When Will Cherries Be In Season

Discover when cherries will be in season and explore the factors that determine their availability. Get insight into the cherry season by region and learn about indoor cultivation techniques. Plus, find out about popular cherry festivals and the health benefits of cherries.

Cherries, with their vibrant colors and sweet juiciness, are a beloved fruit that many eagerly anticipate when summer arrives. As the warm weather approaches, the question of when cherries will be in season arises, leaving both enthusiasts and businesses eagerly awaiting the answer. In this article, we will explore the timeline for when cherries are expected to ripen, examining the factors that determine their availability and offering insight into when you can indulge in the delectable, seasonal treat.

When Will Cherries Be In Season

Factors Affecting Cherry Season

Climatic Conditions

One of the primary factors affecting the cherry season is the climatic conditions in the region where the cherries are grown. Cherries thrive in temperate climates with well-defined seasons. They require a certain number of chilling hours during winter to break dormancy and initiate flowering in the spring. Frost can be detrimental to cherry blossoms and young fruit, leading to reduced yields. Additionally, excessive heat during the summer can cause cherries to ripen prematurely or develop quality issues.

Cherry Varieties

Different cherry varieties have varying maturity times, which affects the overall cherry season. Early-season varieties typically ripen before mid-season and late-season varieties. The choice of cherry varieties by growers also contributes to the length and availability of cherries during the season. By planting a mix of early, mid, and late-season varieties, growers can extend the cherry season and provide a continuous supply of cherries to consumers.

Geographical Location

Geographical location plays a significant role in determining the cherry season. Cherries are grown in various regions worldwide, and each region has its unique climate and growing conditions. Cherries grown in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia have different growing seasons due to variations in latitude, altitude, and prevailing weather patterns. For example, cherries in North America typically have a shorter growing season compared to those grown in Europe or Asia.

Growing Techniques

The growing techniques employed by cherry farmers can also influence the cherry season. Advanced cultivation practices such as protected cultivation, irrigation management, and pest control measures can help extend the growing season and ensure a higher yield of quality cherries. Techniques like pruning and thinning can also help regulate the fruiting period and improve the overall fruit quality.

Cherry Season by Region

North America

In North America, the cherry season typically starts in late spring and continues through early summer. The exact timing varies depending on the region and the specific cherry variety being cultivated. States like Michigan, Oregon, and Washington are known for their cherry production, with sweet cherries like Bing and Rainier being popular during this period.


In Europe, the cherry season varies across different countries and regions. Depending on the latitude, cherries can be harvested from late spring to early summer. Countries like Spain, Italy, and France are major cherry producers in Europe, offering a wide range of cherry varieties during their respective seasons.


Asia has a diverse cherry season, with different countries experiencing varying harvest times. Japan is renowned for its cherry blossoms, but also cultivates cherries for consumption. Japan’s cherry season typically begins in late spring and extends into early summer. Other Asian countries like China and South Korea also have their cherry seasons, offering unique varieties to consumers.


In Australia, the cherry season begins in late spring and extends through to early summer. Regions like Tasmania and Victoria are prominent cherry-growing areas, with varieties like Lapins and Sweetheart being cultivated during this time. The growing season in Australia is influenced by the southern hemisphere’s reversed seasons compared to North America and Europe.

Early Season Cherries

Bing Cherries

Bing cherries are one of the most popular early-season cherry varieties. They are known for their dark red color and sweet flavor. Bing cherries typically ripen in late spring and are widely available in North America. They are excellent for fresh consumption and are often used in desserts and preserves.

Rainier Cherries

Rainier cherries are another early-season variety highly sought after by cherry enthusiasts. With their distinctive yellow color and sweet, delicate flavor, Rainier cherries are a gourmet delight. They usually ripen shortly after Bing cherries and are a favorite choice for fresh eating.

Mid-Season Cherries

Black Tartarian Cherries

Black Tartarian cherries are a mid-season variety known for their rich, dark color and sweet taste. They ripen in early summer and are cherished for their juicy flesh. These cherries can be enjoyed fresh or used in various culinary preparations like pies, jams, and sauces.

Skeena Cherries

Skeena cherries are a mid-season variety with a deep red color and a sweet-tart flavor profile. They typically ripen in mid to late summer and have a firm texture, making them suitable for both fresh eating and baking. Skeena cherries are often prized for their versatility and excellent storage characteristics.

Lapins Cherries

Lapins cherries are another mid-season favorite sought after by cherry enthusiasts. These cherries have dark red skin and a firm texture with a sweet, slightly tart flavor. Lapins cherries are excellent for fresh consumption and can also be preserved or used in various culinary applications.

Late Season Cherries

Sweetheart Cherries

Sweetheart cherries are a late-season cherry variety celebrated for their large size and sweet flavor. They typically ripen in late summer and have a dark red to almost black skin. Sweetheart cherries are highly versatile and are enjoyed fresh, used in baking, or preserved to be enjoyed year-round.

Staccato Cherries

Staccato cherries are late-season cherries known for their deep red color and sweet-tart flavor. They ripen towards the end of summer and have a pleasantly firm texture. Staccato cherries are well-suited for both fresh consumption and cooking applications, adding a burst of flavor to various dishes.

Satin Cherries

Satin cherries are another late-season variety prized for their exceptional flavor and smooth, glossy skin. These dark, almost black cherries ripen in late summer and offer a delightful balance of sweetness and tartness. Satin cherries are perfect for snacking, desserts, or using in preserves.

Cherry Availability Timeline


In the spring, cherries begin to flower, signaling the start of the growing season. Early-season cherries like Bing and Rainier may begin to ripen towards the end of spring, depending on the region and prevailing weather conditions. The availability of cherries during this period is limited but gradually increases as the season progresses.

Early Summer

Early summer marks the peak of the cherry season in many regions. Mid-season varieties such as Black Tartarian, Skeena, and Lapins become available during this time. The volume of cherries in the market is at its highest, and consumers can enjoy a wide range of cherry varieties.


During mid-summer, the availability of cherries begins to taper off. Late-season varieties like Sweetheart, Staccato, and Satin take center stage, offering their unique flavors to cherry enthusiasts. While the volume of cherries may decrease compared to earlier in the season, the quality of late-season cherries remains exceptional.

Late Summer

As late summer arrives, the cherry season gradually comes to an end. The availability of cherries becomes limited, and the harvest season concludes. However, cherry lovers can still savor the last of the late-season cherries before they transition into the following year’s season.

When Will Cherries Be In Season

Indoor Cherry Cultivation


Hydroponics is a growing technique increasingly used for indoor cherry cultivation. This method involves growing plants in nutrient-rich water solutions instead of traditional soil. Hydroponics allows for precise control over growing conditions, ideal for producing cherries outside their typical growing regions or for extending the season. By providing the necessary nutrients and optimizing environmental factors, cherry farmers can achieve consistent yields and high-quality cherries.


Greenhouses offer another way to cultivate cherries indoors. These controlled environments provide protection from adverse weather conditions and allow for year-round cherry production. By using climate control technologies and artificial lighting, growers can simulate optimal growing conditions. Greenhouses enable cherry cultivation in regions where the climate may not be suitable or provide an extended growing season for regions with limited natural growing conditions.

Artificial Lighting

Artificial lighting is a crucial component of indoor cherry cultivation. Since cherries require a significant amount of sunlight to grow and develop properly, supplemental lighting is necessary in indoor environments. High-intensity discharge lamps, LEDs, or a combination of both can provide the necessary light spectrum and intensity to support cherry growth. By carefully tailoring the lighting schedule and intensity, growers can mimic natural sunlight and ensure healthy cherry plants.

Harvesting and Storing Cherries

Picking Cherries

The timing of cherry harvest is critical to ensure optimal fruit quality. Cherries should be harvested when they have reached their peak ripeness, which varies depending on the variety. By visually inspecting the cherries, farmers can determine their color, firmness, and taste to determine the right time for picking. Cherries are typically hand-picked to prevent damage to the fruit and minimize bruising.

Storing Fresh Cherries

To maintain the freshness and quality of cherries, proper storage is essential. Ideally, cherries should be stored in the refrigerator at temperatures between 32°F and 34°F (0°C to 1°C). They should be kept in a sealed container or a perforated plastic bag to minimize moisture loss. Properly stored fresh cherries can stay fresh for up to one week, allowing consumers to enjoy them at their best.

Preserving Cherries

Preserving cherries allows for their enjoyment beyond the fresh season. Cherries can be preserved through various methods, including canning, freezing, and drying. Canned cherries are often used as an ingredient in desserts or enjoyed on their own. Frozen cherries can be used in smoothies, baking, or added to sauces. Dried cherries make a nutritious and delicious snack or can be used in baking and cooking to add flavor and texture.

National Cherry Festival (Traverse City, Michigan)

The National Cherry Festival held in Traverse City, Michigan, is a highly anticipated annual event celebrating cherries. The festival takes place in early July and offers an array of activities, including cherry-themed parades, concerts, fireworks, and the crowning of the Cherry Queen. Visitors can indulge in cherry tastings, cherry pit-spitting contests, and engage in family-friendly events that showcase the rich cherry heritage of the region.

Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington, D.C.)

While not specifically focused on cherries, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. is an iconic event celebrating the blooming of cherry trees. The festival usually takes place in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, transforming the city into a magical pink wonderland. The festival features cultural performances, parades, and various events to commemorate the gift of cherry trees from Japan to the United States.

Cherry Festival (Yantai, China)

The Cherry Festival in Yantai, China, is a grand celebration held in early June, coinciding with the cherry harvest season. This festival showcases the bountiful cherry orchards of the region and attracts cherry enthusiasts from all over the world. Visitors can sample different cherry varieties, witness traditional performances, and immerse themselves in the vibrant cherry culture of China.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Rich in Antioxidants

Cherries are a rich source of antioxidants, including anthocyanins and vitamin C. These compounds contribute to the vibrant color of cherries and have been associated with various health benefits. Antioxidants help protect the body against oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and support overall health and wellness.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Cherries possess natural anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to their high content of anthocyanins. Studies have shown that consuming cherries or cherry products can help reduce the inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis, gout, and muscle soreness. Regular consumption of cherries may help alleviate symptoms and improve overall joint and muscle health.

Heart Health

Cherries are heart-healthy fruits due to their high levels of polyphenols and potassium. These compounds have been shown to support cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of heart disease and lowering blood pressure. Adding cherries to a balanced diet may contribute to improved heart health and overall well-being.

Improved Sleep

Cherries contain natural melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep patterns. Consuming cherries or cherry juice may help regulate sleep-wake cycles and improve sleep quality. Incorporating cherries into the diet, particularly in the evening, may aid in achieving restful sleep and combating sleep disturbances.

In conclusion, the cherry season is influenced by factors such as climatic conditions, cherry varieties, geographical location, and growing techniques. The availability of cherries varies by region, with North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia all having their distinct seasons. Early, mid, and late-season cherry varieties offer a continuous supply of cherries throughout the season. Indoor cultivation techniques like hydroponics, greenhouses, and artificial lighting enable year-round cherry production. Harvesting and storing cherries require careful timing and proper storage conditions, ensuring the best quality and freshness. Cherry festivals around the world celebrate the joy and abundance of cherries. Cherries also offer numerous health benefits, making them a delicious and nutritious addition to a balanced diet.

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