How to harvest your berries will depend on whether you have sour or sweet fruit. Sour cherries should come off their stems of their own accord when they are fully ripe, whereas the sweet variety will need to be tasted. It’s a tough job, but someone has to check the delicious fruit!
An important thing to note is that cherries do not continue to ripen once they have been picked, so as difficult as it may be, you need to be patient in picking. Once they are ripe however, be prepared to pick a lot of fruit, as a mature tree can produce up to 50 quarts (about 55kg!) of fruit in a year. You should also keep a close eye on the weather once you’re cherries have ripened, as rain can cause them to split.
You can harvest your cherries with the stems if you don’t plan on using them straight away, (or if you haven’t worked your way through the first crop yet!), but be careful not to tear the fruit spur with it. If you’re planning on cooking or canning your cherries, just leave the stems behind on the tree.
To keep your cherries at their best, keep them in pierced plastic bags in your fridge.