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During the summer, everyone enjoys savouring delicious red cherries.
This brilliant red fruit has a terrific combination of sweet and sour flavours, and it gives the ideal pop of colour to your desserts.
Cherries can be eaten raw or cooked into cakes, tarts, pies, and cheesecakes, among other dishes.
They’re a great addition to a bowl of yoghurt or a bowl of cereal for the morning. Did you know that cherries come in different types?
Well if you didn’t, read along because this article will look at the 9 best cold hardy cherries. Read along.
Cold-Tolerant Varieties To Choose
Because all of the plants on this list are hardy in cold climes, their frost requirements may prohibit them from thriving in warmer climates.
If you reside in a warmer USDA zone, make sure you choose cultivars that are appropriate for your climate.
Moving from Zone 2 to Zone 3 provides up a few more options for growing cherries — a couple of hybrids and a distant relative, three more tried-and-true options to add to your collection.
We’re moving on to warmer places and some traditional sour cherry trees, so relax and undo the top button of your overcoat if you’re in Zone 4. If you live in Zone 4, you can choose from any of the varieties listed.
1. Carmine Jewel
‘Carmine Jewel,’ like ‘Juliet,’ is a dwarf hybrid tree with sour and Mongolian cherry heritage. Zones 3–8 are ideal for this cultivar.
Carmine Jewel, available from Nature Hills, will reach a height of 6-7 feet and a spread of 4 to 8 feet.
It is a self-pollinator that requires well-drained soil and can be utilized as an attractive shrub as well as a fruit producer due to its tiny size.
Carmine Jewel provides an early harvest of small, deep red cherries that are both tart and sweet, despite their small size.
The fruits are ideal for a variety of culinary preparations due to their small pits.
Romeo produces dark, almost black fruits with tiny pits. They’re great for baking, canning, and winemaking, as well as eating right off the tree.
While ‘Romeo’ is self-fruitful, it blooms at the same time as ‘Juliet,’ making these two varieties ideal companions.
Nature Hills sells ‘Romeo’ miniature trees as potted 2- to 4-year-old plants.
‘Juliet’ is a dwarf cherry tree hybrid that combines the cold-hardiness of sour cherries (Prunus cerasus) with the higher sugar content — and smaller stature – of the Mongolian cherry (P. fruticose).
This variety will mature to 6-8 feet tall with a 5 to 6-foot spread, providing an abundant crop in midsummer.
It is self-pollinating and prefers well-drained soil.
The fruits of this tree are acidic but also highly sweet due to their hybrid genetics, providing a flavour that is wonderfully rich and deep.
‘Juliet’ yields deep red to purple cherries that are great for eating right away, as well as preserving, baking, and freezing.
4. Western Sand
The ‘Western Sand’ cherry is a cold-hardy shrub native to the Northern Great Plains that produces a huge crop of black fruit with a plum-like flavour.
‘Western Sand’ cherries thrive in Zones 3-6, reaching a mature height and spread of 5-6 feet, and can be used as hedges, borders, or specimen plants.
This shrub, also known as ‘Rocky Mountain Sand,’ can be grown in any soil and has silver-green foliage that turns vibrant tones of maroon and purple in the fall. This variety can be found at Nature Hills Nursery.
This self-early-ripening pollinator’s dark purple to black fruits are sweet with an astringent edge and can be eaten raw or used to produce jams and pies.
- English Morello
English Morello’ yields delicious, dark red cherries with crimson flesh and a sour flavour that may be eaten straight from the tree or transformed into magnificent pies and preserves.
They keep their shape nicely, so they’re good for freezing and preserving.
In Zones 4-9. English Morello’ is a self-fertile, naturally, a dwarf sour cherry tree that bears fruit late in the season.
While it can adapt to any soil type, this heritage loves rich, well-draining, moist soil if given the option.
At maturity, it can grow to be 15-20 feet tall with a spread of 12-30 feet if not pruned.
This shrub, also known as a downy, hedge, Chinese bush, or Manchu, will reach a height of 8-10 feet and a spread of 10-15 feet.
‘Nanking’ adapts to a broad variety of soil types and is ideal as a windbreak hedgerow when planted en masse, but it’s also lovely when used as a specimen plant.
It can withstand droughts and flourishes in places with cold winters and scorching summers.
Nanking’s cherries are vivid red, sweet, and tart, but not too tart to eat fresh. They can be juiced, baked with, or used in preserves.
‘Nanking’ also has ornamental appeal in its brilliant spring blossoms, reddish-brown bark, and golden fall colour, if an early to the midsummer supply of fruit in Zone 2 isn’t enough.
It’s a true cold-hardy plant that blooms early and has frost-tolerant flowers. Even though ‘Nanking’ is self-pollinating, it will often fail to set fruit if there isn’t another shrub close.
7. Canada Red Select
‘Canada Red Select’ is a chokecherry cultivar, a shrub or understory tree that has long been prized as a meal by Native American tribes like the Cheyenne and Blackfoot.
This plant doesn’t care about the soil it grows in, and if a 25-foot-tall tree seems too large to gather fruit, don’t worry; it can be pruned to a manageable shrub size or fashioned into a little tree.
The ‘Canada Red Select’ cultivar, available from Nature Hills, matures to be 20-25 feet tall and 18-20 feet wide, but it will take a long time to achieve full size if you live in a cold desert region as I do.
The deep crimson to black fruits of this US native ripen late and are extremely sour, yet with a little sugar, they can be converted into a lively jelly or wine.
If you like sour foods, you could like eating this fruit raw; the flesh is acceptable without cooking, but the pits contain cyanide and should not be consumed.
8. Early Richmond
This drought-tolerant sour cherry tree is hardy in Zones 4–8, thrives in moist to well-drained soil, and is suitable to Zones 4–8.
This self-pollinating variety is semi-dwarf, reaching a mature height of 15-18 feet with a spread of 12 to 30-feet, and will benefit from pruning to preserve its tasty fruit within easy reach.
‘Early Richmond’ produces an early crop of tart cherries with light red skins and luscious flesh that are excellent for cooking, baking, and preserving – if you can resist eating them all right off the tree.
Montmorency thrives in Zones 4–7 and is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions. This cultivar thrives in loamy, well-drained, and sandy soils, growing to a mature height of 8-18 feet with a spread of 10-20 feet.
‘Montmorency’ is an early producer with huge, bright red fruits with golden flesh and clear juice. This variety’s cherries have a rich, tart flavour that makes them ideal for baked products and preserves.
Because it is only partially self-fertile, you’ll need to plant two or more trees for a larger crop.
Which Cherry Tree Is Best In Australia?
Van – arguably one of Australia’s favourite cherries to eat, and not widely grown due to the small size of the fruit, but it’s a chewy cherry with a lot of flavour In it.
The best commercial kinds are Lapins, which produce large, brownish red-coloured fruits that are lustrous and delicious.
Which Cherry Trees Self-pollinate?
Cherries that are sour or tart are self-fertile. Pollen is transmitted from the anther to the stigma on the same bloom, from another flower on the same plant, or another plant of the same variety, resulting in self-pollination.
Only one sour cherry tree is required for pollination and fruit set. Because they can’t produce fruit from their pollen, several sweet cherry varieties are labeled as self-unfruitful.