To advise you about cherries, I must first indicate differences in the varying trees, which fall into two categories,
1) The flowering cherry. Basically this is of the cherry family, renowned for the floral beauty of it’s flowers, similar to an ornamental or flowering shrub, but it does not bear the fruit that you eat.
2) The fruiting cherry tree. This is probably the type you are looking for if you are on this page. Do not for one moment think that the fruit cherry tree does not flower, for in many cases the cherry fruit tree can give you a wonderful display when in bloom and is similar to the the flowering cherry.
Other facts you may not be aware of when purchasing cherries, are the health benefits, as they help to fight inflammation in joints and help with insomnia.
There are over 1,000 varieties of cherry, but fewer than 10 % of cherries are produced commercially. Of the cherry varieties grown, Washington State produces over 95,000 tons of the cherries in a year, (if you started going Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, and so on, I wonder what you would end up with?)
Cherry is the state fruit of Utah, and Kane, Pennsylvania is the black cherry capitol of the world!!
Cherries come in different sizes and colours so I have taken a selection to help in your decision to purchase:-
The Bing cherry was first produced in Milwaukee1875, and was named after Bing the tall china man who tended the cherries. Bing is one of the well known sweet varieties of cherry, possibly due to it being sweeter than most in this classification. A large firm cherry with a skin of deep red skin, bordering on black when it is ripe and flesh with a colour like apple red.
Normally available from the end of May until August, the Bing is a dominant cherry exported from Australia and the U S A.
One of the later varieties for this cherry was patented after Reed Brooks in 1989. Becoming ripe just before summer, This light red cherry is bigger than some varieties, (and beware the dibble factor) the flesh of this cherry is sweet, firm and juicily rich.
The MARASCHINO Cherry.
( Usually of the Royal Ann cherry or the Rainier cherry) In going through the various processes, if dyed red, taste of almond whilst the green dyed cherry tastes of peppermint, “I wish to point out that the dyes are not harmful as the Federal government has banned the use of harmful dyes”
When the cherries are soaked in glucose the result is glazed cherries, or in another stage the cherry is coated with sugar they become a crystallized cherry. Although there are sweet ( those which we normally choose for eating) as well as tart varieties, the tart cherries are used in the manufacture of cherry pies, when they can be sweetened to taste.
Founded by Chris Morello, the cherry is classed as sour, for it is related to the wild cherry, but more acidic than other cherries. Ripening mid to late summer, this cherry has many uses from jams, syrup and liqueur, not to mention that the Morello cherry can also be purchased as dried fruit or tinned in syrup. A dark purple bordering on black skin, this cherry is also used in fruit salads (with a sprinkling of sugar).
There are few of you lucky enough to purchase the Rainier cherry, and I now appreciate why this cherry is is scarce. The Rainier cherry season is June and July and a third of the crop can be taken by the birds, (they appear to careful in their choice of foods and know what is the best)
A cross that was made in 1952 between the cherries Bing and Van was released in 1958 which has produced a much sought after cherry, with a skin of yellow with a blush of red, with the flesh of the cherry being a creamy yellow, that is described as sweetness in heaven. You may also wonder at the higher price, which is due to the pickers being paid extra to pick them by hand and taking extra care not to bruise them, as most cherry crops are machine sorted.
ROYAL ANN Cherry.
The Royal Ann is also called the NAPOLEON cherry, which you may find difficult to buy loose, as it is one of the cherries used commercially for canning or as Maraschino cherries, which you have probably used/eaten in a cocktail or as a garnish, if available either as loose cherries or as a tree, the skin of the cherry is a yellow blushed red colour.
The Stella cherry tree needs no pollinator as it is self fertile, The Stella cherry is also able to pollinate other trees such as the Bing cherry, providing it is not in a mild winter climate. The Stella cherry tree can bear fruit as a young tree, growing up to 16 feet high although the semi dwarf variety Stella cherry tree can be purchased and only grows 8 to 10 feet tall. The large nearly black Stella cherry has a black, sweet, richly flavoured black flesh, that is harvested later in the year than many other varieties of cherries. The Stella cherry is also resistant to cracking, which occurs if there is heavy rain whilst the fruit are ripening.
SUMMER SUN Cherry.
A cherry that has a very appropriate name, as the Summer Sun cherry ripens to meet the summer sunshine,blossoming in early spring and developing into tight red cherries in July. Like other cherries, the tree will blossom but not necessarily bear fruit until it is 3 to 5 years old, in its younger years Summer Sun may bear a few fruit, but as it matures the crop of cherries will grow.
Summer Sun produces succulent plump cherries that are almost black, which to say the least are delicious when picked fresh.
Sunburst is the cross between the Stella cherry and the Van cherry which is a heart to round shape, many pictures I have seen of the Sunburst cherry, show them to be red in colour, this is possibly due to the photographs of Sunburst being taken as they are ripening, for the cherry of Sunburst is a large black cherry which has a sweet and gorgeous flavour, some people have said that Sunburst has a raspberry flavour! A tree that is self fertile, with a high production of fruit. The Sunburst cherry is resistant to cracking or splitting, whilst the tree of Sunburst is easy to manage and prune.
The Van cherry will need a pollenizer, although Van itself will pollenize most other popular cherries. resembling the Bing cherry, the Van cherry is slightly smaller, and when you see how prolific the Van cherry is I would warn you to thin some of the cherries, otherwise they will be on the small side.
Blooming in mid season the Van cherry matures early to late December, (if you have enough space in your yard or garden you could virtually select different cherry trees to allow you cherries throughout the year).The Van cherry is red, juicy and firm with a very good flavour, whilst the tree is vigorous with upright growth.
Three boys and a girl were late for school, and the teacher asked the first boy where he had been, to which he replied “on cherry hill”, the teacher asked the same question of the second boy who had no shirt, his reply was also “I’ve been on cherry hill”. The teacher told them to sit down, the teacher then asked the quesion of the third boy who was wearing no trousers, His reply was” “I’ve been on cherry hill”, the teacher then turned to the girl and said “I suppose you have been on cherry hill”, The girl replied “no I am cherry hill”!!!!