Unreleased University of Saskatchewan prarie cherries we want & what we know about them contrasted with romance series cherries

I broke down n just ordered Cupid and Sweet thing, 2 of each from Honeyberry! They sound great!!
I have Jubileum it has done well here i want to graft some more, and i have some other hybrids, as well as a young Juliet and Valentine! Since im giving up on any more significant effort on sweet cherries and pawpaws and peaches(other than what is still alive), i’m going to get lots more serious to increase my sour and hybrid cherry planting, since they work here, i should have done that 4 or 7 yrs ago as with all tree plantings lol! :slight_smile:


Crimson Passion for me fruited for the first time last summer, about 10 cherries. I didn’t taste them as I bagged them so the birds wouldn’t get them, and wasps set up shop in there. I kept the seeds and they are in the fridge stratifying. Big cherries, big seeds. I’ve had buckets and buckets off Carmine Jewel in the meantime. My 4 bushes are next to my patio in a raised bed and don’t compete with grass, just some flower bulbs. It’s a nice landscape blend. I don’t do much fertilizing, maybe I should do more. I did add some humic acid stuff a couple years ago though, which reinvigorated some tulips that were declining and maybe the CP. I think the bushes are around 14 years old, got them back in the day from HBUSA. Quite a wait for CP to do anything. I will prob graft over a couple of the CP trunks.

The original CP was a seedling. All the plants we have are tissue cultured. Seedlings, tissue culture and grafts don’t all have the same growth characteristics.

I find it somewhat confusing why passion was ever named and released to the public. I havent heard many things good about it, and a lot of people have problems. Unless its just somehow the genetics that made it to the US that are faulty and not the same as what it actually is or intended to be. Ive had a passion for maybe 8 years now and it rarely flowers and never develops fruit, but it also doesnt die back, even in ND. Strange

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[quote=“Deanna_Montana, post:142, topic:22006”]
The original CP was a seedling. All the plants we have are tissue cultured. Seedlings, tissue culture and grafts don’t all have the same growth characteristics.
[/quote] just edited my comment.

CP may not even be totally self pollinating. They are evaluating a zillion seedlings at Uof S, who knows what’s going on. I have seen a lot of people talking about difficulty with pollination of hybrid Japanese/ American plums also that are supposed to cross with each other. Mine barely set fruit, and bloom at the same time faithfully every year, but they not that close together either so I’m adding some more (american seedlings) to see if that helps. grafting in other types is the other option I guess.

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my CP isnt more than 20 yards away from carmine jewel and juliet, so Id think that pollination isnt the issue, hard to say for sure I guess.

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Mine set fruit the first and only time it has flowered. I had left it alone because the leaves looked glossy and healthy and I was getting so many cherries from the other bushes I figured it just had too much shade to do anything. It’s just to the east of my covered patio. Anyway it’s a pretty shrub even if mostly a dud for a fruiting bush. I don’t know much about the soil at UofS. Mine is on the alkaline side, the stuff that my husband used to backfill around the foundation was pretty sticky, not ideal for planting anything, so I’m glad the cherries are in a raised bed position for drainage. With time and organic matter and plants the soil around the foundation has improved though. The rest of the lot was hay and alfalfa field in its former life so good gardening there.

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If CP has any sweet cherry in its heritage, it may need to cross with something else compatible. You could try hand pollinating with CJ and Juliet next time you see flowers on CP. My two plums are about that distance (20 yards). My cherries are really close together, like 5 feet apart, lots of bulbs underplanted blooming too, with one plum tree about 10 feet away, all blooming at once. The other plum is by itself out in the lawn with no friends, away from the party, and a bit out of the line of sight of the other. Maybe my two plum trees are really not compatible, but I do get a few plums set that mostly fall off. So I think it’s pollination that’s the problem. I’ll try pruning and swapping a few blooming branches in a bucket under the trees this spring, since it’ll take some time for the American plum seedlings to get going.

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Hmm more Crimson Passion observations; I ordered scion wood determined to top graft my dud CP to other sour cherries but haven’t done it yet. The bush is taller than my 3 Carmine Jewels. Everything seems to be ahead of last year by a few weeks in terms of buds. Hybrid plums are now blooming. A sucker of CP in my rock bed is blooming, that is the only cherry in bloom currently, and it’s growing with a quaking aspen and bush yew on the east side of the house. Alkaline soil, no grass, weed barrier and river rocks for heat, but root competition with other woodies. I looked hard for fruit buds on the main CP bush and noticed a few, exactly where I got blooms last year. I spied above the flower buds is a purple binder clip I put there at some point when I attached bird scare ribbon. I am wondering if partially girdling the little branch induced flower buds, like pruning can. I’m going to be pruning that thing back to see if I can get more flowers, and grafting other sour cherry varieties to two of the three existing trunks to get some use out of that bush.

A deer “helpfully” Summer pruned my Romeo bush two years ago. It flowered pretty heavily last year right below where it was cut back to, while the larger untouched Juliet bush had maybe one or two flowers if any.

Have you been able to compare yet?

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Not yet, still green


For those of you who might be in Canada the best option is just to order one of these inexpensive cherries and try it for $25 C

"This is one of 7 cherries the University of Saskatchewan has released in 2022 for their 100 anniversary of horticulture. Part of the Musketeer series! Developed by cross breeding Mongolian and sour cherries. Produces heavy crops of dark red cherries with sweet flesh. It is very exciting to be able to offer these brand new cherries to the prairies!

Zone 2

H6’ W4’ "

"This is one of 7 cherries the University of Saskatchewan has released in 2022 for their 100 anniversary of horticulture. Part of the Musketeer series!

These cherries are best grown as a shrub for the prairies, you can however select a trunk and make it a tree but it will be less cold hardy. Self pollinating you only need one plant to get fruit. It is best to let them ripen on the bush for a sweeter berry. Choose a full sun location for best fruit production. They will tolerate part sun. They can tolerate clay soil if it is a well drained site but prefer sandy loam. Add compost in the spring as a mulch and this will suffice for fertilizer.

Zone 2

H6’ "

“Tart Cherry - D’Artagnan
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This is one of 7 cherries the University of Saskatchewan has released in 2022 for their 100 anniversary of horticulture. Part of the Musketeer series!

It has burgundy coloured fruit with flavour similar to Valentine and Juliet. The shorter stature and limber, arching branches. D’Artagnan also requires far less pruning than other varieties. Although Dr. Bors developed D’Artagnan with commercial growers in mind, this sour cherry is well suited to home gardeners who want a hedge of cherries. They are dwarf and willowy, great for a hedge - to form a hedge, plant them one metre apart in a row about one metre wide. Mulch the area so there is no grass or weed competition. For the first few years the plants will be individuals. When suckers begin to appear between the plants, don’t remove them, just let them grow up to fill in the rows,

Zone 2

H6’ & W8’ Maximum"

" The fourth musketeer is out for a battle!

In honour of the 100 Years of Horticulture Science celebration at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Bob Bors (Plant Breeder with University of Saskatchewan Fruit Program) released a new dwarf sour cherry variety called D’Artagnan!

Why the name D’Artagnan?

D’Artagnan was the fourth musketeer in the 1800’s tale of “The Three Musketeers”. This is the fourth variety of Dr. Bor’s “Musketeer” series. The other three varieties in this series have not been released in Canada yet.

D’artagnan was developed out of crossing ‘Kerr’s Easy Pick’ and ‘Cacanski Rubin’ as part of the Dr. Bor’s ‘Romance Series’ Breeding Program. Thus, it’s closely related to Romance series having some of the same parentage as Juliet, Valentine and Crimson Passion. It produces burgundy coloured fruit with flavour similar to Valentine and Juliet.

(Picture courtesy: Dr. Bob Bors)

D’Artagnan offers great dependability, flavour, and ease of harvest for commercial growers. It’s shorter than the Romance series topping out at about 6’ in height when fully mature whereas the romance series averaging 8feet in height. In recent years, commercial growers have been using special sideways harvesting machines to harvest sour cherries. The shorter stature and limber, arching branches of D’Artagnan are well suited to sideways harvesters which bends the branches over a conveyor belt. The fruit only drops a few inches versus several feet with conventional upright harvesting machines, resulting in far less damage to fruit. D’Artagnan also requires far less pruning than other varieties, which reduces labour costs for growers. While this is the best cherry variety for sideways harvesters, it is also the best variety for homeowners that want a hedge of cherries. It can be grown as complementary crop with Saskatoons because both crops are adapted to sideways harvester.

(Picture courtesy: Dr. Bob Bors)

Floramaxx specializes in tissue culture propagation of University of Saskatchewan’s dwarf sour cherries. If you are interested in having D’Artagnan in your home or an orchard, please don’t hesitate book your plants by emailing us at info@flormaxx.ca or giving us a call on 1-778-754-6299.

Happy #sourcherry growing!"

Ok so what cherry is missing of the 4 released you might wonder? Wowza aka big red

"This is one of 7 cherries the University of Saskatchewan has released in 2022 for their 100 anniversary of horticulture.

Fruit is vivid red, high yielding, twice as large of fruit size as Carmine Jewel. Bob Bors recalls Big Red’ had unusually LARGE red cherry that was 50% longer than wide with small lobes on the bottom. It looked like a miniature red delicious apple. I’d never seen any cherry that looked like that. It tasted good, didn’t seem to have winterkill. Currently being marketed in the USA as Wowza.

Zone 2


Remember the muskateer series is tring to compete with the romance series


It all began with carmine jewell, which is still my favorite


Sweet thing and cutie pie are coming soon

big-red-cherry.pdf (124.7 KB)
valentine-cherry.pdf (653.5 KB)
dartagnan-cherry.pdf (338.6 KB)
growing-and-using-sour-cherries-2021.pdf (143.4 KB)
sweet-thing.pdf (214.2 KB)
cutie-pie-cherry-final-1.docx (554.3 KB)


In the usa and still want the bush cherries. Here you go the Canadian cherries can be ordered here


Planted a couple Cutie Pie in 6b this year, hopefully have a few nice progress pics in the years to come!


Anyone know if sweet thing and Juliet will overlap any with blooms or have a link to bloom times for UoS cherries that includes the newer ones ?

Probably going to get those 2 for fall/spring planting… Unless anyone has any strong options against sweet thing.