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

Good morning jose, I’m glad to see here your messages and missing tips to most of us, I was looking forward to seeing what you write about your cherry season this year and in general about everything you have, in cherry trees has been a bit messed up because I’ve seen a lot of ice cream and I won’t eat many cherries this year, Then you reply to the private ones I sent you some time ago that I know you must have been busy, if you are so kind. Thank you and good day

Hi again @Jose-Albacete .
Thanks for the quick reply :slight_smile:
I’m from a village called Vila Verde (46,444 inhabitants / 203.1 inhabitants/km²) which is 10 km from the city of Braga (196,434 inhabitants / 1,054.11 inhabitants/km²).
Hope it’s clear :slight_smile:

Hi Xgoldpt.
Your temperature conditions are totally optimal for all varieties of cherry trees, but due to your geographical location I believe that you may have rain during the ripening period (at these dates), so I recommend choosing varieties that are resistant to cracking.

Best regards

Hi Jose, I wanted to ask you a question about the deficiary irrigation that you usually apply in your fruit trees, I have seen in a post you wrote on the subject, in cherry trees you also usually apply it to make the fruit even sweeter or how you could take the irrigation so that it has good health and not go through the issue of gummosis

Thanks Jose.

As Jose said that there will be rain during the ripening period and probably without many chill hours as it is not very far from the coast, what varieties does Jose recommend?

Xgoldpt (change this nickname to your name because it sounds like I’m talking to C3PO from Star Wars :joy: :joy: :joy:).

You have more than enough hours of cold, since I looked at the climate table for Braga, which is next to your town.
The problem is that you are close to Galicia and there is usually rain during the ripening period.
You should also take precautions with the rootstock, since your soil will be humid, and you may have root suffocation problems.

Use Colt rootstock, which will be fine for you (keep in mind that Colt likes water, but does not tolerate drought).

There are good varieties resistant to cracking.
I advise you some.

The most resistant to cracking of all the existing varieties is Black Star, it is a good cherry, but with a great tendency to overload the harvest, and lose fruit size.

I like these:

  • Royal Tioga (very good variety and universal pollinator of all early flowering varieties).
  • Royal Brynn (one of the best cherries in the world)
  • Royal Tenaya
  • Royal Lee
  • Royal Lynn
  • SMS-291 Pacific Red
  • SMS-22 Rocket (this variety needs two pollinators, one for early flowering and the other for medium flowering)
  • Justyna
  • Carmen (giant-sized cherries, tasty and very resistant to cracking)
  • Early Korvik
  • Big Lory
  • Canada Giant
  • Ferdiva
  • Folfer (medium-low sensitivity)
  • Frisco (medium-low sensitivity)
  • Lapins
  • Late Lory
  • Lory Bloom
  • Royal Eddie (medium sensitivity)
  • Royal Hazel
  • Royal Helen (medium sensitivity)
  • Royal Lafayette (medium sensitivity)
  • Sabrina (very good cherry and very resistant)
  • Summit (excellent variety, and very resistant )
  • Samba
  • SPC-106 Sofia

There are more, but I think that to start a garden you have enough varieties resistant to cracking.

Best regards


What are the low chill variety cherries among big size cherries that can grow around 400 chill hours?

Hi handsome.
For 400-500 hours there are quite a few varieties.

  • Royal Tioga
  • Royal Tenaya
  • Brooks
  • Glen Red Sequoia
  • etc…

But you are interested in low chill varieties with very large size.
I understand by very large size the varieties with a caliber greater than 32 millimeters, and of these there are very few low chill varieties.

These two varieties meet your expectations (I have them in my orchard and they are brutal)

  • Giant Red Mariant, is one of the best cherries in my collection and is extremely good in every way.

  • Rocket, it is an incredibly good cherry, but it blooms between the early flowering period and the middle flowering period, so it needs two pollinators.

These are two of the best existing cherry tree varieties.

Now we need pollinators, since Giant Red is self-incompatible of the mid-flowering period, and Rocket is also self-incompatible and needs an early-flowering pollinator and another mid-flowering pollinator.

As a mid-flowering season pollinator, the most suitable is this:

  • Frisco (self-fertile and universal pollinator of all mid-flowering varieties), this variety is very suitable for pollinating Giant Red and Rocket

As an early flowering season pollinator, there are 2 options:

  • Pacific Red (self-fertile and universal pollinator of all early flowering varieties), this is a magnificent variety, but it has a defect, and that is that it has a tendency to overload the harvest, which is why it loses caliber.

And the second option is the one I like the most.

  • Royal Tioga (self-fertile and universal pollinator of all early flowering varieties), although they indicate 500 hours for this cherry tree, with 400 it also bears fruit well.
    It is a much better variety than Pacific Red, since it does not have a tendency to overload its fruits.

These are a photos of my Royal Tioga from this year

All of these varieties are of the highest quality, large caliber, tasty, sweet and crunchy.

Best regards

1 Like

Thank you so much. All those cherries look amazing. I’d like to have them all.

1 Like

All of this cherry varieties are Californian, but it seems that it is not easy for American hobbyists to buy trees of these varieties, since they dedicate them exclusively to professionals.
Fortunately here in Europe it is quite easy to acquire these types of varieties in professional cherry tree nurseries.

Best regards

@handsomefarmer Instead of reposting long posts most of the time it would be better to just hit reply, lower right at end of post you want to reply to. This will save making people scroll through a post they already read.

You can also highlight a portion of a post and reply to that.


As in this example.

1 Like

Yes , In fact, I myself didn’t know if it was my repeated answer and I should edit , and the thread can be very confusing.

Best regards

1 Like

Thanks Jose for your reply and for sharing your experience and knowledge :slight_smile:

Do you suggest any specific place/site to order these varieties (that ship to Portugal)?

1 Like

Hi again Xgoldpt.
Let’s see several things.
Buying all those varieties seems outrageous to me.
First of all, a cherry tree produces a lot of kilos of fruit, so if you are a simple fan you will not be able to consume (not even your entire family) all the fruit that those cherry trees will produce.
I recommend selecting the best varieties with staggered maturation, and good pollinators for the three flowering periods.
Having all the varieties to test is something for crazy people like me, and when there are varieties that I don’t like, I regraft the trees with new varieties, since it doesn’t make sense to have poor quality cherry trees.
Forget what breeders and nurserymen say, since all that glitters is not gold and most varieties do not behave as breeders say.
When I started collecting cherry trees many years ago, I was advised by one of the largest professional cherry farmers in Spain, and I remember a phrase he used to tell me:

  • The good varieties (really good cherry varieties) usually have an average fruit load.

And over the years I have verified that this is a confirmed fact.

What good is a variety like Nimba, which its breeder gives it a caliber of 30-32 mm, if it is then hyperproductive and the cherries remain the size of chickpeas (it is a variety that must be controlled a lot with pruning and at the amateur level it is a complicated variety).

Let’s start with the universal pollinators for the three flowering dates.
For your conditions, I would choose these three:

  • Royal Tioga for the early flowering season
  • Sandra Rose for the mid-flowering season
  • Sumburst for the late flowering season

Cherry tree varieties in order of ripening:

  • Royal Tioga
  • Sandon Rose
  • Royal Lynn
  • Carmen
  • Big Lory
  • Rocket
  • Sabrina
  • Justina
  • Canada Giant
  • Summit
  • Tamara
  • Henriette
  • Sandra Rose
  • Sunburst
  • Late Lory

This would be a good collection, they are easy to buy in Spanish, Italian and Czech nurseries.

Best regards

I am amazed by your knowledge and experience and I really appreciate your sharing and taking the time to help.

Checking the three varieties you suggested, according to my little research, they require the following chilling hours:
Royal Tioga - 500 hours
Sandon Rose - Not able to find the necessary chill hours.
Sunburst - 800-1000 hours

In the case of Sunburst, aren’t there too many hours required for my region?

Another detail from my region. My parents used to say that there were a lot of cherries in the region and nowadays almost no one has cherries. I always associated it with the fact that, with global warming, the area will no longer be good for cherries.

Once again, thanks for the help.

Hi Xgoldpt.
Don’t be afraid of lack of cold hours, since you have many.
This table is a historycal from 1991 to 2021 in Braga , 10 kilometers from you.

Look :

The first column that indicates average temperature does not interest us and the third column that indicates maximum temperature does not interest us either.

If we look at the central column “minimum temperature” we see that in December, January, February and March there are minimum temperatures below 7° C.
Roughly I calculate that you have more than 800 hours of cold accumulated during the winter, so you can grow the varieties of cherry tree you want.
The lack of winter cold is not a problem for you.
Your two problems to keep in mind are these two:

  • Rootstock resistant to root asphyxiation and adapted to wet soils

  • Cherry varieties resistant to cracking

Maybe , you may have to apply preventive fungicide treatments, to prevent Monilia Laxa, or some other fungal problem, but nothing more.

It is much more likely that the cherry tree has stopped being cultivated in your region, due to the high cost of labor for cherry picking, and the lack of specialized labor, than due to climate change.

Best regards

PS: Sandon Rose needs 800 hours of cold

1 Like

Hi @Jose-Albacete .
Don’t you mean Sandra Rose (and not Sandon Rose)?
If you check the Summerland Research cherry website: summerlandvarietiesDOTcom there is no Sandon but Sandra.

No José, you must expand your knowledge.

Both varieties are from the Canadian Pico Summerland Station, with similar characteristics in terms of self-fertility, fruit size and resistance to cracking, but with different flowering and ripening dates.

I describe the two varieties:

  • 13S-17-20 Sandon Rose
    Hybrid of 2C.61.18 (Star x Van) x 2S.28.30 (Van x Stella).

Caliber 29-30 mm, Self-fertile, good resistance to cracking.
Early flowering time, ripening time 9 days before Bing

  • 13S-10-40 Sandra Rose
    Hybrid of 2N-61-18 x Sunburst

Caliber 30 mm, Self-fertile, good resistance to cracking.
Medium flowering time, ripening time 2 days after Bing

Curiously, with Sandra Rose there was an error since it was considered in the late flowering season group, but after an exhaustive study carried out by CITA De Aragón, it was classified in the medium flowering season varieties.

Best regards

1 Like

Hi Jose, sorry for insisting but it is the only way to get good cherry varieties. In this case, which door or nursery should I call to get one of the varieties you offer? I would settle for the Canada Giant, Carmen, Tamara. I’m going to show you what I have been able to get this year of cherries from a cherry tree that my parents call pillory, they are good and another cherry that is supposed to be 4/70 and I was surprised by how good it is. The other are apricots of another variety that we don’t know about, they are almost ripe