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

I’d love to have those three cherry varieties as well, but I don’t think they are available in the USA. Additionally, my area doesn’t have enough chill hours for them. I’ll have to be content with what I can grow here.

Hi guys.
This weekend some friends who are also passionate about fruit trees came to visit me.
Jose Maria and Ana are a couple who live in the province of Jaen (about 124 miles away), they have a small fruit orchard, but they are truly passionate about fruit trees.
Since my business is a hotel-restaurant, they have stayed here the friday and saturday, enjoying of the orchard and the food of my region.

We went to visit the orchard, and they had a wonderful time.
We were picking some cherries

-Sweet Saretta

  • Black Star


  • Sofia

Ana enjoyed like the little childrens with the cherry tree Selah, they seemed incredibly big and delicious.

Jose Maria tasting the early Segre peach (it still has a few days to go before its optimal ripening point).

In the afternoon we were grafting some pecan trees.

And of course there was no shortage of a good meal in the company of good friends.

We had a great weekend.

Best regards


Wonderful to see beautiful cherries.

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There is a much smaller harvest than last year, due to heavy rains during the flowering period, but the quality this year is excellent.

Best regards

@Jose-Albacete your knowledge regarding the cherries is amazing.

After reading almost all the topic, and with a lot of varieties commented in the topic, I am bit confuse what are the varieties that fill your “high quality” criteria.

A suggestion, please update the first message with all the varieties that match your criteria “high quality” :slight_smile:

Hi José.

Yes, it is true, since the thread began only with the selection of varieties that met very strict parameters, but as the thread has developed, a much wider range of varieties has opened up, depending on the issues that have been carried out on me, to give an example, for humid climates, the main criterion is its resistance to cracking, for climates with warm winters, its low need for cold hours, etc…

To give you an example for my region, Utah Giant is fantastic, it is a true marvel since it behaves very well:

  • It has a very good caliber
  • Has excellent flavor
  • Does not have a tendency to overload harvest
  • But it is tremendously sensitive to cracking

Therefore, in my opinion, due to the absence of rain during the ripening period, it would be an excellent variety, however, for areas with very minimal rain or environmental humidity during the ripening period, its cracking index is very high.

It is true that some varieties meet all the requirements, but there are few varieties, so throughout the thread, I prefer to advise varieties based on the climatic conditions or other parameters of the different members of the forum who consult.

From your name I suspect that you are from Portugal, and like Spain it has very diverse climates, if you tell me what your population is, I will be able to recommend with much better criteria which varieties are most suitable for you.

Best regards


Utah Giant is my very best cherry as well, and we are lucky to not usually have rain during ripening time. Bing would be #2.

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No rain in my greenhouse. I have two trees of Utah Giant started, potted and in ground. Your evaluation makes me happy. A difficult variety of top quality is just what my greenhouse is for.


can you relate your experiences (if any) with these 5 varieties?. I’m in Dutchess County NY USA ( Zone 6A)…Benton / Skeena
Black Gold / Regina / Hudson…7 years now with Hudson and Regina with no fruit…trees seem to grow well


Hi Beemster.

Look :

  • Benton: Self-fertile, late flowering time , universal pollinator of late flowering varieties

  • Skeena: Self-fertile , medium flowering time , universal pollinator of medium flowering varieties

  • Black Gold: Self-fertile, late flowering time , universal pollinator of late flowering varieties

  • Regina: Self-sterile, late flowering time, compatibility group II, S1S3 alleles, pollinates perfectly with Black Gold, and with Benton

  • Hudson: Self-sterile, compatibility group IX, S1S4 alleles, pollinates perfectly with Regina, Benton and Black Gold

Once we know all this and that you are in climate zone 6, only 2 things can happen, one of which is very probable and the second very unlikely.

Let’s start with the second option and I think it can be ruled out because it is absolutely improbable:

  • That the cherry tree varieties came incorrectly labeled from the nursery (this can happen with a tree by chance, but not with all of them)

And this second option, I think is what has happened to you for two consecutive years and I think it is the most likely, since the varieties are well chosen for your region.

  • That the weather conditions during the flowering period have been very bad,.

Curiously, the two varieties that do not bear fruit (Hudson and Regina) are the two Self-sterile varieties, and I think the bad weather conditions during the flowering period are to blame.

As the cherry tree requires entomophilous pollination (through pollinating insects), and if you have had rain and wind during the pollination period, the insects have not been able to do their work.

The structural formation of your cherry trees does not have a decisive influence on a null harvest.
They are in a suitable state to bear fruit properly and be beautiful ornamental trees.

Yes, it is true that they are very high, and are more complicated to harvest, but ornamentally they are very beautiful, and this is not a determining factor in a zero harvest.

Best regards

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…I should have added…only the Hudson and Regina are old enough to fruit,…the Regina had very many blossoms this year but the Hudson much fewer…the blossoming did overlap…It first appeared that the Regina set some fruit…but in time, they all aborted. …no fruit at all on the Hudson…I read on the internet that Hudson is very late to bear and that Regina pollination is problematical…that’s why I planted Black Gold last year and Benton and Skeena this year…A commercial grower just north of me highly recommended Benton…just seems like 7 years is a very long time…sweet cherries are not easy…very few commercial cherry growers left here in the mid Hudson valley of NY…late spring frosts are too common …that’s why I stuck with all late bloomers…next year will be my year!

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Beemster, this detail is absolutely revealing.
Regina formed fruits the size of a chickpea and the fruits subsequently aborted.
This is from the first course of cherry tree in the nursery school.
They aborted due to lack of pollination.
It is an irrefutable fact and there is no doubt that the problem is pollination.
When all the varieties you have bloom well, and there are not tremendously bad weather conditions during the flowering period, you will have a good harvest of cherries, since the varieties are well chosen for your region.
A detail that helps a lot in inducing fruiting, and you should do it every winter is a adecuate pruning.
The cross of the trees (where the primary branches begin) is excessively high, since the height of the cross for a cherry tree should be about 40-50 centimeters from the ground, but given that your cherry trees are in a garden, with the height that they have, they fulfill an ornamental function very well.
What I am going to tell you is to perform pruning to clean the tree, and another pruning to induce fruiting.

The pruning that I am going to indicate to you will be carried out at the end of winter, with the trees in a state of winter dormancy.

  • First pruning for cleaning: clean the inside of the tree’s crown of branches, so that the tree is well aerated, and also eliminate crossed branches.

  • Second pruning and the most important, which is the reduction in height, since this pruning serves to induce fruiting.

Since I’m on my mobile phone, I don’t have a photo editor, tonight when I get home I’ll tell you where you should prune at height.

Best regards

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…yes, I do believe you are correct…as soon as the Hudson blooms profusely, I should get fruit on both trees…the Hudson had few blossoms and I was surprised when I saw apparent fruit on the Regina…It does appear that the Hudson is late to bear as I’ve read on the internet…my guess is that the Hudson will have significant bloom next year…I’ve also read that multiple pollinators are better for Regina…so, I now have 5 trees…all of which should eventually pollinate each other…just need one more year… I hope…I appreciate your pruning directions but unfortunately, that is beyond my capability at this point…I suffered a stroke 3 years ago and am largely incapacitated…but as you said, the trees are very ornamental and still will produce more cherries than I could ever eat (eventually)…one question though…is 7-8 years a typical time to bear fruit for cherries?..I can fully appreciate why so many hobbyists give up on sweet cherries…just so many things that can go wrong…last year that commercial grower 25 miles north of me lost over 3/4 of his cherry crop to a very late (May 26) frost…fortunately he grows many other fruits as well…but this year, the cherries are looking good!

Cherries: mid to late June, typically a brief ~15 day harvest!

This spring 2024, the cherry orchard experienced a snowball bloom, resulting in an above-average fruit set. It was incredible to see, and we’re excited to open cherry picking towards the end of June.

Our many sweet varieties are best for eating fresh or freezing for smoothies:


The punchier flavors of our Tart / Sour Varieties are ideal for baking, canning, fermenting and infusing (beer, cider/wine, cordials) although we love eating them fresh as well!




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…spoke too fast…while it is too late for me to correctly prune the Regina and Hudson, I should be able to handle the Black Gold ( planted last year) and Benton / Skeena
(this year)…so with your help, I’ll give it a shot…Ron

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Hello José,

I have been researching the three cherry tree varieties you suggested in nurseries.

The Sunburst is easily found in good nurseries in Portugal.

Regarding the Royal Tioga, it is available at Battistini Vivai and Geoplant Vivai nurseries (I have not contacted them yet to check availability).

However, I could not find the Sandra Rose variety in any nursery. Do you know where I can buy it? If it’s not possible, could you suggest another variety for the mid-flowering season?

Thank you!

No problem, use this variety:

  • Blaze Star: Self-fertile, medium flowering time, universal pollinator for mid-flowering varieties, and resistant to cracking

Best regards

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…OK…here is the Black Gold I planted last year…I will prune it per your instructions at winters end .