BC cherries like all cherries grown in the world, rely heavily on Mother Nature to bring BC growers a bountiful cherry crop. Adverse weather (frost, cold temperatures, and rain), can delay the crop, while unseasonably warm weather will bring on the cherry harvest early. Below are many of the early cherry varieties popular in Canada and around the world. Most varieties were developed through cross-breeding programs at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC) in Summerland, B.C. Please contact us or visit the PARC website for more information.
The Bing cherry is one of the most popular varieties in the world. Developed in 1875 by S. Lewelling in Milwaukie, Oregon, USA and named after his chinese foreman Ah Bing who helped develop this strain (sources disagree as to whether Ah Bing was responsible for developing the cultivar, or whether it was developed by Lewelling and named in Bing's honor due to his long service as orchard foreman). What I love about this variety is the way it explodes in your mouth when you take a bite into the firm outer skin; the flavour is excellent and possesses a beautiful dark-red color. The Bing cherry crops medium to large size fruit with lots of sugar. Long Shelf-life, easy to handle. All Sizes. Very popular variety with retailers and consumers alike.
Parentage: Black Republican x Unknown
Cristalina Cherry (2C-61-22)
Similar to the Bing variety, the Cristalina cherry is an extremely attractive (heart-shaped) early variety. Developed at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada, this variety was bred for the Canadian climate. The fruit is usually very firm and crunchy with a sweet wonderful flavour. One of the prettier cherry varieties, dark-red appearance with thick long green stems. Split resistant, crops heavy with good sized fruit. Great cherry for retailing. Long shelf-life, easy to handle. All Sizes. Very popular variety with retailers and consumers alike.
Parentage: Star x Van
The Van cherry is a personal favorite, although we can't eat too many because they are just too sweet. Repeat business is a no-brainer with this excellent variety. Lots of flavour, picked almost-black and crops heavy with medium to large size fruit. Firm fruit with a softer flesh and very popular because of their sweetness. Van have short, thick, green stems that do not fall off the fruit like some other varieties as they age.
Early Robin Cherry (Rainier Type)
The Early Robin variety was discovered in 1990 by Robin Doty in Mattawa, WA, USA in his Rainier cherry block. This variety is marketed as an early Rainier cherry, the differences between the two varieties is very slight. Picked 7-10 days before Rainier, the Early Robin variety has excellent color (lots of blush), sugar, size and is very firm. A real winner, crops heavy, colors up nicely with medium to large size fruit. Good shelf-life. Subject to availability. Popular variety with consumers, an especially good seller in Asia.
Rainier Cherry (P1-680)
Rainier cherries (aka "Blush", "Yellow") are one of the hottest varieties on the planet and just happen to be one of our specialties. Incredibly sweet, crunchy and delicious...like eating candy! This variety is very fragile and the utmost care must be taken when picking and packing. Developed by H.W. Fogel at the Washington State University, Prosser, USA. We have an extremely large crop and I can confidently say we have one of the best packs. You will be very happy with our high quality standards. Good Shelf-life when handled properly. Very popular variety with consumers and in demand. All Sizes.
Parentage: Bing x Van
Tieton Cherry (PC 7144-6)
The Tieton cherry is an early variety picked about 5-7 days before the Bing cherry. In optimum weather conditions the Tieton variety has excellent size, firmness and great flavour. Developed at the WSU Irrigated Research & Extension Center in Prosser, Washington, USA. Beautiful dark colour, export quality is crunchy, good shelf-life and easy to handle. Prone to larger sizes.
Parentage: Stella x Early Burlat
Chelan Cherry (PC 7146-23)
The Chelan cherry is an early variety that goes against the grain because of its firmness and dark colour. Developed through cross-breeding by Tom Toyama in 1971. Picking starts about 10-12 days before the Bing variety and in optimum weather conditions, the Chelan cherry can be very firm and crunchy. It's a dream come true for retailers. Good shelf-life and easy to sell because of it's beautiful appearance. Sizes medium to large size. Very popular variety with retailers and consumers alike.
Parentage: Stella x Beaulieu
Santina Cherry (13S-5-22)
The Santina cherry is a very attractive early variety with fantastic flavour and sweetness. Developed at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada, this variety was bred for the Canadian climate. The fruit is usually very firm, crunchy and split resistant with a beautiful dark colour. Very popular all over the world, supply is limited to the first few weeks of the cherry harvest. Long shelf-life, easy to handle. All sizes. Very popular variety with retailers and consumers alike. Parentage: Van x Stella
Skeena Cherry (13S-43-48)
The Skeena variety is picked mid-July around the same time as Lapins cherries, this is my favorite variety of red fleshed cherry. Developed at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada, this variety was bred for the Canadian climate. Superhard, crunchy and one of the sweetest cherries you will ever sink your teeth into. The flavour is one you won't easily forget and you will instantly become a fan of this fantastic variety. Often marketed by name to keep your customers coming back again and again. Subject to availability. Long Shelf-life, easy to handle. All Sizes. Very popular variety with retailers and consumers alike.
Red Sonnet Cherry aka "Strawberry Rainier"(13S-39-51)
Red Sonnets taste so similar to Rainier cherries that if you closed your eyes, it would be almost impossible to tell them apart. Developed at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada, this variety was bred for the Canadian climate. Marketed in the U.S.A. as "Strawberry Rainiers" because of their heart-shape, this variety is incredibly sweet and has a beautiful red-coloured skin. Our favorite cherry (usually we eat them all ourselves) and impossible for us to fill orders, first-come first-served basis. Limited availability in early July. Good Shelf-life when handled properly. Very popular variety with consumers and in demand. Sizes vary year-to-year.
Parentage: Van x Stella.