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Nanking Cherry?

Posted by thisisme az9b (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 2, 10 at 18:00

I just purchased two 5' tall Nanking Cherry Bushes. Everything I read says they need full sun and that they are intolerant of shade. I have several places where I can plant them. Can Nanking Cherry take full Arizona sun?


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 4, 10 at 13:08

Will grow in part shade here. I'd get ahold of a copy of the Sunset Western Garden Book (2007, Sunset Publishing, Menlo Park) and find my Sunset Climate Zone, then look up Prunus tomentosa in the plant encyclopedia portion of the book, see what zones they give for it.


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

They grow in intense sun with very long summer days around here. But we don't get the heat that you get. If it gets up into the 90's we are all dying and refusing to go outside.

At any rate, intense sunlight isn't going to be an issue.

By the way, never got any fruit from mine, nor did any of the neighbors. The plant has pretty fall foliage, though.


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

Thanks guys. My understanding is that Nanking Cherry is propagated by seed. Because of this they are not all the same when it comes to fruitfulness. Some are self-fruitful but most require another tree/bush for pollination.

The tree is listed for my zone and beyond. Last year someone said they had grown it here but I don't remember them saying full sun or part shade. My guess is it will live and fruit here if I can keep it alive. I'm planting at the best time of the year to have them established before summer 2011 so I think they will be alright. If they start to suffer I will add some uprights to their raised beds and protect them with shade cloth their first summer. After that they should be bullet proof.


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

Nanking has a large pit and a small size cherry. I'd go for a Carmine Jewel bush cherry. I like mine better than sweet cherries.


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

Nankings are very drought tolerant, which should be good for Arizona. In the southwestern US a lot of plants adapted to cooler climates do like some shade.


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

I've found Nanking Cherry difficult to transplant without significant damage. It's hard to get a good root ball to protect the roots. The plants will survive the damage.

I had one I thought had winter kill. Everything else had leafed out and I decided to cut out about a quarter of the plant. I came back a week later and started cutting. That's when I noticed the tiny green leaves :(


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

Hmm. I'd always kind of looked at Nanking as a 'cold climate' plant - best for zones 5 and colder. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'd think there would be better fruiting plants for a zone 9 location.

I'll echo aceofspades' comment - the fruits produced by the dozen or so row-run Nanking seedlings I planted years ago, were not worth picking. Pits about the size of a pomegranate seed - with less pulp surrounding them than you'd find on a pomegranate aril. I don't even think the birds bothered with them much.


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

Ace- thanks for the input on Carmine Jewel cherry. I'll plant several more.


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

I would plant Carmine Jewel if I could find it from a reputable nursery. I would plant Joel Bush cherry too if I could find one but everyone is always out of stock.


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

The CJ cherry that's thriving in my yard doesn't know where it came from. The discount nurseries in question don't do a lot of hand holding. I've had no problems with their product or service over many years. Just don't expect the level of service or product that premium nurseries offer.


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

anyone had any experiences with this cherry in zone 10?


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

I can't help with AZ, but nanking will give fruit in full shade in Z5. I was eating off of one last weekend. It is a small cherry but very good flavor.


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

  • Posted by skyjs z8 OR, USA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 18:52

I talked to Theresa Knutson, the horticulturalist at Raintree Nursery in Morton WA. She said that in rainy spring climates like the west of the cascades, nanking and many bush cherries get diseases, lose the fruit, and don't do well. It does do well in dry Spring cold climates, like the east of the Cascades in the PNW, where most of the land is but most of the people are not.

I have experiences that show that to be true.
John S
PDX OR


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RE: Nanking Cherry?

Our family has had Nankings for 25 years or so. Vigorous grower in partial shade, though, of course, it does lean towards the light, optimal planting would be in full sun. Small fruit size, yes, but hard to beat the flavor in jellies or jams, and it is typically annually heavy bearing, depending on a late frost. Pretty short blossom window, somewhat disease and pest free, at least in our area.


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