When to plant Ragouminier (Prunus Tomentosa) and how to take care of this sublime fruit tree?

Which fruit tree to plant in the garden this year? Or maybe the next? I’ll tell you about my favorite tree, the Nanjing Cherry (also known as Ragouminier, Tomentose Cherry, Prunus Tomentosa)! This type gives fragrant flowers that look like little bits of clouds in the spring. And during the summer, one can find an abundance of red fruits which are extremely delicious! By the way, would you like to know a fun fact about this fruit? Even though its name contains the word “cherry tree” and it looks like it, the fruits are actually closer to prunes than to cherries. This fruit tree is only 4 m tall and the harvests are huge! (But there are only after the third year!) Personally, I am delighted to have been able to cultivate this tree which requires little maintenance in my garden. Thereby, I have an abundance of Nanjing Cherry Jams ready for the fall and winter months! Besides, even if these trees are quite small compared to the others, what they lack in size, they make up for in production and vigor. Let’s see together how, when to plant a Ragouminier and not only!

How and when to plant Ragouminier?

First, where do Nanjing cherry trees grow? They are native to Central Asia and more particularly to China, where they grow wild everywhere, from Japan and the Himalayas. It is found in parts of India, Russia, and even the United States (immigrants brought seeds to the United States many years ago). They are native to colder regions and can even survive temperatures of -20°C! Not bad huh ? Alright, let’s get down to business!

When and how to plant a Ragouminier?

When to plant a Ragouminier? In fact, planting in the fall is the best time! So if you are wondering what to plant in November … But of course you can also do it in spring and summer, but then you will have to take great care of it. Now, how to plant a Nanjing cherry tree ? Plant it in a sunny spot. If there is a slight shade, it will be tolerated. But it needs sunshine to thrive. It should also be noted that although Ragouminier is not finicky about soil types , it must be planted in well-drained soil .. Once established, growing Ragouminiers does not require much maintenance. They tend to be short-lived, but last around 40-50 years or more with proper care. In addition, few insects or diseases were reported. Besides, for the cherry tree to thrive, put compost on the ground!

Sowing Рagouminier

Planting the Pagouminier from seed may seem like the best and most convenient way to do it. However, you should be aware that when using seeds, your plants may not reproduce properly. Believe me, I’ve had my share of failures! In fact, each fruit contains a seed which gives rise to a shrub with similar qualities to those of the parent, but which can be taller, shorter or even wider. The seeds can produce fruits that are more or less tasty or that ripen in a different shade. However, I will give you a walkthrough to achieve this:

  • First, place the seed in a pot of moist sand.
  • Then, moisten a paper towel, seal it in a bag with the seeds and store it in the refrigerator for 80-100 days.
  • Finally, plant the seeds outdoors in the fall and let nature finish the job.

Pruning Ragouminier

Normally, these fruit trees only require minimal pruning. However, an annual pruning at the end of winter helps maintain good air circulation and thus help the tree develop well. So start by removing any broken or diseased branches. Next, remove the old central branches to allow for optimal air circulation. Then, remove any branches that cross each other. Basically, aim to remove about five old canes per year.

Ragouminier cuttings

  • You can easily propagate Nanjing cherry for cuttings. Root the softwood cuttings in early summer when the fruit ripens.
  • Another way is to proceed by layering. What does layering mean? Layering is a plant propagation technique in which the new plant remains at least partially attached to the parent plant while forming new roots and can occur naturally. It’s as simple as that, I’ve done it several times!

Finally, the Ragouminier is one of the fruit trees to plant absolutely this year! What are you actually waiting for? Hop!