Main varieties in order of ripening

Not sure where the idea is coming from that  cherries ripen a certain number of days after they flower (like the gestation period in animals). That is complete nonsense. 

E.g. Lapins flower early and pick medium-late - Summit flower late and pick mid-season, Merchant flower mid-season and pick early. In addition to that the weather makes a huge difference. 

Predicting harvest time exactly is simply not possible, but for most varieties the fruit will hang on the tree OK for a week or more provided the weather is not excessively hot.

Recent changes: 

More Morello (sour cherries) planted. Most Vega and some Bing removed and replaced with Stella - more Rainier (to replace the Vega) already coming on separately. Rons Seedling removed and replaced with Merchant. Kordia removed (lovely cherry but not productive) - may replace with Lapins later. Bing were fine but they split too often. Vega - now superceded by Rainier throughout the industry for better flavour. Rons - grows well for some but not for us - not early enough to justify itself as an early cherry. One row kept for those who want them. Merchant is so far ahead as an early cherry that nothing else is warranted, except for pollination purposes.


Merchant - probably the best commercial early cherry - liked by the trade because it ships and holds up well for an early cherry - good sweet taste and nice bright shiny appearance.

Vista - a very nice early cherry fresh but not for shipping or keeping too long.

Summit - big heart-shaped soft flesh - gentle taste. Often sought after by fruit shops who know this one by name - can be a shy bearer here but sometimes there is a surprisingly good crop.

Van - short stem - distinctive taste with lots of character. Very sought after. Massively popularhere. Cracks fairly easily in the rain, although small cracks will sometimes heal.

Sunburst - whoppers often - very spherical - gentle taste but known as shy bearers. Some years we manage quite a good crop here without losing size. Maybe it's the winter chilling - we've certainly got plenty of that! A mild taste and a very popluar cherry when available.

Stella - popular in garden centres because it is self-fertile but also a very good commercial cherry. Longer stem than Van and similar but less distinctive taste. Holds up a bit better in the rain.

Rainier - top quality white cherry (i.e. the skin is partly yellow but inside the flesh is white). Extremely sought after because of its excellent flavour - not to be confused with some of the older less sweet and tasty varieties such as Vega (we still have just a few) and Napoleon (St Ann). Hugely popular here once people have tasted one.

Bing - the gold standard of cherries - the main variety in the US and the one which has earned them such a good name in exports to Europe and elsewhere - we are starting to see them here also in our off season. Very crunchy and an excellent shipper. Unfortunately it cracks very easily in the rain.

Sam - a nice cherry when left to ripen. Can be picked almost black. Not much bothered by rain and the birds don't bother them so much until fully ripe. Can be a shy cropper but we often do quite well

Nordwunder (Schneider) - a leading European cherry for many years - all round good balance of taste and texture and fills the gap nicely between main season and Lapins. not very productive at the moment. Additional pollinators seem to be helping but more are needed.

Lapins - an excellent mid-late season cherry - usually big with a nice flavour. Quite good rain resistance. Usually plenty on a tree so easy to pick. A big favourite with our customers - luckily we planted quite a few.

Lambert - our latest cherry - in America (also Sydney for some reason)  it has an excellent reputation. An excellent mild but enticing flavour. Not crunchy but moderately firm.


Sour cherries

Morello - the only one for jam and also good for various drink preparations - a labour of love to pit them but the pit is quite small so you don't lose too much cherry flesh. These start to ripen after the middle of the season and we charge less for them.

You haven't tasted jam until you've tasted the jam made with these. Why not try a few just for fun. It's easy to make small quantities of jam in the microwave.