When looking for cherry trees to plant in a yard, homeowner frequently seek out cherry trees with three characteristics: sweet cherries that they can eat right off of the tree, cherries that are dark red in color, and trees that self-pollinate, so that they can plant just one tree and still obtain fruit. There are hundreds of varieties of sweet cherries out there, but few that meet all three of these criteria. If sweet, dark red, self-pollinating cherries are your dream, pick one of these three varieties:
The balanced flavor of these deep red cherries makes them ideal for eating out of hand, but also suitable for baking. If you live in an area that sometimes receives heavy rainfall, Sonata cherries are a good choice since the fruits are resistant to cracking. Sonata trees do not tolerate drought well, so you may need to provide irrigation if you do not receive rainfall for an extended period of time. They require very fertile soil, so adding compost and manure to enrich sandy or clay soil is recommended.
The plump, red cherries of the Stella cherry tree typically ripen in late June and early July, which is a little earlier than most varieties. A large cherry variety, Stella reaches about 25 feet in height when mature. The trees tend to fruit heavily, which makes pruning essential to prevent cracked limbs as the tree matures. A mature tree will yield up to 4 bushels of cherries. Stella cherry trees should be planted in full sunlight. They will not tolerate flooding, so do not plant your Stella cherry in a low spot that gets soft in the spring.
The darkest of the dark, these deep red cherries are glossy and sweet. They also have small pits and a firm flesh, which makes them perfect for eating out of hand. Blackgold cherries are disease-resistant, making them a good choice if fungal blights are common in your area. The trees are medium-sized, reaching about 15 – 18 feet in height when mature. Make sure you choose an area that receives full sunlight and has well-drained soil when planting a Blackgold cherry tree. You can expect a crop of cherries when the tree is about 4 years old.
There's nothing like the joy of picking ripe, red cherries off a tree in your backyard. All cherry trees do require some care, including pruning and spraying. To ensure a good crop, have a tree service company like Excel Tree Service in your area come care for your trees at least once per year. You'll be eating fresh, home grown fruit in no time.