Five or so years ago now, I learned about ‘Evans’ Cherry from a gardening friend of mine who has a tree in her yard. It was a very nice size and shape (not too big) and absolutely loaded with bright red, luscious-looking fruit. I was amazed to learn that it’s a homegrown cherry variety discovered by local horticulturalist Ieuan Evans. He didn’t breed the cherries, but rather discovered them growing on a farm northeast of Edmonton (where they had been growing for more than 50 years) and propagated them. They are now one of the most popular fruit trees for the prairies.
I’ve never discovered a sweet cherry that’s hardy for zone 3, but there are lots of good sour cherries that will grow here, including the Evans and multiple varieties developed by the University of Saskatchewan (the ‘Romance’ series – some of which are even hardier, to zone 2).
I have one of those trees too, a ‘Juliet’ (above) – which blooms a tad earlier than the Evans. Both my cherry trees are still getting established (one was planted in 2011 and one in 2012 – I think) so it’s hard to compare how productive they are. This year, my Juliet bloomed beautifully and is now covered in wonderful-looking fruit. The Evans bloomed a couple weeks later, but there was a very windy day soon after and almost all the blooms blew off, so I won’t get much fruit from it this year.
This weekend I’m going to try to come up with something to bake with my cherries. Stay tuned for WEIRD THINGS YOU CAN EAT!
Alberta’s Little Cherry Miracle