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Stella, a self-fertile sweet cherry.

Sweet cherry: Compact Stella

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Compact Stella has all the benefits of its parent, Stella - delicious large fruit, and self-fertility (so you only need one tree for fruit) - with the additional benefits of being half the size with a heavier cropload. What makes this variety compact is that it has shorter internodes – the space between flower nodes is about 2/3 the distance of the regular Stella.

Compact Stella originated in the 1960s, when breeding researchers irradiated branches of Stella with X-rays to induce mutations. (As an aside, many cultivars of a wide variety of fruit trees have been developed by inducing mutations, often through irradiation with X-rays or gamma rays. For further information see Mutational breeding in fruit crops: A review, linked below.) The variety was further developed by the Agriculture Canada Research Station in Summerland BC.

Rootstock: Mazzard. Full-size, most popular cherry rootstock for centuries. Relatively tolerant of wet and heavy soils compared to other cherry rootstocks.

Fruit: Known for heavy annual crops of large, firm, sweet, dark red fruit. 

Uses: Fresh eating, and any other use you can think of - dried, juice, preserves, pies, and more.

Disease resistance: Moderate disease-resistance.

Pollination: Compact Stella is self-fertile, like Stella, its famous self-fertile parent. Universal pollenizer for other sweet cherry trees.    

Parentage: Stella was the first self-fertile sweet cherry to be commercially released. First Emperor Frances was crossed with irradiated pollen of Napoleon - another instance of mutational breeding - and a seedling from that experiment was then crossed with Lambert. Stella was selected from this cross in 1964. 


Mutational breeding in fruit crops: A review.

'Stella' sweet cherry. Kappel, Frank. 2002. Journal of the American Pomological Society. 56(3).