My "Romance series" cherries

My dog urinates hundreds of times on my plants all year. I get some burn from time to time, never really very bad. Having fruit 2nd or 3rd leaf is never a for sure thing. If after 5 years it doesn’t fruit, then their could be a problem.

I’m trying to think of any reason that the 2 CJ, only 4 feet apart would look and act so different this Spring. I lost a few plants because of our crazy Spring weather, with a few months of single digit weather to end our Winter, then warm periods followed by more cold and snow cycles, but the cold hardiness of the CJ pretty much ruled out temp issues as the cause. I won’t worry much yet, it’s only opened about half the blooms, but it’s starting to leaf out slowly. The U of S Bush Cherries fit well in my garden, and the tart Cherries may be my biggest producer this year.

Yeah I’m not sure either? Sometimes they do behave differently, usually though it’s not a good sign. I have had few plants that seem to lag behind do well. Some have, most though continue the trend. But we don’t really know if you have a problem, maybe not? I have 14 cornus mas or dogwood cherry trees. They were species seedlings. The 5th year 3 bloomed, produced a few fruit. Now it’s the 6th year and 7 are blooming. Half have never flowered. Purchased at the same time, same size. they are all different sizes now too, but some of the smaller ones bloomed. I don’t think I have any problems, the trees just need time. I also have a yellow fruited dogwood, and that bloomed the 4th year, but didn’t produce any fruit. It has about the same amount of blooms this year. Not that many.
My Carmine Jewel had no flowers 2nd leaf, loads of flowers it’s 3rd year, but didn’t produce any fruit. Now the 6th year and it has produced fruit the last 3 years. A little more each year, far from full size yet. It should have been full size by now but spent 2 years in a container, so it is behind in size.
My Juliet is 2nd leaf, and I can’t tell if it has any flowers, not many if it does? I saw some people’s 2nd leaf Juliet has produced flowers, so it seems less hindered than Carmine Jewel was to flowering early. You can’t compare cultivars, they can vary a lot. Fairly obvious Juliet is a lot different than Carmine Jewel.


I’m optimistic, lol, and hope mine will soon look just like Clark and IowaJers, at a height I need to consider trimming them.

The last couple of years,my Carmine Jewel has been infected when blooming during Spring rains.
So,with some information posted by John in Portland,Oregon,about having a cover as that happens,I made a makeshift tent.
It looks to be working and there may be some fruit this year. Brady


Looks like a Romeo cherry on the way


I had one Juliet last year on a bush that I just planted. It hung on to til something ate it. I should have protected it to see what they taste like, but it was only one cherry. lol! So I know the feeling of getting one to fruit. These little bushes will be easier to net compared to sweet cherries. Well, at least for the next few years anyway.

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Do you mean fungal infection with the spring rains? That’s a very interesting idea!

These cherries have been out longer in Canada than in us and i don’t find a lot of info or reports showing up. If they r so great id think people would b gushing about it. Hope I’m wrong, should get a few fruit to try this year on Juliet And Romeo.

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I feel like there has been a ton of press about these cherries over the years considering that they are cherries… lets face it, very few people can name even a single cherry variety besides perhaps Bing or “pie” cherries.

Check out the BBC article from back in March (posted in this thread).

Yes,the infection can travel along branches and kill them too. Brady

2nd leaf Juliet blossom cluster. There are several others on this plant.


I have high hopes for Juliet. Mine did essentially the same thing last year, as a 2-year bush it put on a couple clusters. They aborted but I was really jazzed that they showed me something. Now in year three, it looks as if both bushes will have some blossoms throughout the bush and not just a teaser cluster.

They are performing very similar to how my CJ’s did. Fast growing and will probably produce some amount of fruit in year three (fingers crossed!)

I’m very hopeful/excited to taste the Juliet.

I’ve been that same way with the CP but they’re going on their 5th year and haven’t fruited yet. They’re a sad looking duo…

Yeah I have CJ and the taste is fantastic, but the cherries are small. CP doesn’t produce well, at least at first, shows little promise. Romeo and Juliet seem the most logical to try. If I started over i would go with them. I don’t have room to add Romeo, and don’t want to pull Carmine Jewel. I do have Juliet. I think these cherries could put the traditional tart cherries out of business.Much better color, easy to grow, small size for production amount.

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From my 3 year old Juliet’s to my 7 & 8 year old CJ’s the blossoms are popping - the 5-year old CP’s are showing leaf only, and precious little of that! I think if they do not make at lest a blossom this year I’ll get rid of them.

I was initially intrigued by Romeo, but it was my understanding that they were the last to ripen. I think Don indicated they were not last for him however. But I’ve been hit by SWD on stuff that ripens later so anything that I can harvest early is good I think. If I pull the two CP’s I may even replace them with a couple more Juliet’s, but IDK for sure.

I want to see how they do over the long haul in our climate. I see some canker on one of my 8-year CJ’s already.

Dr. Boors talked about renewal pruning by taking off major branches at year 5-6 I think? I’ll have to look back at the email, but I kinda wish I’d have tried that then. As it is, my older bushes are looking sparse in the interior this year. Add to that I pruned off 3-4’ and it may be an unremarkable year this year, but they often surprise me!

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IL847 was kind enough to meet me in the Chicago 'burbs one day and gift me a Carmine Jewel she dug out at her garden due to too much shade.

TheDerek sent me a couple sticks of Juliet.

I am anxiously waiting for the carmine jewel to wake up and start growing this year, to see how it does, and am planning on “nurse grafting” Juliet to one of the CJ stems until it grows enough wood I can layer, tip-root, graft, or hardwood/softwood root a freestanding Juliet so I have both CJ and Juliet.

Excited to try them, but it is a hurry up and wait situation, of course…just like my apples are finally starting to throw a bunch of flowers, 2 yrs after grafting. (I am glad to see the flowers, but man, is it going to hurt to strip them off 3-5’ trees so they don’t runt everything out…)

Hi Jerry,

Could you please share the suggestion from Dr. Bob Bors about renewal pruning. I love to know it so I could get it right from early on. Thanks.

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I pulled one of my cp last week. I should probably pull my last one also. They r a dud! Put something that actually produces in that spot.

Here is the last paragraph from his email dated 7/1/14:

For best longevity one should grow the cherries as bushes with multiple trunks. Using renewal thinning you should get rid of a trunk or two every year or two to allow new ones to form or let suckers in the row come up to replace them. Our original seedling rows are 22 years old and are still alive and fairly healthy. On a severe -50C winter, we didn’t lose trees but we lost the oldest trunks of most trees. Specifically it was those branches that had born fruit for many years and were hardly making any growth. Perhaps a trunk should be removed somewhere around 7 years old? Maybe 10? I’d think the bushes could go on for many decades.

So if I interpret that correctly, you’d remove a trunk or two every year or two after maybe year 7 in the life of the bush.

Again, my CJ’s have been heavy croppers the past couple years but at this point the oldest/biggest bush (at least one of the 3) looks fairly barren on the lower interior branches. That is not something I’ve ever noticed before to any great concern level anyway. But I do wonder if a combination of heavy bearing and maybe lack of sun have been contributing factors. It just can’t be our Iowa winters on these zone 2 bushes. I’ve not had any winter-kill to speak of on CJ’s, but the CP’s may have. Though on the CP’s it could also be a byproduct of a weakened immune system or something. I’ve thought for some time that the CP’s suffered from a vascular problem, but they my well have never recovered from the cherry leaf spot they each got a couple years ago.

Anyway, hope this helps.


My little Romeo cherry in bloom.