UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA


Garden Help > Fruits & Nuts

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How to grow: UC Backyard Orchard, Cherries

Pest management: Cherries

Summer pruning overview: It's Time to Prune Apricot & Cherry Trees

The Basics

When to plant: January–early February

Harvest window: May–June, depending on variety

Fertilization: Nitrogen in spring and post-harvest, additional applications based on tree age, health, and soil quality

Annual care overview:

  • Prune dead/disease branches, and roughly 10% of new growth, during dormancy (January–February)
  • Monitor and control for common pests & diseases, such as brown rot, crown/root rot, and San Jose scale

Some Recommended Varieties for Santa Clara County*

Sweet Cherries: Bing, Black Tartarian, Coe’s Transparent, Craig's Crimson (self-fertile), Index (self-fertile), Lapins, Rainier, Republican (Black Republican or Black Oregon), Stella, and Van. Verify number of chill hours based on your location, and note that unless indicated, Sweet Cherries require a second pollinator - a compatible variety planted nearby or grafted onto the fruiting tree. 

Sour Cherries: English Morello, Montmorency, and North Star.

* Many other varieties may also do well here in Santa Clara County. This list is based on UC Master Gardener trials, taste tests, and feedback from local growers.

Webmaster Email: webmaster-mgsantaclara@ucanr.edu