Best sweet cherry cultivars for central Maryland?

Asked March 9, 2017, 12:25 PM EST

Hello, I am looking for suitable sweet cherry cultivars to plant in the southern part of Howard County, MD. I have heard that chill hour requirements can be a problem for sweet cherries here. The planting site I am considering is an open field in full sun just south of a wooded ridge-line. There is a wooded windbreak to the east of the field. The ground can sometimes be soggy in the early spring but is well drained the rest of the year. Is it possible to successfully grow varieties such as Black Tartian, Stella, Bing, Ranier or Kansas here? Are any cultivars recommended above others? Is there a recommendation between standard and semi dwarf varieties? Thank you in advance,

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

In general, Tree fruits are subject to many problems (insects, diseases, weather extremes, wildlife) which can frustrate the novice grower and seasoned gardener alike. If you intend to grow organically, start out with small fruits such as blueberry and blackberry.
Sour cherry has less issues with disease than sweet cherries.
Begin by looking at our page on tree and stone fruits and common problems. The cultivars listed above will grow here. Also, most sweet cherries are generally self-unfruitful and require pollen from another variety within 100 feet to produce a good crop. There are some that are self-fruitful.
We do not have information on rootstocks. You will have to contact fruit tree nurseries for more information.