Montmorency, 400% increase in production!

This guy here!

It was planted last year as a bareroot and it gave me a single cherry. This year is attempting to quadruple that output!

And yes that picture was from today. Here in Alaska we are often over a month behind but this particular spring did not want to warm up; cherries are just flowering now. 18-hour sunlight should help them catch up in a hurry.


You are going to get a lot of people’s hopes up with that title… But I congratulate you and share in your enthusiasm :joy:


I know, it was meant to be tongue in cheek :smiley:

But to make it more interesting just look at the stage that tree is in today. I think some folks down in the lower 48 are already getting good size and color on their cherries and this guy hasn’t even leafed out properly. As I said we had a very cold and long spring that delayed everything.

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Montmorency cherries make the best cherry pies! I add a few drops of almond extract to the filling, and when I roll out the top crust I generously sprinkle on some sesame seeds just before the last rolling.

This year you can roll out your cherry pie using a metal bottle cap for the pie plate :slight_smile:


I got my first (small) crop of montmorency this year too. They are much sweeter than from the store.

In my orchard full cherry production is a few years away, my cherry trees/bushes are between young and younger. For cherries I have 3 bush and 3 trees, I’ll probably double those numbers before I’m done.

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What all are you able to grow up there somewhat consistently?

I’m in USDA zone 4. Romance cherries are hardy enough for zone 3 and some are reported growing in zone 2b. From the top of my head Evans, Montmorency, Mesabi, North Star, and Meteor are known to do well here.

My Romeo cherry bush just decided to have a heart attack for no good reason, it died back down to the base of the trunk. I was told by another grower that they would do that once but after it grows back it should not do it again.

not meaning to rain on your parade but 4 of my cherries had their 1st huge amount of blossoms this spring but of those blossoms about 1/4 took. ive read this is typical of young cherries. mine are 4th year. my romeo bloomed the heaviest but also set the least. monty set the least amount of blooms but many more of them set. theyre about a 1/4in in size right now.

Alaska has a lot of interesting growing aspects (hrs daylight and short growing season, for instance) that might complicate a straight zone rating. Can you pretty much produce any Z4 fruits in that area, or just Cherries?

There is a wide variety of fruits that do well here but it is a selected group.

For instance on my neck of the woods often we get a January meldown; for a solid week or so we can get temperatures in the 40’s and a week later down to 0 again. Anything stupid enough to loose winter hardiness dies.

Plants also need to key on different markers to go dormant in the fall. Too much sunlight can keep them from getting ready for the winter.

Borderline plants may be hardy enough, their buds may not. This is the case with some hardy sweet cherry trees, they will come back in the spring but no flowers.

Things that wake up too early in the spring can get hit in the face with more cold temperatures.

Things that bloom in May? Can get hit with snow. Not a problem with haskaps, snow will not even drop the flowers.

45-mile an hour winds when the temperature is 0 will do a number on the hardiest of plants. Make that -25 and windy on a test year and you get to find out what’s really hardy.

Things that don’t like cold feet pretty much forget about it. I have dug up leafing haskaps whose rootball were still encased in ice so you know they are good.

You also get to cheat. I have hardy grapes, but I also have a not so hardy one on the south facing wall of the house. In the winter time I put an insulation panel on front and sides; between the house heat and shielded from the wind I can probably jump 2 zones.

Things that thrive are those that really really really like the sun, as in getting 18-hours a day of sunlight plus a few more of indirect light a day. The world record for cabbage is 138 pounds and that came from my neck of the woods. Here’s a much smaller baby somebody is trying to grow for the fair:


And then there are the things that will grow, bloom, set fruit, grow said fruit, and year after year come to nothing because if it is not ready by early September it will just freeze on the tree.

All in all it is not that bad. Sour cherries, tons of hardy apples, haskaps, saskatoons, currants, gooseberries, aronia, seaberries, cranberries, raspberries, the ones that have been around and know the weather are quite happy here. Then you always stick that plum or filbert tree somewhere because of the joy of that one year out of 10, that the spring is early enough, the summer warm enough, and the fall late enough, that you actually get to try some of that :slight_smile:


Nice. I hope you like cabbage!

The things that produce there, similarly do well in Colorado… we have a lot of the same conditions you experience (late frosts and snows, wind, plants not shutting down in time), just less severe. Glad to hear something can be reliably grown there!

Beautiful up there… had a couple trips to Denali, and is really awe inspiring country in your area of the world.

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I love hearing and seeing your experiences up there- is so different! Its also neat that your cherries are just blooming…my romance bushes have already come in and gone out, and my northstar and Montmorancy (which I cannot tell apart in any way) have been ripe for a week and those that remain are about to start dropping from over ripeness. And I’m just zone 7a in TN- I’m sure south of me trees are even further.

I had an amazing year for cherries- by far my best ever- and it has been so wonderful. I wish you the same luck in the future.

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This one is easy. Montmorency is a yellow fleshed cherry, North Star is red fleshed.

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Recipe? I have a fresh picked half gallon bag of cherries in the freezer right now

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Unbelievable, if true!!! I am at work and now I cannot wait to get home and check this! I’ve asked here before and only had others agree that there is no discernable difference! SO thanks for that. I remember from pitting them last night that my Monty is definitely yellow fleshed- cant wait to see if Northstar is red. Of course, if it isn’t I know you may still be right- I just may have a mislabel. THanks again. I’ll let you know what I find on my NS

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How do they keep cabbage beetles away from the perfect leaves? Wow!

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My spring was the same situation. My Utah Giant in the front south facing side has grown a few feet. My Utah Giant is the back has green if you scrape the bark and my Rainier cherries are only either just leafing out in the back or are getting their first stems. What happened with us is it was 60s and 70s in the highs all of May and some of early June. It only just started heating up but we went from 60s and 70s to 90 and 100 degree days.

Well, Don, either you are mistaken or I probably have a mislabeled North Star. I went home tonight with great anticipation and compared cherries from Monty and NS. I say “probably” because there is some difference. MONTY is definitely yellow inside. NS is not red, but is basically clear inside. So there is some difference, but not much.

EDIT/UPDATE OK, thanks to you tipping me off, I’ve now done quite a bit of reading and photo viewing andit certainly appears that you were right and that I definitely do not have a northstar- just another Monty that was mislabeled. Well shoot!!! Whats more is that after reading and looking at photos, now I REALLY want a NS.

@clarkinks I saw a 5-6 year old post from you over on Houze where you said you grow or grew both. Do you still> Sounded like you preferred Monty, but in large part because it was more productive. Is that still your view?



I definately do still prefer montmorency to north star. Montmorency is by far more productive. Still grow both and have grown both for many years.