Cherries require harvesting at full maturity since the fruits won't ripen further after they are picked. Most of the cherries on a single tree reach optimum maturity near the same time. A single fruit provides a guide for picking the rest of the cherries, though you can leave those that haven't fully developed their color on the tree for a few days after the initial harvest to further ripen. Check your cherries regularly as the fruit forms to ensure you are ready to pick the fruits as soon as they are ready.
Inspect the fruit daily for maturity once it begins developing its full color. The color of mature cherries depends on the variety grown, with some varieties, like Bing, maturing to deep red-black and others, like Rainier, developing a red blush on a yellow background.
Squeeze a full-colored cherry gently between your thumb and forefinger. Mature cherries feel firm and the skin only gives slightly under gentle pressure.
Grasp the cherry stem below its connection to the branch. Lift the stem up, separating the cherries from the branch. Sour cherry varieties separate from the tree with no pulling once mature, but sweet varieties may require a gentle tug.
Taste the harvested cherry. The fruit has reached optimum ripeness when the cherry is juicy, yet firm, and has developed its full flavor.
Tips & Warnings
- Store harvested cherries in the refrigerator. Use them or preserve them within five days of harvesting to ensure best flavor and quality.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images
How Long Does a Fig Tree Take to Produce Fruit?
The common fig (*Ficus carica*) is a self-fruitful tree, which means it does not require a partner for pollination. It prefers the...
When Are Sour Cherries Ripe?
Sour cherries are used in fruit pies, jellies and jams. Cherries require a chilling period, or a certain number of hours between...
How to Tell If Your Cherry Tree Is Dead?
Cherry trees die from many causes but young trees die most often, failing because of drought or injury soon after transplanting. Older...
How to Know When a Red Hot Cherry Pepper Is Ready to Pick
Red hot cherry peppers also are referred to as cherry bomb peppers. The hot peppers are added to dishes such as salsa...
Can You Ripen Cherries After They're Picked?
Most fruit can be classified as either climacteric or nonclimacteric. Climacteric fruit continue to ripen after they are harvested. Nonclimacteric fruit do...