By: Teo Spengler
Cherries rule in summer, and it’s hard to find any that are sweeter or present more beautifully than those growing on Stella cherry trees. The tree offers several gorgeous displays, the first in spring when the frothy blossoms open, the second when the heart-shaped Stella sweet cherry fruit appears, ruby and ripe.
If you’d like more Stella cherry information about this great fruit tree, read on. We’ll also provide tips on how to grow Stella cherries.
If you like cherries, you’ll love Stella sweet cherry fruit. The cherries are exceptionally firm and sweet. They taste wonderful infused with summer sun from your backyard. They are also large and bright red, just like cherries in your dreams.
And Stella cherry trees also offer some extra advantages over other popular fruit trees. First, the tree’s showy white blossoms are among the first to appear in spring. They really dress up your backyard and last a long time.
And it’s entirely possible to start growing Stella cherries in a backyard, even a small one. The standard trees only grow to 20 feet (6 m.) tall, with a 12- to 15-foot (3.5 to 5 m.) spread.
Those interested in learning how to grow Stella cherries should start with the hardiness zone. Like many other fruit trees, Stella grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8.
Growing Stella cherries is particularly easy since they are self-fruitful. That means that, unlike so many varieties, they do not need a second compatible tree to successfully pollinate the fruit. On the other hand, if you have another tree that isn’t fruitful, Stella cherry trees can pollinate them.
Assuming you’re living in an appropriate hardiness zone, you’ll do best growing the cherries in a sunny location. Full sun is the preferred site and makes for the most fruit.
What about soil? These trees need well-draining, loamy soil with a pH between 6 and 7. What else do you need to set up your orchard to start cranking out a harvest of Stella sweet cherry fruit every summer? Patience. The trees can take 4 to 7 years to fruit.
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Read more about Cherry Trees
If you only have enough space in your yard or garden for one sweet cherry tree, "Stella" (Prunus avium “Stella”) may be your tree of choice because it is self-fruitful, meaning that it does not need other cherry trees for pollination. Almost all other varieties of sweet cherries require other trees to become pollinated and bear fruit. Most cherry trees require cold winters for necessary dormancy. "Stella" is “low-chill,” meaning it can be grown up to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 10.
Prune young cherry trees during winter dormancy to shape them into an open center or central leader shape. Mature trees need pruned only to remove dead and weak limbs, maintain shape and thin for adequate air circulation. Unlike other fruit trees, Stella cherry trees do not need renewal pruning to keep fruiting. Before pruning, be sure to disinfect your pruning tools using a household disinfectant like Lysol, or bleach, recommends the University of Florida IFAS Extension. You can also use ethanol or Isopropyl alcohol which doesn't need to be wiped off before using.
If you only have space for one fruit tree, Sweet cherry 'Stella' is the one to grow.
'Stella' Cherry is self-fertile (which means it does not need a second variety of cherry tree to pollinate it) and is a really heavy, reliable cropper because it has good resistance to late frosts.
Unlike most other sweet cherry varieties, 'Stella' will thrive in slightly exposed locations but can also be grown in a pot on your patio. The sweetly flavoured, dark-skinned, plump and juicy, aromatic fruits will be ready to pick from mid to late July each year and from the third growing season onwards, you can expect upwards of 5kg (11lb) of cherries per tree, which will save a small fortune compared to paying supermarket prices. Additionally, the beautiful cherry blossom, which appears from early March, will brighten your garden and mark the beginning of spring.
Our grower-quality, multi-branched, bare-root trees have been grafted onto 'Colt' rootstock to provide a compact and manageable habit.