Winter Took Toll on Cherries

A harsh winter and late freeze are being blamed for an expected 23 percent downturn in tart cherry production from 2014 numbers throughout the country, including Door County, county cherry growers learned at a meeting held at The Mill in Sturgeon Bay on June 29.

Area growers hold their meeting after the annual Fruit Crop Guesstimate that takes place in Michigan, the top tart cherry-growing state. This year the 60th annual Guesstimate took place on June 24 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

In Wisconsin, several growers reported no longer having production due to tree mortality and damage to trees from harsh winter weather. Oregon and Utah growers expect a smaller than average crop this year due to a freeze event that led to losses of some trees that were not yet dormant. Pennsylvania growers reported favorable conditions that will result in a relatively good crop this year. In Washington, harvest started three weeks ahead of normal as rains and above average temperatures during spring pushed maturity ahead of the normal pace.

The Door County cherry harvest is expected mid to late July.


Michigan: 134 million pounds (down from 203 million in 2014)

New York: 8.2 million pounds (10 million in 2014)

Oregon: 2.8 million pounds (2.2 million in 2014)

Pennsylvania: 3.2 million pounds (1.2 million in 2014)

Utah: 40 million pounds (36.1 million in 2014)

Washington: 25 million pounds (24.3 million in 2014)

Wisconsin: 9.4 million pounds (12 million pounds in 2014)

Total: 222.6 million pounds (288.8 million in 2014)