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Balaton cherry trees

Prunus cerasus 'Balaton'

Balaton is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Picking season: Late
  • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • Fruit color: Red - dark

Balaton is a late-season tart cherry which is sweet enough to be eaten out of hand - however it excels in the kitchen as a pie cherry or for cherry jam, and is an excellent alternative to the traditional Montmorency cherry.

Balaton is a Morello-type tart cherry, with a dark flesh and a dark juice.

The cherries are firm, slightly larger than is usual for tart cherries, and have some resistance to cracking.

Balaton tart cherry trees for sale

You can pre-order now for spring 2025

  • Full-size 1-year bare-root tree $38.95
    Mature height: 16ft-24ft after 10 years
    Mahaleb rootstock

How to grow

Balaton flowers quite late in the cherry blossom season, useful if you are in an area prone to late frosts.

Like most tart cherry varieties Balaton is reliably self-fertile. It can cross-pollinate with some sweet cherry varieties too. However commercial growers are likely to use other sweet or tart cherries to improve fruit set.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Balaton was found growing in a village in eastern Hungary in the 1970s, where it was known locally as Újfehértói Fürtös. It was introduced to the USA via Michigan State University in the 1980s, and was re-named for the American market as Balaton, after a lake in western Hungary.

Balaton characteristics

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Self-fertilitySelf-fertile
  • Pollination group5
  • Picking seasonLate
  • General resistanceAverage
  • Country of originHungary
  • Period of origin1950 - 1999
  • Fruit colorRed - dark