Varieties and management
A cherry is more than just a cherry.
Choice in sweetness… flesh texture… distinctive taste… and maturity levels deliver extensive range for both the consumer and breeder.
There are more than 40 different varieties of cherries grown in Australia which have their own unique properties and seasonality. 25 varieties are commonly exported, including Merchant, Bing, Lapin, Van, Sweetheart, Ron, Skeena, Regina, Staccato, Sequoia, Dawn series, Simone and Kordia.
New Australian-bred varieties have also emerged, stemming from the National Cherry Breeding Program to generate optimal cherry pedigree aligned with Australia’s unique growing conditions.
Regional complexities and market access prescribe cherry variety selection in Australia. Varietal strengths and attributes are matched and aligned to growing conditions, fruit maturity, rainfall, humidity and market channels.
Fruit maturity is a distinguishing feature depending on length from blossom to ripening with varieties fluctuating considerably from early maturing to mid-late maturing seasonality.
The identification of market niche (exporting or domestic sales) also influences variety selection due to the flexibility and characteristics required for different market conditions and requirements.
Key factors determining Australian Cherry variety choice:
- Market options – export, domestic or farm-gate sales
- Fruit maturity – early, mid or late maturing
- Region – chill and regional growing conditions
- Resistance to cracking
- Pollination compatibility
Contact your State Association who can assist with more detailed information about market options, regional conditions and fruit maturity to identify cherry varieties most suitable for your area.
Information on varieties is on pages 42–50 of the production guide.
Other cherry growing resources
- Fruitset, Cropload and Nutrition (TIA 2013)
- ISHS Conference (TIA 2013)
- Cherry Training Systems Guide (Pacific Northwest 2015)
- Chill requirements: Dormancy to flowering (CGA, 2017)
- Microclimate effects under cherry protected cropping structures (TIA, 2022)
- Cherry training systems: Yield and fruit quality (TIA, 2022)
Cherry production videos
A select number of videos appear below
Check out these pruning, thinning, nutrition, irrigation, PGR, predicting and bud counting videos:
Thinning - Antony Spruce, EE Muir
PGRs - Russell Fox, IK Caldwell
Irrigation - Antony Spruce, EE Muir
Cherry dowel pruning method - Paul Niewesteg Cherryhill Orchards
Preventing over-cropping - Steve Chapman, Chappies
Managing cropload - Professor Matt Whiting, Washington State University
Predicting and managing cropload - Mike Omeg, Orchard View Cherries
Lapins pruning demonstration - Simon Rouget, Koala Cherries
- Bud and flower optimisation - Hybrid Ag (video)
- Bud and flower optimisation - Summary sheet
- Bud and flower optimisation - Q&A