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Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

Posted by scottfsmith 6B-7A-MD (My Page) on
Fri, May 18, 12 at 12:50

I noticed I have a spot for one more sweet cherry I had forgotten about. I already have several old soft varieties and a Black Gold and White Gold and am looking for another easy grower dark cherry like Black Gold. I was thinking of Black York, another Cornell release. Any other suggestions? Based on my experience with sweets I don't notice a huge taste difference so its more the productivity, disease and cracking issues I focus on. I did have Lapins and Hedelfingen but thought Black Gold tasted better and Hedelfingen was also not very productive for me.

Scott


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

Scott:

I'm somewhat interested in the Pearl series from NY. I recently read a good report on Burgundy Pearl which is a few days earlier than Bing. It is supposed to be very crack resistant. I'm also interested in Black Pearl because it is very early maturing. Ebony Pearl is also very crack resistant and ripens around Bing season.

I've got a fair crop on Regina this year. It's from Europe and very crack resistant but not known as a good cropper.


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

I have Black Gold, Lapins, Kristin and Stella. I think Black Gold is the best of the bunch....what sucks is it has no fruit this year, while the Lapins and Kristin are loaded.


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

Scott,

After reading your mentioning of Black York, I checked Cummins nursery, Black York sounds very interesting. So does Sylvia.

I have Black Gold and Vandalay, both second year. This year, Black Gold has 2 cherries and Vandalay has 10!! If they are not taken by birds and are able to live to their ripe, old age, I'll let you know how Vandalay tastes.


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

I planted a Regina this year based on reports of good disease and crack resistance. A precocious rootstock and other late blooming varieties for pollinators seem to be recommended to help with the cropping issues. I also have black gold and hudson. Attika is another cherry I've heard to have good crack resistance and be suitable for the east coast.


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

Thanks for the ideas. Fruitnut, those Pearl cherries seem to be under big commercial grower licenses only now - ? In looking around a bit more I found your cherry report from last year and I noticed you had Sandra Rose rated highly. Its a Canada-bred cherry which is at least better than the west coast ones so I may be interested in that one. It looks like Fowler is selling it. I notice you didn't like Regina's flavor too much last year; has it always been that way?

In general there is not much detail out there on comparing cherries. Fruitnut your report from last year is about the most complete comparison I could find on the whole Internet. I put it below for others that may not have seen it.

Scott

PS here is a description of Sandra Rose. It sounds like the major downside is a bit soft sometimes, but I don't care about that too much myself.

Sandra Rose (13S-10-40). Sandra Rose is a cherry that has been evaluated for many years and although it has never ranked at the very top in any one year, it has consistently ranked near the best. In the past few years, when taste panels have been used to evaluate varieties, it has been ranked the best in flavor. Sandra Rose is Van-type in appearence but not quite so blocky. The fruit is dark red, round and slightly compressed. It matures about three days after Van. The stems are short and thick. The flavor of this cherry is sweet and good, the texture is usually good, in the moderately firm category, but in some years it may be considered slightly soft under our conditions. The skin is very bright and shiny, a pack is very attractive and tends to have very uniform color and size (11.6 gram average fruit weight). The tree consistently bears very good crops and is self-fertile and appears to have a good tolerance to splitting.

Here is a link that might be useful: fruitnut report


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

Scott:

I don't think the Pearl series is restricted. ACN says in their catalog available in 2012.


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

Ah. Its not on their website list. It is on their ripening chart.

Scott


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

.. looking around some more I also found Wafler Nursery is selling Burgundy Pearl. I also found a good UMass report on the Pearl series, see below.

Scott

Here is a link that might be useful: U Mass report


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

fruitnut, I'm suprised your Regina was ranked so low in your trials. The linked below evaluation ranked Regina higher than Bing in taste. Although, I'm sure non of the evaluated varieties in these reports come close to the Brix you are able to achieve with your methods in your greenhouse.

I've tried to focus on crack resistance in my selections. Both Regina and Attika have data showing average cracking of 5% which is very low for sweet cherries.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cherry Evaluation


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

Scott:

I tried pulling up that U Mass report the other day but my computer keeps getting hung up after a partial upload. Any chance you could give a brief synopsis?


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

The link below evaluates some of the newer cherry varieties and includes cracking averages. Although this is a pacific northwest study, some (not all) of these varieties have shown to perform well in east coast conditions based on other research I have found. I find this document interesting as it's rare to find data on cracking that reports results in a quantitative versus qualitative manner.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cherry Cracking


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

Fruitnut, the main downside is they seem about average on cracking, not resistant as touted. For you in a greenhouse that doesn't matter of course, but it definitely makes me think twice. Here is the summary:

Although I was disappointed in the amount of cracking over the years, the Pearl cherries are no worse and likely somewhat better than other cherries that we might grow. If you think you can grow them without  covers, think again -- in most years they will crack. They are certainly highly productive, and will require the right kind of pruning to achieve adequate fruit size. Because they are relatively early cherries, they are attractive to birds (particularly cedar waxwings).

I have been most successful in harvesting a good crop of Black Pearl over the years, and therefore, declare it the best of the three. Personal correspondence with International Plant Management suggests "Burgundy Pearl has the best flavor, Ebony Pearl is the nicest cherry in its season, and Black Pearl will be the big winner of the three."

Scott


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

NC, your last post overlapped with mine. Thats a helpful study, but it is only one year and if you look at the footnote the only rains were 2 weeks before the Bing harvest. So, the earlier harvest cherries have a disadvantage. For good cracking data you need 4-5 years due to the randomness of rains. Regina is clearly better than any cherry with the same harvest time, some of those cracked horribly.

Scott


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

The OSU study above is nice. Why can't nurseries give unbiased descriptions like those and real data??? Attika looks like it's worth consideration. But I'm unimpressed with their brix, 17-21, that's the best you've got in Oregon?

The current issue of Good Fruit Grower has a story about a grower in Elkton MD growing sweet cherries in almost two acres of high tunnels. She claims no insect issues and little disease or cracking. Her favorite cherry is Attika and her customers favorite is White Gold but her only others are Cavalier, Black York, Hedelfingen, Benton, and Lapins. That makes me wonder about Benton, one I'm really wanting to fruit.

If you really want cherries out east a high tunnel sounds like the way to go. I haven't really started harvest in my greenhouse yet but have run a brix on three cherries, 30.2 to 34 already. Very firm and flavorful as well.


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

Yes, Attika gets good comments in that OSU report. For me it overlaps too much with my Black Gold, otherwise I think I would go for that one.

Fruitnut, I think you have one issue I have not gotten yet but I will look for the article you mention. I agree that for commercial growers here the high tunnel is the way to go for sweet cherries.

Right now Sandra Rose is winning the race for my one more cherry, but I expect it will be next year that I get it so lots of time to chew on it.

Scott


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

To me cherries are really annoying. You have plum curculio, you have brown rot, you have the birds and of course you have cracking issues. I swear even a lite sprinkle will crack sweet cherries near ripening stage. Probably best to grow them in pots around here.


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

Following up I just scored a Sandra Rose and an Attika from C&O - they had a two-tree minimum. I may just plant them in the same hole if I can't find a good spot for the extra. They are going to need some shade cloth on hot days, I have found cherries hard to establish late. But they will still be ahead of planting them in the fall or next spring.

Frank, I haven't been very positive on cherries but my problem has been not paying them enough attention. This year I sprayed them with my stone fruits and I now have bug-free fruits. I usually don't get cracking problems, but when cracking is bad its really bad. With the bugs controlled I have also missed the brown rot problems (and, with the Surround for the bugs I also include some disease protectants).

Scott


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

Scott-

What I found interesting, is that my row of sweet cherries by the house seems to be curculio free, while the container grown Stella about 15 ft away has been hit hard by curculio. The rest is up to mother nature. If it turns wet, hot and humid, they crack and rot fast. I would say that mine will probably get the ax sooner or later. They are too big to transplant anymore.


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

Scott,

I didn't know anyone was still shipping trees. I'm tempted to get me a couple more cherry trees now that I know there are some still available, but I'll probably have to restrain my tree addiction till next fall.


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RE: Good dark crisp east coast sweet cherry?

NC, I wasn't really planning on getting it this year but when looking for where I could order it next year I noticed C&O was still showing in-stock. I may end up regretting it, cherries hate hot weather and it will be hot soon. I am planning on putting up shade cloth during any hot spells.

Frank, my cherries have had different levels of curc damage every year, from almost nothing to horrible. Last year it was really bad which caused me to put Surround on them for the first time. They get Surround every year now.

Scott


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