Hardy Cherry Comparison

bberry_gwMarch 22, 2009

Calling all northern cherry growers.

For those of you that have the following hardy cherries, Kristin, Black Gold, White Gold, Lapin and Stella.

Would you elaborate on the following characteristics:

1.Which one tastes the best?

2.What is the fruit size compared to a store bought Bing?

3.What is the firmness compared to the above?

4.What is the crop potential?

5.Which one has performed the best for you?

6.Which one has better disease resistance?

7.Who has the most northerly grown of these?

8.Are there any other sweet cherries that can take the extremes up here?

9.Any other descriptors of problems or advantages would be helpful.



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franktank232(z5 WI)

I'm in La Crosse and i have Lapins and Kristin in the ground since last May... I want to pot them up but my wrist won't be usable for at least 6 weeks... Probably wait until late fall after they go dormant. I doubt mine have any fruit this year.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 6:30PM
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From the looks of mine you won't need to pot them up. They look a whole lot better than my peaches. I see no damage so far and it was a very cold winter here. There is still a lot of snow and ice here. For me the Lapin put on the most growth and all were new trees last year. Voles severely barked about 8 of my young trees for the first time. Never had a problem on a mowed lawn area but lesson learned and all trees get wire mesh next fall. By the way all of the hybrid plums can really take the cold and produce.
Hope your wrist gets mended so you can enjoy planting this spring.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 7:53PM
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Your chances of growing sweet cherries in Maine are just about zero, but if there is the slimmest chance, it would probably be Lapins or another of the varieties from the Summerfield program in B.C. Canada.

No cherry that you could grow would be as firm or sweet as the West Coast cherries you can buy at the supermarket. You just don't live in California. Black and White Gold were developed at Geneva, NY, and you could try them, but don't expect cherries every year, or fruit that approaches the quality of the western grown cherries.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 8:35PM
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I thought they grew supermarket cherries in Michigan or Washington? Not California.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:15PM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

bberry, Last season I planted a Stella and Black Gold Upstate NY zone 5. Gets to minus twenty there in winter. Both of these Cherry trees show no tip damage and look healthy. Unfortunately these two varieties ripen at the same time in the very early cherry season. If I could, I would get a Regina that is late ripening instead of Stella. Cummins gives Regina exceptional high review, the Black Gold blooms late and is self pollinating and crack resistant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Regina

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:44PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

PDF i have says sweet cherry fruit buds cab be destroyed at -18F to -20F..

The areas of Michigan that grow sweets are around Traverse City...The temps they
there are very mild because of the lake.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 12:02AM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

I have a Black Gold which has been in the ground several years. After a very tentative start, it took off like gangbusters, but it has yet to bloom. I thought it might have some flower buds for this spring, but since everything is still dormant, I won't know for sure until later. So far, it has survived the winters with no problem, and looks to be very alive this spring. We had about -21 a couple times in December and -30 in Feb.

A lot of sweet cherries are grown in the Flathead Valley in Montana along the shores of the Flathead Lake (not far from the Canadian border). My understanding is that Lapins is a major variety up there. Their fruit is really excellent. It is indistinguishable from cherries I've had from central Washington in size and taste. Where they are grown, however has a favorable micro climate associated with the lake, which protects against extreme winter lows and helps limit spring frosts.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 12:18AM
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I have heard of the northern grown cherries and picked many from around Fredonia, NY and they are actually better than the store bought. The question is how much hardier than Lapin is the Black Gold and Kristin. Taste comparison, size etc. A small crop or one every few years is acceptable.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 7:58AM
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Not that many cherries are grown around Flathead Lake anymore. They winter killed a number of them years back and many weren't replanted. The area since then has been Californicated.
I have told you about Regina on this forum for years.
Lapins is an old and outmoded variety with a certain problem that makes planting it today a non starter for a cherry professional, i.e. it gets rot in the center of its tight bunches. If you don't have a climate that produces that rot then go with it. But IMHO better to go with a dozen other varieties, Regina, Skeena, Sweetheart, Sandra Rose, Benton, Selah, and perhaps eastern varieties of which I have no direct experience.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 8:55AM
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salmon(4A WI)

I've tried several varieties in Northern Wisconsin with little luck so far. Both Black and White Gold suffered winterkill and died after several years, Hedelfingen suffered the same fate. I have one healthy Gold sweet cherry which blooms sporadically but has no pollinator at this time. I planted Kristen which has survived a few winters but does not appear to be particularly vigorous.

I also planted Danube which is supposed to taste like a cross between a sweet and tart cherry. It has survived a few winters suffering some winterkill but has yet to produce any fruit...

I'm giving up on growing sweet cherries in my climate and plan on concentrating on getting my healthy sour cherry trees to produce some fruit.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 11:49AM
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I was interested in Black Gold Dwarf Cherry tree on Gisela or Krymst.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 9:36PM
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bberry, What did you decide on planting?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 6:41PM
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I already have all of them but have not had any fruit. They all made it through the winter and -23. Even the tip buds have done well. The Lapin seems the most vigorus so far. It is too soon to tell if there will be any blossoms this year. I have also added 2 bush cherries and the Evans. I was trying to get some opinions of the different cherries.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 8:44PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

My Kristin is currently flowering and my Lapins looks like it should be soon. My low this winter was -26F...with plenty of nights below 0F... Have no idea why they made it, but they did!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 10:20PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

These cherries are good up to -26F...-32C. blossoms will die after that but trees can still survive.
Here it gets much colder and trees are fine.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 1:10AM
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Hello. Hey, we northern growers can still have some nice cherries if we try the bush and hardy sours. I'm talking about Carmine Jewell, for one. They are VERY hardy and seem to be vigorous in growth. Many Canadian companies will be allowed to offer the many varieties of these bush cherries soon, so be on the look-out for them. At present, I know that St. Lawrence Nurseries in Potsdam, NY, offers Carmine Jewell and another hardy bush cherry plus the other bush cherries Joy and Jan. I would love to try a sweet cherry tree but I know what my winters are like here (-25 to -30 and sometimes even lower...) so I've concentrated on the bush cherries. Bill McKentley at St. Lawrence Nurseries told me he is propagating crosses between sweet and sour cherries for trials. Hopefully he and others come up with more choices for the cold north! Thanks! Keep growin'!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 1:33PM
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