should get rid of a trunk or two every year or two to allow new ones to form or let suckers in the row come up to replace them. Our original seedling rows are 22 years old and are still alive and fairly healthy. On a severe -50C winter, we didn’t lose trees but we lost the oldest trunks of most trees. Specifically it was those branches that had born fruit for many years and were hardly making any growth. Perhaps a trunk should be removed somewhere around 7 years old? Maybe 10? I’d think the bushes could go on for many decades.”

Prunning Carmine Jewel

Hello Jerry, thats exactly the information I was looking for. Thank you very much


Hey IowaJer, refresh my failing memory… when did you plant your CJ bushes, and how tall are they now (if memory serves me, I think 10 or 12 feet)??

I have only one CJ (but 3 other Romance series, plus one tree tart cherry). My CJ is about 6 feet tall, last year was its first heavy year of fruiting (25-30 lbs), this year it looks pretty good too, better than the other Romance cherries, but the tree cherry could give it a run, but the tree cherry is more susceptible to bird damage since I can’t cover it.


Like the sounds of this @IowaJer. Since Carmine Jewell sucker so profusely it seems that more plants growing are inevitable. Blackberries after 15-20 years on my property extrat the nutrients from the soil they want and the canes die out in that section. I wondered if Carmine Jewell might do the same thing and deplete the trace minerals. As you said Jerry you can add whatever back to the soil but you need to know what was depleted. Clay soil depletes the slowest and produces the most blackberries here at my farm. The farmer’s in this area know clay soil is like that. To mine the soil the other farms in this area take a large plow and roll the organic content and loam from the top a foot down and bring the clay to the top. It rejuvenated the old tired soil for better soil for growing soybeans, wheat. Milo etc… Getting that organic content below helps to maintain moisture and feeds plants and worms. My philosophy is slightly different which is send large bushes and trees roots 12 -30 feet down and bring the minerals from deeper down where no-one ever farmed up. The leaves and wood long terms got the minerals from up to 50 feet down on a large tree up to the top. The idea of killing all the trees and bushes on top was an idea the Indians came up with to lure all the bison herds back to the great plains where they could eat them. Every year the Indians burned off the praries to rejuvenate lush green grass growth and the large herds came running. I’m a believer in crop rotation but I think it can be done much slower with trees instead of grain crops. If you grew autumn olives for 20 years it brings nitrogen and organic content back in the soil and the meantime you have berries. Once 20 years is passed you grow carmine Jewell 20 years and then 20 years of blackberries then back to soybeans, wheat and Milo for 20 years, then pecans or walnuts for 100 years, pears 50 years, then to persimon etc. But since we live such a short amount of time the land is frequently abused by ignorant people. Ignorant because they have not seen the long term natural cycles because their life span is short. Most of my property I rotated into grass after I took it out of grains. Sunshine, Land and water are the building blocks of what keeps us alive and carmine Jewell cherries convert those natural resources into what we need very efficiently. I drink a small amount of the juice every night with no sugar added. Its a thick rich nutrient concentrated juice if you can hold off and harvest the cherries later after they are totally black. We need to start our harvest early to get it all picked each year but that’s less than a weeks difference.


You could try hardwood ash to add trace minerals back. I saved a five gallon bucket this year. I have been adding some to all my potted plants. I might sprinkle some on my mulched leaves around my bushes. Ash raises the ph so it might not be good for some soils.