New sour cherry release: D'Artagnan

In honour of the 100 Years of Horticulture Science celebration at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Bob Bors is releasing a new dwarf sour cherry cultivar called D’Artagnan.

D'Artagnan sour cherry

Dr. Bors bred D'Artagnan for commercial growers for dependability, flavour, and ease of harvest. It’s shorter than the Romance series (having some of the same parentage as Juliet, Valentine and Crimson Passion) topping out at about 6’ in height when fully mature. It has burgundy coloured fruit with flavour similar to Valentine and Juliet. Most years it ripens in early August in Saskatoon.
In recent years, commercial growers have been using special sideways harvesting machines to harvest cherries. The shorter stature and limber, arching branches of D’Artagnan are well suited to sideways harvesters which bends the branches over a conveyor belt. The fruit only drops a few inches versus several feet with conventional harvesting machines, resulting in far less damage to fruit. D’Artagnan also requires far less pruning than other varieties, which reduces labour costs for growers.
Although Dr. Bors developed D’Artagnan with commercial growers in mind, this sour cherry is well suited to home gardeners who want a hedge of cherries. To form a hedge, plant them one metre apart in a row about one metre wide. Mulch the area so there is no grass or weed competition. For the first few years the plants will be individuals. When suckers begin to appear between the plants, don’t remove them, just let them grow up to fill in the rows.
Why the name D’Artagnan? D’Artagnan was the fourth musketeer in the tale of “The Three Musketeers”. This is the fourth variety of Dr. Bors’ “Musketeer” series released in Europe. The other varieties in this series have not been released in Canada due to certification requirements.
D’Artagnan will be available for purchase at the Fruit Program plant sale in early September. For information about the sale see:  USask Fruit Program Plant Sale September 2021
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