Prunus cerasus 'Balaton'™
Balaton™ tart cherries are larger and firmer than most tart cherries, with a deep burgundy-red color throughout the skin and juicy flesh. Harvest the sweet/tart fruit when it easily separates from the stem for the best flavor and sugar content; the fruits are firm enough to not be damaged by hand picking. Ripens late for a tart cherry.
Balaton™ (Ujfehértōi fürtös) cherry originated in Hungary, selected from a comparison study of traditional strains of nation-wide village tart cherries, as ‘the best’. Dr. Amy Lezzoni, of Michigan State Univ., imported, tested and released this morello-type cherry with the new trade name Balaton™, named for a lake in Hungary. A portion of the royalty fee goes to Hungary’s tart cherry breeding program and the village of Ujfeherto where Balaton originated.
The trees are a bit more vigorous and more upright in growth habit than other tart cherries; give an extra foot or so spacing. Hardy to USDA zone 4; flowers can be damaged by early spring temperature fluctuations, so avoid planting in cold pockets. Trees may set more fruit in cool springs with another tart cherry as a pollinizer. Moderately resistant to cherry leaf spot, brown rot, and rain cracking.
USDA Zone: 4-9
Grow Height: 7' (Mini-Dwarf), 12' (Dwarf)
Sun: Full Sun
Ripening Time: Late Season (for a tart cherry)
Pollination: Mostly Self Fertile