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North Star Sour Cherry
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The North Star Cherry Tree never has an off season. This naturally petite Cherry Tree will beautify your landscape with snow-white Cherry blossoms in spring, orange foliage in autumn, and showy reddish brown bark on its bare limbs in winter. But it’s in summer when this little dynamo truly shines, providing you and your family with more juicy, dark red, tart cherries than you would think possible from its small frame. They can be eaten fresh if you like your fruits with a kick, but they’re better in pies and preserves. Unlike some other sour cherries, North Star cherries aren’t yellow on the inside, but are deep red all the way through, so the treats you make with them will look as delectable as they taste!
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
- Spacing: 10-12'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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Introduced in 1950 by the University of Minnesota as part of its fruit tree breeding program, the North Star Cherry Tree has been a bestseller since its debut because of its adaptability and its superior qualities. Born and bred in Minnesota, you know it’s cold hardy—growers in harsh climates know they can depend on this one. It’s also valued for being a heavy producer, even at a young age. Another plus is that North Star is self-fertile. Some Cherries won’t produce fruit without another variety nearby for cross-pollination, but North Star can pollinate itself, so you only need one tree in order to get fruit. It’s no wonder this fantastic Cherry Tree has stood the test of time!
Cherries aren’t just healthy fruits—they’re superfruits! Loaded with vitamin C and serving up vitamin A, potassium, copper, manganese, fiber, and antioxidants as well, they have been found to be helpful in the fight against and the prevention of a wide array of diseases from high cholesterol to cancer. A study with the juice from sour cherries (like North Star) also found the fruit to be a good anti-inflammatory that eased muscle soreness after subjects worked out. In that study, subjects discovered that they even slept better after drinking sour cherry juice, because it contains natural melatonin!
How to Grow
Cold hardy, fast growing, self-fertile, early bearing, and reliably producing heavy crops, the North Star Mini Cherry Tree makes a terrific choice for the first time fruit tree grower. It will do best in areas that don’t experience extremely hot and humid summers but is otherwise adaptable. Plant this tree in a sunny, open space away from low spots where late frosts could settle and zap the spring blossoms. The soil should be well drained, as Cherries don’t like “wet feet”; however, regular water is important during the establishment period and during times of drought. You may have to cover your tree with bird netting when the fruits begin to ripen if you don’t want to share your bounty with wildlife.
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