Cherry Picking Season Starts This Saturday. WooHoo! Oh Yeah, And A Lesson On Deformed Cherries.

I’m a cherry lover. Even when I was little cherries were my favorite fruit. I eat them until I get a stomachache.  Mr. Juice says that it’s because I have an id personality and I always overdo everything. My response is they shouldn’t make food taste so good. My fruit cravings are a little divided now I must admit because I think I love sweet, sweet watermelons as much as I love cherries at times. Though, every time I bite into a firm, juicy cherry, my mind changes all over again. But enough of my inner demons. Back to the point of this post: Scary, deformed, Siamese twin cherries.

A lot of the time I’ll head down to Chinatown to buy my fruit. What I find to be so funny is that, the cheaper my cherries, the more deformities I get out of them. At first just like my double egg yolks, I was wondering if they were safe to eat, but after three assurances from various cherry growers around the US about how they were fine to enjoy and why they were growing the way they were my fears subsided. Here’s what they all had to say. And if you are in the area, please stop by their orchards to do some cherry picking. I’m hoping that I’ll have the chance to before summer is over!

Jim Bittner

Singer Farms

6620 East Lake Rd

Appleton, NY 14008

716 778 7330

I think what your are referring to is what growers call doubles (two

cherries on the same stem) It happens when sweet cherries are grown in HOT

climates like California.  Some varieties do it more than others.  Some

years, it happens more than others.  In fact, varieties that are grown in

California are specifically selected that are less likely to have this

defect.  It is not a disease or anything like that.  It is just too high of

a temperature when the cherry bud is forming (the year before harvest) and

some times you get doubles. In fact,  These cherries are usually sorted out

and sold as #2’s at a cheaper price or not picked at all.  We never see it

were we are, western NY, near Niagara Falls.  It never gets above 90 degrees

here in the summer.  We also do not start sweet cherry season till July and

are picking till the first part of August.

Steve Clarke

Prospect Hills Orchard

340 Milton Turnpike

Milton, NY 12547


I assume you are talking about West coast cherries and if they are in the stores they would be from the early districts of California.   The subject you need to research is “cherry doubling”.  It is related to chilling during the einter and I also believe high temperatures as the blossom in the bud is developing the previous. year.  The dimpling on the seam is somewhat variety related, but may have some of the same background.  We see very little of this in the east, but the doubling is not uncommon on European style prune plums.

Amber Farms

Ambers U-Pick Cherry Farm

9300 Leona Avenue

Leona Valley, CA 93551

Doubles are common..usually over-pollination of a blossom by bees and heavy rain is the cause..especially this year.. The cherries still taste good though. Just break off the “nose”

-Joyce Huang


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  • This was great! Thank you for explaining this oddity and providing sources. Helped me feel more comfortable with the cherries I just purchased (and failed to see the deformities until I got home).

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