When Are Cherries In Season In Texas

Discover the optimal time to savor fresh cherries in Texas. From late May to early July, indulge in the bounty of luscious cherries that flourish in the Lone Star State's diverse climate. Learn about different cherry varieties, factors influencing their season, where to find them, and popular cherry recipes.

Cherries, an exquisite fruit favored for their sweet and tangy flavor, are a delectable treat that many eagerly anticipate when in season. If you reside in the great state of Texas and find yourself yearning for the delightful taste of fresh cherries, it is essential to be well-informed of their peak season. From late May to early July, you can revel in the bounty of luscious cherries that flourish in the Lone Star State’s diverse climate. Discover the optimal time to savor these crimson jewels and indulge in their succulent taste as we explore when cherries are in season in Texas.

When Are Cherries In Season In Texas

Cherry Varieties in Texas

Texas is known for its diverse range of cherry varieties, both sweet and sour. These cherries are a favorite among locals and visitors alike, offering a burst of vibrant flavors that add a touch of sweetness or tartness to any dish or dessert. The cherry season in Texas spans across different times of the year, with various varieties being harvested at different points. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the different cherry varieties in Texas, learn about factors influencing their season, discuss where to find them, and discover some popular cherry recipes.

Sweet Cherries

Sweet cherries are a beloved treat, often enjoyed fresh or incorporated into desserts. In Texas, sweet cherries are available in different seasons, allowing cherry enthusiasts to savor their deliciousness throughout the year.

Early Season Varieties

The early season sweet cherry varieties in Texas typically ripen in late April or early May, signaling the beginning of the cherry season. Some of the popular early season sweet cherry varieties include Burlat, Early Robin, and Royal Ann. These cherries are known for their vibrant color, crisp texture, and delicate sweetness.

Mid-Season Varieties

As we progress into the late spring and early summer months, mid-season sweet cherry varieties become available. These cherries, such as Lapins, Rainier, and Schmidt, offer a balance between sweetness and tartness, making them versatile for both snacking and baking. Their plump size and deep red hues make them visually appealing as well.

Late Season Varieties

Towards the end of the cherry season, late season sweet cherry varieties make their appearance. These cherries, like Black Tartarian, Sweetheart, and Van, tend to be darker in color and have a rich, sweet flavor. Late season sweet cherries are often harvested in June and are perfect for making preserves, pies, or enjoying fresh.

When Are Cherries In Season In Texas

Sour Cherries

While sweet cherries may steal the spotlight, sour cherries hold their own unique appeal. These tart, acidic fruits are typically used in cooking and baking, adding a tangy flavor to various dishes.

Early Season Varieties

Early season sour cherries in Texas ripen in late April or early May, coinciding with the early season sweet cherries. Montmorency, Early Richmond, and Balaton are popular early season sour cherry varieties known for their bright red color and intense tartness. These cherries make exceptional additions to pies, sauces, and even savory dishes.

Mid-Season Varieties

Mid-season sour cherry varieties are harvested as we transition into the summer months. Throughout May and June, cherries like English Morello, North Star, and Surefire thrive. Their slightly milder tartness compared to the early season varieties makes them a perfect choice for making cherry compotes, preserves, or even incorporating into beverages.

Late Season Varieties

Towards the end of the cherry season, late season sour cherries make their presence known. Varieties like Utah Giant, Meteor, and Evans are harvested in late June and offer a deeper, complex tartness. These cherries lend themselves well to making cherry jams, jellies, or infusing into syrups for cocktails.

Factors Influencing Cherry Season in Texas

Several factors contribute to the cherry season in Texas, including the climate and weather conditions, chilling hours, and growing conditions. Understanding these factors can provide insights into the availability and quality of cherries in the Lone Star State.

Climate and Weather

Cherries thrive in climates that experience distinct seasons, with cold winters and warm summers. While Texas is known for its hot climate, certain regions within the state, such as the High Plains and parts of North Texas, offer the necessary chill hours for cherries to flourish. However, fluctuations in weather patterns, including late frosts or storms, can affect the overall cherry crop.

Chilling Hours

Chilling hours refer to the amount of time during winter when temperatures are between 32°F and 45°F, which is crucial for cherry trees to undergo the necessary dormancy period. In Texas, regions with an adequate number of chilling hours enable cherry trees to reset and prepare for the upcoming growing season. Without sufficient chilling hours, cherry trees may struggle to produce a bountiful crop.

Growing Conditions

The quality of cherries also depends on the growing conditions in Texas. Factors such as soil composition, irrigation practices, and pest management play vital roles in ensuring the health and productivity of cherry trees. Texas growers employ various cultivation techniques to optimize growing conditions, allowing for the successful cultivation of different cherry varieties statewide.

When Are Cherries In Season In Texas

Cherry Harvest Times in Texas

The cherry harvest in Texas is a well-anticipated event for cherry enthusiasts and farmers alike. The cherry season is divided into several distinct periods that correspond to the ripening of different cherry varieties, further enhancing the joy and abundance of fresh cherries.

Early Spring

In early spring, usually around late April or early May, the cherry season begins with the harvest of early season sweet and sour cherry varieties. These cherries are typically the first to ripen, marking the exciting start to cherry festivities across Texas.

Late Spring

As spring progresses, the cherry harvest continues, with mid-season sweet and sour varieties ripening in late May and early June. The late spring harvest brings forth cherries that exhibit a wider range of flavors and textures, delighting cherry enthusiasts and fueling the creativity of chefs and home cooks alike.

Early Summer

Moving into early summer, the late season sweet cherries take center stage. These cherries are typically harvested in June, offering a sweet finale to the cherry season. Additionally, late season sour cherries, with their robust tartness, further contribute to the culinary possibilities during this period.


By mid-summer, the cherry season in Texas draws to a close. While the last remnants of cherries might still be found, the focus begins to shift towards other summer fruits. It is during this period that cherry lovers eagerly await the next cherry season.

Cherry Festivals in Texas

Celebrating the Cherry Season

To honor the abundance of cherries in Texas, numerous cherry festivals are held throughout the state. These festivals provide a platform for local farmers, artisans, and community members to come together and rejoice in the joyous cherry season.

From cherry-themed parades to live music performances, cherry festivals are brimming with activities for all ages. Visitors can indulge in delicious cherry-inspired treats, sample different cherry varieties, and partake in cherry-picking adventures.

When Are Cherries In Season In Texas

Where to Find Cherries in Texas

Texas offers various avenues to find fresh cherries, whether you prefer to purchase them from local markets, pick your own from orchards, or simply grab a bag from the grocery store.

Farmers Markets

Farmers markets are an excellent source for locally grown cherries. These markets showcase the bounty of Texas agriculture, and you can find a range of cherry varieties from different growers. Not only can you support local farmers, but you can also engage with them to gain insights into the cultivation and characteristics of the cherries they offer.

U-Pick Farms

For a more immersive cherry experience, visit U-Pick farms in Texas. These farms allow visitors to hand-pick their own cherries, providing a unique opportunity to connect with the cherry-growing process. U-Pick farms often offer a variety of cherry varieties, ensuring a memorable and fruitful outing for families and cherry enthusiasts.

Grocery Stores

If convenience is your priority, most grocery stores in Texas carry a selection of fresh cherries during the cherry season. While the variety might be limited compared to local markets or U-Pick farms, grocery stores offer a straightforward option to satisfy your cherry cravings. Look for cherries that are plump, firm, and have a vibrant color to ensure optimal freshness.

Tips for Buying and Storing Cherries

Choosing Ripe Cherries

When selecting cherries, irrespective of the variety, keep an eye out for certain indicators of ripeness and quality. Look for cherries that are plump, glossy, and have a deep, uniform color. Avoid cherries with soft spots or signs of bruising, as these may indicate overripeness or damage.

Storing Cherries Properly

To prolong the freshness of cherries, it is essential to store them properly. Once you bring cherries home, remove any damaged or moldy cherries, as they can cause the remaining cherries to spoil more quickly. Store cherries in a breathable container, such as a perforated plastic bag or an open container in the refrigerator. This will help maintain their crispness and juiciness for several days.

When Are Cherries In Season In Texas

Health Benefits of Texas Cherries

In addition to their delightful taste, cherries offer numerous health benefits, making them a valuable addition to a balanced diet.

Antioxidants and Nutrients

Cherries, both sweet and sour varieties, are rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body against cellular damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. They also contain vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, further contributing to their nutritional value.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Cherries have been recognized for their potential anti-inflammatory properties. Various studies suggest that the compounds found in cherries may help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms associated with conditions such as arthritis and gout.

Promoting Heart Health

The high levels of antioxidants, fiber, and other beneficial compounds found in cherries make them heart-healthy fruits. Regular consumption of cherries has been linked to lower levels of bad cholesterol, reduced blood pressure, and decreased risk of heart disease.

Cherries in Texas aren’t just for snacking or pies; they can be incorporated into a multitude of mouthwatering recipes. Whether you prefer the comforting allure of a classic cherry pie or the refreshing tang of a cherry smoothie, there’s a cherry recipe to suit every palate.

Cherry Pie

A staple in American dessert culture, cherry pie captures the essence of cherries in a flaky, buttery crust. With its luscious sweet filling and golden-brown top, cherry pie is a beloved treat during the cherry season. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate indulgence.

Cherry Jam

Preserving the flavors of cherries beyond their season, cherry jam is a delightful way to enjoy cherries year-round. Whether spread on toast, swirled into yogurt, or used as a filling for pastries, cherry jam brings a burst of vibrant fruitiness to every bite.

Cherry Smoothie

For a refreshing and nutritious treat, blend up a cherry smoothie using fresh or frozen cherries. Combine cherries with yogurt, a splash of milk, and a touch of honey for a delicious and wholesome pick-me-up. You can also add other fruits like bananas or berries for added flavor complexity.

In conclusion, cherry varieties thrive in the diverse regions of Texas, offering a range of flavors and culinary possibilities. Whether you prefer the sweetness of early season cherries or the tartness of late season cherries, Texas provides ample opportunities to enjoy these delectable fruits. By understanding the factors that influence the cherry season, exploring where to find fresh cherries, and experimenting with popular cherry recipes, you can fully immerse yourself in the delightful world of Texas cherries. So, take advantage of the cherry season and savor the vibrant flavors that these fruits have to offer.

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