Cherry trees provide gardeners with fragrant blooms in the spring and luscious fruits in the summer. They are one of the most popular American fruits. The question of whether life is just a bowl of cherries remains in the philosophical realm, but you can astonish your friends with these cherry tree facts.
Nearly all of the 1,000 American cherry tree varieties bloom from late May through the beginning of June and fruit thereafter, notes thenibble.com. Two types of cherry trees do not cross-pollinate. All the 1,000 varieties of cherry trees belong to either the sweet or tart category.
Each cherry tree produces 7,000 cherries on each tree, claims the Cherry Marketing Institute. During a growing season, 100 pounds of cherries comes from a healthy tree.
In the United States, only 10 of the 1,000 cherry tree varieties grown have a commercial purpose, reports thenibble.com. The Cherry Marketing Institute says that of the 275 to 300 million pounds of American-grown cherries, 70 to 75 percent come from Michigan.
Sweet and Tart
Sour cherries have a more fragile structure, which makes long-distance shipping difficult. Tart or sour cherries are more often frozen or used in canned pie filling, as their acidity makes them better suited to cooking. Sweet cherries, such as the Bing and Rainer, appear in markets as fresh fruit.
George Washington Legend
The story of George Washington cutting down the cherry tree and confessing the deed to his father was an invention of Parson Mason Locke Weems, who wrote about it in his collection of biographical tales, "A History of the Life and Death, Virtues and Exploits, of General George Washington." Published soon after Washington's death, in 1800, this book gave rise to the legend of Washington and the cherry tree, which lasted until 20th-century biographers realized that Weems invented the tale.