dartagnanberry240711.jpg Dwarf Sour Cherry, Sour Cherries, Dwarf Sour Cherries for sale

* Sour cherries at the University of

* Orchard People blog May 2, 2022
* Montana State University Western Agricultural Research Station video 2021

7 year old Carmine Jewel at Bozeman, MT. Grass kept away, fertilized with manure.

Tart Cherry Benefits

6 benefits - NDTV Food
1 TBSP 2x/day for Arthritis

Growing Cherries

Dwarf sour cherries prefer well-drained, sandy loam or loam soils, with a pH between 6.5 and 8.0. It is very important to keep perrenial weeds away from them as they stunt the trees' growth. Organic matter level between 2-3% is very important if you have clay or sandy soil. They do well under mulch. Water them a few times deeply to get them established. Here is one customer's story from Iowa, a visit to a cherry orchard in Saskatchewan, and an interview with a cherry picker at our orchard in Minnesota.

Size of full grown dwarf sour cherries is dependent on several factors. While listed at 6 1/2 feet tall in zone 2 in Canada, they can reach 12 feet in height in zone 4. Keeping encroaching grass and weeds away is also critical, as is appropriate moisture. Cherries do not like wet feet, but thrive with consistent watering especially the first three years. Pruning excess growth from the center of the bushes in late winter/early spring is also beneficial. Michigan State U affirms modest pruning can be done post-harvest on mature trees that have filled their space.

Ripening sequence in Saskatoon, SK (zone 2):

-Carmine Jewel (late July)
-Crimson Passion
-Evans Bali
Peak bloom times in 2015 zone 3a:
- Juliet - May 15
- Romeo - May 20
- Carmine Jewel - May 21
- Cupid - May 23
More info: VARIATIONS IN NEW AND EXISTING U of S Sour Cherries, ADF report March 2011

U Mich Picture Table of Fruit Freeze Damage Thresholds

Renewal Pruning growingfruit.org" reports one of Dr. Bob Bor's emails dated 7/1/14:: "For best longevity one should grow the cherries as bushes with multiple trunks. Using renewal thinning you should get rid of a trunk or two every year or two to allow new ones to form or let suckers in the row come up to replace them. Our original seedling rows are 22 years old and are still alive and fairly healthy. On a severe -50C winter, we didn't lose trees but we lost the oldest trunks of most trees. Specifically it was those branches that had born fruit for many years and were hardly making any growth. Perhaps a trunk should be removed somewhere around 7 years old? Maybe 10? I'd think the bushes could go on for many decades." Harvesting
Hand picking
Over the row trial at MSU on other tart cherries

Extreme climate testimony

The cherry trees I have ordered in the past are doing great. This past year we were able to put up cherry jam. That may not sound like a a big accomplishment but for us it is. I live in New Mexico at high altitude, 7300 feet, and we get late frosts all the time. I have had fruit trees planted for the last 10 years and this is the first time I have had fruit of any kind except currants and grapes. Even though we are listed as zone 5B, the average last frost here is June 3rd. The cherries were blooming into June. I would have had cherries the previous year but it went down to 22 on June 16th. I planted one of the cherries in a hoop house to see if it would grow better there. I grew much faster and is twice the height of the ones outside. However, it blossoms too early and gets frosted. I am moving it outside this year. Below is a picture of one of the cherries netted to keep off the birds. -Peter

History of U of S cherries
2019 Award Tarts with a touch of romance - Good Fruit Grower Aug 2018

Cupid pits too large for tart cherry pitters.
Wowza originated at the U of S, called something like "Big Red" for its interesting, oblong shape and good taste, but not as productive as the other varieties (Dr. Bob Bors, MSU webinar 4/17/20)

How to plant your own cherry seeds

Favorite Recipes
  • Cherry Date Nut bars (sugar free)
  • From Saskatchewan, Canada - Shifting Roots Recipes:
  • How to Harvest & Preserve Sour Cherries including Cherry Jam
  • No Churn Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream
  • Cherry Jelly

    Cold Hardy Fruit Bushes and Products for Sale


    Shipping cost & dates

    Small sized cherry plants are normally shipped in 2.5" pots, with a single stem that will branch out in the first season after planting. Larger sized cherries are usually bare root and shipped in early spring or late fall. All our fruiting bushes are on their own root stock and we recommend planting the cherries so their root crown is just below the soil line.
    Save $ by ordering 10+ plants (click on drop down list under each variety, combining all cherry varieties for your total).
    See Colorado State Extension site for tips on winter watering. Interact with other growers at Sour Cherry Facebook Group
    All cherries are cold hardy to zone 2 up to zone 9.

    Efficacy of Tart Cherry Juice to Reduce Inflammation 2012, Journal of Food Studies
    Cherries: Organic Production NCAT March 2014
    Purchase article

    Carmine Jewel Cherry


    Tartest Pie Cherries

    5" tall cherry year-old

    * Prunus cerasus x P. fruticosa
    * Dark purple skin and flesh, small pits
    * Good for fresh eating and processing, best pie cherry
    * Some people prefer the extra intense flavor and tartness over the milder, sweeter varieties for fresh eating
    * Fruit averages 3.5 gram, 15-17 Brix, with large flesh to pit ratio
    * Early harvest, ripening first in the season, mid July in zone 3
    * approx 12'x12' after 10 years if left unpruned, recommend 10' spacing
    * High suckering, can sucker up to 20' away.
    * Self-pollinating
    * Usually produces a few berries in 3 years, rapidly increasing to 25+ lbs 5-6 at years of age
    * Cross between 'Kerr's Easy Pick' x 'Northstar', University of Saskatchewan 1999 (Rick Swatzky)
    * Zones 2-8

    Carmine Jewel cherry 18-24" tall
    Carmine Jewel 24-36" XL

    Romeo Cherry



    * Prunus cerasus x P. fruticosa
    * Dark red, very similar to Carmine Jewel, but a bit later harvesting (mid to late July in zone 3)
    * Very good for fresh eating and processing (larger and sweeter than Carmine Jewel)
    * One of the best for juice
    * Fruit weighs about 4 gram
    * approx 12'x12' after 10 years if left unpruned, recommend 10' spacing
    * Low suckering
    * Self-pollinating
    * Usually produces a few berries in 3 years, rapidly increasing to 25+ lbs at 5 years
    * Zones 2-8
    * More info: U of S, Patent inspection.gc.ca

    Romeo Cherry 18-24" tall

    Romeo 24-36" XL

    Juliet Cherry


    * Prunus cerasus x P. fruticosa
    * Dark red
    * Excellent for fresh eating and processing
    * Fruit weighs about 5 gram, up to 20 Brix
    * Blooms 3 days earlier than other U of S Romance cherries
    * Typically grows faster/taller than Romeo
    * approx 12'x12' after 10 years if left unpruned, recommend 10' spacing
    * Low suckering
    * Self-pollinating
    * Usually produces a few berries in 3 years, rapidly increasing to 25+ lbs at 5 years
    * Zones 2-8
    * More info: U of S, inspection.gc.ca Patent Info

    Juliet cherry 8-18" tall

    Juliet Cherry 18-24" tall

    Juliet 24-36" XL

    julietxl500x300.jpeg Juliet XL size

    d'Artagnon Cherry


    D'Artagnan fruit has a delicious, juicy tartness great for fresh eating or processing. Its dark red berries look similar to Carmine Jewel but lighter in color when cooked. With its shorter height, and more flexible branches, d'Artagnan is the easiest variety to maintain needing far less pruning. To form a hedge, plant 3' apart in a row. Mulch the area so there is no grass or weed competition for the first few years. When suckers begin to appear, let the suckers grow up to fill in the rows.
    U of S cherries Patent info

    d'Artagnan Cherry 2Gal/BR

    Cupid Cherry

    Cupid produces the largest fruit of all the University of Saskatchewan sour cherries. The fruit is dark red to black. Later ripening. Pits too large for tart cherry pitters (maybe an olive pitter would work). 'Cupid' is in a class by itself with low acidity and has the highest sugar:acid ratio. Potential as a fresh fruit or in products where sugar is not added. Very cold hardy and blooms later than other varieties.
    ADF Grant report
    Patent info

    Cupid Cherry 2Gal/BR
    Cupid XL

    Cutie Pie Cherry

    * cross between Mongolian sour cherries (Prunus fruticosa) and European Sour cherries (Prunus cerasus)
    * selected for being unusually dwarf, sweet, and having bright red cherries
    * smaller than other cherries, about the size of a penny, and grows to half the height of Carmine Jewel
    * suckers so good for forming a hedge
    * may be even hardier than the other cherries
    U of S cherries * Patent

    Cutie Pie Cherry Gal/BR

    Cutie Pie Cherry 2Gal/BR

    Sweet Thing Cherry

    New in 2021 - a hybrid of 'Carmine Jewel' and 'Erdi Jubileum', is the highest quality sour cherry observed in the U of S sour cherry breeding program. Zone 4 hardy, trialing for zone 3 (did not survive -50C at one trial site)
    U of S cherries

    Sweet Thing Tart Cherry Gal/BR

    Sweet Thing Cherry 2Gal/BR

    Valentine Cherry

    .jpg Medium sized, bright red fruit, hardy to zone 2, vigorous grower grows taller than other U of S varieties, highest yielding bush, may be too tart for fresh eating (tarter than Carmine Jewel) but great for processing and pies. Especially "preferred for dried cherries because the lighter colour of the fresh fruit results in dried cherries that look red instead of black." (U of S comments)
    U of S cherries Patent

    *** SALE *** (Reg. $45)
    Valentine Cherry 2Gal/BR XL

    Jan, Joel & Joy Prunus japonica x jacquemontii USDA zone 3-9 Hybridized by Dr Elwyn Meader of Durham, NH, these cherries grow 4'x3' and ripen in late summer. The fresh tart cherries can be eaten fresh or processed. The plants start bearing fruit in 2-3 years and will have a productive life of 20 years. Lovely pink flowers make it highly ornamental as well as an excellent plant for edible landscaping in the home garden. "Joel" is self-fertile but Jan & Joy need a companion for pollination and fruit production. If you're looking for a better "pie" cherry flavor and greater productivity, go for the larger U of S varieties, but these diminutive plants fit in great in small spaces and are edible though not as tantalizing as the U of S varieties.

    Meader Bush Cherry 3-pack (3.5" pot size at least 2 different varieties)

    * Prunus cerasus caproniana , 'Evans' cherry, named after the plant pathologist who discovered it in Edmonton, AB
    * Grows approx 12'x15' recommended 10' spacing
    * Bright red cherries, long pits, translucent yellow flesh
    * Ripens in late July in zone 3
    * Self-pollinating
    * Begins producing in its 4th year
    * Our plants are grown on their own roots (versus some Evans Bali which are sold on less hardy root stock such as Mazzard)
    * Zones 2 (poor) to zone 8. In colder zones do not water in fall. This will encourage dormancy and better survival over winter.
    * Very similar to Polish Lutowka cherry
    * Pure sour cherry with no Mongolian parentage, probably a close relative or seedling of 'Meteor', (per Growing Fruit in Northern Gardens"

    We anticipate fall 2024 shipping. Please Contact us to be put on a wait list.

    * Prunus pumilla L. var. besseyi
    * suckering shrub 4-7' tall
    * silvery green foliage, white flowers
    * purple-black sweet edible fruit great for making syrup and jelly
    * USDA zones 4-7 or warmer
    * More info: USDA

    Sand Cherry 4-12" tall


    * Prunus Virginiana
    * suckering shrub up to 30' tall
    * berries turn dark purple and are edible in July and August in zone 3
    * great for making syrup and jelly
    * USDA zones 2-7 or warmer
    * More info: Wildflower, MISA

    Chokecherry 1-2'

    Cherry Recipes


    Cherry Bars for a crowd (1strecipes)

    Dwarf Sour Cherry Manual & FAQ


    University of Saskatchewan Dwarf Sour Cherry Manual is currently in the process of being republished. Most everything the University knows about growing dwarf sour cherries! Table of Contents includes: Origins, Cultivars, Biology, Propagation, Orchard Establishment, Cultural Practises, Winter Hardiness, Pests and Diseases, Organic Production, Harvest, Post-Harvest Handling, and Storage.

  • Best time to prune? For sour cherries, some consider it best to prune after budbreak until about two weeks after petal fall (when small fruit has developed).

  • A Customer's Orchard

    Zone 4b, Iowa - May 26, 2016 - 1 Carmine Jewel (2011), 2 Carmine Jewel (2012), 1 Crimson Passion (2014)
    12' apart, 12' tall at maturity, unpruned until now
    plans on pruning for better air flow through the center and for ease of picking
    In 2016 Carmine Jewel planted in 2011 yielded on avg 29.7 lbs/bush, plus several lbs more on each bush and ground
    Harvest doubled from 2015 to 2016 (Year 5 to Year 6)

    Cherry Pitters

    deluxe cherry pitter

    Cherry Spitter: Everyone has one! Eat and spit as you go! Works just fine for Crisps and Ice Cream toppings but not recommended for pies or jam.

    Personal favorite: Chop-Rite Cherry Stoner #16
    Under $100. Chop-Rite site

    TSM Products cherry stoner is viewable on YouTube. Under $200. The Sausage Maker (TSM) says "The Cherry Stoner Jr. is a commercial cherry pitter machine that pits five cherries in a single pull of the handle. The pits are then discarded in a separate area while the pitted cherries drop into a container below. The result is a bowl full of fresh pitted cherries in the blink of an eye, with no mess left to clean up. It's so easy and so effective, it's almost unbelievable. Solid construction, quality engineering and precision machining of this stainless steel cherry pitter make the unit easy to use and, perhaps more importantly, so easy to clean. The entire Cherry Pitter is built right here in our Buffalo, NY, machine shop, where our experienced welders, fabricators and machinists take the time to make each unit to the highest quality standards. We only sell products that we're delighted to use in the kitchen, and we hope you'll be as thrilled as we were when we tried the Deluxe Cherry Pitter."

    It is messier than they claim as the pit tray leaks juice, but fun to do outside on a warm summer day! See our video.

    Search "TSM Products cherry stoner" online - there are various retail outlets that sell this model.

    (For Canadian orders check out Berry Hill)

    Under $20: **** Tony's Cherry Pitter ***
    -Safe, fast, portable. See it used
    pitting frozen Crimson Passion

    Hand pitting

    Under $1000 from Italy https://oliq.jimdofree.com/english/ see oliq.it video A home grower in Minnesota verifies the OLIQ works on Carmine Jewel!

    Leifheit 37200 Cherrymat Cherrystone Remover. Here's her review, "It’s good for a home owner with just a few plants. I just feed the cherries in with one hand, blip, blip, blip as I quickly bop the handle with the other hand, boinka, boinka, boinka. It’s pretty fast. Kind of addicting. Kind of juicy. I do it outside." (Kathy Wiederholdt from NDSU Carrington)

    The Honeyberry Farm has tried two $15 single cherry pitters - the Norpro Deluxe screws securely to the table but the collection unit for the pits is small. The Advantage counter top version has a nice large collection unit for the pits.

    For those with more time than money, there's always the DIY approaches: DIY pitter, Fingers, Straw, Syringe, or paper clip method! And what to do with the pits? Try a cherry pit hot pack!

    Higher volume small scale pitters
    Elaine from Bouviers Berry Basket recommends the TSM Products cherry stoner viewable on YouTube. She says, "They sell a jr. size (5 cherries) and a sr. size that pits 10 cherries at a time. I bought the sr. size (no longer available) and it works quite well on Juliette cherries (U of S Romance series cherry whose size is in between Carmine Jewel and Crimson Passion) especially if 2 people are working at it. One person can keep filling the cherry trays with cherries while the other person operates the handle. It's a messy job so doing it outdoors works well. I would be quite confident that it would work fine for the Carmine Jewel as well unless you were to forget to put in the rubber trays that the cherries fall into before pitting. The holes in the rubber trays are just small enough that the pits can be pushed through by the plungers. Nanking cherries would not work. You do have to make sure that only one cherry for each spot falls into position at a time though because it seems that the second cherry gets pushed aside and doesn't get pitted. I also would tell people to be very careful with their fingers and to especially not let kids near it because the plungers are very sharp. While it does miss some pits I would remind people that you often find pits in canned cherry pie filling as well, so to always remind their friends and family to chew carefully in case of pits." We did try a single cherry pitter that looked like a wire framed scissors. It was supposed to punch the pit out but it was designed for a larger cherry and did not work well with the U of S varieties.

    Other options being investigated:
    Hand cranked from Latvia
    Kirschen-Entsteinmaschine-GM200 (also seen at www.abolospiedes.lv)

    Commercial Pitting
    Dunkley Cherry Pitter Jr. in MB. No longer manufactured. Larger Dunkley models cost many $$$$.
    Dunkley Table Top model Needs own table :-) Still lots of $$$.

    Cherry Picker Equipment
    Philup basket
    3D extended reach picker
    3D Simple Fruit Picker for small fruit like cherry

    Fruit Flies lay eggs which turn into little white worms

    Cherry Fruit Fly MSU general info. Also UMN info Organic treatment options (but beware that treatments may be toxic to bees - Entrust is toxic for 3 hours following application: GF-120 has the same active ingredient (spinosad) as Entrust, is cheaper, and is easy to apply with a backpack sprayer. A grower from Montana wrote us in 2018, "Just wanted to let you know that the GF 120 Bait Spray worked very well for me. We went from over 50 percent infestation of cherry fruit fly two years ago to basically zero hits on the pie cherry. It also works on gooseberries, black currants and saskatoons. Have some more fine tuning to do, but this is first time I have been able to harvest blackcurrants in several years. It also reduces the ant population so predators can reduce the aphids better. Fruit Flies are a huge pest but they are manageable. May God less you and your farm."
    Neem is ineffective against Cherry Fruit Fly as is Pyganic.
    European Cherry Fruit Fly was introduced to North America in 2015. University of Utah factsheet

    SWD male and female next to house fly

    Spotted Wing Drosophila

  • MSU Identification Guide
  • 2017 Molecules reports that Essential Oils such as cloves are effective. Also 2017 NCBI Guelph reports on thymol (thyme).
  • SWD Management Cornell 2019
  • MSU general info and MSU cherry SWD info reports some success with organic certified products with active ingredient spinosad. Eggs laid in fruit have very high mortality if kept at 35 degrees for 3 days.
  • Kootenay Covers and Berry Protection Solutions sell exclusion netting with fine enough mesh to keep out the flies. Keeps out the birds and protects against hail damage as well. Dubois Agrinovation - (drop-down list select 70 gram) (70 gr weight of net per square meter) works as well.
  • eorganic.com swd info More info: Varietal and Developmental Susceptibility of Tart Cherry (Rosales: Rosaceae) to Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) - Matthew T Kamiyama, Christelle Guédot 2019
  • Natural Enemy - parasitoid wasp Fruit Grower News NOV 18, 2021

  • NAFEX 2012 086 Brown Rot.jpg

    Brown rot While Canadian-bred dwarf sour cherries have been quite problem free during normal years, the extremely wet springs of 2011 and 2012 in Saskatchewan revealed problems with brown rot/cherry blossom blight. One of the


    Black cherry aphid sighted in northern Minnesota.


    Pear slug sawfly larva. "Literature says to wash them off with a strong jet of water – but not possible in an orchard. Can get them on aronia in late July along with lacebugs. Pear slugs eat the tops of the leaves and lacebugs eat the bottoms. Use spinosad to control both. They are not a caterpillar, so pyrethrins won’t kill them. One good coating spay in late July. But only if the damage seems like it’s going to get out of control." (from conversation with Northern Hardy Fruit Evaluation Project coordinator)

    Pocket gophers may eat the roots before you notice their tunnel and mounds. Starting around the edges, leaves turn yellow and fall off. We trap to control them.

    General yellow leaf issues

    Yellows leaves & other issues

    Black Knot

    Black Stem Borer

    Plumb Curculio

    Cherry Leaf Spot For Michigan growers, see MSU Enviroweather forecast model for Cherry Leaf Spot. See more on cherry leaf spot.
    One Iowa grow has reported success with Bayer's Luna Sensation fungicide but is looking for an organic alternative.

    Freezing - see MSU's Picture Table of Fruit Freeze Damage Thresholds and Tree Fruit Critical Temperatures

    Bacterial Canker Managing bacterial canker (MSU) and Orchard People blog 2021

    Cytospora canker

    Powdery Mildew

    Cherry (Prunus spp.)-June Drop

    Cherry Fruit Drop

    Cherry Links

    NPR May 27, 2013
    Growing Fruit Forum - Romance Series Cherries
    How pruning affects cold hardiness of fruit trees (Fruit Grower News)
    West Virginia University Tree Fruit and Education Center
    Cheribundi news release 2018



    [ First ] [ Prev ] [ Next ] [ Last ]