Type of cherries on my trees

Asked June 28, 2015, 5:16 PM EDT

Hi! I have 2 cherry trees in my front yard that were here since we bought the house about 20 years ago, and until a couple of years ago, I never even bothered to pick them. Little did I realize they are great for baking! They are tart cherries, producing fruit every other year. They get a nice deep (but not dark) red color. They are small cherries about the size of a dime or very slightly bigger, and are too small to work in cherry pitters, so pitting them is extremely painstaking. But I have no idea what kind of cherries they are. Might you have some idea? Thank you kindly, Cindy

New Castle County Delaware

1 Response

For a more definitive answer, try sending in a digital image of the cherries and the tree.

For now, it is highly probable that you are the proud owner of black cherry trees, Prunus serotina, that bare what we now as tart cherries, pie cherries or black cherries. Often these cherries are confused with the bigger and sweeter sweet cherries which are great for eating fresh, but make terrible pies, in my opinion.

Cherry pitters work well with sweet cherries but not so much with the smaller black cherries. The best way to pit black cherries is to grasp the cherry stem as close as possible to the base of the cherry and pull while holding and gently squeezing the cherry. The cherry pit will remain attached to the stem. If you squeeze too hard, at lot of cherry tissue will come out with the stem leaving you holding only the cherry skin. Don't try this with sweet cherries as the stem will just break off. Good luck and with practice, this will greatly facilitate the process of pitting black cherries.