Cherry Blossom Time

The cherry blossoms–along with crabapple blossoms–are opening up all over Minnesota. My ‘Bali’ cherry tree began blossoming two days ago. It will look fluffy and white for a week or so before the cherries that ripen in late July or August begin to form. Bali (Prunus ‘Evans Bali’) is a variety developed in Canada, where it is known as the Evans cherry. It’s a pretty, compact tree and said to be hardy to -54 F. I’ve seen size estimates of anywhere between 8 and 20 feet tall at maturity. My little tree has been in the ground less than two years, and is less than 5 feet high.

What sets the Bali cherry apart from other cherries is its prolific fruit production. My friends at Northscaping, a Canadian gardening site, say they have seen gardeners collect 50 pounds of cherries off of a 5-year-old tree. The cherries are technically a sour cherry, but if left on the tree long enough, Bali gets sweet enough to eat raw. It is reportedly a delicious pie cherry. However, if you want to collect any cherries off a Bali tree, invest in a bird net. Last year, I noticed the little cherries were getting ripe, and thought “Better get some kind of net over this before the birds get them.” The next day, the cherries were gone.

7 Replies to “Cherry Blossom Time”

  1. Thanks for posting your crab apple picture. It’s gorgeous. We had three big, old crabs at our first house. They were magnificent in the spring–for a week or so, but they succumbed to a disease one by one. No crabapples at our current house–at least not yet.

  2. Tracy: I got my cherry tree at Knecht’s nursery in Northfield. It’s located right on highway 19 as you come into town from I-35. (But if you are making a trip, continue on into our great downtown and make a day of it!) Knecht’s has a web site (www.knechts.net) where you can get their phone number. You may want to call to make sure they still have Balis available–although I think I saw some when I was at the nursery buying plants last week. They are great little trees.

  3. Thanks for the info, Mary. Actually, I went to Carleton (class of ’87). That’s why I’d be willing to go down there for the tree – I love stopping in Northfield when I have the chance!

  4. I’m in the Northfield, Minnesota area, and frequent Knecht’s as well.

    In my case, though, I’d really like just a scion. I have a few very hardy chokecherries (prunus virginiana) around, and I’d like to try a graft using these local trees as rootstock.

    Do you happen to know of anyone in our areas (Northfield, MN) who might be willing to give me a small slice of a branch from a cherry tree known to produce well (and hold up well) in our climate?

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