Carmine Jewell Cherry Yields increasing with age


No sign of rot so far. I have to say I’m rather shocked at the blemish free fruit I’m getting considering the weather we’ve been having. We missed the worst of last nights storm, but still got a 1/2" of rain. These cherries have set in rather hot and dry conditions, and then about time to ripen up we’ve had 6/10th", 4/10th" then another 1/2" all in about a week and zero crack - zero brown rot.

On the other hand…, the JB’s moved in with a vengeance. I had a couple over picking today and there wasn’t a JB in sight. Then as the temps warmed up I started noticing them and before long they were hovering the bushes like bees at pollinating time!

I quick took a gander at my peaches and all eight trees were covered. Looked in my garden and my green beans had them on them as well.

I mixed up some Sevin and went to work on them. Decided to hold off on the cherries as I have people wanting to pick some tomorrow. I was out there picking some about 1/2 hr ago and the JB’s were gone from the bushes. Must have knocked off early today!!!

And on the tart thing…, mine are too. I pitted a gallon this morning before starting my day and I could only manage an 11 brix on isolated cherries. When I sampled the juice at the bottom of the bowl once all cherries were pitted it read a 10. So the 13 I got the other day must have been just a teaser :slight_smile:


Excuse my ignorance, but what are JB’s?


Japanese beetles.


Got my first crop of CJs this year and am very happy, though not a huge one. Been nibbling on them for a couple weeks and they were good out-of-hand even when red. Very pleased. They’re turning black now. We got 2" rain night before last and I didn’t get out there yesterday, so we’ll see how they do. Haven’t got any brix readings either, but regardless, these taste great to my palate and I’m excited for 25# per bush!


Thanks. Fortunately we don’t have Japanese beetles here (so far at least). No SWD either. Not sure if either of those could survive a zone 3 winter, sure hope not!


SWD does fine in ND with -20f temps quite common, pray it stays away, they suck!


Not the news I wanted to hear! We used to have several nights every winter that dipped into the -30s F, but for the past 2 winters we haven’t even hit -20 F.


If I don’t miss my guess you are gearing up to pick again this weekend. Did you get any cracking from heat and the rain and then this heat again? I did not have any rot, minimal cracking , and did have some insect damage.


I kept holding off on the spray and then finally sprayed on Sunday night at about 9 P.M. The JB’s were just lousy. I think Friday morning we’ll start picking again. Zero rain/heat crack issues to date.

As an aside, knowing I would be in limbo for awhile as far as harvesting goes, I’d put gallon bags full in the refrigerator with the idea that I’d pit and freeze then during the interim. Well, life happens - out of state relation come by, grand kids last BB game, needing to get the grade-work finished up round my building so I can return the skid loader, etc.

So…, last night after company left at 10:30 I got out a gallon and commenced pitting. The cherries were as if they were just picked. This morning I pulled out another gallon bag and again - no noticeable degrading of the fruit in any way. There were a couple that I noticed maybe a slight flat spot that was I assume from the weight of other cherries on it, but even that was near undetectable.

I believe this firm, more meaty cherry holds up under refrigeration better than any of the four tart cherries I’ve had here. I know my Early Richmond (and Monty) are generally so juicy that after a day or so the pits begin to darken the surrounding meat, and water spots on the skins are often hard to distinguish from early stage brown rot spots, making pitting in preparation for freezing a much more time consuming endeavor for anyone the least little bit anal about blemish-free cherries.

So the impressive take-away form me is that some of these gallon bags of cherries were harvested Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun. So some of these were 5-6 days in the refrigerator and in fact I’ll pit and freeze the last gallon of those this evening.

Up to now we’ve taken 20 gallons off the CJ’s and only 3 from the ER. I imagine if the fruit on the bushes hold up they’re will be maybe another 15-20 gallons that will be picked, but it’s really hard to guess. Seems like a lot on there yet. I know we hardly picked off of two bushes since they were not nearly ripe compared to the other three.

I’m going to make a batch of CJ jam this afternoon…


Sounds good but I do think they are to much work to pit by hand like that. I’ve seen other threads and people are talking about growing pits and let me say it so it’s out of the way if you planted all 20 gallons of the remaining cherries pits Jerry needs to pick I doubt it would produce one cherry bush. The seeds do not appear to be fertile. They spread like wildfire through root suckers. Jerry take us some more fruit pictures if you get a chance. Hopefully your crop looks as good as mine did when it comes to insect damage. Very soon there will be 100 more Japanese beetles to replace every one you killed. I rejected a lot of fruit but I feel very good about what I got. I think you and I were blessed on our harvests this year Jerry.


I planted a bunch of CJ pits last fall and they came up fine this spring, not sure what fruit will be like, but Im hopeful it will resemble something like the original, or maybe better!


I like the sounds of that but it doesn’t explain why we don’t have cherries growing all over the place. Did your bush come from honeyberryusa? Maybe the bushes like I got from gurneys don’t have viable seed or maybe there need to be another cherry cultivar. @IowaJer I wonder if you could throw a pint of the seeds in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp paper towel inside the jar and see if they sprout. It would take a couple of months. I didn’t do that because none of he thousands of pits I threw in the compost pile ever came up.


Mine were from HBUSA and I have other cherries around that could have provided pollen. I also have several cherries growing under my CJ bushes coming through the mulch that appear to be seedlings. I have my CJ near Passion and also Montmorency. Ill snap a pic of some of my seedlings and post it tonight maybe, Ive moved some into a pot but most are still growing in the ground.


Those seedlings could wind up something really exciting! CJ are fantastic so I can’t help but think these genetics will lead to something much better in time. The university is likely close to releasing another half dozen or dozen. These bush cherries have been the best thing since sliced bread.


We picked our first real crop on our three CJ bushes today and all we could say was, “This is unbelievable!” I’m a believer now, folks. One bush is 5 years old, the other two are 4 years old. All about 6’ high. Didn’t even pick half and we got 28 lbs. Easy pickings by letting your hand run down the branch and collecting handfuls. Delicious. They are planted too tight at 5’ spacing, but it makes them easy to cover with a bird net–no losses.

Our favorite use is Cherries Jubilee (bring on the flaming rum), but we (my wife) also makes pies. I want to get into the juice making as well. Clark, thank you for those tips.Do you own one of those fancy steam juicers? Do you pit them before you put them into the juicer or crock pot? As someone in a movie once said, “We’re going to need a bigger boat…”


I don’t pit my cherries before I steam them. This is my steam juicer after years of heavy use.


Here are my CJ seedlings, they are way too crowded but Im not going to mess with them until they are dormant this fall.


Here’s a pix from the 16th getting some pitting done…

A couple quart bags ready to freeze.

Some bags in the refrigerator from 6/17/17.

Some shots of cherries still on the bushes.

Notice the white Sevin residue here…

These last two are just two close up shots of two different areas of my Early Richmond tree that I need to get to ASAP!!!

They are a royal pain, but one I count a labor of love since the end result is so worth it!!


Fantastic! I hope you bought a multiple cherry pitter? Beautiful cherries! And there are enough for the birds!


I only wish I could get something that would relieve the tedious nature of the chore. In fact I just now finished pitting some more and I’m shot! Time to hit the hay!