Stella is an excellent self-fertile cherry variety, easy to grow and productive. The large dark red cherries are very juicy and sweet, with a typical cherry flavor.
If your only experience of cherries is from a market stall or supermarket then we think you will be very pleasantly surprised with the flavor of fresh Stella cherries straight from your own tree.
Stella was the first of the modern self-fertile cherries, introduced from Canada in the 1970s. Until that time growing cherries at home meant planting at least two different varieties and dealing with the unusual complexities of cherry cross-pollination. Being both self-fertile and having such a good flavor, Stella rapidly established itself as the ideal garden cherry tree, since it could be grown on its own. Although there are now other self-fertile cherry varieties, if you only intend to grow one cherry tree, Stella is still one of the best choices.
As well as being self-fertile, it is also a good pollinator for other cherries including the traditional English cherries (many of which are not self-fertile and have complicated pollination requirements). It is therefore a good starting point if you think you may add further cherry trees to your garden or orchard in the future.
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Stella is self-fertile, reliable, and a good choice if you are new to growing dessert cherries.
Stella was developed by the Summerland research station in British Columbia, Canada, and released in 1968. Its parentage included a self-fertile cherry seedling raised by researchers at the John Innes Institute in the UK, which was raised from two traditional varieties, Emperor Francis and Napoleon.
Stella was the first widely-available self-fertile cherry, and by chance was introduced at around the same time as the first dwarfing cherry rootstock - Colt. This combination revolutionised cherry-growing, because it meant for the first time it was possible to grow cherries in an average garden - thanks to Stella's self-fertility only one tree was needed, and the Colt rootstock kept the height manageable.
Many modern self-fertile cherry varieties trace their parentage to Stella.