GLT's Grow: Cherry Tree Mystery | WGLT

GLT's Grow: Cherry Tree Mystery

Jul 8, 2016

What type of sour cherry is this tree?
Credit Bonnie Carroll

Bonnie in Normal is curious about what type of cultivar the cherry tree in her grandmother's yard could be.  It's early ripening with thin-skinned, fire engine red cherries.  

  • Based on Bonnie's description of the tree, GLT's Grow host Patrick Murphy said it was likely a common type of sour cherry, prunus cerasus, not to be confused with prunus avium, which is a sweet cherry variety. 
    This cherry tree is likely about 50 years old.
    Credit Bonnie Carroll
  • The sour cherry is not native to America.  They originated in the Caspian Sea area and were brought here by immigrants.  There's a cherry tree that represents 95 percent of the sour cherries in America and it's the Montmorency.  These cherries make great pies!  
  • Murph said it's probable Bonnie's tree was planted about fifty years ago.  
  • There is a possibility the tree could be an Early Richmond Cherry Tree.  Checking old seed and horticulture catalogs could help settle the question.  They are available on the internet.
    Tart cherry from Bonnie's grandmother's tree.
    Credit Bonnie Carroll