The cherry blossoms–along with crabapple blossoms–are opening up all over Minnesota. My ‘Bali’ cherry tree began blossoming two days ago. It will look fluffy and white for a week or so before the cherries that ripen in late July or August begin to form. Bali (Prunus ‘Evans Bali’) is a variety developed in Canada, where it is known as the Evans cherry. It’s a pretty, compact tree and said to be hardy to -54 F. I’ve seen size estimates of anywhere between 8 and 20 feet tall at maturity. My little tree has been in the ground less than two years, and is less than 5 feet high.
What sets the Bali cherry apart from other cherries is its prolific fruit production. My friends at Northscaping, a Canadian gardening site, say they have seen gardeners collect 50 pounds of cherries off of a 5-year-old tree. The cherries are technically a sour cherry, but if left on the tree long enough, Bali gets sweet enough to eat raw. It is reportedly a delicious pie cherry. However, if you want to collect any cherries off a Bali tree, invest in a bird net. Last year, I noticed the little cherries were getting ripe, and thought “Better get some kind of net over this before the birds get them.” The next day, the cherries were gone.