Hey everyone! I am new to the forum and this is my first post.
I am looking to extend the sweet cherry season by planting some varieties that bear fruit very early in the season and very late in the season. So far my research has led me to believe that the earliest sweet cherry I can get is Early Burlat and the latest sweet cherries I can get are Hudson and Sweetheart. Are there any other very early or very late Sweet Cherry varieties I am missing? To give you all an idea of where I am (because I know sweet cherries tend to not like the East Coast for various reasons), I live in Zone 7 in Northern Virginia.
Unfortunately sweet cherry season is very short overall. Usually 5-6 weeks. Where apple season can stretch from June to November and peach season can also be quite long, the difference between the earliest cherries and the latest cherries are not that great. Try Black Pearl for an early ripening sweet and Sweetheart, Skeena, or Regina for a late ripening variety.
The low chill sweet cherries, Royal Lee and Minnie Royal, from Zaiger/DWN would be early. They might also bloom early. They aren’t listed as being earlier ripening than Chelan but ripening is dependent on chilling and climatic conditions. VA might be different than CA.
There’s also a new self fruitful low chill cherry from Bay Laurel, 6GM25. Not sure how early it is.
Good recommendation on the Sweetheart and Regina cherries. I am looking into possibly growing both of them at some point in the near future. The length of the cherry season has been something that’s been frustrating cherry growers for years. I was reading an article in Good Fruit where Growers have been frustrated with the Washington State University breeding program and how it has developed a lot of great mid-season cherries but not much on the early or late ends of the season.
Whitegold and Blackgold both come in fairly late.