Plants need to be of the same genus for pollination to occur between them.
Since all cherries, sweet or sour are compatible by genus, you are fine with one of each, this is how most nurseries will sell them since the sweet varieties are not self pollinators and require either a second sweet cherry tree or a sour cherry tree to bearfruit.
"Sweet Cherries will not pollinate sour cherries, and although sour sherries should in theory be able to pollinate sweet cherries , their blossoms are unlikely to be open at the same time."
But this book has a chart showing which cherries blossom at the same time. There are 4 groups A-D. In group C are Bing, Montmorency, and Stella. I have a Stella sweet cherry tree, it's claimed to be Self Fertile. Here's the quote in the same book. "A breakthrough variety introduced in the 1960s-one of the first modern , self-fertile", sweet cherries......
So if Montmorency is in the same group it's blossoms may be out at or near the same time as Bing or Stella.
Which cherry do you already have. maybe I can find a somewhat compatible blossom time to match your cherry. By the way my Stella's blossoms opened two days ago in zone 6A. SW Pennsylvania. This an odd ball year. I just mowed my lawn for the first time today. I've mowed in March, it's May now.
By the way, I'm considering putting a sweet and a sour cherry on the same cherry rootstock. Seems like they'd both take the same rootstock, but will they coexist on the same physical rootstock?
Location: Rocky Mountains, British Columbia zone 4b?
There, two different but informative responses, thank you. My tree is a Van cherry. She needs a boyfriend. I think it will bloom in the next week or two.
Sounds like what I should do is go sour cherry bush shopping when my own tree is blooming. Then I'll be able to see if any bushes are blooming also!
Does your book have the newer "romance series' of Canadian sour cherries listed? I figure that's what will be for sale around here. But maybe not. That's be great if you wouldn't mind checking that chart for me!
I guess I should have gotten a Stella! I find I buy stuff and plant it, then learn about it afterwards. ha.
In the case of plum and cherry trees (both are in the genus Prunus), the situation is more complex: again, most are self-sterile, but in general they need plants of the same species for pollination to occur, not just the same genus
Things are simpler with cherries: sweet cherries (Prunus avium) pollinate sweet cherries, sour cherries (P. cerasus) pollinate sour cherries, and just about any other cherry (and there are dozens of species!) will pollinate cherries of its own species, but not others.
Van is in group B, in that book. Also in group B is May Duke, Merchant, Merton Favourite, Napolean, Ranier, Starkrimson, Vega, and Whitegold.
My guess is that these are all sweet cherries as the book doesn't have much use for pie cherries. In the pages that describe various cherries they have a cherry listed as Sour Cherry. Under that they describe Montmorency and Surefire. Surefire is in group D.
I bought my Stella at the big box store. We were concerned about the time to first fruiting. So we saw this Stella that had blossoms at the store. It was a potted plant which I don't prefer, as I'm afraid the roots are wrapped up into a birds nest and won't grow good. It's now bigger than it was at the store, but not many more blossoms. I think I need a full size tree so the birds get what they can eat and there's still a few for us.
I think if I were grafting and selling cherry trees I'd graft two different cherries onto the same rootstock so they'd pollinate each other.
Location: Rocky Mountains, British Columbia zone 4b?
Well, this goes to show that you should understand what you are buying beforehand. The person at the greenhouse told me that I could grow this Van cherry in a pot (wasn't true--it wilted everyday and also had bird nest roots) and that a sour cherry bush would pollinize it (that one died so I never got to test it). I'd like to think she wasn't a liar, but...man!
I love the grafting idea. I'll have to learn about how to do it. I get the impression it's a difficult skill to master.
Thanks John, for looking at your book for me. And thanks everyone else for your responses.
Lambert Sam, Van, Montmorency, Rainier, Stella, Compact Stella, Garden Bing
Rainier Sam, Van, Bing, Royal Ann, Lambert, Montmorency, Stella, Compact Stella, Garden Bing
Royal Ann Sam, Van, Montmorency, Rainier, Stella, Compact Stella, Garden Bing
Stella, Compact Stella, Garden Bing Self-fruitful
Van Sam, Bing, Royal Ann, Lambert, Montmorency, Rainier, Stella, Compact Stella, Garden Bing
Montmorency (*tart cherry) Self-fruitful
Oregon State University Extension – has a downloadable Sweet Cherry Compatibility & Bloom Timing Chart, organized by group codes, Oregon State University Extension, download pdf. (Accessed: 1/19/17).
Dave Willson Nursury – website has an extensive Cherry Bloom Sequence and Pollenizers table. (Accessed: 1/19/17).
Orange Pippin Fruit Trees – website has a pollen compatibility checker tool. (Accessed: 1/19/17).
Clay, shade, neighbor’s Norway maples.....we’ll work it out.
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