Two trees, One Grow Bag

I just ordered two trees, one montmorency cherry and a carmine jewel bush cherry. They are both very small trees from Stark Bros. I’m in zone 6B. I have one 30 Gallon grow bag filled with potting soil. I am considering keeping them in the grow bag together until they go dormant in the fall, and then planting in the ground. In the meantime, I will keep the growbag on my deck with my tomatoes that are in growbags as well, and babying them through the summer.

Does anyone with more experience have any thoughts on this idea? Would it be better to just plant them in the ground when they arrive?

I have about 7 years experience with both trees. I do not have any experience with trees in grow bags. I can tell you that both trees are vigorous growers in my orchard. My Carmine Jewel is now about 7 years old. It is 7 feet tall and about 15 feet in diameter. It produces probably 25-30 gallons of cherries every year. It took two years in the ground for the first cherries to appear. The production has roughly doubled every year until last year, when I started to prune the bush down to contain the size. In my yard over the past 4 years, the tree has sent out countless suckers, easily 40-50 of them. I have dug them up and given them away to many people, after warning them in all CAPS that this plant will put off suckers like you have never seen. The cherries are simply wonderful tasting. You can make a great diversity of cherry things with them. Keeping the plant in a grow bag permanently might be an interesting way to stunt the growth. Montmorency cherries, in great contrast, form a single tree, grow at an expected pace, and are the standard in sour cherry flavor. Our tree is pruned yearly to stay about about 8 feet tall. It does not produce any suckers. The Montmorency cherries are only a true red on the outside of the cherry. The inside is a light yellowish transparent color. Carmine Jewel cherries are the deep carmine color clear through the cherry. We like the Carmine Jewel cherries much more for their flavor. You just have to be committed to dealing with the suckers.

Thanks for the response. I am looking forward to having both plants in my garden. I’m definitely looking to put them in the ground at some point. I just wanted to know thoughts on keeping them temporarily in this grow bag together over summer, as it’s a giant grow bag, and I’ve been led to believe it’s better to plant in ground when the trees are completely dormant.

My question is, would there be a problem with roots tangling or other issues if they are grown together in the one bag just until I can plant them in the ground this fall.

Currently, I have a Romeo established in a wine barrel that is very healthy, and a North Star in the ground. I’m just looking for diversity in my plantings, and hopefully get an abundance of tart cherries at some point. A local orchard grows montmorency trees, and I actually really enjoyed the taste. If the carmine jewel are better, that is definitely a bonus.

Thanks for your reply.

I’ve grown Peaches and Plums together in grow bags smaller than than 30 gallons and they separated okay,when the time came.
For only 4-5 months,there shouldn’t be a problem.


I have experience with Carmen Jewel one season now and the rest have been sweet cherries. I was thinking my 4 in 1 cherry from Raintree would have montmorency since it was listed but it did not. 30 gallons is not big for cherries or many trees. My dwarf sweet cherry from Grow Organic Peaceful Valley practically filled up my 30 gallon pot in 2020 when I planted it. The cherry has thrived in it though. It has not flowered in it however. My black gold on Mazzard from Raintree nursery last year was likely around 50 to near 100 gallons starting out. My carmen jewell was from stark bros and the roots seem to have stayed more restricted. I have found some roots grow quickly and others grow more restricted for whatever reason. My standard apples and pears took up a entire 100 gallon pot in a season, I had a Comice on OHxF 87 that hardly put out any roots all season and was still loose 1 year later while my Warren on OHxF 87 seems to have stuck itself in pretty well. What is the difference I do not know.

my carmine jewel is the same size as yours and its 6 yrs. old but hasnt sent up suckers. my same age Juliet has given me 2 suckers and Romeo 4. im in z4a. maybe the cooler weather or clay soil prevents them from suckering as much?

That’s good to know, I think I will just make another batch of potting mix and at least put each plant in their own grow bag after hearing your experience

My carmen jewel is already sending up a sucker and it has been one season.

Keep in mind Stark Bros typically sends small roots and small plants. Even after one season my Carmen Jewel is still super small from them. If you look at the fine print on their website they often say their regular trees are only going to be up to 3 feet if it is a potted product of theirs. It is my opinion they way overcharge for the size of their plants. I buy from them because they are either the only game in town or they often times have standard size options while others do not. I got a ayers pear from them because they had a standard price for example. Or they are the only ones who seem to sell the gold Saturn peaches.

Our soil here is rock hard clay, but it is warm here. We are zone 7b. The summers hit 100 degrees for multiple days. The suckers have taken over an entire corner of my yard. My wife is not pleased. :slight_smile: I also have a Romeo and a Juliet. They are about three years younger and have only put out a few suckers each, hardly anything. In spite of giving away 30 or so starts, the remaining ones are now starting to bear fruit as well! I do not know what to do with them. We love the cherries. We feed at least 10 families a year off the big bush. Last year I called several of the families that had picked the year before. They said their freezers were still full of cherries and they did not need any more. My estimate of 30 gallons worth of actual cherries may be a little low.

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