National Cherry Homepage
Cherry Questions

Where is the best location to purchase a Michigan Cherry tree?
From the Cherry Marketing Institute...
Contact you local university department of horticulture, or check with a garden or nursery supply center. Ask if cherry trees will grow in your area before making a purchase and get other information about growing the trees.

Here's the link to MSU's Department of Horticulture -

How many of the cherries harvested in the United States are from Michigan?
70-75 percent of the tart cherries and 20 percent of the sweet cherries annually. Northern Michigan generally produces 50 percent of the tarts from Michigan and 80 percent of the sweets.

When are cherries ripe in Northern Michigan?
The month of July, the 3rd week is usually the peak of harvest.

What kind of cherries are in a cherry pie?
Tart cherries are generally used in pies. They are sometimes called pie cherries for this reason. Sweet cherries are sold fresh or processed into marschino cherries and other products.

cherry orchard in early may

Are cherries good for you?
Yes, cherries are very high in vitamin C and low in calories.

What's the difference between tart and sweet cherries?
Besides the taste, tart are shaken off their stems and are more fragile than sweets. They are put in water right away to prevent breakage and spoilage. Sweets are picked stem and all and most of the time can keep for an extended period of time. They have a thicker skin which gives them more protection. You will find these at your local supermarkets and roadside stands.

How are cherries harvested?
Sweets are sometimes picked by hand, but tarts and most sweets use what is called a shaker. Most orchards use a team consisting of a tractor driver, a shaker driver and tarp pullers. The tarp is lined up with the tree, then pulled under the tree. The shaker then shakes the tree, so the cherries fall on the tarp. The tarp is rolled back up and the cherries roll onto a conveyer belt and are deposited into a tank of cold water. Some farms have one man shakers that have a tarp already built on, so the driver can operate the whole operation from the driver's seat.

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