My 2020 project: Hybridizing Burgundy plum with cherry

A Plumerry in the making:

For the past week, I have been hand pollinating most of these Burgundy plum flowers with Rainier cherry pollen and a couple of flowers with Stella cherry pollen. My goal is to develop an interspecific cherry with the firmness of the plum and the sweetness of the cherry.


Good luck with your project. Do you think a long-ripening cherry variety may have a better chance of producing viable offspring? I also wonder how the self-fertile cherries will work compared to the older varieties.


I think it’s impossible for a cherry to produce hybrids, if used as the seed parent. For the past three years, I have been using the cherry as the seed parent and the plum as the pollen parent, but the pollination has proven unsuccessful. So this year, I decided to use the plum as the seed parent and the cherry as the pollen parent. And I have also been looking at the plum x cherry patents, and the breeders use the plum as the seed parent.


Always love seeing your projects, keep it up!


Hopefully this year I get the chance to score gold;
My main two goals is to get peach x apricot and plum x cherry hybrids this year.


Did you use cherry pollen from the previous season since they bloom later in the season? My three Candy Heart crosses are doing well and have fruit developing for this season. The fruit on each cross looks different. I grafted them on a Burgundy plum as back up, if a mother plant cross were to die. The fruit on my Nadia cross dropped off, maybe next season. Good luck with your projects!


I used fresh pollen.

My main goal was to pollinate all burgundy plum flowers with Stella cherry pollen* but Burgundy bloomed two weeks before Stella so I had no choice other than using Rainier cherry pollen as the main pollinator. And the remaining flowers buds that are starting to open I’m pollinating them with stella pollen.

*Since Stella cherry is a self-pollinating variety, my educated guess is there’s better chance of its pollen fertilizing Burgundy flowers which will result in fruit and finally interspecific hybrids.


Have you tasted a Burgundy plum from your tree yet? I’ve been looking for a heat tolerant plum (NC, zone 7b) and have been thinking about getting one.

Burgundy plum is also self pollinating. I hope that you were able to pollinate the plum blossoms before they opened with cherry pollen before they (plum) pollinated themselves. Didn’t it take hundreds if not thousands of tries to create Nadia? Not an easy thing to do, but may be worth it if you can make it work.

My Flavor Punch Pluerry has ten fruit hanging on it. I hope that the flavor is good enough for crossing consideration. The Octoberfest Peach has a few too!

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I think if you actually could get the cherry pollinated with plum you be onto something. Your right, all of the available crosses are nothing more than new breeds of plum. If it pollinates with a plum its a plum. A real cherry cross that pollinates with cherry would probably make you rich.

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Yes, I tasted a couple of Burgundy plums from my tree, but that was five years ago.

I did. I pollinated them before they opened.

I haven’t gave up yet. Since my Rainier cherry didn’t have any cherry pollinators when it first flowered, I pollinated them with Shakar pareh plumcot, apricot, Hardy Red bectarine, and sweet bagel peach pollen.

Tomorrow I’m going to check if Rainier still has unopened flowers so I could pollinate them with Burgundy pollen.

I found three unopened Rainier cherry flowers; I emasculated them and I pollinated them with Burgundy plum pollen.


Update: The project was a failure. There was a 100% fruit drop.

That’s why the guys who put out all the current crosses are all rich. I wouldn’t give up on it though. Like I said, if you can make it happen, I don’t think you will ever have to work again. I would buy a jumbo cherry cross today if it was available. Just remember you only need it to work once.


Next year, I’m going to try to use a different variety of plum, maybe black amber?

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Or Nadia?


Sounds good, but the seedlings will result in 75% plum and 25% cherry in their parentage. Thus, I want to create a 50/50 cross that would resemble a big cherry.

I also want to cross a sweet cherry with a myrobalan plum, perhaps the cherry-like appearance from the myrobalan plum will help the hybrid look like a big cherry?

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Myrobalan are small though. Might not get much size increase. Just go hard pounding different pollen on everything. Doesn’t even matter if you remember the cross if it makes golf ball sized cherries. No one will care. All they will see is a five bite cherry. Just imagine a five bite cherry. It’s really the holy grail of all the fruit crosses.

Many of the current plum crosses started with 50-50 then took that and crossed back with plum. Not sure of the purpose of the back cross, but in your case back crossing could keep more of the cherry taste while keeping the plum size. And the new fruit needs to be pollinated by cherry.