I am proud and excited to announce that Johnson’s Nursery is offering Evans cherry in #7 container. I have heard so much good news about this tart cherry that I think it will be an excellent addition to our line of container fruit trees.
About 18 years ago I first heard about this cherry from Bill McKently of St.Lawrence Nursery in very upstate New York. Bill mentioned that he knew of a really special tart cherry in Alberta and was going to introduce it into the United States under the name of ‘Bali’. I begged for a chance to trial this tree in Minnesota (where I was living) but he did not have enough propagated yet to be able to part with one.
After many years I heard of other growers producing this cherry. Soon it became apparent that while it was called ‘Bali’ in this country, many Canadians knew it as ‘Evans’. Most growers have now switched to calling it Evans since that was an earlier name for this cherry. Some offer it under the combined name ‘Evans Bali’ in case people are not aware they really are the same cherry selection.
This remarkable cherry has a long history in the Edmonton, Alberta area. Some claim that Scandinavian immigrants left Minnesota and first brought this cherry to Edmonton. Others say it possibly originated in Alaska. Whichever is true, the tree seems to have been grown from seed by early immigrants to the area. Mr. Evans got the cherry from an elderly lady who had been growing it since the 1920’s. No matter where it originally came from, Evans cherry is promoted as being a tart cherry that produces an exceptional quantity of fruit. 50-100 pounds of fruit per tree have been obtained, far surpassing other tart cherries in yield. It is also extremely cold hardy, growing well in areas where most cherry varieties fail to survive. Like all tart cherries, it is self-pollinating.
Paul Schwabe is a salesman in our Contractor Sales division. He holds a degree in horticulture and will be writing about some of his favorite and underused plants.