Do you live in a temperate climate? Then, you can grow delicious cherries!
One of the many delicious fruits that reach their peak in summer are cherries. In many parts of North America, cherries are among the first tree fruits to ripen. Cherries are so much fun to harvest especially when you pluck the little round fruits from a tree you planted in your urban backyard, small farm, homestead, or rural home orchard. According to this source, there is at least one variety of cherry tree that can grow in any state. Well, that’s great news!
Why not grow my own delicious cherries and share your planting, picking, and preservation stories with our community along the way? Feel free to post your family’s favorite cherry inspired recipes too!
Sour or Sweet? Tall or Short?
Cherries are categorized as either sour or sweet. Sour cherry trees grow to about 20 feet tall and bear fruit at an earlier age than sweet cherries. More cold hardy than sweet varieties, sour cherry trees grow in Zones 4–6. Sour cherries (often called tart or pie cherries) are best for baking and making jarred goods. Grow sour cherries if you love baking homemade pies, tarts, and crisps, or enjoy making jam, compote, and preserves.
If you like to eat cherries straight from the tree, then sweet cherry trees are for you! Sweet cherries grow best in US Hardiness Zones 5-9. They can be damaged by early autumn frost so be sure you know your zone before you plant. Sweet cherries ripen to shades of purple, red, and yellow. Be sure to learn about the varieties before you make your selection because cherry trees range in size from dwarf to semi-dwarf and some sweet cherry trees grow taller than 35 feet!
Does it Take Two to
Most sour cherry trees are self-fertile which means they can produce fruit without cross-pollination. However, sweet cherry varieties do require a pollinator. So, to turn those pretty sweet cherry blossoms into edible fruit you will need to plant two compatible varieties and follow the recommended spacing requirements.
Do you have a small backyard with only enough space for one fruit tree, but really want to grow sweet cherries? Then, plant a single tree that has been grafted with two compatible cultivars or look for a self-pollinating sweet cherry variety such as Sweetheart, Stella, or Starkcrimson.
Plant a Pit or Rootstalk?
Most people grow cherries from rootstalk as opposed to planting a pit. Generally, you can expect to harvest fruit from your cherry tree(s) in 4-10 years after planting the rootstalk. Some cherry trees can grow one foot per year. So what are you waiting for? Plant a cherry tree (or two) this year to enjoy sweet (or sour) rewards for many summers to come!