There are many things to consider when choosing which variety to plant. Today were only going to skim the service and talk about some of the restrictions. Pollination. Not all cherry trees are self-fertile, you need to make sure that you are planting varieties together that will actually produce fruit.
Check out this more precise and in-depth article on pollination and see the guide of Cherry Pollinizer Information on the WSU website. It is one that I reference quite often. If you’ve done any googling or searching for pollinization information or research, Matt Whiting from the Washington State University, seems (to me) is THE GUY as far as research goes and not only politization(obviously). I have watched, listen and read countless articles and research reviews of his research and the WSU team and they really know what he/they are doing to benefit all growers and fruit production alike.
So if your around Flathead lake, Lapin Cherries are probably the most popular variety. Lambert used to be the favorite, and there are quite a few still around, they have a wonderful taste, however they do fall a little bit short when it comes to shipping and handling, this is why the leader is now Lapin’s. Rainiers have usually done well here even though they face the same issue as Lamberts. Rainiers are quite unique in the fact that they require special picking practices and are very easy to burse. A few other older tried and true red varieties are Vans and Bings.
Other sweet red varieties grown in the area consist of, Sweethearts, Skeena, Stella, Chelan, Tieton, Regina, Black Tartarian. An honorable mention for me is the Sweethearts and the Skeena, I love both of these varieties, because of the taste, they are just unique and when you have your choice of cherries, you want to grow a variety that you love. Believe me they both have their challenges, so their uniqueness is not only in their taste, but also in their development practices.
Yellow varieties early robin seem to highly compete with the treasured Rainier. Growers I know that have them love them, they come on just a little bit earlier than Rainier’s and seem to hold up a little better to bruising, and the average consumer cannot tell the difference between them and a true Rainier. I have also heard there are some Royal Ann’s in the area, but have yet to speak with the owners, they are supposed to be like Rainiers, but more on the tart side.
Tart varieties, are a little tougher identifying here (maybe its just me.) But, since most tart trees are quite old, and with turnover of property their names seem to get lost quickly. This also happens with the apples. In the last few years, I have brought in Montgomery and Danube tart cherries for clients, and planted them for myself last year. They have not yet produced, but they haven’t died yet either, so we’re almost to success.
This year, 2022, I will be bringing in bare root Rainier, Sweetheart, and Lapin Cherry trees. Sweetheart and Lapin trees are self-fertile, however Rainiers are not. When I bring in Rainier trees I usually will get 1 pollinator tree for evert 5-10 Rainier trees. This year I will bring in Bing and Van as pollinators for the Rainier trees. Bing and Vann’s are known as the universal pollinators. I will also bring in some Skeena’s this year as pollinators, I’ve not grown Skeena’s yet personally but of my friends on the lake some people love them others say they are hard to grow. Follow up article coming soon.
So if your interested in picking up some trees this year head on over to the shopping page and check out what we’ve got!
P.S. Edit 12.22.22
For the Crop year 2023, I will be brining in quite a few varieties, please check the shopping page, but I’ve been on the list for 2 years to get LAPINS, and they are finally available. Please call me today to reserve yours. Limited quantity available. Also my Rainiers are on Mazzard stock this year!