To grow “Bing” cherries you need a “Bing” (Prunus avium “Bing”) tree and a sweet cherry cultivar with pollen that is compatible with "Bing." A variety of cultivars will pollinate “Bing,” but planting them together is pointless if their blooming periods do not match or overlap. You can grow “Bing” and its pollinating cultivars in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 7.
Cherries are largely pollinated by bees and other pollinating insects. It is useless to plant a compatible cherry cultivar for your “Bing” tree if you space it too far away. Plant your trees within 100 feet of each other to ensure bees will carry a sufficient amount of pollen from one tree to the other. Because two cherry cultivars may bloom at the same time does not mean they will ripen at the same time. If you want to extend your period of harvesting fresh cherries, pay attention to the ripening time of a “Bing” and the pollinating cultivar. All but one of the recommended pollinating cultivars are red or dark red cherries.
Cultivars with Matching Blooming
Two recommended pollinating cultivars match the mid-season blooming period of “Bing.” Those are “Mona” (Prunus avium “Mona”), a large, soft to medium-firm dark red cherry, and “Van” (Prunus avium) a firm, dark red cherry. “Van” ripens at the same time as “Bing,” while “Mona” ripens two weeks later.
Cultivars with Overlapping Blooming
“Black Tartarian” (Prunus avium “Black Tartarian”), a small to medium-sized, soft, dark-red cherry will pollinate “Bing” but is an early spring bloomer. While some of its blooming may overlap “Bing,” you may risk poor yields of “Bing” cherries in some years. Two cultivars recommended for pollinating “Bing” bloom from early to mid-spring, a better blooming range. Early Burlat” (Prunus avium “Early Burlat”), a medium to large, soft to moderately-firm dark red cherry, ripens two weeks before "Bing." “Larian” (Prunus avium “Larian”), a large, moderately-firm, dark-red cherry; ripens one week before "Bing."
Yellow Pollinating Cherry
“Rainier” (Prunus avium Bing x Van) a firm, sweet yellow cherry with red blush, blooms at the same time as “Bing.” “Rainier” is a hybrid cross between “Bing” and “Van,” another “Bing” pollinator. It ripens three to six days after “Bing.”
- Washington State University Extension: Pollination of Fruit Trees
- University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Sweet Cherries for the Home Grounds
- University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Sweet Cherry Varieties for Contra Costa Counties – By Ripening Date
- Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service: Pollination of Fruits and Nuts
- Arbor Day Foundation: Bing, Cherry, Prunus Avium
- Mississippi State University Extension: Rainier
- Old Farmers Almanac: Cherry
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