Breeding cherries

I am curious if anyone is breeding cherries? I have seen some threads with people trying to cross cherries with other stone fruits but failed to find any threads with a focus on breeding cherries either tart or sweet or sweet/tart crosses. Anyone out there doing breeding work?

3 Likes

Bump. How true to type do cherries grow? Sweet or sour?

1 Like

Sour (tart) cherries and sweet cherries are different species. So if you breed two tart cherries you will get a tart cherry. Same is true for sweet cherries. However, I am not sure how much cherry offspring resemble their parents.

Most apples have highly variable offspring with some exceptions. Whether the variability we see in apples is true for cherries I don’t know.

There are also hybrids of tart and sweet cherries. These are often referred to as Duke cherries. They have a mix of characteristics from both species. I think most of them lean towards sweet cherry characteristics because of selective breeding. In the past, people in climates that are difficult for sweet cherries would plant Duke cherries since they were tolerant of harsher conditions. Now, with cheap and convenient shipping I think most people just buy cherries if they don’t live in a prime sweet cherry region.

Most of the Duke cherries originated in the 1800s or earlier. Modern breeding programs are aimed at supplying new sweet cultivars for commercial production in the current sweet cherry regions. Little work is done to bring cherries to regions where they have done poorly in the past. One of the reasons I asked about cherry breeding was I wondered if anyone was trying to breed duke cherries. I wondered if crossing Montmorency with say Black Gold or White Gold could produce a sweeter tasting cherry that more people could grow.

1 Like

I really hope the new UoS cherries bring more interest in breeding new cherries. It does not make sense there is not more interest in expanding the territory or taste of all the cherries.

While i agree that sweet cherries are one of the produce that tastes very good in stores they just do not even compare to freshly grown tree ripened cherries. The best store bing does not even touch a barely tree ripened van in my opinion and i think Montmorency is a very good fresh eating cherry once its overripe. I realize I live in one of the places that produces good cherries however. On this side of the Rockies sweet cherries perish every 50 or 60 years from flash freezes but on the other side of the mountain there are sweet cherries pushing 100 years old. I have a montmorency cherry tree that OP near 3 sweet cherries (Black Gold, Hudson and Craigs Crimson) but i bet it usually breeds with itself or surefire pie cherry (amazingly hardy tree amazingly astringent and tart fruit ) that you could try growing out seeds if you wanted. If you were to buy Organic Colorado Bings your most likely pollinator would be Montmorency or less likely Van (sweet).

2 Likes