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Handfuls of black currants at DNA GardensDNA Gardens strives for excellent customer service.

Some information about our Orchards  ...

Evans Cherry   Prunus cerasus   Yes, Evans cherry produces like this.
Since we helped introduce Evans cherry in 1995, it has sold non-stop, we have been the hub for nursery sales and when folks witness a tree laden with fruit it becomes a must have.  Overlooked for years, these cherries have been growing since 1923 in the Edmonton area. These cherries are extremely hardy and withstand -45 degrees Celsius regularly. In unofficial comparisons in Edmonton, Evans out-produces Meteor, Northstar and other contenders by 5 or 10 to 1 margins. . Mature height of 12 to 14 ft. Fruit is a bright red cherry
with translucent flesh. Ripe in late July when it pulls easily from the stem, fruit can be left on the tree well into September. In fact, the flavor mellows and sweetens with time. Flavor is bold - a mixture of sweet tartness.  Healthy Too! Per 1/2 cup: 25% of daily Vitamin A requirement. (Six times more than sweet cherries) and only 39 calories. Excellent for eating fresh, good for canning and pies are great.  Because it is self pollinating, you only require one plant to set fruit. Yields of 50 pounds per tree are easily attained!!  Produces in 4th year. This plant is hardy to zone 2A, not 2B - zone 3 preferred. Plant in rows 18 feet apart with 8 feet between plants in the row.  Kirsch liquor is made from sour cherries. The strong cherry flavor stands up well to processing and these cherries are often used for pie filling, jams and jellies.
Rose Cherry  Prunus cerasus   
Click here for Rose Cherry picture
The Rose cherry is an early maturing shrub, loaded with dark-skinned, tart cherries.  It will be a small tree in more protected locations.  Fruits as early as 2-3 years.  Large fruit - 5-7 grams.  Great for bonsai.  Dark brown skin with red flesh. (Evans has yellow flesh) The rose can be grown as a tree or a shrub.  It produces fruit consistently at DNA Gardens in central Alberta.    This cherry is also known as Lutowka and it was originally imported into Alberta by Kris Pruski from Warsaw, Poland in 1988.
SK Carmine Jewel     
Favorite of DNA Gardens!  We think of this plant as a little princess - well behaved and beautiful.  Combinations of P. cerasus and P. fruiticosa (Sour cherry and Mongolian cherry) Introduction from the Department of Horticulture Science, University of Saskatchewan.  Skin and flesh is dark red.  Fruit is abut 4 gm with a small round, hard pit. (desirable when using cherry pitting machines or pressing fruit for juice).  High flesh to pit ratio.  Superior cold hardiness!  Self-fruitful in other words cross pollination is not required.  
Fruit is exceptional for pies, cooking, juice, wine or flavoring for ice cream or yogurt.  Many like to eat the cherries fresh especially towards the end of the season when the tartness mellows!  SK is juicier than sweet cherries and has similar sugar levels but additional citric acid makes them tarter.  Near the end of the season, fruit can be collected quickly by shaking tree limbs and using a tarp.  Season runs from mid-July till the first or second week in August.
It has great potential for landscaping in small yards.  With glossy leaves and crisp white blooms - train to either a shrub or small tree.  Plant a flowering and fruiting hedge.  Plant height is 6 to 8 ft (2 m) and has a very low tendency to sucker.  Click here for pictures  

SK Carmine Jewel is one of six new and exciting cherries released from the University.   Carmine Jewel will always stand out for its earliness.  Its value will remain because its fruit will command top dollar early in the season.  As more information is coming in, it appears that Carmine Jewel will be the workhorse of a new cherry industry.  It pits mechanically very well and the fruit makes incredible pie and the juice has very good flavour.  This is a winner that is not going to disappear!


The new Romance series !!!

University of Saskatchewan Cherries 
Prunus cerasus  SK Tart Cherries

At long last, what we all have been waiting for - prairie cherries!  Zone 2 Hardy.

The University of Saskatchewan has released their incredible cherries, the result of breeding work since 1940. These cherries have been tested extensively for the last ten years in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  They are growing without irrigation after establishment, in heavy clay soil with a pH of 8.  

The U of S cherries are bush fruit with dwarf stature - a mature height of about 8 feet tall unlike eastern tart cherries that are 15-25 feet tall.  The shrub like habit makes it suitable for over the row harvesters, the kind used for saskatoons.  All of these selections are suitable for high-density plantings which would be a strong competitive advantage.
Another very significant advantage of producing sour cherries on the prairies is the reduced incidence of pest problems.  Growers in Ontario or Michigan require from
eight to sixteen or more spray applications to control a variety of diseases and insect pests.  Experience at the University of Saskatchewan suggests that no more than one of two applications would be needed to control cherry fruit flies and leafrollers.   These cherries are good candidates for organic production. 

The 5 varieties plus SK Carmine Jewel, offer 6 to 8 weeks fresh fruit consumption because of early and late varieties.  Fruit holds well on the bush – doesn’t drop.  It will wait, while getting sweeter and sweeter.  When very ripe, just give the branches about five shakes to remove all the fruit.  Harvest tree in just a few minutes.  If fruit is holding on, try again in a few days.  High yielding!  Mature trees produce from 10 to 15 kilos of fruit per bush.  Size of quarters!  Dark red fruit high in sugar.  As much or more sugar than Bing cherries!  Plants are self-fertile and one can expect the first harvest within 3 years of planting.

If you are a commercial grower, give yourself a marketing edge by being the first in your area to grow cherries!

Crimson Passion
This is an exciting one!  Excellent fresh eating cherry.  No suckers!  Fruit size is large at 5.8 grams per fruit.  Highest sugar content – up to 22 brix.

Most years, this is the largest of all the cherries weighing in at 6 to 7 grams!  Good flavor for fresh eating with a hint of astringency.  Blooms 1 week later than the other cherries.


A fresh  eating type.  The University affectionately calls it “Sweetie”.  Large fruit at 4.5 grams with brix up to 20.  Few suckers.
This is a dark red/black cherry similar to Carmine Jewel appearance but ripens later.  Very flavorful.  Good for fresh eating and processing.  This productive cherry is one of the best for juice.
This is the most productive of the selections.  It is looking very strong with much heavier flower bud load compared to the other cherries.  It fruits heavier and fruits at a younger age.  Slight suckering.  Fruit size about 4.5 grams
 These Cherries have equal commercial qualities as Michigan Cherries    ...                 But better!!!
Romeo is similar to CJ but bigger fruit and later  Cupid is the super star in 2007 at DNA  Valentine is impressive for amount of fruit
Romeo                                                    Cupid                                        Valentine
Crimson Passion is the most like a B.C. cherry  The old name - Sweetie - was right on.  Carmine Jewel produces year after year.
Crimson Passion                             Juliette                                         Carmine Jewel

Berry Smart -  Nutrition Expert


Nutritionally Speaking, Berry Smart tm says, "Tart is Smart!"  Tart Cherries are a rich source of antioxidants which may help relieve the pain of arthritis, gout and possibly fibromyalgia.  Antioxidants can also help fight cancer and heart disease.  For more info visit  www.choosecherries.com/  Check out the health benefit

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Top photo: Handfuls of black currants

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