|Mature, rarely pruned cherry tree SW Denver|
Tart cherries are hardier than sweet cherries which often winter kill in addition to flower freezing. Sweet cherries are comparable to peaches in this respect.
Recommended tart cherries are 'Montmorency', 'Meteor' and 'Northstar'. If you want to experiment with sweet cherries, try 'Black Tartarian', 'Kansas Sweet' or 'Stella'. Tart cherries are self-fruitful while sweets need a pollinator.
'Montmorency' is the standard tart pie cherry variety that produces a July crop of bright red, firm textured fruit. It is planted in the new (second season this year) "Le Potager" food garden at Denver Botanic Gardens (see photo).
|DBG 'Montmorency' cherry|
'North Star' is a dwarf tree topping out at 10 feet. It sets generally heavy crops of fruit that turn dark red for July harvest.
Note that bush cherries are very hardy and also possibilities. Nanking cherry produces some of the first flowers of spring, can grow to 6 feet and fruit is harvested in July if birds and squirrels don't find it first. Sand cherry is another bush cherry reaching 4 to 5 feet and produces mild-flavored, deep crimson fruit. Both are self-fruitful.
Photo credit: Both Carl Wilson