A plump, juicy cherry is a luxurious treat—for humans and wildlife alike. Whether you grow sweet or sour cherries, plan to share. This is usually not a problem—a mature tree produces more fruit than a typical family can consume. When choosing a cherry variety, select one that is disease-resistant, grows to the right size for your space, and is adapted to your local conditions. The smaller the tree, the easier it will be to harvest the fruit.
Cherries come in two main categories—sweet and sour. Sweet cherries grow well in the coast valleys of California, near the Great Lakes, and in the Northwest. They thrive where winters and summers are mild. Sweet cherries require a pollinator, so be sure to plant two varieties. Sour (or pie) cherries are easy to grow for most home gardeners. The hardy plants are adaptable and self-fertile—you need only one plant for fruit set.