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 80 different varieties or selections of cherries grown within Australia that have their own unique properties, growing and harvesting requirements. Cherry training systems are described in the Cherry Training Systems Guide.
Common cherries grown in Australia include Merchant, Bing, Lapin, Van, Sweetheart, Ron, Skeena, Regina, Staccato, Sequoia, Dawn series, Simone and Kordia to name a few of the more popular varieties.
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.