Nanking cherries


Does anyone know whether a Carmine Jewel can cross-pollinate a Nanking Cherry? I planted two Nanking bushes a couple of years back, one is now 6’ tall and the other is 1’ and looks terrible. After reading so many positive things here about Carmine Jewel, I was hoping I could swap one for the existing 1’ bush and grow side by side with the Nanking for comparison. I am short on space in that area, so a third bush is unfortunately not an option.


I was hoping someone else could answer you on this, so maybe my answer will prompt others who know for sure whether CJ will pollinate Nanking. The good news is that if you plant the CJ, it should be self fertile so you’ll at least get cherries from one bush.

I don’t know how good you are at grafting, but if you do decide to pull the smaller Nanking, you may want to take some cuttings from it when it is dormant and graft a few into the Nanking you are going to leave in the spring. That way, if they take and eventually flower, you’ll have the cross pollination still in place all in the one bush.


I don’t know about Carmine Jewel, but I have a Nanking and a Juliet cherry that I was hoping would pollinate each other. They flowered at very different times, maybe a month apart, for me and there was no fruit on either bush.


Sometimes they don’t fruit the first flowering, or the buds were damaged. I only have Carmine Jewel and it fruited fine the nest year, and the year after that. I added Juliet this year.


It is unlikely, without chemical intervention. While Nanking does cross with other prunus. Sour Cherries have double the standard number of prunus chromosomes, A full two sets from the sweet cherry and 2 sets from p.fruitcosa. CJ is a sour cherry crossed back with fruitcosa again resulting in a plant with 1 set from sweet and 3 from fruticosa.

for the curious one of the chemical used to cause plant buds to double chromosomes is colchinice. Its derived from Autumn crocus bulbs.


We have talked about this a few times in the stone fruit hybrid thread. I’m not sure of ploidy level in Prunus tomentosa? Even if ploidy level does not match it still may accept pollen from other prunus species. The seeds could be sterile, but still produce fruit. Not likely, but does occur in certain situations.


Anyone else having a good Nanking year? My two bushes are loaded. It’s nice to have these ripening so much later than my romance series cherries. And for some reason the birds mostly leave them alone. This batch (they’re a lot darker than the photo shows) will be turned into jam tomorrow.


do all your nanking cherries bear this late? mine start bearing before the sour cherries start.


Yes. The two I have are Joy and Joel.


Oh ok, I understand now as those aren’t nanking cherries. I have joy and joel, too, they have had problems with swd for me as those populations are heavy at this time of the year, do you do any control of them?


I think they were labeled as Nanking when I got them from edible landscaping a few years back. But I don’t know much about them. What are they?

No issues with SWD yet. Last year was the first time I noticed them, and that wasn’t until late August.



Are these nanking cherries taste like CJ, Crimson Passion…? or are they better?



I’ve only carmine jewel so far. I’d say these taste fairly similar and are equally good for processing.