What to do with Nanking Cherry plant?

On my recent order with Raintree I purchased 5 Nanking cherry bushes. Ive read a little about them but I’m looking for ideas on what to do with them. I guess they are versatile enough to be grown in planters or as bushes or even as fruiting hedges. what are your experiences with these little cherry bushes and what are your recommendations? How are the taste of these when compared to sweet or sour cherries. I’ve read they they are kind of in between and a little sweeter than tart cherries. Anyone have pictures of their Nankings?

I’m fond of the fruit. It’s on the small side and the pit is a little large, but they are tasty, a little tart but sweet enough, very juicy, and the plants are generous. They seem to thrive on poor soil and neglect. They will self seed and the birds must spread them. They occassionally grow wild but aren’t a problem. They have a very pretty, early bloom.

I grafted a prune to one seven years ago; still waiting to see fruit. The combination resulted in a true dwarf.

Should be easy to hedge them or let them go as bushes, but I’ve never tried them in containers, although I bet they’d manage just fine.

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I ordered one from Raintree, too, and my plans are: to hybridize it with my Western Sandcherry, then from this cross, I will cross it with my peach x almond hybrid.

You lost me there. Lol. Hybridize? Are we talking grafting or some high level genetic tweaking?

Yes I also read that they can tolerate poor conditions. Maybe I’ll star them in a pot for the first year and move them to the ground later.

Yes, hybridization.

Also, you make your own krymsk 1 rootstock. According to the patent, k1 is a cross between Nanking cherry x myrobalan plum.

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My family and I like the Nanking Cherries, as do the birds. If you can keep the birds out of them and let them get real ripe they are very good indeed. We had some last year off a bush with lots of sun exposure and I kid you not, they sweetened up and tasted a bit like pomegranates.
I’ve made ice cream with them but pitting them was tedious, small fruit with big pits. too small for the cherry pitter so i just used my fingers and pushed the pits out.

They do make an attractive bush, they are the first thing in my yard to blossom and they put on quite a show.

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How tall do they get?

Seems to me they can go to 8 or 10 feet untended, but I’m used to seeing them around 5 feet tall:

It is a deciduous shrub, irregular in shape, 0.3–3 m (rarely 4 m) high and possibly somewhat wider. The bark is glabrous and copper-tinted black. The leaves are alternate, 2–7 cm long and 1–3.5 cm broad, oval to obovate, acuminate with irregularly serrate margins, rugose, dark green, pubescent above and tomentose below, with glandular petioles. The flowers are white or pink in a scarlet calyx, opening with or before the leaves in spring. They are reliably profuse, arranged in clusters on scarlet pedicels and are 1.5–2.0 cm in diameter. The fruit is a sweet but slightly tart cherry, 5–12 mm (rarely to 25 mm) in diameter, scarlet, ripening in early summer. It prefers full sun and grows naturally in a variety of soils. It is drought-resistant, and cold-resistant to hardiness zone 2.[4][6][7]<<
(Wikipedia, "prunus tomentosa"

My nanking cherry flowers every year but never see any fruits set. Does it need another to fruit?

The one I bought from Raintree are listed as self fertile. We’ll see.

My listed as self fertile as well, but never set fruits. I check the flower and leaf shape, it is Nanking for sure. Mine got bush ful of flowers .

I got mine from Whiffletree Nursery and they state they require 2 for pollination.

I have two from fedco that flower wonderfully but never set fruit. Just added two from a different supplier so I’m hoping that might lead to fruit set in a few years

My two have been setting a lot of fruit the last few years. This year their blooms got frozen out. Amazing considering theyve been one of the only things not effected by cold in 2019 and 2020. This year all of my other trees are producing but the nankings aren’t. But that’s okay. They aren’t very good in my opinion. Fruit is just way too small with little flesh. Flavor isn’t bad but a lot of kine do not get eaten. Next time I’ll try making jelly or juice.

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