Stella vs lapins vs black tartarian what to choose?

Hi
I want to plant cherry trees but there is not much space left in my back yard.
I need help to decide which cherry tree is the best for me.
Which cherry taste the best among stella, lapins and black tartarian? I like something sweet with rich , complex and aromatic flavor.
I read black tartarian cherry is good but if stella or lapins is as good as black tartarian , I wwant to plant only one of them to save space for the other fruit trees.
If black tartarian tastes far better than stella and lapins i want to plant black tartarian with another cherry tree.
Which cherry tree should I plant?

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I’d chose Lapins. But I haven’t grown BT. Are you in humid or dry climate?

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I live in zone 8, mojave high desert. We have very hot and very dry summer. I dont remember seeing stella on sale where I live but I saw black tartarian and lapins on sale at homedepot and walmart.

I grew Stella in Amarillo and found it to be of poor quality. Lapins was very good in my greenhouse in Alpine. If you do plant two for pollination you might consider Bing. It might be better than Lapins but sets nothing without cross pollination.

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Black Tartarian has better flavor but you will need to graft another variety on it for pollination.

When you buy a tree at a big box store you have about 50% chance to get a wrong variety (and sometimes even a wrong species).

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So true. I’m still trying to figure out what the last “Redhaven” peach tree I bought from Lowes really is - fortunately it is, in fact, some sort of peach…:roll_eyes:

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I second @Stan’s assessment. I grow ‘Stella’ and ‘Lapins’ and have access to ‘Black Tartarian’ and, in terms of flavor, would rank them Black Tart., Lapins, then Stella. I would add that when Black Tart. is good, it is very good, with a distinctive flavor. At their best, Lapins and Stella, have “typical” cherry flavor in my locale. Lapins is quite a bit firmer than Black Tart. if that’s a consideration for you. If you haven’t considered it, you could plant, e.g., Black Tart., and then graft the other varieties on in a couple years to trial them. As @fruitnut noted, ‘Bing’ is very good; Black Tart. is a traditional pollinator for it, and you could graft for that pair.

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Keep in mind that Home Depot and Walmart arent top of the line nurseries. Just because they have something doesnt mean it is well suited for your climate.

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I have Stella, Lapins, Sweetheart, and Craig’s Crimson (all self-fertile). In my area, Lapins and Sweetheart are a bit earlier than Stella and Craig’s Crimson. About 80% of the Lapins and Sweetheart fruit get blitzed by the cherry worm. By the time Stella and Craig’s Crimson come in, the worm is largely gone - maybe 5% of the fruit is affected. So I use the earlier ones as sacrificial cherries. Taste: yes Stella is inferior, but inferior doesn’t mean bad. We love Stella, and it can be enjoyed well before it is ripe, and the fruit are very large. Craig’s Crimson is far superior but very unproductive. The others are intermediate in flavor. Never tried Black Tartarian.

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I’d third @Stan :slight_smile: I tried all of them at multiple venues and Black Tartarian was significantly better than Lapins and Stella. It had a complex flavor, almost like sweet mulled wine. It does need high chill hours (based on DWN’s website) and a pollinator compared to Lapins and Stella. The latter two fruit reliably in my area and Lapins is more crisp than Stella.

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Why choose? Get a multigrafted tree with all of them on one trunk!

True. I got at a grocery store a box of flower bulbs and they were an entirely different flower species. What is interesting is they didn’t sell that flower at all, and it was more expensive to buy in nurseries. Lucky me!!! One happy mistake.

I have the multi graft your talking about. Thought it was a good idea too. Years later its a constant fight to hold back the lapins from taking over the tree. Now the other three varieties just look like minor branches on a lapins tree.

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That means a lot to me. I can’t stand the soft cherries. I grow Utah Giant and it splits a lot, but it is as firm as a rock, love it. Even split ones are very good. What I like about it is it is very sweet, well my wife likes them sweet. UG has no tartness so far. The cherry is massive in size too. It is named correctly!

I have it grafted on a White Gold tree. I’m slowly converting scaffolds over the Utah Giant and also grafted Emperor Francis as it is known to grow super well around the Great Lakes. WG is the perfect polenizer for it too. So I will just be growing these fruits on one beautiful tree.

To OP I would consider looking online as chances are slim trees are marked correctly.
You will have to pay more probably for shipping. Also cherries are anything but easy to grow.

hello for sweetness Skeena, after Lapins, I don’t know the other one

Many people seem to have this problem with multi-grafts. Instead of trying to contain Lapins with just pruning, maybe try grafting the other varieties onto some of the Lapins branches. The vigor of the Lapins branches should either be transferred to the new grafts, or those Lapins branches will be stunted. Full disclosure → I’ve never tried this so I’m just theorizing.

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The trees require careful thought, but you can manage them. Lapins should be positioned on the north side. I found this works well for such vigorous cultivars. Cherries though are strong fast growers. No doubt multiple yearly pruning will be needed.
I have many multi-grafted trees and they require a lot of work. You have a lot of losses too. But when you have no room, it is nice. I like it to test cultivars. It beats having to top work a tree. Well gives you something good to top work a tree! Best to test yourself. I have fruits most dogged but I love them! And some highly praised fruits I thought were nothing special.

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I had Stella and Lapins… Lapins is super hardy. I had fruit last year after -33F… Very consistent bloomer/fruit setter here…probably one of the most reliable of the fruits i’ve grown. Stella died on me but it was in a container (Lapins has always been in the ground).

Rot is the biggest issue…but these past few years have been on the wet side…

My tree sits facing north/shaded by the house most of the winter… i think that helps a ton.

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So is my tree, and it is doing really well.

I put that tree in when I thought only a couple were going to be planted. 200 trees later I quit fighting it and it’s a lapins tree now. Unless you only have room for one I would not recommend a 4-way.

Out of the 15 cherry trees I have Lapins is by far the most aggressive tree. Then black tar, then stella. I think the black tartarian is the best for strong intense flavor. My personal top pick for growth and taste has to be Rainier though.

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