Cherry pie, cherry tarts, and even that sundae topped off with a cherry just seem to taste so much better when coming from your own tree, fresh picked and delicious. And while there are lots of cherry trees you can grow, some stand out more than others. The Early Robin is one of them. Keep reading to learn more about growing Early Robin cherries.
What are Early Robin Cherries?
Discovered by a Washington orchardist in 1990, Early Robin is a large yellow cherry with a reddish blush. This heart-shaped cherry has a sweet flavor that makes it an ideal choice for fancy desserts, or for snacking by the handful.
Early Robin cherries are marketed as a type of Rainier cherry. They are sometimes known as Early Robin Rainier. When do Early Robin cherries ripen? Rainier cherries ripen in late spring through early summer. Early Robin cherries ripen seven to 10 days earlier. They must be planted where early blooms won’t be nipped by frost.
Growing Early Robin Cherries
Early Robin cherry trees need at least one cherry tree of another variety within 50 feet (15 m.) to ensure pollination. Rainier, Chelan and Bing are good choices.
Ensure Early Robin cherry trees receive about an inch (2.5 cm.) of water every 10 days or so, either through rain or irrigation. Don’t overwater, even during drought, as cherry trees don’t do well in waterlogged soil. Water Early Robin cherry trees at the base of the tree, using a soaker hose or a trickling garden hose.
Fertilize Red Robin cherry trees every spring, using a low-nitrogen fertilizer with an NPK ratio such as 5-10-10 or 10-15-15. Once the tree begins to produce fruit, apply fertilizer two or three weeks before blooms appear. Alternatively, feed the cherry tree after harvest. Avoid overfeeding. Too much fertilizer weakens cherry trees and makes them more susceptible to pests.
Prune Early Robin cherry trees every year in late winter. Never prune cherry trees in fall.
Pick Early Robin cherries when the fruit is fully ripe. If you plan to freeze the cherries, harvest the fruit when it’s still firm. You may need to cover the tree with netting to protect the cherries from hungry birds.