Graft Montmorency to Lapins cherry?

I read online today that you can graft sour cherry to sweet cherry ?

I have a Lapins… started in 2018… that is a very nice stout healthy looking tree… but has not fruited yet. Hoping it will this year. The last two years it has had just a few blooms… but set no fruit.

It is just starting to bud out now. No leaves yet.

Is it true that i could graft onto my Lapins some Montmorency pie cherry scions ?

Both Lapins and Montmorency are said to be self pollinating.

I have read that sour cherries do well in TN… where sweet cherries do not.

I would sure like to get some fruit from this nice tree… and i like wild black cherries… which i have heard taste like a sour pie cherry.

If I can successfully graft on Montmorency… do you think that would up my chances of getting fruit from this tree ?



It would up your chances just because Montmorency is more likely to fruit than Lapins. And it would give you two chances rather than one.

It won’t improve pollination for either.

@fruitnut … thanks and question.

Starks recommends Balaton pie cherry for pollination partner for Montmorency.

It gets good ratings… 4.5 stars 30 reviews.

If i added both of those to my lapins… should make some pie cherry fruiting happen.

I have read many here that favor the Montmorency for pie cherry.

Any opinions on Balaton ?
Or is there a better sour cherry pollination partner for Montmorency that you know of ?

Ps… i did a search on the board and see several favorable comments on Balaton pie cherry.

Now i just need some scions of both :wink:

Anyone got those … i will be glad to pay shipping or trade.

Or if anyone knows of a good nursery that offers scions… of both. Could do that. If I do this this year i need them pretty quick.


i read somewhere in a very old publication that one of montys parents was a unnamed sweet cherry. wish i have saved that publication. probably why its a universal pollinator for all sweet cherries in many pollination charts… should graft to all sweets and also sours. i have 2 sweets i grafted on my monty last spring.

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Question for steveb4, I have heard that as a rumour, do you believe it? If sour cherries are a species created by a hybrid of avium x fruticosa, and then doubled chromosome to tetraploid level, it would seem ‘Montmorency’ would be a “duke” type cherry. Dukes being triploids and sweet cherries diploid. And triploids are notorious for being poor pollinators.
I’m actually wondering if ‘Montmorency’ is demonstrated to be a good pollinator, not trying to be contrary. :smile_cat:

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ive seen the paper on it from i think the 15 or 1600’s stating that its a hybrid of the 2 types of cherries. i just wished i saved it. ive tried to find it again and couldnt. the fact that monty will pollinate all sweet and sour cherries supports this.

I don’t think Montmorency would be a good pollinator for most sweet cherries. I think it blooms to late under most conditions. Bloom times can vary a lot depending on chilling and other weather factors.

If I’m reading this chart correctly Monty doesn’t pollinate most sweets listed. Whether that would be bloom timing or incompatibility I don’t know.
Cherry Pollination Page ( This is a little too deep for me, but it seems to say all sour cherries including’Montmorency’ are genetically same, the species gene combination occuring million+ years ago - not the 400 year old cross that produced ‘Montmorency’.

The Romance bush cherries make great pies. Just add plenty of thickener.

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Montmorency doesn’t need a pollinator; I have one in my front yard that produces a decent crop reliably. I remember finding an abandoned sour cherry tree by an old barite mine in the Missouri Ozarks. The fruit looked and tasted like Montmorency, and it produced a great crop with no other fruit trees around.


@vitog. I expect you are right about that… a decent crop. Below is what orange pippin says about it.

Pollination of Montmorency cherry trees

Montmorency (Prunus cerasus) is in flowering group 5. Montmorency is self-fertile and does not need a pollination partner, but fruiting may be improved if there is a compatible partner of a different variety

That “fruiting may be improved” is what i was considering. If i can improve fruiting by adding a graft or two of another variety… seems like something worth trying.

It is very common for nurserys to list varieties as self pollinating… but most do add that comment… may produce better with a partner. I always wonder… if they are just trying to sell you more stuff… or if it really will help.


I added 5 grafts of Montmorency cherry to my Lapins cherry last spring. All took and grew some…

And this year my Lapins is blooming well for the first rime.

Question about Montmorency…

Above is what the buds on one of my Montmorency grafts from last spring look like.

Is that a fruit bud already ? Looks to me like those are going to produce blossoms.

I was not expecting that to happen so quickly.


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Well… there it is… my first home grown cherry.

From a graft of Montmorency that I added last year.

It is red and a little soft… not really soft soft.

None of my Lapins cherries ripened this year… fell off.

One montmorency cherry… from 5 grafts… has ripened and is looking pretty good.

What is recommended for picking and eating Montmorency cherry at peak ripeness ?

A bird could find it… that will be my luck.

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I put a organza bag on it…

Will wait until tomorrow and then try it out.

This year I grafted these two to a sweet cherry tree that I am topworking to sour. Too early to tell if my grafts are taking, but they look promising so far. I used Nanking thinking it might cross pollinate Monty based on its relationship: “ Montmorency’ is the most popular sour cherry in America for making cherry pies. This cherry tree ripens early and is self-pollinating, although planting more than one will ensure a better crop. It is a hybrid between sweet cherry x Nanking cherry, P. tomentosa .”
I used Nanking in places where I can obtain its dwarfing effect to keep the tree growth low enough to gather without a ladder. Hopefully both with survive and produce something edible!
Kent, Wa


@DennisD … at my new home site… i planted a montmorency this spring.

Hopefully in a few years get to try lots of those.