Sweet Bing is America's favorite cherry tree. Its large, sweet fruit is produced abundantly and generally ripens uniformly on the tree in mid-June to mid-summer depending upon location. The delightfully fragrant white flowers bring spring beauty to the landscape.
A large tree with a spreading canopy. Standard trees may reach up to 70' tall, but normally will be 20' -35' tall with equal spread. The foliage is dark green and smooth. The smooth, glossy, reddish bark is studded with short, horizontal, corky stripes. Fragrant, white flowers, 1-1 1/2" in diameter are borne in clusters of 2-5 on short, woody spurs. The large, heart-shaped fruit has firm, meaty, purple-red flesh with a semi-free stone. Bing cherry is especially sensitive to local site conditions. The best growth is in light, sandy soil that is well drained, but receives adequate rain or irrigation through dry periods. At least 6-8 hours of daily sunlight are needed. The fruit is somewhat susceptible to cracking. Sweet cherry culture is most successful in cooler, drier climates where the danger of late frost is limited, and rain does not fall during harvest. Plant early in the season, because leaf buds open early and the roots are slower than those in many trees to get established. Successful pollination is necessary for a good crop. This requires a compatible variety that blossoms at the same time as the Bing cherry. Suggested cultivars are Black Republican, Sam, Black Tartarian, Schmidt, Cavalier, Stella, Gold, Van, Heidelfingen, Vega, Montmorency, Vista, Ranier, and Windsor. Standard trees will produce fruit in 5-6 years, and a mature tree will provide up to 50-100 pounds of cherries per year. Dead, weak or unnecessary branches can be pruned annually in late winter or early spring. Otherwise, little or no pruning is needed. (zones 5-8)
A variety of birds and mammals relish the cherries. The foliage is browsed.
The exact details of Bing's origin are not clear, but it was named in honor of Lewelling's co-worker and nursery foreman, a Chinese man by the name of Ah Bing. Some believe that was Bing who developed the new cultivar and should receive more credit. The first tree came from the seed of another new variety, Republican in 1875. Today there are over 1000 varieties of sweet cherries, and Bing still tops the list both in popularity and production. It is the cherry against which all others are compared.
The standard grows to 35', and dwarf grows to 12' - 15' in height.
Standard grows to 25', dwarf grows to 12'-15'
This tree requires moist, well drained soil and is not drought tolerant.
Simple, alternate, 3"-6" long with small, blunt teeth on the margin, dark green, smooth upper surface, light green lower surface with slight amounts of pubescence or fuzz.
Very large, about 1" in diameter, heart-shaped, skin is bright red when immature becoming dark red or deep maroon. The flesh is purple-red, sweet, juicy, and firm with a stone that is easily removed.