Mulberry Charlotte Russe
Pears, Plums, Quince
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Broccoli Purple Sprouting
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Cucumber - Ridge
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Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkins
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All Plant Reviews (10+)
MORELLO CHERRY TREE
The Morello variety produces cherries which are ideal for cooking. Some call them acid cherries others call them cooking cherries. Forget letting them ripen fully and eating them (as some suggest) uncooked, they are still over-acidic. Out of all the cooking cherry varieties the Morello is supreme in the UK. It is self-fertile, rarely damaged by frost and produces large crops.
The existence of the "Crown Morello" is a total mystery. It is a Morello in all but name yet it grows larger than the normal variety which can be unsuitable for most small to medium sized gardens. If you want a cooking cherry tree, our advice is to stick with the Morello.
Use the checklist below to decide if the Morello variety is correct for you and your garden. If this is not the correct variety, see our cherry tree varieties page, to select another variety which may suit you better.
- The fruits are produced late season, ready for harvesting, on average,
in the third to last weeks of July.
- Fruits are smaller than sweet cherry trees but this is normal for this type
of tree. They are mid red and have a very acidic but full
flavour, perfect for pies, jams, tarts and flavouring.
- The picking period lasts a week. They freeze extremely well if the end
purpose is for cooking.
- Morello cherries have been grown in the UK for over 400 years. The parents of
this variety are unknown
- This variety reliably produces a large amount of fruit.
- Disease resistance is good all round. They produce fruit in all but the
coldest parts of the UK. It has been given an Award of Garden Merit by the Royal
- Morello is self-fertile and does not need a pollination
- It is fully hardy in all parts of the UK (however, see above about
WHERE TO BUY MORELLO CHERRY TREESMorello is often to be found in your local garden centre and is also available online
from several suppliers.
Picture from public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.
POLLINATION PARTNERS FOR MORELLO CHERRY
Morello is in pollination group 4, self-fertile, it does not require a pollination partner and will produce a large crop of fruit as a stand alone tree. The following varieties, commonly grown in the UK, can be pollinated by Morello:
pollination group 3, eating variety
- Penny, pollination group 3 to 4,
- Summer Sun,
pollination group 3 to 4, eating variety
- Merton Bigarreau,
pollination group 4, cooking variety
pollination group 4, eating variety
pollination group 4, eating variety
pollination group 4 to 5, cooking variety
HOW LARGE WILL MORELLO GROW
On Colt rootstock Morello will grow to about 3.5m / 11ft tall when it has reached maturity after about 7 years. It can easily be pruned to reach a maximum height of 2m / 7ft. On Gisela 5 rootstock it will grow into a 2m / 6ft tall tree but will need more care than if grown on a Colt rootstock.
CONDITIONS FOR GROWING MORELLO CHERRIES
The following are the key rules for growing this variety, click here for more detailed information about growing and pruning cherry trees:
- Plant and grow in a semi-shade or full sun position. It is sometimes claimed
that Morello cherry trees will grow in full shade or north facing positions.
This is true but your tree will suffer to some degree in these situations
- The best time to plant Morello is in late autumn to early
winter. It can be planted at other times of year but will require
watering more frequently to ensure it establishes well.
- Plant the tree to the same depth as it was in the pot. If planting
bare-rooted trees you will see a natural soil mark just above the roots
which indicates the correct depth for planting.
- Spread an 8cm / 3in layer of mulch around the base of the tree but
not touching the main trunk. A mulched circle of about 1m / 3ft will be
sufficient. This will retain moisture in the soil below and greatly help
the tree to establish well.
- Water very well, immediately after planting.
- Stake the tree for life on a Gisela 5 rootstock. On Colt
rootstock the tree will only need staking for the first two years of its life.
- In the first summer after planting the tree, water well if
conditions become dry.
- Prune Morello in the first year according to the suppliers instructions.
Prune annually immediately after flowering in later years, in mid-April to mid
may. See our
detailed article on pruning cherry trees. Note that the
Morello cherry tree produces most of its fruit on one year old wood so is pruned
(as explained in our pruning article) in a slightly different way compared to sweet
- An annual mulch in late Spring will help to retain moisture and an
even supply of water.
- If any pests or diseases appear treat them as soon as possible. Consult our cherry tree pest and disease page for detailed information on identifying and treating problems.