We have to be honest and say that growing and harvesting Cherries takes a special kind of horticultural hero. It is almost impossible to beat the birds to your delicious crop unless you enclose the tree in some kind of protective covering.
Cherries are hapiest in cool climate areas that have a dry spring and summer. As you can imagine the fruit splits very easily if pelted with heavy rain. Therefore choose your planting position well. It should be a hot and sunny spot, hopefully out of reach of harsh frost and strong wind. The tree itself is not frost tender however heavy frost can damage emerging blossom. Good drainage is essential. Cherries quite like the addition of a little lime if your soil tends to be on the acidic side.
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The fruit should mature about 6 weeks after blossom. It is important to keep the tree well watered during this period. The fruit is best picked with the stalks on and consumed as soon as possible after picking - that';s probably not going to present you with a serious problem. The good news is that Cherries are full of "anthocyanins" which are a potent antioxidant. Certainly beats Broccoli in the "good for you" stakes in my opinion.
Cherries don';t need a lot of pruning. There is a definite school of thought that this is better done in summer so the pruning cuts heal quickly and prevent the spread of disease. Cherries can be a little susceptible to bacterial canker and good cultivation methods will certainly help to avoid this but you may have to treat with a spray of Coper Oxychloride every now and then. Let';s hope that with a good horticultural practice (and a little luck) that your life really will be a bowl of cherries!
Double Graft Cherry. Stella -large, dark, black-red, heart-shaped cherries that ripen in December and taste absolutely delicious. Lapins- this heritage variety of cherry has large firm dark red fruit that are sweet and juicy. Good resistance to skin splitting and a reliable producer. Deciduous.
Double Graft Cherry. Stella - Large, dark, black-red heart-shaped cherries that ripen around December and taste delicious. Rainer - A
white fleshed Cherry with yellow skin flushed with red. Something different and still delicious. Plant in a sunny well drained position. Deciduous.
Sweet Cherry. This heritage variety of Cherry is one of the largest and juciest with firm dark red fruit that are sweet and delicious. Good resistance to skin splitting and a reliable producer. Fruits in warmer areas of New Zealand, ripening Mid-late season (January). Self fertile. Deciduous.
Sour Cherry. A popular 'cooking' Cherry widely grown in the USA. Full of anti-oxidants and compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties the fruit is great for making Cherry Pie or Juice. Red skinned fruit with pale yellow flesh. Ready to pick towards the end of summer. Deciduous.
Sweet Cherry. Researchers crossed the Bing and Van cherry varieties and much to their surprise, the combination of these two red cherries produced a golden yellow cherry with a red blush and incredibly sweet flavour. Large white fleshed mid season cherry. Excellent eating. Deciduous