Hardy Cherries

After you are done sulking that you can’t grow a sweet cherry in your frigid and inhospitable locale, take solace in the fact that you can grow one heck of a cherry pie. Those wonderful confections aren’t the product of bog oxeye cherries of Bing and the like. No, they are the oft neglected and unfortunately named sour cherries. Prunus cerasus is perhaps a bit tart right off the tree for the modern palate (not mine mind you), but boy can it hold its own between a flakey crust. The growth and culture are nearly the same as the sweet cherry, but easier to grow and self pollinating. What really separates the two, though is their attitude toward the cold weather.

Another consideration is some of the native cherries. As an example almost all of our processing cherries on the farm is from chokecherry, especially in our cider mixes. Choke is an example of a nearly indestructible plant, often even under disease attack, powering through to make yet another crop. Wild cherries like choke, pin and black are mostly seed it must be warned, and very astringent (less so with pin) and sour. But boy, is in nice in juice mixes, or in a cocktail. Good hedge species too.