Sweetheart Cherry Pollinator

achang89(Z6)August 18, 2014

What cherry tree do I need to pollinate the "sweetheart" sweet cherry?

It says this tree is self-pollination. But the yield is very low. Can "Bing" do it? I can find "Blackyork" and "White Gold" at my local nursery. Are they any good?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

In NJ Blackgold or Whitegold would be better choices than Bing. They are better adapted and self fertile. Bing cracks badly in rainy humid weather.

Blackgold and Whitegold are two of the better cherries for your area.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 9:52PM
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Thanks. I'll get the Whitegold. How about the "Blackyork". It seems it is just like the Bing? Am I correct?

Is so, "Blackyork" is not a good partner for the Sweetheart?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 10:03PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Blackgold and whitegold are excellent choices, but they may not work, never heard of blackyork? So many cultivars exist, it's amazing. I have whitegold, and glacier. I lost a couple trees over the last 2 years. All I have left.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 11:28PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I see that Black York is a recent release from Cornell. That means that it has been selected for your area and might be a good choice. It is said to be a great pollinator and would probably pollinate Sweetheart. If you had all three you should be in good shape for pollination.

Have you looked into the 4 Pearl series cultivars?

This post was edited by fruitnut on Mon, Aug 18, 14 at 23:33

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 11:32PM
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Thanks Fruiitnut.

This is what they say about "Black York" cherry.

Blackyork Eastern Bing Cherry has large, firm, delicious fruit like a Bing cherry but these are better suited for home gardening. Dark black-red sweet cherry is great for fresh eating. Semi-dwarf.

Care Information
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Height: 15-20 Feet Width: 10-12 Feet Form: Rounded Flower Color: White Bloom Season: Spring Foliage Color: Green Fall Color: Gold Fruit Color: Red Growth Rate: Medium Disease Resistant Fragrant Easy to Grow New

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 11:37PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Have you looked into the 4 Pearl series cultivars

I have now, and blackyork. Wow, these are better than white or blackgold. Yes go with blackyork!!

These seem to be canker resistant. When I mentioned I lost some it was to canker! i'm sold!
One was so bad the canker ran down the central leader almost to the rootstock. No saving it in any way.
Thanks all for this thread I have some new favorites! I see lot's of new sweet cherries and tart cherries in the last few years. It's a new ballgame out there for cherry trees.
My Carmine Jewel has grown really well this year, and another plus is the Japanese beetles don't like it.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 6:30AM
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Just got both Black York and White Gold. They are in ground now. Hope the tree cherry trees can get me some fruits.....

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 10:15PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I think those are good choices. You should certainly have pollination covered.

My favorite cherry last yr was Selah. It's big, dark, very firm, very sweet, and has good flavor. But mostly I like the big blocky shape and dark color.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 10:44PM
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After doing some research and talking to the fruit expert at my local extension office I've decided that for my cherry planting next spring I'm going to go with 4 trees: Stella, Lapins, Black Gold, and White Gold. I think they are all self pollenators and should all work well in Zone 6. I'm also going to try to find them on Gisela 5 rootstock as long as my soil is up to par.

You might look at Stella as a pollinator. Isn't it supposed to be one of the best cherries for that purpose. Or maybe Black Tartarian

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 9:25AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Lapins should work and its a great cherry.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 9:31AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I grew Stella for about 10 yrs in Amarillo. It was barely eatable. Not sweet or flavorful. Store bought was better if you could find dark ones that weren't picked too early.

I haven't compared it to anything in my greenhouse where 25-32+ brix is routine.

Lapins is nearly as tasty as Bing which is very good. Van is probably better but it oversets and thus can be small. In my pic below it's pretty good size since I thinned

The big tasty cherries of those I've grown are Selah, Sonata, Sandra Rose, and Skeena. But cherry taste can be very location dependent. Ones that taste good in one location might not in another. Royal Edie and Helen are good in CA but tasted sulfurous for me. The off flavor sulfurous taste seems to be what's location specific.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Wed, Aug 20, 14 at 10:24

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:21AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

If I would have known about the Pearl series I would not have bought whitegold. It's a good cherry, but the canker resistance in the Pearl series is valuable in this area. My first whitegold died from it. The 2nd is OK so far. Om another note the Rainier grown by the Amish here are exceptional and my favorite. I may have to buy one. I think it is totally local. The Rainiers the Amish have look different than what fruitnut posted. It could be just the lighting? They are hard too, not soft.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:34AM
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It's really interesting to see how everyone's tastes and preferences are so different. I'm sure a lot of it is due to location. East coast zone 6 may be substantially different that west coast zone 6.

Maybe I'll rethink Stella. I'm in the mid Atlantic region. The cherry qualities I prefer are a very firm crisp texture. And sweet. I don't really care about the color although I think variety is nice. What I don't care for is soft cherries with too much tartness. Those may be good for pies but my family likes fresh eating. I guess if I end up with a variety that is a little soft I'll freeze them and use them for pie or other cooking. I've been told that Lapins, Black Gold, and White Gold are all known for firm textures and are generally disease resistant (although the canker comment above kind of contradicts that). I believe they are all self pollinators as well.

I've considered ordering on G5 rootstock and planting 3-4 plants in a small radius to create a "grafted tree" effect without actually grafting them. I know raintree and other nurseries have combination trees but I haven't found any combinations that have the cherries I want. I could eventually graft myself if I could ever find scionwood which appears to be difficult in my area.

I love Ranier cherries from the store but I've heard that in my area there are better options if I want a white fleshed sweet cherry such as White Gold.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:54AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Rainier is soft if allowed to sweeten up. If it's hard then it's not very ripe. It's one of my softer cherries and I don't like the flavor as well as Bing.

Commercially cherries are made firmer by spraying with gibberellic acid. I don't know if the Amish would do that but most commercial growers do. I did it one yr but it made things like Selah almost woody. So I'll grow things like Selah that don't need it.

My Rainiers are darker than Drew's because they got more light. Rainier is solid red as in my picture when well exposed to light. This also makes them sweeter. Drew's Rainier was grown on the inside of a dense canopy and/or picked early.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Wed, Aug 20, 14 at 11:11

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:07AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

If looking for a firm east coast cherry take a look at Blackpearl, Burgundypearl, Ebonypearl, and I think 4th in that series is Radiancepearl. They mention firmness in description in Adams Country Nursery catalog for both black and burgundy. Also crack resistant. Look for full data on those including a firmness measurement above 300 grams per millimeter sq.

These are all new releases of Cornell so adapted out east.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:53AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Whatever the Amish are doing, keep doing it! It's cool to buy right from them, nice people really. Next year I'll ask them about how they process the cherries. Best cherries in Michigan. I often buy MI sweet cherries and I like them, but these rainiers are special.
All the rainiers I have seen are light. All i know is they are extremely sweet and firm. I usually don't like that but the cherry flavor is so good. I do eat tart cherries raw too, but they to me have a different flavor.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 12:53PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


It's also nice to grow your own. Then you get an understanding of what went into the final product. I don't know what you consider extremely sweet especially when you like tart. A brix number would help define the end result but you still won't know what went into that number. I for one don't trust everything I'm told in regard to how something was grown. Some organic produce in the store/market isn't organic. I'd bet money on that.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 1:21PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I do need a brix meter, and I do grown my own cherries too. Hard to say what brix the cherries are, as you say my palate is different than most, and it could be not that sweet. They do have a wow factor, as most cherries are good, but you know kinda boring.

If I had all the trees I wanted, i would not what to do with the fruit. This harvest season has been overwelming. I have more food than i know what to do with, and I keep giving it away. I have 3 gallons of tomato sauce reducing as I type, with 10 more gallons to process. I wanted to make my own sauce, but I could start selling it! Wow, the tomato yield was fantastic! I had pasta yesterday with my own sauce, fantastic! Yes!
Next year the same thing but add peaches into the mix, man life is good!
The fall raspberry harvest has started, everbearing strawberries too. I still have a few blueberries to pick!
The pepper yield too was unreal. I'm pickling peppers right now too. I'm making chicken tonight, a dish with heavy paprika, my own paprika, having fun!
Later today Aji Lemon drop hot sauce will be made. What beautiful (and hot!) peppers.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, Aug 20, 14 at 14:24

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 2:23PM
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Wow, Drew, that's a heck of a harvest!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 8:03PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Pictures are one day harvests. Each day it is about the same. Sometimes more sometimes less.
I plan on pickling many peppers. You can use them for any dish. I have about 5000 recipes for using pickled peppers. It's a great way to preserve them. I will use them for stuffing, pasta, appetizers, dips etc.
I'm growing peppadews, and have the recipes the very famous brand name uses for pickling. here are what you can do with just peppadews (on plate-the strawberry shaped red peppers).
Sorry way off subject. I have many recipes for cherries too! Many are on the net. Check allrecipes.com

Here is a link that might be useful: peppadew recipes

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:14PM
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