Which sour (tart) cherry varieties perform well in Iowa?
‘Northstar’ and ‘Meteor’ are two of the best performing sour cherry varieties in Iowa. Both varieties 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 a bright red skin and yellow flesh. Another possibility is ‘Mesabi.’ ‘Mesabi’ is a cross between a sweet and tart cherry. Its red-fleshed fruit are sweeter than ‘Northstar’ and ‘Meteor.’