Your experience with Prunus tomentosa?

Someone has offered to give me a small plant of this Tart Cherry - Is it worth growing for making jams etc? Or should I be considering a different variety for better taste - production - or other reason?

I’d also like to know how much shade this small tree can tolerate and still bear fruit?

Thanks… Liz

AKA Nanking Cherry.
There was a recent discussion on it here…or one that turned or degenerated into one.

Two thumbs down from me on the Nankings, but some like 'em.

Planted a dozen or so row-run seedlings from Henry Field, Gurney’s, or some such place, years ago. Leftovers from a grafting project I was playing with (plums and peaches are significantly dwarfed on tomentosa)… tiny little fruits - about the size of a field pea, big pit and tiny little rim of pulp,not much more than the skin, surrounding it. Really disappointing to me… glad I didn’t invest much or expect much out of them.

Most likely you’ll need more than one plant to get fruit.

Carmine Jewel sweet tart cherry is cold hardy, easy to grow,and self fruitful. It is a lot better than Nankings cherry.


The Nankings that grow around here (W. Mont) are a treat. They produce loads of beautiful, juicy, tasty fruit. Pits are a little big but it ain’t that bad. I don’t have the space but there are a couple untended on the alley that I steal a few handfuls from every year.

Lucky, I think you musta got cheated!

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Here is a link to another thread here that you might find interesting.

I have a nanking cherry bush and I love the fruits for fresh eating. Especially when they are still firm… But I wouldn’t cook with them (pit ratio as mentionned above). Beautiful foliage and form, in my opinion.

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Happy to see a positive review. It seems like part of the deal with Nanking cherries is that they’re almost always seedlings, so they can be pretty variable (as reports here suggest). My impression is that there’s also some regional variation in how successful Nankings are relative to Carmine Jewel et al, but that’s just an impression.

We picked up a trio of Nanking cherries last year, sort of on a flyer (they weren’t expensive and I’ve read enough good things about how they do in our region to give them a try). If they work out they work out, if they don’t, they don’t, but I will say that they seem to be exceptionally tough little critters. Ours were quite small when they arrived, and one of them got knocked over after I planted it (possibly by our dog, I’m not sure). I found it lying on the ground, I’m not sure how much later, roots completely dislodged and exposed and apparently dried out. Figuring what the heck, I stuck what was left of the roots back in the ground, staked it up a bit, and gave it a good drink of water. After playing dead for a while, it surprised me by starting to put out new growth. Now, maybe it makes it through the winter and maybe it doesn’t, but I was impressed that it bounced back at all. I’ll be rooting for it (so to speak…) come spring.