Carmine Jewell Cherry Yields increasing with age


I planted four in 2011 and one died within days, so I was down to three. At that time Gurney’s was selling them in pairs, and when I notified them of the one that died they said they weren’t shipping anymore that year, but would replace it in the spring, and so they sent two new plants in '12.

But these are basically 10’, and maybe 11’’ at the tallest point if you count those few that want to go a bit higher. (I did take the biggest one down a little one time, but can’t remember if it was last year or the year before, but not enough to have much of an impact)

I recall your getting basically the same production out of a more manageable size bush as I’m getting out of mine. You can’t know how ENVIOUS I AM!!!

Last year out of the 5 CJ’s we got 33 gallons, which is 148.5 lbs or 29.7 lbs per bush average… but we worked for them! And we also left the ones in the higher reaches. Had just had enough by that time!

Anyway we got another 1/2" of rain overnight and the wind blew hard. Knocked some cherries off. (I’ll have to look back, but I think this very thing happened last year too, and put a bunch of fruit on the ground)

The camera picks up the cherries on the mulch better than the grass, but they’re all over in the grass too.

Here’s a shot for perspective.

And here is another that has a 10’ board and the mower

But I could tell the cherries plumped up a ton from two back-to-back rain events, and yet I’ve seen no cherry rain crack so far, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.




After trimmed off the tops of all branches because of leaf disease. My Carmine Jewel Cherry recovery back with the weather warm up.


Got enough cherries to make a pie! They were about 60% Carmine Jewel and 40% Montmorency. The third picture shows Carmine jewel on the left, Monty on the right. The pie really was fantastic. These both tested 12 brix but I was fine eating them fresh. I don’t make a lot of pies so I bought a two pack of frozen pie crusts and cut the second one up and pieced it on top. That’s why it looks a little funny.

What fruits did you eat today?

I have a second Montmorency tree that ripened a few days later and these tested at 16 brix, which was surprising. I had them netted and let them get really ripe. Also, there was only this handful of cherries on the whole tree. I had transplanted it late winter and was surprised it fruited at all. It is on Gisela 5, the other was bought at a local garden center and I don’t know the root stock.


My daughter made a CJ/Monty pie last Thanksgiving and it was REAL good!

I also picked just enough CJ’s for a pie. Got 'em all pitted and my wife is going to make it tonight as we’ve got overnight guests arriving tomorrow. (She makes a mean cherry pie!!! She picked enough black raspberries so we’ll have choices…)

My ER brix readings were higher than my CJ last year, but I have high hopes for CJ this year.

Edit: Looks like we’ll have three pies, she just came upstairs with apples from the freezer saying she’s going to mix Earliblaze & McIntosh. I asked her if she liked EB in a pie, and she says “McIntosh makes everything good”


Wow, I planted my Romance cherries in 2011 too, and I was impressed by how quickly they have grown, but they are tiny compared to your CJ. Highest branches on my CJ are 7 feet, so volume-wise your bushes are 4X bigger! I did get 25-30 lbs of fruit from my CJ bush last year but maybe that was a fluke… I can’t see how yours won’t out-produce mine by a long shot. I guess this year and the next few should answer that. So far it looks like the CJ have a good fruit set this year, and my other 3 Romance cherries have an okay to good fruit set, the Romeo is probably the laggard of the bunch.

Used some canned CJ juice from last year to make 3 pints of cherry jelly today – it’s almost black in color and very tasty!


I bet it’s just the beginning Don. I know in that one U of S article Dr. Bors said “We were quite surprised when many growers reporting getting 20 or 30 lbs/bush in the 4th or 5th year after planting small plug plants”.

She did get those pies made, last one came out of the oven after midnight.

Left is CJ, center is Black Raspberry, and then the Apple.

Now we have to buy ice cream and… wait on the company :slight_smile:


Looks fabulous and tastes even better! Its the kind of pie you do not want a la mode!!!


Darn it,now I have to go buy a cherry pie! Those look so good!


Killer pies!!!’


Why wait??

You prob need to do some Quality Assurance testing of several pieces. You know, just to make sure they’re safe and stuff…


The pies were world class!

Now the work begins in earnest. I’m planning on doing some picking today in advance of some afternoon/evening rain forecast.


I would pick like crazy @IowaJer. Literally I’m a cherry picker now and with no doubt I know you are or will be. Every good cherry picker has their tricks so I’ll share a few of mine. No one understands until your facing down that many sour cherries. Would not wait for the perfect time if I can offer advice. If you wait longer your losing cherries. The most I can pick in a day by hand from start to finish is 10 gallons by the time I rest in between. With the sun as hot as it’s been what I did was used the taller bushes and got inside between the branches and picked in the shade. That’s one of the reasons I left my bushes that height. At first I was broiling in this 90- 96 degree weather and tried to pick the outside which was an amateur mistake. Cooked in the sun and I got worn out that way. The CJ have dense foliage so once your up under it and between branches there will be lots of cherries to pick but even better it’s kinda cool from the evening cooler temperatures. In the mornings and evenings I pick the outsides of the bush. I like to pick those spots the Mosquitos and biting flies hang out in really strong wind because it’s cooler and they don’t fly in that weather. I go clean out the cherries in there while they are unable to fly. Those tall branches just reach up and grab them and bend them down to you pick them and then release them one at a time so even though the bush is taller you don’t need to reach up so you don’t wear out your arms, neck, and shoulders. Pick my cherries in a small container like a quart and dump into the gallon bags so I don’t need to carry the weight all day. By dumping directly into the freezer bags it’s less work when your done to freeze them. I’m not going to process more than I need in this weather. What I do to extract enough juice for me in this weather so as to not heat up the house I dump them in the big crock pot plugged in outside so as not to heat up the house. I just smash and strain to get the juice after they are cooked down which is not as efficient as the Mehu-Lisa juicer or knock off I’m using but it’s not bad at all. Post us some pictures later if you have time. I tried to post as many as possible to help out everyone with small bushes or ordering bushes now so they can learn from my mistakes and from the things done right.


Mine are ready but I’m going to let them hang another 2 days as I have to leave town tonight and I have enough other work to do. I have a fanny pack fruit pouch that holds a couple gallons so I just empty my hands into the pouch at hip height. Having your hip carry the weight load is not hard either.


Nice tips clark


Well that was the plan, but you know what they say; The best laid plans of mice and men…

My goal was to hit 'em hard and pretty much get most of what I actually want to pit and freeze, or make into jam - and then open the flood gates for the friends and family to clean 'em up.

Then my neighbor guy down the road called and said his skid loader was free today and if I wanted to come get it I could have at it.

Well, I had to take him up on that - I’ve got some grade work that still needs dealt with from the metal building so… I ran the skid loader most of the day, but before and after I picked 3.5 gal. (That’ll be enough to pit after we get home from a birthday party at about 9ish…)

BUT…, here’s my dilemma: The JB’s are starting to show up. I’d sprayed Malathion on the 13th as it has a three day PHI, but we had rain in between that (plus it’s ineffective on JB’s) When I sprayed it I had no idea they were in the vacinity - should have sprayed Sevin I guess.

I also saw two or three pin holes in a couple cherries despite regular spraying.

Now the 2nd part of this dilemma is these cherries are in various stages of ripeness. Some are flat out yellow, others are more on the purple side, and then everything in between.

I need to pick, I need to spray, and I hear thunder right now.

Plus my wife is hammering me to get in the shower so we can go to that BD party!


That’s how cherry picking goes I’m cleaning up all the fungus problems on my cherries from when they were ripening. You got to let them go for now and not spray. You can pick all the ripe ones and leave the green ones and spray 7. It’s a hurry up and wait situation but when cherries are ripe the yard does not get mowed and everything is on hold until I get done. I know what’s not in the bags I can’t count because things change real fast in this part of the world.


Yeah that’s the plan. I told a few folks at the BD party last night to come on down and pick today so we can get the ripe ones gone, then I’ll spray Sevin and hold off another 3-4 days and hopefully there should be a bunch more ripe cherries without the threat of JB’s so bad. At least I’ll feel like I didn’t let the JB’s swarm in unchecked!


Any rot yet? My Lapins sweet cherry is full of it. I just have a handful of CJ //but they are still pretty tart.