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Morello cherry trees

Prunus cerasus
  • Picking season: Late
  • Self-fertility: Self-fertile

Morello is a traditional English cooking cherry - if you want to make cherry pies, cherry crumbles, or jams and preserves, this is the best cherry variety to choose - when cooked it has a strong rich cherry flavour.

Morello cherries can be eaten fresh when very ripe (at which point they have a sharp-sweet flavour), but Morello belongs to the acid-cherry or sour-cherry (Prunus cerasus) species rather than the sweet-cherry species (Prunus avium), and is grown primarily for use in the kitchen. The fruits are smaller than modern dessert cherries, looking more like small seedless grapes.

Morello cherries (like most sour cherries) contain melatonin, a natural anti-oxidant substance which is also involved in regulating sleeping and wakefullness.

Morello is also an excellent pollinator of most other cherry varieties.

 

Morello cherry trees for sale

Pot-grown

All pot-grown trees are suitable for planting out in the garden, some are suitable for growing in containers.

  • PG12-year bush-trained 11.5L pot-grown tree Gisela 5 rootstock £43.50
    Small tree (1.5m-2.5m after 10 years)
  • PG22-year bush-trained 11.5L pot-grown tree Own-roots rootstock £43.50
    Small tree (1.5m-2.5m after 10 years)
  • PG3Premium half-standard 12L pot-grown tree Colt rootstock £46.00
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • PG4Fan-trained 12L pot-grown tree Colt rootstock £61.00
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Contact us

Bare-root

  • BR11-year bare-root tree Gisela 5 rootstock £24.45
    Small tree (1.5m-2.5m after 10 years)
  • BR21-year bare-root tree Colt rootstock £21.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • BR32-year bush-trained bare-root tree Colt rootstock £31.45
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • BR42-year half-standard bare-root tree Colt rootstock £36.45
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • BR51-year bare-root tree F12/1 rootstock £21.95
    Very large tree (4m-7m after 10 years)

How to grow

While sweet cherries really need a sunny aspect, acid-cherries are far less demanding. Morello can be grown on a north-facing wall if necessary, and is hardy and reliable. It is self-fertile, and the blossom is relatively late, so the risk of frost-damage is slight.

Acid cherries arguably produce better-looking trees than sweet cherries too. If you need to prune, do so in spring to reduce the risk of bacterial canker, and note that Morello fruits mainly on new shoots which grew the previous summer. However as with all cherries and plums, it is best to avoid pruning if you can.

The blossom of Morello cherry is particularly long-lasting and compatible, making it an excellent pollinator of most other cherries (sweet or sour).

We sometimes offer Morello cherries grown from cuttings on their own roots. These have a similar vigour to trees grafted on the the semi-dwarf Gisela 5 rootstock, and should start fruiting within a year or so of planting.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Morello cherries have been grown in the UK since the early 17th century, but the origins of this variety are unknown.

Morello characteristics

Using

  • CroppingGood
  • Picking seasonLate
  • Keeping (of fruit)Does not keep
  • Fruit persistenceNormal ripening
  • Flavour qualityVery good
  • Flavour style (apples)Sharper
  • Food usesCulinary

Growing

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Self-fertilitySelf-fertile
  • Flowering group4
  • Pollinating othersGood
  • PloidyDiploid
  • VigourAverage vigour
  • Bearing regularityRegular
  • Organic cultureSuitable

Problems

  • Disease resistanceGood
  • CankerSome resistance

Climate

  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climates
  • Summer average maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)Cold (< 20C / 67F)

Identification

  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • Period of origin1600 - 1649
  • Flower colourWhite
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Fruit colourRed - dark
  • AwardsRHS Award of Garden Merit