Cherries are a fleshy stone fruit from plants of the genus Prunus. The main species cultivated for edible fruit are sweet or “wild” cherries (Prunus avium), which the Australian industry is largely based on, and sour cherries (Prunus cerasus币游注册). Sweet cherries are a naturally vigorous deciduous tree that becomes large and upright if unpruned, reaching heights up to 11 metres. The bark is a decorative silver-grey, and the leaves are a large slender oval shape with a serrated edge. The tree has white blossoms in spring, with buds containing one to five flowers. The fruit is usually heart-shaped to round, about 2cm in diameter, and ranges in colour from yellow to red and nearly black (depending on the variety).

币游注册  is the member-based organisation that represents the interests of its member states and orchardists nationally. There are representative organisations for cherry growers in most states as well.

Facts and figures

  • Cherries have been cultivated across Europe, Asia and North Africa for thousands of years, growing only in temperate climates
  • Cherries have been grown commercially in Australia since 1878, with over 80 varieties being grown
  • The Australian cherry industry is spread across six states, and there are over 2,800 hectares under commercial production producing over 18,000 tonnes each year
  • 70% of the approximately AU$164 million annual harvest is sold to the domestic market
  • Cherry orchards are susceptible to rain, hail and pest damage, which often requires them to be netted and/or covered, resulting in high operational costs
  • Australia exports cherries to 30 countries

Production status

The Australian Cherry Industry is valued at around AU$164 million. 70% of the national crop is supplied to domestic markets, with the remainder being exported to 30 countries.

Australia is a small producer on a global scale, accounting for less than 1% of global production and less than 0.2% of world exports.

币游注册There are over 2,800 hectares under commercial production in Australia. Annual national production is about 18,000 tonnes, with New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania producing over 95% of the national crop.

币游注册Cherries are produced by about 485 businesses, which vary in nature from family-operated farms to properties operated by corporate bodies and investment schemes.

币游注册 . Also, because cherries are self-sterile, several compatible varieties will have to be planted in one orchard.

Cherries do not grow true to type from seed therefore the desired variety is grafted onto suitable rootstock, which is selected on the basis of desired growth and cropping characteristics, soil conditions, potential soil borne diseases or pests, and climate. Rootstock selection is a critical decision in the establishment of an orchard, and explained in detail in the .