Fresh British cherries are everyone’s favourite thanks to their unbeatable flavour. Cherries generally need at least one other variety nearby for pollination and frequently orchards have several varieties. Popular varieties include Summer Sun, Sweetheart, Regina, Lapins and Kordia. Traditionally cherry orchards had large trees up to 15 or even 20 metres tall. Modern orchards have trees on dwarfing rootstocks such as Gisella 5. This combined with tree management keeps the height to a more manageable 3 – 4 metres. 30 years ago, cherries in the UK were an English crop, typically sold at the roadside or in farm shops and production was declining rapidly. The combination of new rootstocks, nets and tunnels for bird and frost protection and superior varieties has led to a strong resurgence of the sector. We grow cherries in Scotland as well as in England.
Did you know? Cherries were introduced into England at Teynham, near Sittingbourne in Kent, by order of Henry VIII, who had tasted them in Flanders.