Carmine Jewell is living up to its famous reputation

Wanted to post an update on Carmine Jewell. I previously in past years said they are lighter on fruit than montmorency. The Carmine Jewell yielded as much as the the famous montmorency this year. I’m still surprised but they did it. Carmine Jewell are everything they are said to be in terms of production. They do sucker heavily which they are said not to do. They are said to get 6’ tall but some of mine are 8’. They are the best overall cherry for Kansas I have grown. You can practically grow them on a rock. They are very disease resistant. The flavor is much better than montmorency. They are easier to pick than montmorency. I planted them believing they would remain small in this heavy clay soil and maybe reach 5’ I’m not sure they are done growing yet. I will prune the tops back this year to make sure they remain easy to pick. Many cherries grow on the insides of the bush so they take a lot of time to pick. We lost track of the gallons but they yielded more than my friends, family, and I could pick. Start picking before they ripen if you have any hopes of getting done. We only have some bushes in a row and a small second planting so if you plant an acre you will haul them out in trucks by the tons. If you have not planted them already plant some! We have gallons of juice, gallons of frozen cherries! It was year 6 for us until we saw these cherries for what they actually are. In prior years they bloomed heavily and yielded but not like this year.


Thanks for the update Clark! My last batch of these the deer munched to death but I think I will try again to grow the bush cherries. I really like Montmorency and anything in that league the more the merrier!

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Awesome haul. You can make some killer cherry pies in the fall/winter with your frozen stash.

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Are they truly less sour for fresh eating than Monty? Can you eat more than just a few several raw before getting heartburn?

They are much less sour when ripe than montmorency. They are still true sour cherries! The flavor is much deeper and more rich than montmorency. In a taste test they would be the hands down winner.


Looks like you’re making jam

How do you pit those little fruits in such volume?

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Those are fabulous and what volume!!! Do you cook them down to remove the seedsI? I wouldn’t think twice about planting Carmine Jewell if I were staying in RI. Fantastic!

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The cherries I steam until they turn to pulp and juice. We use the juice during the winter. The pulp is discarded though it could be made into wine if I had extra time. This is the steamer I use.


I really like cherry juice, but I don’t grow those cherries

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Give them a try I think you will like them!

Maybe they will offer Carmine Jewell there. Everyone should grow a few carmine Jewell’s if they like cherries.

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Carmine Jewell might be a reason for you to stay!


Man Clark you’ve been getting busy!! No time for lounging around this time of year huh?

I don’t have a juicer but that may be something to look in to…

Did you happen take any brix readings for a ballpark average? I’ve been testing every day for a week and I can’t get above 12. Most all of mine look like the darker ones in your picture, but I’ve been holding off harvesting them in hopes they’d sweeten up some more. Right now the ER cherries read a higher number and seem a lot less tart to me.

I’ve been real hopeful that I’d be able to get mine to harvest during hot, dry conditions that might mimic the ideal ripening conditions that Dr. Bors talked about in Saskatchewan. And so far the fruit gods have been smiling on me in this regard as it has been REAL hot and REAL dry up to now, but… this evening we have a 30% chance of rain, and tomorrow afternoon there’s an 80% chance.

Wish I knew more about how much rain caused cracks etc., because I’d feel less pressure to get them all off before I’d like to.

The last two rain crack years we experienced were the result of prolonged rain, and so I’m unfamiliar with what the possibilities are when I have nearly ready fruit and a single rain that is forecast for the heaviest rains to be between 2-8PM tomorrow afternoon/evening. Maybe they’ll be fine/maybe they won’t???

And that right there is one major fly in the ointment for me - I just never had any of these concerns (check that - anxiety…) with ER and Monty cherries.

I think I will start taking some today just to be on the safe side, but I’m just destined to learn what a onetime rain will do to them I think, because I just can’t/don’t want to try to get 'em all today.


That’s so impressive, Clarkinks! How many bushes do you have for such load? I planted one Carmine Jewel and one Crimson Passion 3 years ago, one of them had few flowers this year and I am patiently waiting for 3 berries to ripe). But unfortunately, I don’t know which tree of two is Carmine Jewel, I lost my notes in computer accident. Can you tell by looking at the picture which one looks like Carmine Jewel?

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galinas; I can’t tell from the picture but I did go out and look at the leaves on my CJ & CP and it looks to me like the margins on CJ are slightly smoother and less pronounced than the serrations on the CP leaf margin. Here’s a couple pictures in case it will help you make identification.

This first one is the Crimson Passion:

And this one is the Carmine Jewel:


I don’t have a Crimson Passion but I have read that CP is not as vigorous a grower as CJ. If I had to guess CP is on the left and the bigger CJ on the right.


Thank you, lowaJer and c5tiger!

I’ve heard that too, in fact Bernis at HBUSA made mention of that once, or at least that they were a bit more finicky but have a look at this:

Here’s a tape measure opened to 7’ up against a CP that was planted in 2014

And here is a picture of this years new growth so far.

It’s right at about 20" and it’s not isolated they’re all pretty much like that, running 18-22" new growth as of today.

So while I can’t tell a huge difference between the two, and things do differently in different locals - I do think the general consensus is probably as you’ve noted.


I took a closer look at the leaves. I think the left tree is CJ and the right is CP, leaves pictures match youth. And I am glad, because the left is the one that have not 3, but 5 berries getting ready).

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I just randomly grabbed a few Early Richmond and Carmine Jewel to test brix on.

The highest number of the 3 CJ’s was 12. They all tested about 11.5 to 12

While the highest number on the ER’s was 15. All were between 14 & 15.

But the brix is only going up about 1/2 a point every couple days on the CJ’s and I don’t think it matters a ton for pies and jam in my case so I’ll probably not risk leaving them on a whole lot longer.