With Crimson Passion, I’ve actually had a problem with mine getting too dense in the middle. Not only didn’t I get as much fruitset, but only the ends of the branches had leaves (both last summer and when I was pruning this spring). I opened the bush up quite a bit (almost open center like a peach tree) and will be interested to see if it bends under the load. The bush was planted in 2011, so it should be pretty sturdy at this point.
Last weekend, I came across a Juliet at Stew Leonards (local grocery store). It was a monster (4+’ tall), in a 5 gallon pot, and appears to have some fruitset. I splurged a bit on it- $50. But, I figured that if I could ever get something that size by mail, it would be at least $30 plus $20 for shipping…
That was the only Juliet they had, so I couldn’t wait to see if it goes on half price sale in a few weeks. They had a decent variety of large (maybe 7’) apple trees: Mac, Maccoun, Braeburn, etc, as well as Red Delicious and Granny Smith.
Yours looks identical to the pair I bought earlier this spring. (right down to the “Weeks Roses” tag). They must have grown an insane number of them to sell this year because there were hundreds of them at my Costco.
Mine were flowering and each set a couple fruit. They have been in the ground for a few weeks and so far so good…
It’s just great for me to hear that you even HAD fruit set on CP. I knew one of the Canadian guys (not a regular - in fact I don’t think he’d posted before then, and I don’t think posted after that) had posted a picture (and maybe it was on the other forum?) of some CP’s from his bush and just wanted to say that his CP was his most productive, or favorite I think. I want to say it was even in a thread more-or-less critical of the CP and so he had chimed in just to say it was working for him.
But unless I missed it (which is entirely possible BTW…) I don’t know if I’ve actually seen anyone else here on the forum who’s had their CP bear fruit. Just seemed like I was in good company with everyone else who had CP fail. So, kudos to you - you lucky dog!
Anyway, when I initially opened my CJ’s up it was mainly to thin the jungle in there, thinking better air flow and all, plus they were so big it just was a chore to get to the cherries in the center. I also had my oldest two that were seeming to want to be more barren in the center, doing like you describe and leafing only on the ends of the branches.
Last year my bushes in question were 8 years in ground, and I began to feel like it was probably past time to “renewal thin” as Dr. Bors had described - and felt like maybe it would spur new vigor, etc.
Those bushes seem still to only have vegetative growth on the outer 50% of their branches this year. Which is some improvement from last though.
I’ve never fertilized these a lot, and I know Clark has said they are heavy feeders so on his recommendation I put some bagged cow manure compost on those that were getting sparse in the interior. I’m not sure if that alone is why they seem some better that way this year, or if it’s a combination of that along with some of the pruning (?) But they do seem better. They’re not all the way back but still appear denser toward the interior.
But there hasn’t been enough of the interior re-growth happen to really offset my overzealous “pruning to open it up” effort last year, as I notice that as the little green cherries grow bigger with each passing day… they’re beginning to droop already.
So I assume by mid to late-June when I’m harvesting they’re be on the ground on the ends once again
It’s rainy today but one of these days I’ll get out there and take a picture to maybe show the interior and overall fruit load.
But at this point I’m beginning to wonder if it’s not as simple as there just isn’t enough sunlight getting to the center as they grow bigger.
And I don’t want it to sound as bleak as it may be coming across - we had a record harvest last year, so we’re not wanting for fruit - I just was trying to develop manageable bushes that have exploded with growth over the years.
In that continued effort, as painful as it might be when it comes time…, I’m kinda toying with just cutting back the branches even more than I have to reduce overall girth and see if that doesn’t accomplish three things; 1) Reduce overall diameter. 2) Strengthen each fruit bearing branch. And 3) Spur growth father down those branches. That’s going to require I cut off a lot of heavy fruit producing branches.
I may just test that plan on one bush when the time comes
Your Juliet in the pot looks like a bargain at that price! Good on you!!
In past years I had some production out of it. Never a ton, but enough that it was worth picking. I’ve never protected from the birds though, so a lot is lost that way. Last year, when it got a bit too overgrown, I don’t think I actually got more than a handful cherries from it, with the birds and brown rot (something which hadn’t been much of an issue in the past) getting the rest.
I’ll post about how it does this year, now that it has been thinned out. I also removed the bush on one side of it. I tried to transplant it (another 7-8’ Crimson Passion), but it looks like I killed it, as it never leafed out at the new location. Not shocking, as I was a bit impatient digging the roots, given how large it was.
No such luck at the 2 area Costco which I’ve visited. Both had non-fruit plants like boxwoods and arborvitaes…
OK- that makes me feel better. I was feeling a bit guilty for paying too much, for something I hadn’t even found a place for. I’ve since thought of a location, so I feel better on both counts!
I wouldn’t consider my experience with it great, but it is mostly my fault. Since I wasn’t protecting from birds, I couldn’t wait until the cherries turn really dark red/black. So, I was eating them at ~12 brix, instead of the much higher advertised values.
You could always tie it up. That would have the same effect as the interier branches catching on each other and holding the scaffolds up. I’ve done that (tied it up) with peaches which I didn’t properly thin.
I have it Tony and he did not get that size eating dog food! The dog now weighs 85 pounds!He ate another rabbit a week ago! He eats vole and birds frequently. Wish he did not eat so many things actually but dogs will be dogs!