With the exception of in the famous Door County, sweet cherries (Prunus adriam) are impractical to grow in Wisconsin. In Door County, spring comes a little earlier and fall lasts a little longer because of Lake Michigan’s moderating effect. The rest of the state is not as temperate, but home growers raise plenty of tart fruit for pies and jams. Tart cherries are not as adversely affected by cold, disease, and Japanese beetles as the sweet ones.
Emily chose two cultivars of tart (sour) cherries for our Basic Starter Kit: Carmine Jewel (P. cerasus x) and North Star (P. Fruiticosa). These cultivars provide beauty and food throughout the seasons.
Tart cherries should be grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. They prefers moisture-retentive soils with good drainage and have no tolerance for wet soils. Plant these self-pollinating trees 10 feet apart.
These sour cherries are dwarf, vase-shaped, deciduous, fruit trees that typically grow only 7-9 feet tall and produce one crop per year of large, bright red, sour cherries with yellow flesh. Cherries ripen in June (USDA Zone 5) and are recommended for pies, jams, and other desserts. White blossoms in spring.
These cultivars are reportedly disease resistant. However, potential disease problems include leaf spot, bacterial canker, brown rot, black knot, crown gall, leaf curl, leaf scorch, powdery mildew, root rot, scab and shot-hole fungus. Potential insect pests include aphids, fruit flies, saw flies, and scale. Netting or nylon mesh can be used, if necessary, to prevent birds from stealing the crop. Cold winter temperatures and spring frosts can cause significant injury to buds/flowers, almost to the same extent as with peaches.
Tart cherries are grown primarily for the fruit crop and not for ornamental value. This self-pollinating dwarf cherry is ideal for smaller spaces.
Nicknamed “America’s Super Fruit,” cherries are a delicious way to reap the health-promoting properties of antioxidants. Health and nutrition experts say to look no further than fruits grown in American soil for health and wellness benefits.
Sour cherry fruit contains ingredients that are thought to reduce inflammation and serve as antioxidants. It also contains melatonin which helps to regulate sleep patterns.
Common Name: sour cherry
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 7.00 to 9.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy, Edible