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Pollination – Sweet Cherry

Most sweet cherry varieties are self-unfruitful (self-incompatible, SI) and require cross pollination with another variety as the pollen source.

Some varieties, e.g. Bing, Lambert, Royal Ann/Napoleon, are also cross-unfruitful and cannot be depended upon to provide pollen for each other. Index, Lapins, Skeena, Sweetheart, White Gold, Sonata, Stella, Symphony, Sunburst, and Black Gold are self-fruitful (SF) and can serve as “universal” pollen sources for many self-unfruitful varieties with the same bloom time. However, Stella has been found to not work as a pollinator for Bing in some areas.

Their use as “universal” pollinators should also take bloom timing into consideration as follows. Early-bloom: SI – Somerset; SF – Lapins and Skeena. Early- to early-mid-bloom: SI – Kristin, Chelan, and Black Republican; SF – Sweetheart and WhiteGold. Mid- to late-mid-bloom: SI – Royalton, Summit, Ranier, Royal Ann / Napoleon, Bing, Burlat, Van, Regina, Lambert, Sam, and Windsor; SF – Sonata, Stella, Symphony, and Sunburst. Late-bloom: SI – Gold and Hudson; SF – BlackGold. Move bees into orchards on the first day of bloom. The pollination table below is a partial guide to help select pollen source parents.

Pollen Compatibility Table

Fruiting variety

Compatible Pollinizers

Bing Sam, Van, Montmorency*, Rainier, Stella, Compact Stella, Garden Bing
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

Resources

Washington State University