Nothing beats freshly picked cherries straight off the tree, just ask any Blackbird! Growing them successfully, however is not without its problems.
Before modern dwarfing stocks the biggest problem was the extreme vigour and size of the trees then along came Colt rootstock which brought the size down but could still reach 25 feet, far to high for the average garden.
We now have Gisela 5 rootstock which at last means cherries can be grown in smaller spaces or easily fanned out on a wall. This size tree is easier to net at fruiting time, otherwise the birds will have every one
Self fertile varieties are the best choice, any others will require specific pollination partners.
All dessert cherries need a warm sunny aspect except Morello which is a tart cooking variety. Morello grows quite happily on a north wall
Choice of Rootstocks
For more compact Fan trained trees or larger bushes. Minimum wall height 6 feet and width 10 feet for fan training
For larger fan trained and free standing trees. Minimum wall height 8 feet for fan training
VARIETIES GROWN IN THE TRIALS GARDEN (OR NURSERY)
A new introduction for commercial growers that's found its way to the amateur market. An outstanding black cherry, large and very late in the season. Not self fertile but pollinated by any other self fertile variety. Kent 1998 (Gisela 5 rootstock only)
The first, original and still popular self-fertile variety that made cherries popular for the garden. Large, dark red, reliable and flavoursome.
Canada 1968 (Gisela 5 rootstock only)
Great flavour and crops well in less than ideal circumstances. Self-fertile but better with another self fertile partner nearby. Dark Red firm and crunchy. Norwich 1970
a Stella x Van cross producing large fruit and great flavour. Self Fertile and easy to pick. Canada 1975 (Gisela 5 rootstock only)
late cropping variety that has an extended picking time. Another good flavoured Canadian variety. Self fertile and a good pollinator for others . Canada 1990 (Gisela 5 rootstock only)