This is a popular way of growing sweet cherry in China in recent years, leave your comment

This pattern is called ‘one stick’ and is usually grown in greenhouses with around 18,000-27,000 trees per hectare.
As a Chinese, im not okay to leave a comment. Please leave your comment, thanks


Something like the apple high-density systems being pushed lately. Seems like a very high dollar system this dense and under cover though. They must get a high dollar from no insect or other damage? Is the fruit buying culture all about perfect fruit, like Japan?


I’ve never seen a greenhouse tomato as good as one from the garden.
Is the flavor and texture of cherries similarly compromised?
I presume so.
But, As Francine suggests, desire for perfect looking fruit in dependable
quantities not subject to freeze or birds…could be strong enough to overcome the costs. (For the recent folks relocated to cities and factory jobs that have money to actually buy them.)


I thought that poor tasting tomatoes was due to commercial selection of cultivars for about everything but taste, and probably also over watering and hence dilution of taste, because they sell them by the pound after all so they want them as large as possible even at the expense of taste?


The standards of fruit and food in general are not of the same standards as in Japan. I see this process of growing cherries as high maintenance and lack of the good crop. How can you beat well pruned full sized cherry trees. This must be a very special cherry.


Also called SSA (Super slender axe).
Keeping the trees in containers is a good way to slow growth vigor and control watering and of course keeping trees in a greenhouse reduces insect and bird damage.
@fruitnut , have you grown cherries this way?


I’ve grown the best cherries I’ve ever eaten in a greenhouse. Not with that system but 25-32 brix is possible. At there best with that brix, firm, and high acid there’s not a better fruit anywhere.

Some of my greenhouse cherries:


That is only half the equation. Another major reason is that commercial growers pick green and then artificially ripen tomatoes for commercial market. If you were to grow that same commercial hybrid and let it ripen on the vine, it would taste significantly better than the same cultivar purchased from the grocery store. Canned tomatoes are usually the result of the same commercial growing practices, except that they pick closer to ripe, and this is possible because they can literally process and can the same day it is picked.

There are several things not being considered, and “recent years” description by the OP is perhaps a misnomer. This has been done for decades in China. Peach production in china is like 12-15x that of sweet cherry, and much if not most of it is still done in greenhouses, where they bag individual fruits. The high capital investment for this production method is offset by the fact they they can get more reliable fruit production. It’s an investment for the long haul.

In Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China, there is a really large emphasis on aesthetics (the degree to which it occurs in each country can be debated), probably more so than what you see in the EU or US.

That said, there exists a very lively farm to table culture that’s probably more similar to small towns in the EU. Farmer markets exist in large cities and it’s not uncommon to see what would amount to each “city ward” with its own market. Nor would it be uncommon to see two neighboring wards (10-15 minutes walk distance) to have a farmer’s market on the same day.

Both translate into a profit/premium for higher quality fruit. The latter though allows cultivars/fruits that are considered poor commercial cultivars (i.e. those that don’t always come out aesthetically pleasing or have poor shelf life) to generate a profit and remain common to the average consumer.



Most of us stop at nothing to try and grow sweet cherries! The cherries in your photo look good. To me winning the competition in growing cherries is eating the cherries. In the photos the cherries are ready to eat with no cracks, fungus or other issues. My opinion is though their methods differed from my approach , perhaps their methods are better since they are eating sweet cherries and I did not. Sour cherries are much easier to grow as shown here Carmine Jewell Cherry Yields increasing with age


I’ve grown fruit outdoors in west Texas for 50 years and 18 of those years in a greenhouse. I didn’t really learn how to grow great stone fruit until I got in a greenhouse and had full control of water. On an area basis production in the greenhouse is more that 10X outside. Outside most fruit is lost to weather and critters. Inside no losses to those factors. Fruit size, appearance, and eating quality has been better in the greenhouse.

The sugar dots on the nectarine in the first picture indicates high brix.


The main production season of cherries in China is from May to July. The picture shows the cherries that were sold yesterday. In these greenhouses, air conditioners are used to cool down and force dormancy. They are treated with medicines to start selling during the Chinese Spring Festival.


Greenhouse cherry production has existed in China for nearly 30 years, but the dense planting pattern of the picture has only begun to appear in the last 3-5 years.


I would say it’s more like a decade. It’s more common probably lately though. Sweet cherry production really isn’t that “big” relative to many other fruits in terms of volume. It’ll probably see much more growth once dwarfing cherry rootstock research stabilizes. Gisela 5,6 are more common now in China, which is helping high density configurations.

China has its own version of Mazzard. I think it was only within the past few years China developed its own series of dwarfing rootstock out of the Hebei Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Academy or the Beijing Forestry and Fruit Tree Research Institute (don’t remember which one). I believe one of the programs used Gisela as breeding stock. Gisela 3 is really where it’s at for super high density, but it’s more recent introduction and I’m not sure it displaces anything already existing out of the new breeding programs like the Jingchun rootstocks.

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You know your greenhouses and cherries. When I think of China, I always think of quantity.

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Those are the pictures I remember and loved. I somehow think china as a producer in large quantities and their outdoor orchards are very large. They do love their peaches, so do I.


Chinese don’t produce much sour tasting produce…but I’m impressed by no mistakes in the grammar…thanks for sharing the cherry story.

Suan mei/sour plum, pomelo, bayberry, kiwi, sour quince (光皮木瓜), grapes with vitus labrusca parentage (slipskin foxy attribute like concord), hawthorn, passionfruit, guavas, pineapple various other citrus all popular in China and northern asia.

I don’t think an aversion to sour is a hard and fast rule, specifically to China. Most people worldwide don’t care for highly acidic fruit, especially if you mean for fresh market. Everyone likes sugar (each to varying degrees). It is true that the Chinese will almost dust any fruit with plum powder if it’s too sour (and sometimes even if its not). I think that’s more a love of plums than the aversion to sour.

I would actually posit the difference in the other direction. The asia market is more tolerant of fresh fruits that are less sweet and more subtle, with a greater emphasis placed on floral/aromatic compounds over straight brix values.


I’m not doubting the vast variety of products and tastes being available in China.

But, check to see the percent of the apple or cherry acreage that is dedicated to ‘sour’ cultivars.

Nanking cherry is extremely popular. Cherry acreage isn’t high simply because as fruit types, they aren’t the priority. I don’t think it has to do with “sour.” There’s like 8-10x more land dedicated to peaches than there is to cherries. I think apples have 2x the amount of land than peaches.

There’s basically no cider market in asia (minus expats). For alcohol, it’s going to be wine, and even that market/industry still in it’s infancy.

Apples are also typically used fresh in asia, hence the predominance of desert apples. As a result cooking apples, like Cortland, Gravenstein, Granny Smith, and Winesap don’t see much prevalence.

I don’t think it’s necessarily a result of avoiding tart/sour apples because they are tart or sour. Rather, there’s just no real history to use apples as part of a cooked dish. These are more recent trends where asia is adopting recipes to local tastes.


I’d love to taste cherries like that some day.

It’s “Skeena”, right?

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