Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tart Cherry Trees Spring Into Bloom!

If you live in Michigan, New York, or Washington DC, you may have seen the cherry trees bloom this month. In fact, some areas, like DC, are known for their cherry blossoms, and people come from far and wide to enjoy the beautiful view of the flowering trees. After the blooms have run their course, some cherry trees (the trees that bear fruit), begin to develop the delicious cherry fruit we enjoy every summer.

As you may know, cherry blooms are typically white or pink, and if the tree produces fruit, the cherries range from bright red to dark red (although there are some white and yellow versions), sweet to sour in taste. Sweet cherries are typically eaten plain, while sour cherries are typically used for cooking, baking and tart cherry juice.

A cherry tree ranges in size from six to thirty feet, depending on the cultivar. There are also some shrub cherry trees! A cherry tree has distinct reddish brown bark and pale to dark green foiliage. The cherry tree is in the stone-fruit family, similar to prunes and plums, and cherry trees grow throughout most of Asia and Europe, northern Africa and most of North America. Originally from Asia, the cherry tree also includes cultivars that will grow in arctic regions.

With a lifespan of about 20 years, cherry trees offer a beautiful addition to any yard or garden, and the delicious fruit they bear can be enjoyed during the summer months (and all year-round if you preserve the fruit!). Thinking about growing your own cherry tree? Here are some great tips on caring for your trees, and getting the most out of their delicious fruit bearing years.

Already have a cherry tree? Share your tips, and cherry recipes with us!

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