Romeo cherry

This bush was recommended by a friend who sent off and got me one when he got his order. Romeo is reportedly a good juice cherry. Can hardly wait to plant it! Im planting romeo beside a row of juliet which odly seems fitting somehow. I have half a dozen carmine jewell cherries the next row over. Anyone else growing romeo?

Listening to the plants breeders i grow their favorites " The first sour cherries planted in the University experimental plots were from seeds from the Central Siberian Botanic Garden in Novosibirsk. These were just beginning to fruit when Rick began work as a technician in 1971. They had low productivity and lacked winter hardiness. Asked to discard them, Rick took two home which he tried (unsuccessfully) to cross with sweet cherries. His goal: to develop a hardy large shrub with large, high quality fruit.

Rick’s next crosses involved a collection of sour cherries, mainly from Europe, received from Les Kerr (who had worked on them for at least 20 years). All these were controlled crosses made in the greenhouse with help from Rick’s kids on weekends. “It was a great botany lesson for them.”

Rick crossed the best of these, ‘Kerr’s Easy Pick’, with ‘North Star’, a sour cherry tree introduced from Minnesota. The result was ‘SK Carmine Jewel’, the first sour cherry introduced by the University of Saskatchewan in 1999.

Bob arrived at the University of Saskatchewan in 1999 when a new generation of Rick’s seedlings were coming into production. He tasted them, began taking data and thought, “These cherries are exciting!” Bob jokingly says, “Rick was their Dad and I became their Godfather.”

Bob tested them further, selected the best and developed a protocol for their tissue culture propagation. He gathered additional cherries from local growers and from Ontario and made more crosses. When making selections he looked at flavour, size, pitting ease and the possibility of mechanical harvesting.

Bob introduced the Romance series of cherries in 2003: ‘Crimson Passion’, ‘Cupid’, ‘Juliet’, ‘Romeo’ and ‘Valentine.’ Of these, Rick’s favorite is still ‘Carmine Jewel’ while Bob’s are ‘Romeo’ and ‘Juliette’.

Rick’s advice on the care of sour cherries: “Grow them as a shrub with multiple stems rather than in tree form. Bob concurs and adds: “Keep the soil around cherries weed-free.” - Saskatchewan fruit breeders receive prestigious horticulture award - Fruit Growers News


As you have probably seen from some of my older posts, I have R & J, planted 2 years ago. Juliet was a much larger plant (about 2ft tall) with huge roots, hence now it’s about 5ft tall and abt 3 ft wide. It flowered some this year, and has set a few cherries.

Romeo was much smaller when planted, about a foot tall. Now it’s abt 2ft tall, and flowered some this year also, but doesn’t seem to have set fruit.

It looks puny next to Juliet, but realize the size difference when planted. Still it seems J is pretty vigorous compared to R. I gave both a good dose of Hollytone fert last month, and they seem to have responded well.

Of course in hindsight, I wish I would’ve got 2 Juliet’s, and maybe a Carmine Jewel, instead of one of each plus a Crimson Passion, which has since croaked. But, it is what is.


Bet you will be glad long term! The growers say " Rick’s favorite is still ‘Carmine Jewel’ while Bob’s are ‘Romeo’ and ‘Juliette’". Bob chose romeo for some reason you may not know of yet. Please post pictures when you have a chance!


I read somewhere that Romeo was like CJ but weeks later. I forget where, but that impressed me.


I would love to have all there varieties for the extended harvest season they seem to have and would like to find someone that only has the romance sour cherries near them for pollination so i could buy some of there seeds and get a hedgerow of unique ones spreading about 100 ft.


Romeo from honeyberryusa seems like a great cherry!


I put in romeo last year (i think from gurney’s, great sale price)
Anyway, its growing a lot of shoots, profuse flowers, tried to turn out some cherries already.
Im happy with it. Planning on a juliet i think, or maybe CJ but prolly juliet

ADDING: i have 2 beautiful suckers growing.:heart_eyes: I love volunteers. If i end up with a little patch of romeo may just roll with it for a while


My Romeo has grown slow. It’s still small planted as a plug from 2015. It’s going to be a great bush. It’s loaded with buds this year and is going to be the last to bloom. My Juliet’s are about done and my Romeo is just getting ready to bloom. It’s about five days behind CJ. I’ll have to post a picture when it is in full bloom but here it is now.


Maybe it was due to age, but CJ was awful last year. Really not worth the trouble.
Later that year… I had fruit off of Romeo or Juliet (same age/size as the CJ) and it was much more comparable to a Bing type cherry in terms of flavor. In fact, quite good. This year my Romeo and Juliet set surprisingly well. Looking forward to more experience with both.

I bought one of each Romeo and juliet but they’re still tiny and the labels fell off. One has shorter broader leaves and the other has longer slightly narrower leaves. Can anyone help me figure out which is which?

In general my Romeo has smaller leaves than my Juliet

1 Like

I just went out and looked and mine agree with Roth. The Juliet leaves were much larger than the Romeo.

1 Like

Thank you so much! I’ve still got them in pots and knew where I wanted then … romeo on the east and julliet to the west… without your help i would have only a 50% chance of getting it right!

Second season in the ground and my Romeo has lots of flowers on it!

(Photo’s zoomed in and slightly awful.) The Juliet got 50% taller, and I think sent up a root sucker, but didn’t flower. Might be attributable to the helpful deer pruning the Romeo got a lot more of? I guess I’ll find out how self-fertile it is.

1 Like

Has anyone here observed if any of these bush cherries have resistance to blossom brown rot? I gave up on my three ‘Carmine Jewel’ bushes and was discouraged from trying the other related selections.

Cherry season is wrapping up here, with Romeo the last to ripen. Had a pretty good year with cherries. My Juliet and Romeo produced a decent amount for the first time, and I also got about 12 pounds from my Montmorencies despite the late spring frost.

I’m impressed with the size of the Romeos, almost as big as a sweet cherry, has a similar meatiness to it as well, and is very juicy. I can see why it’s recommended as a juice cherry. The seed doesn’t come out easily though.

It’s definitely worth letting them get darker before harvesting. If you pick them when bright red they have a slightly unpleasant bitterness, but once they’re dark red/maroon they’re almost more sweet than sour. Hard to wait too long though as the birds have their eyes on them as well. I’ve found that using a lot of reflective tape does seem to help deter them.


Is therea white cherry scale? Or does my tree have some type of fungus? I’ll take a pic tomorrow.