Cross polinated sweet and sour cherry trees #231487

Asked March 17, 2015, 2:09 PM EDT

Hi, I just planted a Montmorency cherry tree.  I know these are self polinating, but I am trying to figure out if there is a sweet cherry variety (suitable for the front range) that is compatible. I would like the Montmorency to be the pollen source for the sweet cherry (and ideally it goes both ways so my Montmorency has a higher yield).  There is good information about universal polinators, but it is hard to pinpoint varieties that bloom at the same time as Montmorency and thrive on the front range.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!  I am a bit new to fruit trees, so hopefully this makes sense.

Boulder County Colorado

Expert Response

Great question. Perhaps you've seen this entry from our Fact Sheet:

Sour and Sweet Cherry

"All sour cherries are self-fruitful, such as Montmorency, North Star, Balaton, Meteor, English Morello, Early Richmond, Hansen Bush Cherry and Nanking. Most sweet cherries are self-unfruitful(self-incompatible, SI) and require cross pollination with another variety as the pollen source.

Some varieties, e.g. Bing, Lambert, Royal Ann/Napoleon, are also cross-unfruitful and cannot be depended upon to provide pollen for each other. Index, Lapins, Skeena, Sweetheart, WhiteGold, Sonata, Stella, Symphony, Sunburst, and BlackGold are self-fruitful (SF) sweet cherries that can serve as “universal” pollen sources for many self-unfruitful sweet cherry varieties (Stella does not work for Bing in some areas).

Their use as “universal” pollinators should also take bloom timing into consideration as follows. Early-bloom: SI – Somerset; SF – Lapins and Skeena. Early- to early-mid-bloom: SI – Kristin, Chelan, and Black Republican; SF – Sweetheart and WhiteGold. Mid- to late-mid-bloom: SI – Royalton, Summit, Ranier, Royal Ann / Napoleon, Bing, Burlat, Van, Regina, Lambert, Sam, and Windsor; SF – Sonata, Stella, Symphony, and Sunburst. Late-bloom: SI – Gold and Hudson; SF – BlackGold. Move bees into orchards on the first day of bloom."

It does appear that Montmorency and Black Tartarian will cross, but they don't reliably bloom at the same time (M is late and BT is early).

Deryn Davidson Replied April 02, 2015, 6:21 PM EDT

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