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[nafex] New Cherry Varieties
1. Mark Lee's cherry question has reminded me that I have a cherry
question myself, and some info that might be interesting to Mark. I get
a catalog from a nursery in Molalla, OR called "One Green World" (it
used to be called something else like Northlake or Northwoods nursery
--- can't remember), which specializes in new and unusual fruiting
plants. They seem to have very close relationships with plant breeders
in the former Soviet Union --- Russia, Ukraine, and the countries of E.
Europe. They are legit --- I ordered a couple Cornelian Cherries (which
of course are not really cherries) and some Aronia from them several
years ago and was quite pleased. I'm sure that some of you PNW'ers have
heard of them and may even have done business with them. The catalog
shows the names of the plants in English and Russian, which is
especially helpful if you can read Russian, which I can't.
2. Anyway, this year they are listing two "new" cherry varieties from a
cherry breeding program in Erd, Hungary, that are described as having a
"remarakable, complex sweet-tart flavor". Those varieties are called
Danube and Jubileum. Both are described as self-fertile and
3. They credit Amy Iezzoni, a cherry breeder at Mich. State Univ. for
having discovered and brought these cultivars to the U.S. for use in her
breeding program. I checked out the MSU website, and Amy Iezzoni is in
fact a real person, a professor of horticulture, and head of the cherry
breeding program there. I even found her e-mail address, but hesitate
to buzz her with my questions without having exhausted other sources of
info. She could be busy breeding cherries or something more important.
But I probably will try to contact her if I can't find anyone who has
some experience with these cherries.
4. In the past couple of years I have lost two Northstars and one
Meteor. I think they just reached the end of their useful lives, which
I figure is about 20 years in this climate. Still have one large
Meteor, and a full-size Montmorency (25 ft.) which is very healthy, and
capable of meeting the sour cherry needs of ourselves and several of the
neighbors all on its own. So I am inclined to try these "sweet-tart"
cultivars, especially if they are really agreeable when eaten fresh, as
replacement trees. I know that whether or not a sour cherry can be
eaten fresh is very much a matter of taste. The grandchildren here, and
some of the neighborhood kids seem quite capable of eating Montmorency
and Meteor cherries right off the trees with no problem. But I'm
looking for something just a tad sweeter so I can eat them fresh myself
without puckering. I have never had much luck with real sweet cherries,
having tried at least 8 varieties, with the exception of an old yellow
cherry called Governor Wood, which is very good but small, and Stark
Gold, which doesn't have much flavor, but seems to pollinate the Gov.
5. Hence the bottom-line question: has anyone tried these Hungarian
cherries, and, if so, how's the growth habit, productivity, and
especially the flavor?
6. With respect to your question about late cherries Mark, I am amazed
that you have already found a cherry that ripens as late as September.
If I may ask, what is it about late ripening that appeals to you? Is it
to fill a particular marketing niche? I think I'd be pretty surprised
if the Hungarians, Amy Iezzoni, or anyone else has found a sweet cherry
that ripens later than September. After all, that's when the apples are
ripe, and they are generally much larger. BTW, I have tried the
Hansen's bush cherry here, which came from a South Dakota breeding
program of the well-known Dr. Hansen. I think it is essentially the
same thing as the Nanking cherry, and I guess they were ok, but the
fruit was small and the bushes not very productive. I would not compare
them in quality to any of the tree cherries, including Northstar, which
I found to be even more tart than Montmorency and Meteor, although it
had very pretty, dark juice.
Best Regards, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA