Growing cherries can be a real pleasure. They taste lovely in pies and jams, and they're fun to pick and eat right off the tree, too. Many cherry varieties, however, are quite susceptible to fungal infections and thus need to be sprayed with fungicides often throughout the growing season. If you'd like to minimize spraying, make sure you plant a fungal-resistant cherry variety, such as the following:

Montmorency

If you love making pies and are looking for a good sour cherry, Montmorency is a stellar choice. It is widely popular in North America, thanks to its disease resistance and flavorful fruit. Montmorency cherries are bright, vibrant red in color, and their flesh has a creamy, yellow color. They ripen early in the season (around late June in most regions) and have a firm texture that makes them easy to work with.

Montmorency cherry trees are self-fertile, but they do produce more cherries if planted in groups of 2 or more. They mature to about 18 feet in height, requiring full sunlight to thrive.

Glacier

A sweet cherry that's perfect for eating fresh, glacier cherries are dark red all of the way through. They are larger than most cherry varieties, and their fruit is easy to remove from the seed. These cherries ripen late in the season, so many growers pair them with an earlier-ripening variety, such as Stella, in order to have a continuous crop.

Glacier cherry trees are self-fertile, so you really only need one tree in order to get fruit. Like most cherries, they prefer well-drained soil and require plenty of sunlight.

Stella

Another sweet cherry variety, Stella produces dark red cherries that resist cracking, making the variety a good choice if you live in an area with heavy or unpredictable rainfall. The cherries are perfect for eating fresh off the tree or for making jam. They ripen in mid-June in most regions, and the trees are self-pollinating.

Stella cherry trees can be susceptible to fungal infections when they are in bloom, so they need to be sprayed at this time. However, they do not need to be sprayed when they are not blooming. They are a favorite among birds and should be covered in nets once the fruit is near ripening.

Any of these three cherry varieties should thrive if you're careful to choose a sunny, well-drained site, fertilize the tree periodically, and have it pruned early each spring to remove dead branches. You will want to have them sprayed occasionally, but thanks to their disease resistance, should not need to worry about biweekly spraying as you would with less hardy cherry trees. Happy cherry eating!

To learn more, contact a tree service company like Pioneer Tree & Landscape, Inc. 

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