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Tart Cherry Trees

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The tart cherry tree, Prunus cerasus, is also known as the sour cherry, dwarf cherry and wild cherry.  Closely related to the sweet cherry, it is also native to Europe and southwest Asia.  The fruit of the tart cherry is more acidic and has a greater nutritional value than the sweet cherry.  It produces crimson to almost black cherries.  This tree is also smaller, and the dwarf variety of this tree provides many options for those particularly small spaces.  It can be planted with closer spacing and is easier to prune and spray.  It is self-pollinating, but will produce more cherries if planted with another variety.  

Sour cherry trees thrive in well-drained soil and are relatively easy to grow.  They get only 20 feet tall, and no matter what rootstock they are grafted on, they do not get any taller.  Tart cherries will bear fruit earlier and are more tolerant of cold winters and long, hot, humid summers.  They have fewer disease problem.  If the soil is well drained, they can tolerate clay or heavy soil too.  When choosing between sour and cherry trees, make sure you select which one is suitable for your climate.  Remember that tart cherries are the perfect choice for cooking and baking!

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