Dwarf Sour Cherries & Sour Cherries

Dwarf Sour Cherries & Sour Cherries

(Prunus spp.)

The first dwarf sour cherry, Carmine Jewel, was released by the University of Saskatchewan in 1999, after several years of crossing short Mongolian cherries with cold tolerant cultivars from Minnesota. The combination of the two types of cherries is a plant that is easy to harvest, has excellent hardiness and good fruiting characteristics. Unlike sour cherries, which can grow 15-35 feet tall, dwarf sour cherries grow to only 6-8 feet, making hand-picking or mechanized harvesting very easy.

Fruit ripen early (mid-July to mid-August) and have superior flavor and quality. Leaving the fruit on the tree into late summer gives sweeter fruit, so don’t be anxious to pick that first red cherry. Click here to see more information about Carmine Jewel and the Romance Series from the University of Saskatchewan.  For information about production and promotion of the University of Saskatchewan Dwarf Sour Cherries, you can visit Canadian Cherry Producers Inc.


Compare cultivars Dwarf sour cherries and Sour cherries

Carmine Jewel

*The first dwarf sour cherry from the University of Saskatchewan’s cherry breeding program.

Fruit :

  • Fruit: Has dark purple skin and flesh (3.5 to 4 grams)
  • Productivity : High productivity and fruit with small pits
  • Brix: Brix rating of 17
  • Harvest: Early harvest: it ripens first in the season, late July-early August.
  • Uses: Good for fresh eating and processing


  • Height: Grows to 2m (6.5 ft.)
  • Suckering: Low suckering


*Cupid was once called BL, for Big and Late


  • Fruit: Has large dark red fruit (6.5 grams)
  • Brix: Concentrated flavor with 19 Brix
  • Harvest: Ripens late August-early September
  • Uses: Good for fresh eating and processing


  • Height: Grows to 2m (6.5 ft.)
  • Suckering: Low suckering


*A good fresh-eating cherry with excellent flavor, and known for its sweetness.


  • Fruit: Dark red fruit (5 gram)
  • Brix: A real sweetie at 20 brix
  • Harvest: Ripens early-mid August
  • Uses: Good for fresh eating and processing


  • Height: Grows to 2m (6.5 ft.).
  • Suckering: Low suckering


*A vigorous cultivar that is doing very well in our greenhouses.


  • Fruit: Dark red/black fruit weighs about 4 gram
  • Brix: High brix rating of 22
  • Harvest: Ripens late August-early September.
  • Uses: Excellent for fresh eating and processing; one of the best for juice


  • Height: Grows to 2m (6.5 ft.)
  • Suckering: Low suckering

Evans (Prunus cerasus)

*Selected by Dr. Ieuen Evans


  • Fruit: Bright red fruit with translucent yellow colored flesh
  • Harvest: Harvest late July, they will get sweeter if left on the plant longer
  • Uses: Fresh eating, processing
  • Brix: 13


  • Height: 2.5-3m (8-10 ft.)

Rose (Lutowka) Cherry (Prunus cerasus)

*Introduced from Poland


  • Fruit: Large dark colored fruit


  • Height: 1-1.5m (3-5 ft.), if planted in a protected location can be taller
  • Other: Hardy to Zone 3


Dwarf Sour Cherries

Romance series :

In 2003, the U. of S. released 5 more hardy dwarf sour cherries under the Romance series: Crimson Passion, Cupid, Juliette, Romeo and Valentine. Some of these cultivars are better for fresh eating; others are good for processing and juicing.  Which one to plant? Planting all 6 gives a harvest from the end of July to mid-September. Each cultivar has about a 3-week harvest period. Expect some fruit 3 years after planting, with greater yield after 5 years, and peak capacity after 7 years.

Sugar content :

Brix ratings reflect the sweetness of the cherry – the higher the Brix, the sweeter the cherry. The highest Brix readings are found in Crimson Passion, Romeo and Juliet. While Carmine Jewel is not the sweetest of our cherries, it is still one of the most popular, for its excellent hardiness, dark red cherries, and consistently high production.



  • In April (before plants begin to leaf out)
  • Selective rejuvenation
  • Remove some of the older less productive branches to promote new growth.
  • Remove suckers


Dwarf Sour Cherries  :

  • In Row spacing 5-7ft
  • Between Row spacing 12-18ft

Evans Sour Cherry :

  • In Row spacing 6-8ft
  • Between Row spacing 12-18ft
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