My "Romance series" cherries


Peaches can tolerate canker longer than other stone fruit trees, sweet cherries are most susceptible, then sour cherries and apricots.


Sweet cherries I believe can get a bacterial canker, not fungal like peaches. My peaches are all infected, yet none of my sweet cherries. Also the romance series are hybrids, not technically pure sour cherries (Mongolian cherry x sour cherry). Too young to know much about what can go wrong with them. I did have one sweet cherry die from canker at my cottage, it tolerated it for 7 years.


I’ll have to inspect it more carefully. It seems very sudden and severe for canker which made me think there is more internal damage from a borer.


I never seen leaf loss from canker like you have.


Two years ago, my carmine jewel had something similar. It looked like what you have going on but was just one of the shrub’s four main branches (I had buried my plant deep so it would have multiple branches coming up from beneath the soil).That branch died back to the base, but a new one came up and replaced it the following spring. No problems since. I never did find out what caused the problem, but the CJ bounced back just fine.


I just drank some of this stuff:

Lakewood sour cherry juice.

In my glass I added one part water; two parts juice-- over ice.

It tasted just like the best Italian red wine (without the alcohol). Same rich tannic mouthfeel and flavor. Unlike other makers-- this brand does not claim to use all Montmorency. I wonder what sour cherry cultivars go into this mix. The juice is very good.

Don’t get me wrong: I also really like Monty, but that’s like “drinking” a cherry pie. Has that classic distinct flavor.


Can any of you sour cherry experts tell me which - if any - sour cherry cultivars taste like red wine when juiced?

I seem to recall discussion of this, but cannot find that thread.

I am interested in finding which morello or saskatchewan cherries achieve that tannic savory mouthfeel of a good dry wine when watered down.

Any comments?


Any tips on care at this point for my romance bushes? Planted last March but between deer and what I’m guessing was cherry leaf spot, they’re still small but 4/6 that I planted are still growing. Got pics today. I bought immunox last year and some sort of copper, Bonide IIRC (will look in basement tomorrow). But since they’re already waking up, I bet I missed a good dormant window for spraying. Here are some pics of little leaf buds on my two Juliets and my other two which have lost their labels and I can’t recall which were planted where so the other two might be CP, CJ, or Romeo.


Carmine Jewell really benefit from fertilizer ( I use cow manure) and woodchips over the top to bump up moisture and nutrients.


I would fence them in to keep the deer and rabbits away. At least till they are bigger. I am making my fence a bit larger in dia this year to four foot.


We’ve got rabbit manure so hope that’ll help and pretty well composted wood chips, too. Thanks!!


Thanks you- yes, last year we had pigs and the fence (electric netting) was being used for them. Now we have pork; our cherry bushes should be safe from deer!!


Hi Annie,
If you are concerned about canker, you can still spray copper at this stage but you need to look at a label to see the rate for it.

For Immumox, if your cherry leave spot is really bad, you can spray the first time before bloom, then, 2nd spray 10-14 days after bloom and 3rd spray about 14 days later. I can get away with only two after bloom sprays.


Thanks, @mamuang. Some sort of disease was definitely an issue for me last year and my best guess was cherry leaf spot, so I may use the Immunox again. I’m sorry to need clarification; when referencing times according to bloom, is that just flower bloom? I’m not sure I had many flowers last year. I did have a few and even had a fruit start then die, but I wondered if you meant leafing out or if bloom strictly means flowers.

I had to look up canker. Don’t think I’ve seen it (yet!) but did come across a neat podcast interview with Dr. Bob Bors, who worked on the romance series bushes. It talks about their history, name, and a bit of pruning advice. I do wonder if I’m just a bit too south/ humid here in northern va. We get cold out here and I’m probably 6b-ish but maybe the humidity fostered the fungal disease last year. Not sure.

Thanks again, everyone.

Here’s a link to the podcast if anyone’s interested


Cherry leave spot is so common cherry disease. It’s also easy to identify.
Yes, bloom means flowering time. Cherry seems to flowers before they leaf out. I’d say you could spray the first Immunox about 10 days after petals fall. Then, the second spray 10-14 days later. Use sticker like Bonide Turbo will help the chemical stay on leaves longer.

Nufilm 17 is a better product but it comes in a gallon jug. Not sure you want to have such a large quantity at this time.


This link should help with diagnosis This link demonstrates progress of bushes and effectiveness of treatment If the disease is managed you can live with it and effectively raise cherries as shown by these pictures of my bushes.


I listened to the whole podcast. It was very interesting. It must be harder for them to answer questions on them, being that they are more north. I like that they have tested or are testing them In my state, the state of Michigan where cherries thrive along Lake Michigan inland shorelines. Personally I think these will grow bigger bushes as we here have noticed and they will be probably be more susceptible to fungus and disease than in the far north. I will be curious to read what the Michigan trial sites have found out. If this has been released I have not heard about it. If any knows please chime in.


I don’t know, but read about the trials 5 years ago, they should have some info by now.


I saw this on the front page of bbc today.


Wow, that was really good. I knew about Kerr but this story had a lot of details I never heard before.