Black Republican Cherry Tree (Prunus avium ‘Black Republican’)
Black Republican Cherry Tree
This is a very important tree for the fruit industry. With intense black cherry flavor and a long season of bloom, Black Republican Cherry (Prunus avium ‘Black Republican”) is one of the best pollinators for all other Sweet Cherry trees.
People rave about the complex taste of these beautifully dark cherries. Taste one ripe from your tree, and savor the sweet, rich, concentrated flavor.
These special medium-to-small-sized fruits have great color, firm texture and luscious flavor that holds through the cooking process. They are commercially used to flavor cherry yogurt and ice cream, and work beautifully at home, too.
Harvest these juicy fruits once they are fully tree-ripe for best flavor. They’ll keep for a long time, and make outstanding ingredient cherries for many applications.
Of course, you’ll want to eat them fresh, as well. There will be plenty, as this heirloom is a good producer. Tuck a bib under your chin, as the flavorful darkly pigmented juice can stain.
It cross-pollinates with a wide variety of popular Sweet Cherry trees, including: Rainier, Lapins, Van, Napoleon, Stella, Black Tartarian and Bing. Add this special variety to your edible landscape to boost your yields.
You’ll gain a living piece of history, too. This tree is one of the parents of the world-famous Bing Cherry.
The name celebrates the work of Seth Lewelling, a Quaker and abolitionist who helped runaway slaves escape North. He is reputed to have participated in the Underground Railroad.
He was a nurseryman with strong abolitionist beliefs who brought a wagon load of fruiting trees to the Pacific Northwest. His trees helped jump-start a tremendous industry in the Willamette Valley.
Celebrate this lovely tree in your landscape. Pick a prominent spot to showcase the showy white flowers in springtime. You’ll enjoy watching as they develop into the beautiful, dark purple fruit.
Wait to harvest until they are fully ripe. Get to know your tree, and plan to pick them at the peak of their freshness. There is no variety that can compare for full Black Cherry flavor.
You won’t see these at Farmers Markets very often. You’ll need to grow your own to experience the full flavor burst of these heirloom trees.
A cherry this dark is filled with healthy antioxidants. Deeply pigmented, sweet and very flavorful, you can enjoy your harvest fresh, or dry them into healthy snacks-on-the-go. No need to add extra sugar!
Prep and freeze them to add to smoothies or juice them fresh to enjoy their exceptional flavor.
How amazing will your baked goods taste with help from your own Black Republic Cherry tree? Create kolaches, tarts, cobblers with your harvest.
With a layered sweet taste that hints at notes of Rose and Almond, it can even be substituted for Sour Cherries in pies. Just reduce the sugar and add a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to your recipe.
Why not try your hand at infusing vinegar or light olive oil for a delicious vinaigrette on tossed salad greens? Add to a homemade barbeque sauce for an outstanding sweet kick that will have your guests begging for the recipe.
You can also use some of your harvest to infuse sweet liqueur for a special Cherry Cordial to end your gourmet meal.
Take time to appreciate the Black Republican Cherry as a landscape tree, too. It’s gorgeous, and has a special meaning for freedom.
Create a special “get-away” destination in your yard. Add comfy seating and a spot to spread out a picnic blanket. Plant Black Republican trees with other Sweet Cherry varieties in a semi-circle to provide shade for your harvest parties.
Grace your landscape with these productive, historical fruiting trees. Let them grow to their full height and spread as an accent tree in a mulched garden bed. You’ll love the wide-spreading limbs covered with spring bloom and fall fruit.
Or, keep them in a backyard orchard with high density planting techniques. Prune them in summer to keep them under 8 feet tall, and plant with early and late season Cherry trees for a long-lasting successive harvest.
Sweet Cherries need a planting site in full sun with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Morning sun is best, as it quickly dries the leaves from overnight moisture. Keep your tree healthy with morning sunlight.
The soil should drain well after a rainfall. If you see puddles that last a long time, you can improve the drainage of your soil with a raised bed or planting mound. Simply bring in additional soil to a height of 18 inches, spread to three feet wide.
Give Black Republican Sweet Cherry trees good air circulation. Plant at least 20 feet away from structures. Avoid planting in low-lying areas that can trap air.
Provide your trees with regular waterings, especially as the fruit is developing. Wood mulch is helpful to keep the root system nice and cool. Add to a depth of three inches and spread to three feet outside the canopy. Please pull the mulch back at least 6 inches of room all around the trunk.
In late winter, sculpt scaffolding branches in a vase-shape. The strongest angle is horizontal or 45 degrees. Check for crossing branches that shade other branches. Decide which branch you’ll keep, and remove the other.
Remove branches that grow into the canopy of the tree. The goal is to open the crown to sunlight and air circulation.
Keep your fruit trees smaller with annual summer pruning for size control. Any fruiting tree can be kept smaller with regular pruning to make harvest and netting for birds a lot easier.
|Common name||Black Republican Cherry Tree|
|Botanical name||Prunus avium 'Black Republican'|
|Height||18 - 20 ft.|
|Width||15 - 18 ft.|
|Soil condition||Well Drained|
|Pruning time||Late Winter|