Ranking of varieties of cherries, only "high quality" varieties

Sorry txpanhandle, since I’m having private messages talking about cherry variety exchanges with friends from Europe (Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary…), and I was writing the message quickly, I didn’t realize that John is North American.
No, the exchange of plant material between Europe and the United States is absolutely prohibited.
Excuse me for the mistake

Best regards

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Are those trees available in U.S?

Hi Ej.
Some of the most common European varieties can be found in the United States, but recently developed varieties are not available there (not even on a professional level).
It is easier for a European to buy recently obtained varieties developed in the United States, since North American breeders have editors for Europe and specialized nurseries with those varieties available, which on the contrary, that is, for an American, it is impossible to have the varieties from the Sweet series of the Alma Mater of the University of Bologna (it is just a small example).

Look .

Ebro nursery

Mariano Soria Nursery

Batisttini nursery


Zanzi Nursery


Artevos nursery

Fortunato nursery


and so hundreds of nurseries



thank you

Hello,I am looking forward to your oversized cherry very much


Hi guys.
I will be posting photographs of some of the varieties of cherries that I am grafting, and I will open a thread for the grafts of the other fruit species.

We start with an extremely interesting variety, since in the United States you don’t have anything similar:

-Kir Rosso

It is a variety of German cherry, recently obtained, it has very good characteristics in terms of size, flavor and firmness, but its great characteristic is its ripening dates, since it is an ultra-late ripening variety.
So that you have the most approximate date possible, I will give you its ripening date with respect to the reference variety in Europe (Burlat), and the reference variety in the United States (Bing).

Kir Rosso ripens 60 days after the Burlat variety

Kir Rosso ripens 41 days after the Bing variety

Description of the variety:

Photo of the graft

I will continue with more varieties.

Best regards


Now we are going with a totally different variety, since it is a very early harvest, and is probably the best variety for its ripening dates.
It is the variety:

  • Catania

This variety is early maturing:
It matures 5 days after Burlat, or in other words, it matures 14 days before the Bing variety.

Its characteristics are incredible, since it produces calibers of 32-34, and even 36 mm, 18.5° brix, extraordinary firmness, which gives it very high resistance to manipulation, to the calibration machine and has an extraordinary life. postharvest, and if to all this we add a good resistance to cracking, we have as a result a “perfect” early harvest cherry.

In Spain, many cherry farms are being remodeled with other early-maturing varieties, changed to the Catania variety, especially in the Aragon region.
The breeder of the variety is a young guy called Luis Lasarte, and he is a close friend of Javier, a very large fruit grower in Spain and a good friend of mine, so I have been able to speak on several occasions with Luis Lasarte, who is a guy very friendly, very technical and excellent knowledge of the world of cherries.

I give you the link to an interview conducted by Stefano Lugli (SL Fruit Service) with Luis Lasarte:

Some photographs of the Catania cherry:

A photograph of one of my grafts of this variety

I will continue putting more varieties of cherry grafts.

Best regards


Before I start, I must say this has been a really great forum to read and has helped me learn much when it comes to cherries.

For cherries, I currently have a bing tree, a rainier, stella, van(?) multigraft, and a lapins planted a ways away. All in far Northern California

After reading this forum, I’ve since bought a Utah Giant and a Tieton cherry. I’m questioning if I really need another, but are there any other good cherries I should look into?

Chill hours shouldn’t be an issue, between September 1st and March 22nd our nearest weather station recorded 1110 chill hours between 30°F - 45°F. Although we’re quite wet from late fall to early spring, averaging a little over 100 inches of rainfall annually, we also stay dry for cherry ripening.

I’ve also bought 5 elberta peaches on Rootpac-R from Sierra Gold Nursery, and have a lead on some adara plum scionwood for our heavy, wet clay soil.


As for the cherries, get rid of the Stella and rainier. Get the Utah Giant, Bing, Royal Rainer ,Coral Champagne, Van, and Black Pearl. These ones are top tier, and will be totally worthwhile. As for peaches, go with June Pride, Eva’s pride, O’Henry, Kawea, Baby Crawford, and Elegant Lady. By far way better peaches than the Elbertas, by a long shot. If looking for nectarines Flavor Top, Independence, and Zee Glo, and add a Arctic Star, Arctic Glow, and Snow Qween for whites. And for pluots, Flavor Supreme, Flavor King, and Dapple Dandy. Apricots, Tomcot, Blenhiem, and Flavor Delight Aprium. These are based upon 15 years of growing top notch stone fruit in Nor Cal, basically tried most of them!Enjoy!! There are a few I left out, but these are the best of the best! If you want to grow apples Pink Lady is best for our climate! Good Luck, Jon.


A few fruits I left out in the nectarine catagory are Hony Blaze and Honey Spring if you can get a hold of them, Slightly sweeter and very good quality, but probably not as good as the above mentioned nectarines overall IMO.


Hi Edie, I’m glad you’re enjoying this post about cherry trees.

Your climatic conditions are fantastic for growing cherry trees, since it does not rain during the ripening period, thus avoiding cracking problems.

Utah Giant, is an excellent cherry variety that is extremely sweet and has good caliber. The problem with this variety is that it is the most susceptible to cracking of all the ones I know. Tieton is a wonderful cherry, it also suffers from cracking, but in much lower grade than Utah Giant

To your question about whether it is necessary to have more cherry trees, it is a very relative question, since it depends on the amount of land you have, and how passionate you are with cherry trees (I am a fucking crazy person who cannot resist having all the good varieties).
Of course there are countless good varieties, and even more so in California, where the best breeders in the world are (although in Europe they are advancing very quickly).
From Zaiger’s Royal series these are essential (in order of maturation):

  • Royal Tioga
  • Royal Tenaya
  • Royal Hazel
  • Royal Lynn
  • Royal Dawn
  • Royal Ansel
  • Royal Elaine
  • Royal Brynn (one of the best)
  • Royal Edie
  • Royal Helen

I don’t know if you have access to buy varieties from breeders like SMS Unlimited, Marvin Niess, etc… .

Among the most common, I would recommend Tieton’s sister, which is Selah, since it is a magnificent variety. The Canadian Summit variety is wonderful, but it has a problem and that is that it blooms between two flowering periods (medium flowering season and late flowering season). so it should be accompanied by two universal pollinators for each flowering period (the most appropriate thing is to have three universal pollinators for early, medium and late flowering), and thus the entire period is covered.

Universal pollinators recommended for each flowering season:

  • Royal Tioga for early flowering season
  • Selah for the mid-flowering season
  • BlackGold for the late flowering season

The number of interesting varieties is enormous and that depends on your desire to collect good varieties of cherry trees. If you are interested, I recommend more varieties.

Rootpac-R is like life insurance hahaha, it is used for replanting in difficult soil conditions, and it resists heavy and waterlogged soils.
The use of plum trees such as Adara or Monrepos for the compatibility in grafting with cherry trees is essential.

look at this photograph

As my soil is calcareous and has a high Ph, I use GxN 15 Garnem rootstock (hibryd rootstock of Garfí almond x Nemagard peach ), it is extremely vigorous, and in the United States you have a similar rootstock which is “Titan”, since I like big cherry trees .
To make it compatible with the graft, I use an intermediate graft of the Monrepos plum tree, and later the cherry variety grafted on the Monrepos plum tree.
These types of rootstocks are the best that exist, but they are not for sale, and you have to prepare them yourself.

Best regards

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Hi José,

This is a wonderful thread and I’ve learned so much reading it over the past couple days!

I know many questions are from the US, but I wonder if you might have any recommendations for the southern UK? (I’m Polish, so I may have access to some more central/eastern European cultivars with my grandfather’s help.)

I’m in a microclimate on the “Sunshine Coast” (according to the English - it’s no Valencia, that’s for sure!!) which is technically zone 10a. I do get plenty of sunshine in the summer months, with a long season for the latitude, and just about enough chill hours to be flexible. I grow on dwarfing rootstock in pots, which of course reduces yield but does mean I can drip irrigate when it gets dry - and down here, the summers are quite dry, so I don’t have to worry much about fruit split.

Currently I only have sour ‘Morello’ which fruits super heavily with deliciously sweet-tart fruit (much sweeter than my grandfather’s on an allotment in Poland) and ripens great for me, as well as ‘Stardust’ - last year that tree didn’t flower much and only set 2 fruit (… yes, 2…) and they were watery and flavorless, not at all like the descriptions I’ve read. It got a good round of compost, and right now is completely covered in fruiting buds, so I hope it’ll be a better season.

Considering those two, I would love to add a nice dark sweet cherry or two (or three…) that may do well down here.

Nearby is Kent, which is the cherry producing region of the UK, so the climate is better than most other places on this island for cherries.

Thank you for your help & advice!

All the best,


Let’s go with another interesting variety this year.
This variety is from the Californian breeder SMS Unlimited.

SMS-16, or Epik-16

I had the opportunity to try it last year at Mariano Soria nurseries, since I was in the company of my friend Javier (professional fruit grower), to try different varieties.
Javier bought 5,000 trees of this variety, and many others of other varieties.

Characteristics of SMS-16 :

  • It is a self-fertile variety, with a very good caliber (30-32 mm), high firmness, so it is resistant to manipulation and has a long post-harvest life, its resistance to cracking is medium-good.
    The maturity date is:

  • 15 days after Burlat (reference variety in Europe)

  • 4 days before Bing (reference variety in the United States)

But the great characteristic of this variety is its incredible flavor, sweet with balanced acidity and a very powerful cherry flavor.

This is his patent

Some photos of this variety





Photo of one of the grafts

Best regards


Your recommendations are pretty good, however, all of them are prohibited from the home grower, and from what I have learned the home grower recommendations are better than commercial offerings for eating by aways, being allowed to try comical varieties. The comecial varieties are sold by color and sight, as the home varieties are sold by taste. After trying both, the home varieties are way better than the commercial, even if they may crack a season or two. There are only a few exceptions, but stick with the best tasting varieties, Utah Giant, Bing, Coral Champange, Van, Royal Raineer, Sweetheart, and Black Pearl. Yes the Royal Eddie And Royal Helan, Royal Lynn, and Roral Tioga are really good, but I will take Utah Giant, Bing, Coral Champagne, Van,Royal Raineer, and Black Pearl always over the commercial varieties!!

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The ‘Pearl’ series cherries were bred by Cornell University. Royal Raineer was bred by Zaiger and patented because it was a week earlier and looks prettier. Most or all of the rest are probably the results of breeding programs that don’t care very much about backyard growers whether or not they’re available from retail sources.

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Good morning, I wanted information about cherries that have a fairly large caliber, if it can be sweet better than sour haha, my zone is 8b. My area is in Spain if you can tell me about a variety that makes my neighbors envious when I give them a bag of cherries haha my soil is clay and I don’t usually have much rainfall throughout the year, although if it is late, the variety is much better. Thank you and best regards Raul

Hi Jon.
In another fruit genus, such as the apricot, for example, I would agree with you absolutely, since the new varieties of apricots are visually very beautiful, with a large size, but they have no sweetness, flavor or aromas.
I explain it perfectly in this post:

But this is not the case with cherries, since the programs for obtaining new cherry varieties seek in their achievements the improvement of these parameters:

  • Self-fertility
  • Cracking resistance
  • High firmness, which gives two advantages:

Crispy texture in the mouth
High resistance to manipulation, much longer post-harvest life

  • High calibers
  • High brix levels, with balanced acidity, and powerful flavor
  • Some breeders, especially Californians such as IFG, Marvin Niess or Bradford Genetics, are very interested in obtaining good low chill varieties.
  • Resistance to fungal diseases such as Monilia

It is absolutely true that in the United States, hobbyists are at a disadvantage, since it is not easy to buy , the new varieties that appear year after year, and it’s not easy either to buy the good rootstocks for cherry trees.

In my case (I am Spanish), I have a very good relationship with European nurseries specialized in cherry trees, and many friends who are professional cherry growers, so I have access to many of the recent varieties.

Another very different thing is for me to say that all traditional cherry varieties are of poor quality, that would be totally wrong and in fact I like many traditional varieties.
Some quick examples:

Some traditional varieties.

Canadian Varieties:

-Canada Giant

American Varieties:


European varieties:

  • Ambrunes (Spain)
  • Grace Star (Italy)

On the other hand, and this is extremely important to be successful, not all cherries adapt well to different types of climates, and I am going to give you a very clear example.

  • Utah Giant, is a magnificent variety for dry climates (large caliber, does not overload, has good texture, very sweet, and a powerful cherry flavor), but if you recommend this variety to fellow forum members who live in humid climates, you will lack space to run in the United States hahahaha, since of all the existing varieties of cherries, it is the most susceptible of all to cracking, and Utah Giant cherry crack with the piss of a sparrow.

I have tested all the varieties you mention in my garden, and some have remained, while others have been replaced by better varieties at the same ripening dates, for example the Sweetheart variety I would not recommend even to my worst enemy hahahahaha.

The idea of this post is to expose the varieties that I am testing in my orchard, and to be objective with the evaluations, that is, to expose both their virtues and their defects, what happens is that the new cherry varieties are usually very perfect
Surely tomorrow I will attach a list of varieties tested in my orchard, so you may be surprised by the number of varieties tested.

For an amateur, I consider that the most important thing in a cherry variety is the flavor and crunchy texture (and varieties that do not overload the harvest), and of all the varieties I have tried, this variety from the Czech Republic has no rival.


But there will be time to talk about the Central European and Eastern European varieties (some really good Ukrainian ones)

Best regards


Why did you not like Sweetheart? Care to expand on this?

Has anyone tried Black Republican cherry?

This right here “and Utah Giant cherry crack with the piss of a sparrow” got me literally laughing out loud!!!

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