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Re: [nafex] New Cherry Varieties

The Carnefix Orchard here in Idaho has a tree called the IdaSweet.  It was
definitely sweeter than pie cherries but more tang than the sweets.  It was
almost as soft and a bit bigger than the pie cherries.  I liked it, so did
the gophers.

Don Yellman wrote:

> 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
> June-ripening.
> 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.
> Wood..
> 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