I moved to the Khabarovsk Territory from the Moscow Region, and the situation with fruit greatly upset me. Here is your selection of types of fruit plants and even varieties. For example, an apple tree generally grows. Moreover, the Siberian berry apple tree is the most frost-resistant. But European varieties freeze. The apple trees in the cover culture quickly adapted. Plums, pears and apricots grow - descendants of winter-hardy Ussuri and Manchurian. But the lack of cherries - western, on a long leg - I was depressed for a long time. I’ll tell you how I tried to compensate for this gap, and what came of it.My Siberian cherries are the most winter-hardy species and varieties.
Felt Cherries (Prunus tomentosa) in the Far East it is grown everywhere. In Komsomolsk-on-Amur, there is in every garden. Unpretentious, productive, tasty. It grows like a weed. At least, on our site every year it sprouts in different places and a lot - the birds try. Plants grow different in appearance and quality of berries (darker, lighter, larger or smaller), but all are sweet, they go wonderfully both fresh and for processing.
To these cherries has a rather distant related relationship, a kind of seventh water on jelly. Closer to cherry plum, apricots. Acids in berries are significantly less than in real cherries. It got its name for a fluff of tiny villi on leaves, annual shoots, and even fruits. The fruits are not like apricot, but not completely glossy.
Multi-stemmed shrub, about 2 meters tall, prone to thickening. It blooms at the end of May with a pink and white “foam”, three or four days, then everything is blown away by the wind. Fruits in July, very plentiful, twigs are covered with berries sitting on short legs. It is time to eat cherries with kilograms: a little acid, juicy berry, tender flesh, thin skin, poor keeping quality.Felt cherry (Prunus tomentosa).
Our site is dry, with neutral soil, from strong winds from all sides protected by houses, trees. It is these conditions for felt cherries that are the best. I have never seen twigs damaged by frost: -43 ° C, -45 ° C - endures. "Black Frosts" - temperatures below -25 ° C without snow - also did nothing wrong to her.
Loves the sun. In partial shade it bears fruit, but less abundantly and the berries are more acidic. We have one bush grown under poplars, almost in the shade, the sun is about an hour and a half a day. Fruits, but weakly, although the berries are interesting, very dark. And the flowers are noticeably pinker. Would transplant - but nowhere ...
Top dressing consists of mulching with grass and weeds in the near-trunk circle, as well as applying the ash that the cherry loves.
Propagating felt cherry is very easy - by seeds, cuttings, layering. By seeds it’s quite simple: the berries were eaten, the bones were buried. Next year leave the strongest plants. Will bear fruit in the 4th or 5th year. The berries will not necessarily be like the mother variety. Settled rooted layering proclaims in a year.
Of the diseases over 20 years of observation, I once saw "plum pockets" (causing the fungus Taphina pruni) in the wet summer. In the same year there was aphid on young shoots.
During the ripening period of the berries on all the surrounding trees, roofs, wires, sparrows sit waiting for the feast - here you need to have time to collect the berries earlier. Sparrows act on the principle: “I don’t eat, I bite”, all the berries on the upper branches are a little bit pecked. At the acquaintances in summer cottages, closer to the forest, chipmunks are connected to the harvest, they need to stock up for the winter.
Sand cherry, or Bessey cherry (Cerasus bessyi). SVG "Omsk Night". SVG "Pyramidal".
Read also our material Felt Cherry Cutting Rules.
Sand cherry and its hybrids
At the time of my active search for frost-resistant cherries, only sand cherry, or Bessey cherry (Cerasus bessyi) and its hybrids. I wrote from the Urals and planted 3 bushes: in fact, myself Bessey cherry, Omskaya Nochka and Pyramidalnaya.
SVG - plum-cherry hybrids obtained by crossing the same "Bessey" with Far Eastern frost-resistant plums. That is, "Bessey" is also not very cherry - it crosses with plums, but not with cherry.
Planted in the spring. All took root well and together moved to the growth. The very next year, "Bessey" and "Pyramidal" bloomed, gave the first berries. Bessei berries are dark, almost black, on a leg, a centimeter in diameter and a half, juicy and very tart. Wishing to eat them fresh was not. Even sparrows preferred felt cherry. This did not upset me, because I planted it as a universal pollinator. The berries went into a compote and there they showed their best - both color and taste.
And at Pyramidal, it turned out that it was very difficult to determine the ripeness of berries the first time. Their color is declared as emerald green. There were only five first berries and experimenting by eating daily and determining ripeness is not enough material. But as? Sparrows, too, were not helpers, they sat in the nearby bushes and looked at the green berries with distrust.
To begin with, I decided - let them hang to the last, they will begin to fall off, which means they have ripened. I did not guess it - they do not fall off, but dry up and wrinkle right on the branch. In general, having tracked all the stages, I came to the conclusion that they are ripe when the barrel turns a little yellow and acquires a semblance of transparency. The taste of the overripe berries turned out to be much less astringent and sweeter than that of Bessei, that is, it is already completely edible in fresh form.
"Omsk Nochka" applauded for the 3rd year after planting and led me into complete delight! The berries turned out to be maroon large, about 2 centimeters in diameter, the flesh is dense, like cherry, red-burgundy and with a wonderful aroma of "sherry" (which is not Spanish sherry, but cherry brandy). Slightly astringent, sweet, well edible in fresh form: relatives and friends took the bush very quickly.
As further cultivation showed, both cherries and hybrids grow in shrubs up to 1.5 m tall. The "Pyramidal" crown is narrow-columned, the rest are sprawling. The most abundant fruiting - at "Bessey" - branches bend under an abundance of berries. Through experiments with blanks, it was found that the best use is wine. It has a dark saturated color and a wonderful, slightly tart taste.
“Pyramidal” is good in compote and jam, “Omsk night” in compote is gorgeous, but it never came to jam.Cherry Blossom "Bessey".
The most successful placement of these three bushes nearby - they pollinate each other. I left the Omsk Night layering somewhere else, quite far. Alone, he did not want to bear fruit, had layering “Bessey” to attach nearby.
They all bloom in May, bear fruit in August. For all the years they didn’t get sick and nobody ate them. Even, oddly enough, the birds did not bite. Apparently, black and green berries are not associated with food.
It turned out to be easiest to propagate by layering. The bushes are not very high, the branches are flexible.
All sit in dry, sunny places. There is no root growth - this is a huge plus. Never freeze. But Omskaya Nochka and Bessey, laid off to a lower place by layering, were drifted out in the wet spring.Cherry "Lighthouse".
The next one was Mayak Cherry, which was again offered by the Ural nursery and declared as self-fertile. With free space was already tense, so self-fertile bush variety seemed very attractive.
Immediately planted in a dry place. The sun was 6 hours a day, there was no better option. Cherry got accustomed well, grew the next year and bloomed in the 3rd year.
Then it turned out that she was showing self-fertility, but weakly: there were few fruits. There is no pollinator. Felt, "Bessey" and SVG are so distant relatives that they do not pollinate ordinary cherries. Not only that, and in the genealogy of the Mayak cherry there were dark spots: in her ancestors, it turns out, there are also cherries. In this case, nothing sweet is noticeable in the fruits: sweet and sour berry with cherry flavor. You can’t eat a lot of fresh, but it’s very good in preparations.
Cherry ancestors came around in a particularly frosty, snowy winter: the bush was frozen out. But in all places the root shoot climbed. I dug up a part, transplanted it to a more protected place, where in the winter it would sweep a lot of snow. And the second part crawled to the neighbors and began to live its own life. The neighbors are not in a complaint.
It grows with a bush, about 1.2 m - shoots freeze above the snow level. That is, the part that is not covered with snow at a temperature below -40 ° C certainly freezes. He likes dryness, sun, heat, feeding with ash.Cherry "Bolotovskaya".
Now it was necessary to plant a pollinator at the Mayak - so that this bushy trifle would not just sit there. The next acquisition was the Bolotovskaya cherry - a form of steppe cherry created by the selective selection of seedlings by amateur gardener Bolotov.
It grows rapidly: it grew to 1.2 m during the season, the next year it bloomed in late May and gave the first few berries. At the same time pollinated "Lighthouse" - the yield of berries on the bushes increased several times.
Berries from Bolotovskaya are suitable only for processing, sour. Stewed fruit, juices and jam from it are very good, but I don’t want to eat them fresh.
The bush is relatively large, in the third year it grew to almost 2 meters, then it began to grow in width. Overgrown a lot. Since the 3rd year it bears fruit annually and abundantly, the “Lighthouse” pollinates - it also tries its best.
She sits in a dry place, watering with rain, she likes it. There is little sun. Drove overgrown friends - planted in a dry sunny area. The berries are less acidic and even more aromatic. He suffers frosts without loss, has not seen any diseases.
Sparrows peck both “Mayak” and “Bolotovskaya”, they can be used to determine the ripeness of berries.
Read also our article Cherry - proper planting, shaping and care.
Dear readers! Here is my collection of cherries and their distant relatives. Actually, the cherry (Mayak, Bolotovskaya) turned out to be suitable mainly for processing. And distant relatives ate fresh. Well, okay. The main thing is that the family was happy with the harvest.