Reprinted from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Plant & Pest Advisory Fruit Edition
Vol. 4 No. 14, June 29, 1999 p. 2, 4-5
Win Cowgill, Agricultural Agent
Jeremy Compton, North Jersey Tree Fruit Technician
It looked like another early spring this year until the accumulation of heat units slowed through April
and May. Bloom occurred close to normal. Above normal temperatures advanced sweet cherry
maturity by one week.
At the Rutgers Snyder Research and Extension Farm we have several trials of sweet cherry
established. The focus has been to evaluate sweet cherries as an add on crop for retail market oriented
growers and PYO operations. To this end we are evaluating the new dwarfing cherry rootstocks under
New Jersey conditions. We have combined the rootstock trials with both sweet and tart cherry cultivar
plantings for evaluation under Northern New Jersey growing conditions.
Our sweet cherry harvest (Snyder Farm) will be completed by the end of the week, at the Rutgers
Snyder Farm near Pittstown in Hunterdon County. We are into the fourth week of cherry harvest, with
dark fleshed varieties such as Hedelfingen, Lapins, and Somerset. The light cultivar, Royal
Anne/Napoleon will be harvested within the week.
For us this has been an excellent year for sweet cherries. The dry weather has allowed us to harvest the
bulk of the crop with no fruit cracking, the bane of sweet cherry production. Good pollination weather
and regular irrigation with drip have provided an excellent crop that has sized well for East Coast
The predominant Tart Cherry cultivar planted in the Northeast, Montmorency, will be maturing in
approximately one week in Pittstown. We are evaluating several other tarts but they will not bear until
Approximate order of ripening for cultivars at the Snyder Farm