Top 5 Cherry Tree Varieties To Grow In Michigan
There are many types of cherries that can successfully be grown in Michigan due to our ideal growing conditions. Bing cherries and Rainier cherries are popular varieties sold in stores or farm markets, and black cherries are a native variety to our state that are also popular. However, home growers and Northern Michigan cherry farms tend to lean towards these five varieties for the greatest success when it comes to harvest season!
Montmorency cherries are the most widely grown tart cherry variety in Michigan. They have several characteristics that make them ideal for Michigan’s climate and growing conditions. Montmorency cherries are known for their hardiness and ability to withstand cold temperatures, making them resilient to Michigan’s winters. They are also self-pollinating, meaning they can produce fruit without the need for a separate cherry tree for cross-pollination. A Montmorency cherry has a tart flavor that is well-suited for baking, preserving, and juicing, making them popular for pies, jams, and other culinary uses. This is the most popular type of sour cherry grown in Michigan.
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2. Royal Ann
The tree is known for its large, yellow to light red fruit with a firm, juicy texture. The cherries are typically heart-shaped and have a sweet, slightly tart flavor. They are excellent for fresh eating and are also commonly used in baking, preserves, and desserts like pies and tarts. Their color is decorative for topping deserts as well. Like Montmorency cherries, Royal Ann cherries like cooler temperatures and suitable for Michigan’s climate.
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Stella cherries are medium to large in size and have a heart-shaped or round shape. The skin is dark red to almost black when fully ripe. The flesh is firm, juicy, and has a deep red color. The flavor is sweet with a slight tartness, making it a favorite for fresh eating. While sweet cherries generally require a milder climate, certain areas of Michigan with favorable microclimates can successfully cultivate Stella cherries. Stella cherry trees are also known for their self-fertile abilities and can produce abundant fruit without a second tree.
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The Santina cherry is a sought-after variety known for its exceptional characteristics. It features large, dark red fruit with a firm and juicy texture, boasting a superbly sweet flavor. Santina cherries are often praised for their resistance to cracking, making them more resilient to inclement weather conditions. This variety typically ripens in mid to late June, providing an early harvest option. With its excellent taste, firmness, and ability to withstand cracking, the Santina cherry is highly regarded among cherry enthusiasts and is a favorite for fresh eating, baking, and preserving.
Santina cherry trees are not often sold at nurseries and demand can be high for this popular tree. To view purchasing options, click here!
5. North Star
North Star cherries are a popular tart cherry variety (sometimes called sour cherry trees) for culinary purposes in Michigan. They are valued for their bright red skin, tangy flavor, and small size. North Star cherries are highly productive and self-pollinating. They are commonly used for making pies, preserves, and other cherry products. North Star cherries are also known for their disease resistance and the ability to survive cold winters, making them well-suited for Michigan’s climate.
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Ripe Cherries by H.S. Herger
These five cherry varieties have been selected for their adaptability to Michigan’s climate, disease resistance, and their ability to produce high-quality fruit. However, it’s worth noting that specific growing conditions and microclimates can vary within Michigan, so it’s always advisable to consult with local agricultural extension services or experienced cherry growers in your area for more precise recommendations based on your location.
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