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Stella cherry trees

Prunus avium

Stella is an excellent self-fertile cherry variety, easy to grow and productive. The large dark red cherries are very juicy and sweet, with a typical cherry flavour.

If your only experience of cherries is from a market stall or supermarket then you will be very pleasantly surprised with the flavour of fresh Stella cherries straight from your own tree.

Stella was the first of the modern self-fertile cherries, introduced from Canada in the 1970s. Until that time growing cherries at home meant planting at least two different varieties and dealing with the complexities of cherry cross-pollination. Being both self-fertile and having such a good flavour, Stella rapidly established itself as the ideal garden cherry tree, since it could be grown on its own. Although there are now other self-fertile cherry varieties, if you only intend to grow one cherry tree, Stella is still one of the best choices.

As well as being self-fertile, it is also a good pollinator for other cherries including the traditional English cherries (most of which are not self-fertile). It is therefore a very good starting point if you think you may add further cherry trees to your garden or orchard in the future.

Stella 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.

  • PG1Fan-trained 12L pot-grown tree Colt rootstock £61.00
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
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Bare-root

  • BR11-year bare-root tree Gisela 5 rootstock £24.45
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
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  • BR21-year bare-root tree Colt rootstock £21.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • BR32-year half-standard bare-root tree Colt rootstock £34.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
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How to grow

Stella is self-fertile, reliable, and a good choice if you are new to growing dessert cherries. It does best in areas with mild spring weather.

One of the disadvantages of self-fertile cherries is they tend to over-crop, and whilst this might seem like a good thing, it leads to smaller fruits with less concentrated flavour. It is therefore a good idea to thin the fruitlets just after the blossom has finished.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Stella was developed by the Summerland research station in British Columbia, Canada, and released in 1968. Its parentage included a self-fertile cherry seedling raised by researchers at the John Innes Institute in the UK, derived from two traditional varieties, Emperor Francis and Napoleon.

Stella was the first widely-available self-fertile cherry, and by chance was introduced at around the same time as the first dwarfing cherry rootstock - Colt. This combination revolutionised cherry-growing, because it meant for the first time it was possible to grow cherries in an average garden - thanks to Stella's self-fertility only one tree was needed, and the Colt rootstock kept the height manageable.

Many modern self-fertile cherry varieties trace their parentage to Stella.

Stella characteristics

Growing

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Self-fertilitySelf-fertile
  • Flowering group4
  • Pollinating othersGood

Using

  • Picking seasonMid
  • CroppingHeavy
  • Keeping (of fruit)1-3 days
  • Food usesEating fresh

Problems

  • Fruit splittingSome susceptibility

Climate

    Identification

    • Country of originCanada
    • Period of origin1950 - 1999
    • Fruit colourRed - dark
    • AwardsRHS Award of Garden Merit