What are Cherries?

What is the Tart Cherry?

The U of S Sour Cherry Breeding program began in the 1940s with Professor Less Kerr. He was interested in cross breeding the hardiness and dwarf stature of the Mongolian cherry with more modern tart cherries like the Montmarcey. Much of the advancement over the last 20 years can be attributed to the likes of Rich Sawatsky, Dr. Richard st –Pierre and Dr. Bob Bors. These fruit are generally darker than Evans and Montmarcey cherry trees. The also grow as a shrub compared to a tree.


In 1999 the university released a dwarf sour cherry bush called “Carmine Jewel”. Then in 2004 5 other varieties were release called the romance series.

  • Plant breeding started with mongolian cherry and Rose cherry in 1940s at the U of S
  • Plants get 2-3.5 m tall
  • These cherries are easily pitted and average 3.5gm to 6 gm depending on the variety and growing year
  • Most of these fruit have a brix range of 14-22 depending on harvest time. The longer you leave on the bush, the sweeter the fruit gets
  • The harvest dates range from the end of July for Carmine Jewel and go right up to mid September for Crimson Passion

The 2 varieites that we grow are:

Romeo CherriesROMEO

  • Dark red/black
  • Very similar to Carmine Jewel, but much later
  • Very flavourful
  • Good for fresh eating and processing
  • One of the best for juice
  • One of the most productive
  • Does die back
  • 4.0g fruit

Julliet CherriesJULLIET

  • Dark Red
  • Fresh eating type: excellent quality
  • Also good for processing
  • One of the best for fresh eating flavor
  • Most productive cultivar in 2009
  • Moderate vigour
  • Few suckers
  • 4.0g fruit

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