Whitegold Cherry Info – How To Grow Whitegold Cherries
By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
The sweet taste of cherries is only rivaled by their predecessors, white scented blooms covering the tree in spring. What are Whitegold cherries? It is a sweet cherry variety that has copious blooms and resulting fruits. Some tips on how to grow Whitegold cherries will ensure your tree is happy and your stomach even happier.
Whitegold Cherry Info
Whitegold cherry info states that the tree is self-pollinating and does not need a partner to set fruit. That is just one of the amazing traits of this delicious fruiting plant. The tree is not a very common variety, but if you can find one, it produces some of the tastiest, golden blush cherries available.
This unusual cherry tree is a cross of Emperor Francis and Stella, a self-fertile cherry. Only one seedling had the golden fruit and self-pollinating nature researchers were trying to encourage. The tree was developed in Geneva, New York around 1975 and has many disease resistant characteristics.
The fruit resists cracking and the tree is resistant to bacterial canker, cherry leaf spot, brown rot and black knot. The tree is also hardy in both winter and spring frosts. Even though the tree doesn’t need another variety of cherry to set fruit, it makes an excellent pollinator for those that do need a partner.
Whitegold is a mid-season cropping cherry. You can get this tree in standard, semi-dwarf and dwarf. Standard trees are bred on either Krymst 5 or Gisela 5 rootstocks, while the semi-dwarf is on Colt. Trees can grow 25, 15, and 12 feet (7.6, 4.5, 3.6 m.) respectively.
Young plants need to be at least 2 to 3 years of age before they bear fruit. The creamy flowers arrive in spring followed by golden fruit in summer. Trees are suitable for United States Department of Agriculture zones 5 to 7 but can withstand zone 4 in a protected location.
How to Grow Whitegold Cherries
These gorgeous fruit trees will need a little training upon installation. Select a location in full sun with well-draining soil and a soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0.
Young trees may need staking for the first year to develop a strong vertical leader. Prune in late winter to early spring to form a vase-shaped canopy and remove water spouts and crossed branches.
Fertilize in early spring. Keep young trees evenly moist while establishing them. Once established, water when the soil is dry to the touch during the growing season.
Apply fungicides in fall and late winter to protect from numerous fungal diseases. With good care, this tree can reward you with up to 50 lbs. (23 kg.) of beautiful, delicious cherries.
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Read more about Cherry Trees
Growing Cherries in the Home Garden
Cherry trees are dual purpose plants in the landscape. They provide attractive flowers in spring and delicious fruit in early summer. Sour or tart cherries are delicious in pies and other desserts. Sweet cherries are often eaten fresh or used in salads, main dishes and desserts.
Cherries perform best in moist, well-drained, fertile soils. Avoid wet, poorly drained sites. Cherries are susceptible to root rots in wet, poorly drained soils. Trees should also receive full sun. Sites must receive at least 8 hours of sun each day. Sweet cherries bloom earlier than sour cherries. As a result, the flowers on sweet cherries are more prone to damage from late spring frosts. When selecting a planting site for sweet cherries, avoid planting in low spots where cold air settles on calm nights. Also, avoid southern and western exposures that encourage early bloom.
Sour or tart cherries are self-fruitful. Self-pollination occurs when pollen is transferred from the anther to the stigma on the same flower, from another flower on the same plant, or from a flower on another plant of the same variety (cultivar). Only one sour cherry tree needs to be planted for pollination and fruit set. Many sweet cherry varieties cannot produce fruit from their own pollen and are considered self-unfruitful. These plants require cross-pollination for fruit set. Cross-pollination is the transfer of pollen from one plant to the flower of a different variety. When planting self-unfruitful cultivars, at least two different sweet cherry trees (varieties) must be planted for fruit production. While most sweet cherry varieties are self-unfruitful, there are a few self-fruitful cultivars.
'Northstar' and 'Meteor' are two of the best performing sour cherry varieties in Iowa. Both cultivars were introduced by the University of Minnesota and possess excellent cold hardiness. 'Northstar' is a dwarf tree that commonly grows 8 to 10 feet tall. Its fruit have a mahogany red skin, red flesh, and are 3/4 inch in diameter. 'Meteor' is a semi-dwarf tree. Trees may eventually reach a height of 10 to 14 feet. The fruit of 'Meteor' are slightly larger than 'Northstar' and have bright red skin and yellow flesh. Another possibility is 'Mesabi.' 'Mesabi' is a cross between a sweet and sour cherry. Its red-fleshed fruit are sweeter than 'Northstar' and 'Meteor.'
'Gold,' BlackGold, and WhiteGold are sweet cherry varieties that can be successfully grown in the southern half of Iowa. 'Gold' has yellow skin. It is self-unfruitful. Another late blooming sweet cherry variety must be planted for pollination and fruit set. BlackGold and WhiteGold are self-fruitful, mid to late blooming cultivars from Cornell University in New York. BlackGold has dark red skin, while WhiteGold is light yellow with a reddish blush. Other possibilities for southeastern Iowa include 'Hedelfingen' (self-unfruitful, red fruit), 'Kristin' (self-unfruitful, purplish black fruit), 'Sam' (self-unfruitful, dark red fruit), and 'Van' (self-unfruitful, reddish black fruit).
As with other fruit trees, sour and sweet cherries must be pruned properly for maximum fruit production and to prolong the lives of the trees. Proper pruning practices for sour and sweet cherries are outlined in PM-780 "Pruning and Training Fruit Trees."
Insect and Disease Pests
There are several insect and disease pests that occasionally attack cherry trees. However, the damage is usually minor. As a result, it's usually not necessary for home gardeners to spray cherry trees.
The most common plant disease is cherry leaf spot, caused by the fungus Blumeriella jaapii. Infected leaves develop small, purple-brown spots before turning yellow and falling off. Cherry fruit may be affected by another fungal disease called brown rot, caused by Monilinia fructicola. Fruit with brown rot develop round, light brown spots that expand and rot the fruit within a couple days, often with visible tufts of gray "fuzz". Wounded fruit are especially vulnerable. The fungi that cause both of these diseases survive in infected debris, so good sanitation (removing fallen leaves and any mummified fruit that persist on the tree) can give adequate disease control in the home garden.
Cherries have occasional insect and mite pests, the most serious being cherry fruit flies, Rhagoletis spp. Cherry fruit flies lay eggs on developing cherry fruit in May. Damaged fruit appear shrunken and shriveled when ripe, and usually contain one off-white maggot that is slightly longer than one-quarter of an inch.
Cherry fruit fly damage varies greatly from year to year. It may be more practical to tolerate some damage and loss of usable fruit than to attempt effective preventive control. To prevent maggots from appearing inside the fruit the tree most be thoroughly sprayed with a labeled insecticide when the adults emerge and before the females lay their eggs inside the young fruit. Because the flies emerge over an extended period of time, several sprays will be needed. You can monitor fruit flies with yellow sticky traps hung in the tree in early May. Check traps daily after the first fruit fly is caught and repeat the spray application until flies no longer appear. Check for home orchard sprays and other insecticides at your local garden center. Read and follow label directions.
Birds love cherries. Either share the fruit with the birds or cover the trees with plastic netting. To be effective, the netting must cover the entire tree canopy and be secured to the tree trunk or ground to prevent birds from entering from below. If netting is not feasible, it may be possible to reduce the amount of fruit eaten by birds by placing scare devices, such as aluminum pie tins or inflatable balloons, in the tree.
Sour or tart cherries should be harvested when the fruit are full-flavored, somewhat soft, and juicy. Harvest sweet cherries when the fruit have attained the proper size, are uniformly colored, and possess their characteristic flavor. For immediate use, the cherries can be picked without the stems attached to the fruit. However, quality is best retained during storage if the fruit are harvested with the stems attached. Store cherries immediately after harvest. Place cherries in perforated plastic bags and store in the refrigerator at a temperature 32 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cherries are short-lived trees in Iowa, especially in poor sites. Sweet cherries seldom survive more than 10 years. Sour or tart cherries may survive for 20 to 25 years. When selecting a planting site, be sure to choose a well-drained location.
Sweet Cherry 'White Gold'
|Family:||Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)|
|Genus:||Prunus (PROO-nus) (Info)|
|Species:||avium (AY-vee-um) (Info)|
|Additional cultivar information:||(PP18892, aka Whitegold)|
|Registered or introduced:||2001|
Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
Where to Grow:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Soil pH requirements:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed
This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:
On Jan 25, 2014, Meredith79 from Southeastern, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:
Description from Raintree Nursery (where I ordered mine from.) Red and yellow, midseason self fertile sweet cherry. Good size, great flavor, consistent heavy cropper. Resistant to cracking and to bacterial canker. Emperor Francis X Stella. Just released from NY experiment station. NY13688. On Gisela 5 rootstock.
Another sources says: Ripens in mid June. Self-pollinating. May be covered by U.S.P.P. #18892 or other patents. Newfane cultivar.
I have had one planted in my yard for a few years now and I am happy with it. It did get a few cherries the very first year I planted the whip. It has set very heavy here and has proven self fertile. The fruits are my favorite cherry flavor similar to Rainier Cherries. I have not had successful crops more than twice, but it . read more was due to me neglecting to spray the tree.