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Thread: Characteristics of sweet vs cooking cherries

  1. #1
    AkionTotocha's Avatar
    AkionTotocha is offline Sprouter
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    Default Characteristics of sweet vs cooking cherries

    What are the telltale characteristics of a sweet cherry tree vs a small/sour one? Aside from "The fruit tastes sweet when you pick it" - I'm too impatient for that!

    The reason I'm asking is because there is a decent sized/quite old looking cherry tree in the back garden, which is being smothered by a wisteria (Which started off with three braided stem being grown into the tree next to it, but now each trunk is as thick as my wrist) It had a lot of white, single flowers. And it has some green cherries on it now.

    The ones I can see are quite fat, in comparison with a neighbours' pink ornamental type, which is growing cherries but they're fairly small. I say it's an ornamental but I've no idea. It's quite small, and I've never heard of a sweet cherry that has pink flowers (But I'm sure you can get them)

    I did have a ornamental cherry tree in my old house, and the leaves were small, in comparison to the one we have here. But last year there wasn't a single cherry on it, and there aren't too many that I can see on it now (But the pigeons are eating something)

    --So yeah, what are the features over sweet cherries and sour cherries - what are the differences and how can I tell what I have?

    Patience is not an answer!!

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    starloc's Avatar
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    Its difficult to tell the difference, but you will know the moment they start to ripen....., birds will strip the sweet cherry in a few minutes and they dont usually eat the sour cherries at all

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    orangepippin is offline Tuber
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    Quote Originally Posted by AkionTotocha View Post
    The ones I can see are quite fat, in comparison with a neighbours' pink ornamental type, which is growing cherries but they're fairly small. I say it's an ornamental but I've no idea. It's quite small, and I've never heard of a sweet cherry that has pink flowers (But I'm sure you can get them)
    Only ornamental cherries have pink blossom, eating cherries (whether sweet or sour) have plain white blossom and the flowers are much smaller. Ornamental cherries may form fruitlets but they usually don't amount to much.

    Sour cherries are usually smaller than sweet cherries, and tend to be spherical in shape whereas sweet cherries may have a more pronounced indent at the stalk end.
    Nicos and veggiechicken like this.

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    BathEd is offline Germinator
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    The sweet and sour cherries are actually different species, Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus. Sweet cherries grow into bigger trees and have bigger leaves. The two bear their fruit in different ways: sweet cherries grow in clusters from spurs on the older wood, while sour cherries grow on one year old stems.

    Therefore sour cherries may be pruned harder than sweet cherries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starloc View Post
    Its difficult to tell the difference, but you will know the moment they start to ripen....., birds will strip the sweet cherry in a few minutes and they dont usually eat the sour cherries at all
    Would you please tell this to my local blackbirds who will try amazing gymnastics to get through netting to my Morellos.
    Last edited by greenishfing; 02-06-2013 at 10:58 PM.

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    BathEd is offline Germinator
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    I had a look at a sour cherry at the local nursery today as I wasn't familiar with them. They look quite a bit different from the commoner sweet cherries that I'm used to. The leaves are smaller, more oval and less deeply veined. The stems are thinner and trigger and the fruits grow directly off last year's growth rather than on spurs.

    If you know a sweet cherry I think you'll notice the difference.

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    AkionTotocha's Avatar
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    Well the only cherry I saw with any detail was an ornamental cherry, so I've not a lot of experience with them..

    Aside from sword fighting my family the second a hint of sweet cherry enters the house. The problem is, they don't last long when they're here, so we don't buy them often.

    As in - under five minuets per pound weight of cherries, so having a tree with them potentially growing... we're all gathered under it looking at the cherries sitting there.

    like vultures.

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