Sour cherries at the University of

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

Cold Hardy Fruit Trees and Products for Sale


Please check our shipping dates

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, as well as a visit to a cherry orchard in Saskatchewan.

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: Carmine Jewel (late July in zone 2), Juliet (early-mid August), Evans Bali (early-mid August), Crimson Passion (mid August), Romeo (late August).

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 normally dug fresh from our nursery and shipped bareroot in early spring or late fall.
Please check our wholesale pricing for quantities greater than 50 plants.

NEWEST ITEMS: Romeo and Juliet dwarf sour cherries.

Romeo Cherry

* Prunus cerasus x P. fruticosa
* Dark red, very similar to Carmine Jewel, but later harvesting (late August to early September in zone 2)
* Very good for fresh eating and processing (sweeter than Carmine Jewel)
* One of the best for juice
* Fruit weighs about 4 gram
* 6.5-12' height, 7+' width
* 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

Check out our SPRING SALE of 10 or moreplants (drop down menu)

12"-20" tall

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
* 7-12' height, 7+' width
* 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

SOLD OUT until fall
Please Contact us to be put on a wait list.

Carmine Jewel Cherry

* Prunus cerasus x P. fruticosa
* Dark purple skin and flesh, small pits
* Good for fresh eating and processing, best pie cherry
* Fruit weighs about 4 gram, 15-17 Brix
* Early harvest, ripening first in the season, late July-early August in the north
* 6.5-12' height, 7+' width
* 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
* Zones 2-8

12"-24" tall (potted or bare root)

24"-36" tall, 2 year old bare root - SOLD OUT

Crimson Passion Cherry

* Prunus cerasus x P. fruticosa
* Dark red fruit, flesh firmer than other cultivars
* Excellent for fresh eating, high sugar content
* Fruit weighs about 6 gram, 22 Brix
* 6-9' height and 7+' width (height dependent on location/zone - shorter outside in North, taller inside high tunnel/warmer zones)
* Lowest suckering of all the dwarf sour cherries
* Not as vigorous as Carmine Jewel the first year, but seem to do well once established in many locations.
* Self-pollinating
* May yield a few berries after 3 years, increasing to 20+ lbs yield after 6 years, but may not bear well every year
* Zones 2-8

SOLD OUT until spring 2017

Lutowka Rose Cherry

*Prunus cerasus austera L. 'Lutowka', a morello cherry common to Poland (wiśnia - Polish sour cherry)
* Early maturing shrub may grow to only 3-5 feet tall in the north, but can be a small tree in protected locations and warmer zones
* Produces large fruit (5-7 gram) within 2-3 years after planting
* Self-pollinating
* Zones 3*-8 (*a bad winter such as in 2014 may kill the top portion of young bushes in zones 3 & 4, but branches regrow from the lower sections).

This plant was introduced from Poland in 1990 where it achieves a tree form and is the most common sour cherry grown in European orchards. It has been suggested as a good tree for bonsai (e.x. Prunis mahaleb bonsai). There is even a Ginjinha - Portuguese "sour cherry" liqueur made out of this species! See YouTube for Lutowka harvesting videos.

12-24" tall

Cherry Cookbook


Winner of the 2012 Gourmand Cookbook Award for Canada for the category Best Fund Raising, Charity and Community Cookbook. Compiled at the University of Saskatchewan, this great selection of recipes will give you many great ideas for what to do with your home-grown cherries!

$20 each from us, or order from Canada.

Dwarf Sour Cherry Manual


University of Saskatchewan Dwarf Sour Cherry Manual - order from Canada. 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.

Cherry Pitters


One of the deterrants to processing large numbers of cherries may be the large number of pits! Fortunately, there are some ways to addres this situation. Elaine from Bouviers Berry Basket recommends the TSM Products cherry stoner and viewable on youtube. She says, "They sell a jr. size and a sr. size that pits 10 cherries at a time. I bought the sr. size 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."

Kathy Wiederholdt from NDSU Carrington recommends Leifheit 37200 Cherrymat Cherrystone Remover. Here's her review, "It’s good for a home owner w just a few plants. I just feed the cherries in w 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."

For those with more time than money, there's always the paper clip method!

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.

NAFEX 2012 086 Brown Rot.jpg

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


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.

Sour Cherry Yellows

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.

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

Bacterial Canker

Powdery Mildew

Fruit flies

Cherry Links

NPR May 27, 2013
Growing Fruit Forum - Romance Series Cherries
How pruning affects cold hardiness of fruit trees (Fruit Grower News)



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