Description & Overview

Rainier Sweet Cherry has exceptionally large fruits with high sugar content. The fruit is yellow with a nice red blush and is noted for its wonderful flavor and fruit quality. They are an excellent choice for baking, canning, freezing, and fresh eating.

Core Characteristics

Category: Fruit Trees

Wisconsin Native: No

USDA Hardiness Zone: to zone 5

Mature Height: 25 feet

Mature Spread: 15 feet

Growth Rate: Moderate

Growth Form: Tree

Light Requirements: Full Sun

Site Requirements: Well-drained site

Flower: White

Bloom Period: Mid-May

Foliage: Green

Fall Color: N/A

Urban Approved: Yes

Fruit Notes: Exceptional fruit size and sugar content.

Suggested Uses

We offer sweet cherries on standard rootstocks. They will grow 20-25′ tall unless height is controlled by proper pruning.

Wildlife Value

Relished by birds and raccoons.

Maintenance Tips

Rainier Sweet Cherry trees are prone to bacterial blight and because of this pruning in spring during wet conditions is not recommended. Netting the trees while the fruit is ripening or providing other means of bird control may be necessary to obtain a good crop.

Pests/Problems

Rainier Sweet Cherry is prone to fruit cracking if heavy rains occur when the fruit is ripening. The thin skin makes it bruise easily when picked. It is not the easiest sweet cherry variety to grow. Rainier always commands a higher price on the open market due to these issues.

Despite this, it has a cult following among sweet cherry aficionados due to the very sweet and large-sized fruits that are known for their exceptional flavor and unique color. Considered by many to be the “King” of sweet cherry varieties.

Wisconsin is not a major sweet cherry growing region due to our harsh climate; however, sweet cherries are successfully grown in Door County (famous for tart cherry production) and S.E. Wisconsin. They are not foolproof and will not always produce a nice crop every year. We offer them to those willing to take the risk and want to enjoy luscious, sweet cherries produced in their yard when yearly growing conditions are favorable. Best planted in areas of zone 5 in Wisconsin.

Leaf Lore

Rainier was developed by Washington State in 1952 at the Washington Agricultural Experiment Station, originating from a cross of ‘Bing’ x ‘Van.’

Companion Plants

Rainier must be cross-pollinated with a different sweet cherry variety to bear fruit, such as Lapins.

Rainier Sweet Cherry has exceptionally large fruits with high sugar content. The fruit is yellow with a nice red blush and is noted for its wonderful …
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Written by Paul Schwabe