Plant Introductions (1895-1927) N.E. Hansen, Horticulturist
The breeding of hardy fruits has been the leading work of the Department of Horticulture of South Dakota State College ever since the fall of 1895. Many requests have been received for bulletins containing the record of this work. Many of these are out of print and are no longer available. This bulletin contains a complete record of plant introductions from the beginning of the work up to 1927.
The sweet cherries of Europe so extensively raised in our eastern states and on the Pacific Coast are not hardy in the prairie Northwest. The sour cherries of Europe are much hardier but not sufficiently hardy to recommend for general planting in South Dakota. The Early Richmond and allied varieties are grown to a small extent in the extreme southern part of the state.
Neither sweet or sour cherries combine well with any of our native cherries. From Russian seed, the Moscow has been grown at this Station.
At this writing, the chief limiting factor in hardy cherries in the North are the tender Mahaleb and Mazzard stocks used in commercial propagation. Chief among the objections to the northern Pincherry (Prunus Pennsylvania) as a commercial cherry stock are the numerous root-sprouts. This suckering habit makes it difficult to control. The Moscow probably will not be hardy as far north at the Sand Cherry hybrids. But even if none of the true cherries prove sufficiently hardy in the North, some very good quality substitutes can be found among the numerous Sand Cherry hybrids already originated.
Moscow Cherry: From the 1917 list. A new hardy cherry for the North. The prairie Northwest greatly needs a hardy cherry. In the course of five tours to Russia I became greatly interested in the cherry grown in the Vladimir region of Russia just east of Moscow. The fruit comes to the markets of Moscow in immense quantities. Near Moscow, on the Sparrow Hills where Napoleon stood in 1812, there are some interesting orchards of these cherries which I visited in 1894 and 1897. These cherries are grown mostly from root sprouts and seeds. The type, however, is not as constant as was thought at first, but varies considerably. Out of a lot of my imported seedlings I have selected one and named it Moscow which is now offered for the first time as budded trees, as it would take too many years to work up a stock of the cherry on its own roots. The trees are one-year buds on Mahaleb roots. This means that at the North they must be mulched carefully to prevent root-killing. As soon as possible, the Northern native Pin cherry should be tested as budding stock. Out of a large number of cherries tested at this Station, Moscow is the only one that has borne fruit in satisfactory quantities. The tree is productive and perfectly hardy. The fruit is of medium size, bright red with light colored juice of good quality.