The Berry Harvest Continues

First it was haskap.  Now it is Nanking cherries.  We bought the Nanking cherries in 2008 partly as pollinators for other cherry trees that we were getting and partly as a windbreak at the top of the driveway to reduce the drifting snow in the winter.  We don’t know how they are as pollinators because our cherry trees haven’t blossomed yet but they are a good snow “fence”. As with the haskap, we had been teased last year with the Nanking cherries. We got a few, ie, one or two, that were very small and not completely ripe. As with the haskap, this year we got our first harvest.  We knew in May that we were going to have something special because of the spectacular display of blossoms.

By the beginning of July, these flowers had become berries that were starting to rapidly ripen.

On July 5, we harvested 1 kg.  Then another 1.5 kg 3 days later and 1.4 kg on July 11. Apparently, yields can reach 7 kilos a bush which means that we could be inundated.  Well, not really because they seem to be a bird and chipmunk magnet.  For the first time, we saw cedar waxwings and Baltimore orioles and they were both feeding on the cherries.  We netted the bushes  with an old sheer curtain just in case the birds went into a feeding frenzy.  We left some for the wildlife and will leave more if the yields increase.

They aren’t particularly large berries and have a cherry size pit but they are very juicy and sweet.  Not tart sweet but sweet sweet.  They will make a wonderful jelly. Perhaps Joyce will post about that.

More pictures here.

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2 Responses to The Berry Harvest Continues

  1. Mike says:

    Never heard of Nanking cherries before, what fantastic little bushes so full of fruits.

    • MikeH says:

      Hi Mike,

      Yes, they are fantastic. As you know, we like plants that have a good input to output ratio and these certainly do. They’ve never been watered since they were planted. This year we’re in the what is beginning to look like a nasty drought and yet the fruit was juicy. Picking was very easy as the berries are mostly on the underside of the branches and in clusters. They make a reasonably good snowfence. The spring display is wonderful and they attract birds. Raintree Nursery sells them at a very good price. The fruit is small relative to the seed but the taste is worth it.


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