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Cross-Pollinating Cherry Trees


If the fruit set on your cherry trees was a bust last year, the reason may be inadequate cross-pollination. Here's a little background so you can make big plans for the coming year. 





There are two main types of cherries: sour and sweet.

Tart cherries are self-fruitful, which means you only need one kind of tree to set a good crop. But sweet cherries aren't so sweet natured in temperament.

Kirschen plate in Meyers' Konversationslexikon, published1902-1920.
Kirschen plate in  Meyers' Konversationslexikon, published1902-1920

Not only are they self-unfruitful, they are also fussy about their pollen source.

Not all cultivars of sweet cherries will successfully pollinate all other cultivars. The more closely related they are, the less likely they are to cross-fertilize.

Sweet cherry cultivars have been divided into several groups.

Trees from the same group cannot be counted on to fertilize each other.

Plant at least two trees from two or more of the following groups.

Group One includes Bing, Lambert and Napoleon. 

Group Two includes Sodus, Van, Venus and Windsor. 

Group Three includes Windsor and Abundance. 

Group Four includes Black Tartarian, Black Eagle, Knights Early Black, and Early Rivers. 

There are more groups but you get the idea.

Source: Dr. Robert Gough, Montana State University Extension Horticultural Specialist.  (406) 994-6523


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