Nanking cherry (Prunus tomentosa)

Prunus tomentosa is a shrub deciduous –resistant in winter period   at temperature of up to -45 degrees. It grow relatively quickly with an irregular shape. It will rarely reach 4 m tall and possibly a width of more than 4 m. Flowers are white or pink, opening with leaves or before spring. The fruit consists of a cherry, tastes like a normal, 5-12 mm dark red cherry that bakes early in the summer. This description is valid for almost any cherry fruit, but for  the  species  can will vary. Some plants may give pink, almost white, not red, fruit. The fruits of some plants can  bake late  but  not early summer.

Nanking cherry  grow in the cold and  semi arid regions of Asia. It is one of the most cultivated fruit trees   from  Russia.  It was introduced from North America in 1882 and was immediately received with great enthusiasm.

He prefer a sunny place and  can  growing  naturally in a variety of soils.  The plant is resistant to drought.  The   Nanking cherry grows  like a broad-leaved shrub, or like  a small tree with many stems.   Beside the very good resistance to frost, this shrub also has a great quality: the pleasant look This plant has a pleasant appearance  from    three of   the four seasons. Autumn does not have a spectacular color, but in winter when the bark will no longer be hidden beneath the dense leaves of the plant, it will have a glossy orange-brown appearance. In the Spring  Nanking cherry will be among the first plants which flourish while the others will  do not even give life signs. The flowers will be clustered in bundles, wearing the branches all along their length.

Flowers are very resistant to frost, is  a desirable feature  for  a plant that blooms so early. So unlike other plants that bloom in this period. Nanking cherry will have a rich harvest. The  summer early will  bring with it  the fruits that will have a pleasant look and also green leaves will cover the stems.

  The  Naking cherry will grow in almost any sunny place and well drained soil, but it is possible to grow in the shade (although the harvest will not be as rich).The  plants can have a life span of up to fifty years. Annual trimming, although not a necessity, will increase harvest and fruit quality. Cutting in the winter late in order to keep the bushes  open so that all the branches have access to light and air. Some branches will be shortened, others removed completely and others will be left untouched. This trimming will be also stimulate the harvest of new sprouts every year. In Russia  the old shrubs will be cut at   the ground to regenerate.

The   Nanking cherry is not  sensitive to diseases or pests, but if they appear, they will be the same as  at   classic cherry. The yield of the fruit per one  shrub  in average (in Russia) is 6 kg, and can reach up to 22kg. The  Nanking cherry are not suitable for trade ,because they are too soft to be transported. The fruits are a bit smaller than normal cherries, but the difference is that when you will  collect the cherry  the tailed will be  remain on  branch. The  Nanking cherry are ideal to be eaten fresh just after they have been harvested, or for fresh juices.

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