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Epic pie cherry harvest with biochar
John S
1020 Posts
July 1, 2021 - 9:08 am

We couldn't believe how full the tree was with cherries.  It had also grown every year since I put biochar in the dripline of the tree. Earlier, it had plateaued at a standard size.  This year, all the new growth grew lots of beautiful cherries!  I couldn't believe how long I was out there in different ladders.  Now the tree extends all the way above the shed roof and extends most of the way up it.   I save some to eat with pits in, but we save some that are pitted for desserts, like, say, pies.  When my wife got super tired of pitting the cherries, and I did too, we gave some to the neighbors.  When they tasted them, many said, "But I thought that pie cherries were sour.  These are really good!" I have grown pie cherries for decades, but nothing has made a difference like properly made biochar.  Some people have noted elsewhere in various forums that when produce is grown in a soil that is more rich with minerals, the flavor improves.  I think that is what is going on.

John S

466 Posts
July 2, 2021 - 12:30 pm

I have not tried biochar but I believe this and I'm sold on the idea because something similar happened to me. In the 1990s I purchased a group of 5 'evans' sour cherry from Raintree that were true to typical because they were not grafted to anything else. I nursed them for a few years in bare ground here in Vancouver Heights the way your instructed to, then they all got sick. Over ten to 20 more years the original trees died back and never fruited. But at least one of them evans roots found better soil in my slightly enriched garden, produced new upright shoots that were still unfruitful, then at year 20 a root found my recycling of grass and composting area. This is a move 18 feet from the original location to a very happy location and there are lots of sour cherries produced every year even matching the production of your 'montmorency' and all as a result of having a good compost base of soil. 

That's why when I have trouble with apricots here in the heights I try planting pits under large cottonwood trees near the Columbia river at the bottom of me. The tree there is well nourished and had cropped well for the last 3 years. Psuedomonas is a symptom of another problem with the soil around here and not the primary issue, just a secondary one.

That last paragraph (this whole topic) deserves scientific study by the community.

John S
1020 Posts
July 5, 2021 - 8:56 pm

Yes, Rooney,
I am excited about all the data coming out about this, but I'm also busy making it happen with my different trees.  It will be quite interesting to see how the particular details come out as more and more people try this.  For sure, some corporation will come out and try to say that you have to buy their product because theirs is the only one that's good.   I will be looking into how the different experiences pan out with different soils, climates, and species.

John S

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