Not sure if this is relevant to the brix topic going on here, but I find that the U of Sask bush cherries sweeten up over time. I am growing 4 of the dark-colored varieties, and it seems many people pick them as soon as they turn “cherry red”, which is too soon for the dark-colored varieties. They turn cherry red for me around late July in my central Alberta location. Leave them another 10 days or two weeks and they turn purple/black, and are much tastier and sweeter when purple than at the cherry red stage. I usually pick them at this point, roughly August 7 here. But I have left some cherries on the bush, sampling them periodically to see if the taste improves. I don’t really notice any taste change until early September, when there seems to be a considerable softening of the acidity. I don’t know how to measure Brix, so maybe this is an increase in Brix, or maybe it just means some of the acidity breaks down?
This is a great topic.
This week I stopped at a nursery on my way to Longview, and they had a sign up stating their fruit trees are here. I was going through orchard care withdrawal and bought a Juliet bush cherry to get my fix. Also Empress peach, but this topic is cherries.
Given the posts here, I dont know how it will do in my area. I should not buy another variety until I test this one.
My North Star died - voles I think. Montmorency survived the drought last year with minimal watering. Surefire does well but grows too big to put up bird nets. Deer eat cherry trees, so it will need a cage. The bush size seems very workable, no ladders.
I just ordered one each of Carmine jewel, Crimson Passion, Juliet, and Romeo. I am wondering if they are on rootstocks? They say some sucker more than others but will the suckers grow true to the bush? I purchased mine at Honeyberry USA. It would be an easy way to propagate these bushes.
I just found a good read on these. They grow on their own roots.
Man, that is a killer read. Lots of great stuff in there. Thanks.
Thank you for posting. I believe I read this article some time ago at GW and have wanted to plant Romeo and Juliet.
It’s only this year that these varieties have become available in the US. Maybe, I should make room for them in the near future.
I planted one each of Carmine Jewel, Cupid, Juliet and Romeo in May 2011. They are now about 6 feet tall – Romeo probably closer to 7 feet, others all a bit under 6 feet. All the bushes have fruited for me the past two years, but I have yet to see the heavy crops like the U of Sask. reports, despite having heavy blooming. Not sure why, seem to be lots of bees at pollination. Carmine Jewel has given the most cherries, but so far only a pound or two the past 2 years. I am located about 300 miles due west of where these cherries were developed, in zone 3a.
Juliet is the best tasting (least tart) of my cherries, Cupid isn’t far behind and has the largest cherries. Romeo is getting too tart for fresh eating for me, and Carmine Jewel is downright sour and has the smallest cherries, but has been the best producer.
Cupid is the only bush that has suckered so far, and those suckers are very close to the main plant, basically growing up through the canopy of the original bush. I have not tried digging out any of these suckers.
In 2015, peak bloom time for these cherries for me was: Juliet - May 15; Romeo - May 20; Carmine Jewel - May 21; Cupid - May 23.
Thanks Don for the report! I want them as tart cherries and it sounds like Carmine would be best. Juliet sounds good too though for it’s sweetness. Well relative sweetness. I have White Gold Sweet cherry and heard it is awesome, I should get a good crop this year. It has yet to fruit. 3rd leaf this year. It grew like crazy and is quite large now. My Carmine Jewel should have some fruit too. I have 2 plants in containers. I’m going to put one in the ground in the spring. The other grew through the container and is in ground now itself. I left it out, see if it makes it? It looks great so far and winter is just about done.
True about the “relative sweetness”. Even Juliet, the sweetest of my Romance series cherries, would never for an instant be confused with a real sweet cherry. But I can’t grow real sweet cherries in my climate, so it’s tart cherries only. And of those, Juliet is easiest to eat as a fresh cherry, although all of my Juliet, Romeo and Cupid cherries were eaten fresh last year, though it was really just a taste of each as production was not huge. The Carmine Jewel are tartest of all, and those I made into a cherry sauce, boiled up with some sugar and canned – at which point they are quite tasty and the tartness seems to have vanished.
If my cherry bushes perform as advertised, I see a lot of dried (dehydrated) cherries in my future, and perhaps also cherry juice, canned cherries, and cherry beer. Maybe this year?
For me the suckers from carmine Jewell started after many years. I believed the first several years the bush was sucker free. Once the hit that 6 1/2 - 7 ft range they quit growing up and you will see a small amount of suckers within a few feet. If quantity of cherries goes up for me this year I will let you know but so far they are a little light on cherries. The cherries are hidden throughout the foliage which is good and bad for things like birds, diseases, sun exposure etc.
Agree, and yes, exactly. Processed they can be fine. I will eat some fresh too, I love high acid food. I grow red currants and eat them raw. And processed. I’m putting in a bunch more currant plants. Some blacks too. Dehydrated sounds awesome too!
Very interesting read. I liked seeing the different planting styles - deep or even horizontal.
I bought a Juliet at a local nursery this year. It would be great to have some fruit that will not need climbing on a ladder, and easy to cover with bird netting.
I saw in the read that deer are the major problem. Elsewhere I read that deer don’t eat cherry trees, but my experience is they do. That means more deer fencing, but not any different from my other trees.
Since these are shrubs, I planted this one in the landscaping near the house. It looks like they grow quickly, and start bearing in a few years.
The deer by me love to eat the leaves and branches off my sweet cherry trees. They pruned my stella to open vase twice! That’s all with deer fence too. I didn’t pin the bottom down. They just push their heads against the bottom of the fence and crawl under.
Deer like to shred cherry type trees on my property. I had a seed sprout from my north star which got 4 feet tall before the deer destroyed it.
I’m surprised the yields they got on those carmine jewell. We are doing something wrong and i’m not sure what it is.
I’m thinking about making a trip to the Saskatoon Farm,a little South of Calgary, this Summer.
They grow most or all of the Romance Cherries there,plus Serviceberries and some other things.
I’ll look to get growing information,if going. Brady
Be sure to ask them what has been updated from the stuff that is on the web. It would be great to hear what you learn from them whether it’s good or bad so we can adjust. Keep us informed please Your our first hand guy! Thanks Brady! I would like to know if they plant the same way or if they have found a preferred way and care too.
Now I know most of you growing any romance serie’s cherry probably know this already, but here might be a reason why some may not have higher brix level "A common problem with CJ has been that new
growers often pick the fruit weeks before it is ripe.
When fully ripe this cherry practically becomes
black, yet people have been picking it red! At the
red stage, it likely has half the sugar and twice the
acidity. " Carmine jewel notes from UofS
I got a Carmine Jewel in ground here, hoping to reach the 30 pounds + it’s supposed to produce in a couple of years. I plan on netting it, of course…
Anyone know who is selling Cupid?