Cherries grow rapidly and often produce fruit in the first or second year. The University of Minnesota fruit breeding program is not currently developing new cherry varieties but has released two varieties in the past. These hardy trees produce good pie cherries. 

University of Minnesota Cherry Varieties

Meteor cherries on a tree


  • Semidwarf (10-14')
  • Hardy, vigorous, pie cherry tree with large bright red fruit
  • No cross-pollination needed
  • Ripens mid-July
  • Released in 1952

North Star

  • Dwarf tree (7-10')
  • Very productive pie cherry
  • Bright red deepening to mahogany skin and yellow, juicy, tender flesh
  • No cross-pollination needed
  • Tree resistant to leaf spot and brown rot
  • Ripens early July
  • Released in 1950

Expand all

All University of Minnesota cherry varieties

The University of Minnesota fruit breeding program has released 7 cherry varieties since the research began. Some of the varieties listed below are no longer common or commercially available.

Variety name Type Year released
Zumbra cherry-plum 1920
St. Anthony cherry-plum 1923
Nicollet cherry-plum 1925
Orient nanking cherry 1949
North Star sour cherry 1950
Meteor sour cherry 1952
Deep Purple cherry-plum 1965