Reviving the Eastern Sweet Cherry Thread

I have quite a few cherry trees here and looking to graft or replace a couple losers. Wanted to revive this thread to see what has done well or not well for the eastern cherry growers.

From what has fruited here the Cornel varieties and the soft varieties like Black Tartarian have somewhat done well for me. Rot hits them, but not out of control.

LAPINS is on it’s way out. Has not set a single fruit and has radically uncontrollable growth. It’s not something you are going to keep small.
BING may be on it’s way out as well. Does not want to set flowers and rumored bad for the east.
STELLA has not fruited much yet, but appears to show promise.
SWEETHEART has fruited hardcore, but has a nice rot problem. Late ripening most likely the cause.
OTHERS have not fruited yet, but other than rot, deer are a cherry trees deadliest enemy here. I guess nothing feels better than rubbing your horns on a cherry tree.


The coverage in the Eastern cherry thread is pretty complete if this is the one you are referring to.

Basically in the East sweet cherries are hard to grow. You need to spray for brown rot and net or scare tape the tree. You need to pick cultivars that do well in the East- WhiteGold, BlackGold, Emperor Francis, Black Tartarian, etc. All of these have been trialed successfully in the East and have some resistance to cracking/brown rot.

Looking at your list of cherries none of them are cherries I would recommend in the East especially Bing and Lapins.

As far as the Lapins what roostock did you buy it on? If it’s on mazzard that going to be a full size cherry and big. If the rootstock wasn’t listed on the tree tag it probably is mazzard as well since that is the default sweet cherry rootstock. In general if you want smaller trees that are easier to maintain you want to get them on Gisela or Krymsk rootstocks.

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Very good info you posted. Thanks! I have a White Gold Tree With Utah Giant grafts, and also Emperor Francis grafts. Utah Giant is a super firm cherry and it’s big. It can crack. Last year it did not. But the cracked cherries taste wonderful, not a big deal to me. I really like Utah Giant. Cherries are sweeter than White Gold, As good as any I have ever had. I have it on one scaffold and it produces very well. Emperor Frances will fruit for the first time this year.
I do spray for brown rot and net my tree. I get less than 10 cherries that rot. Most that were bird pecked can rot, which is just rot from damage and exposure.


That list is only the varieties that have fruited. I have about 15 cherry trees total. All were put in before I knew about brown rot and other problems. The thread revival was to see if I could get more opinions as the original thread only had like three people. I have been removing stone fruits that are just problems and cherries are the last for me to work on.
What are you growing and how has it performed for you?

I have to say the name “Utah“ Giant Scared me off up to this point, assuming it’s more of a western/dry climate appropriate variety.

I could be wrong but I thought @scottfsmith did ok with Lapins.

It very well could be. I have such limited experience with cherries. Plus here pest pressure is probably the lowest in the Midwest or The Northeast. Michigan ranks 1st in the nation for tart cherry production, and 4th for sweet cherries. We produce 70% of the tart cherry production in the states. So they seem to like it here, and that could be why I have had few problems with cherries. I only had 2 years of production for Utah Giant. They all cracked the first year (and were amazingly delicious anyway). Not one cracked last year. I only got about 100 cherries. I’m converting more of the tree to Utah. White Gold just isn’t that good. It makes a great rootstock! None of my trees have only one fruit.
Pluots, plums, nectarines and peaches on Indian Free peach. Instead of 100 peaches, I get 20 peaches, 20 pluots, 20 nectarines (Fantasia and Arctic Jay). and 20 plums that ripen at different times.
Makes for a whole season of fruit on one tree. It’s only 6 foot high too. Backyard orchard culture for pedestrian trees (no ladders) works! The tree is 8 years old. It is one of 11 trees I have. I grow 26 different pluots or plums. I like pluots/plums a lot. I had much more but lost 2 trees. Looking for Hollywood plum scion.


Lapins was punished by deer rub this year and is on it’s way out no matter what.

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Here in Western Pennsylvania I am growing Sandra Rose with Utah Giant and White Gold grafted (this spring) on it. I spray immunox in the spring before I net the whole tree. If I don’t net it the Robins will strip my tree. Sandra Rose will crack (which I don’t mind) but I really like the taste. I’ve had the tree since 2012.

For cherries I have-

Black Tartarian/Krymsk 5
Black Pearl/Krymsk 6
BlackGold/Gisela 12
WhiteGold/Krymsk 6

Duke(sweet/tart hybrid)
Late Duke/Krymsk 5

Montmorency/Gisela 5
Surefire/Gisela 5
English Morello/Gisela 5

For the sweets BlackGold is the only one that has fruited. I am happy with the fruit. I did have some physical damage on it from animals which produced gummosis last year. I suspect the gummosis was canker and I removed the damaged areas last summer. I will have to see if the gummosis reoccurs this year.

Here is another thread on sweet cherries-

Sweet Cherries 2017

It would help if you listed the “other” cherries you would be more likely to get useful replies.

Sandra Rose is highly prone to canker. I had two of them and now I have none. It was one of my favorites for taste so that is too bad.

Currently White Gold and Regina are doing the best for me, both are easy maintenance reliable fruiting cherries with great taste. White Gold is relatively light on the blooms but is otherwise excellent.

I grew a whole bunch of antique varieties, that was mostly a waste as the fruit set was low and they were highly prone to canker. But Early Purple Guigne and Black Tartarian have both done well. The older cherries are mostly smaller and softer and taste a bit richer.

I have one more cherry I am trying out now, Attika. It is supposed to be reliable in the east; we will see!

I had two Black Gold trees… the first one was good, the second one only made small not very sweet cherries. I don’t know if it was the rootstock or a variety mix-up.

I have to concur with that. Of the Cornell cherries I have Black York(eastern bing), White Gold, and Hudson. All of which I would recommend for the east coast. Not top tier taste, but good and have been pretty easy on the rot. Pretty sure Regina is a Cornell product as well.

Have several Rainiers that have just started to flower. Can anyone report of those?

@scottfsmith Have you thought of trying Black Eagle again on a newer precocious rootstock? It might help with the low production. Gisela 5 would ideal since it’s very precocious and tends to produce an over setting of fruit. It would be hard to get a tree on Gisela 5 but might be worth a try. Krymsk 5 and 6 would also be an option and easier to get a tree on.

I had it for something like 15 years, I don’t think it was going to change which is why I took it out.

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Ah, 15 years is a long time even for a tree on mazzard. I wouldn’t expect Gisela 5 to help in this case then. That’s too bad. Black Eagle was in Cherries of New York and I was hoping it would work well as a backyard tree. Maybe it would work in a different region or climate.