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A plump, juicy cherry is a luxurious treat. Whether you grow sweet or sour cherries, plan to share a few with the wildlife in your area. This is usually not a problem as a mature tree will produce more fruit than one family can consume. When choosing a cherry tree, select for disease-resistance and small size. The smaller the tree, the easier it will be to harvest the fruit.
Sweet cherries grow in the coast valleys of California, near the Great Lakes, and in the Northwest. They thrive where winter and summer 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 only need one plant for fruit set.
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How to Grow Cherries
Sour cherries begin to bear 3-4 years after planting. Fruits ripen about 60 days after bloom, from late May to mid-June. Sweet cherries begin producing heavy yields in their fifth year and bear fruit in July. Store ripe cherries for up to a week in the refrigerator.