Door County’s geography, climate, and soil make it prime real estate for growing cherry trees. With 2,500 acres of orchards, Door County sees thousands of visitors flocking here every year to witness the spring blossoms and pick the summer harvest. So when do the cherry trees blossom?
Watch this episode of#AskDoCo, where Jon Jarosh offers insights into Door County’s cherries before learning more about one of our favorite fruits.
Cherry Blossom Season in Door County
Spring brings warmer weather and cherry season, It’s also the perfect time for a refresher course on the lifecycle of the humble cherry fruit. Discover what to look for if you’re ever in Door County during mid-to-late spring.
How Long is Cherry Season in Door County?
Spoiler alert: the cherries themselves aren’t ready to be picked or eaten yet, and they won’t be for a few months (usually by late July). But typically mid- to late May, the blossoms’ beautiful white and pink flower petals will emerge from the tree branches, creating a spectacular visual and aromatic display all throughout Door County.
However, cherry blossoms can come and go in a rather quick window — sometimes just 1-2 weeks — but if you can get the timing right and find yourself in Door County on the right weekend, you’re in for a unique sensory experience.
Stage 1: Budding (pre-peak)
As we head further into May, little white buds will start appearing on trees across Door County. Find them on trees in parks, along streets and highways, on orchards and farms, and, seemingly, just about everywhere you look this time of year. Keep an eye on the Cherry Blossom Report or Facebook to learn when the blossoms begin arriving.
Stage 2: Blossoming (peak)
When the blossoms do arrive, they arrive in style. The region’s 2,500 acres of cherry orchards burst with clean white and soft pink blossom petals, and the air near the trees takes on a sweet, faint cherry aroma.
Around this time, wildflowers will also be in bloom, depending on weather and soil conditions. Check out the blossom report to get an idea of which flowers and plants to expect during a May or June trip to Door County.
Stage 3: Petals Fall (post-peak)
A sad truth about cherry blossoms is that they tend to depart just as quickly as they arrive. The ephemerally lovely blossoms will most likely fall from the trees within 10-14 days of their first appearance, so acting fast is a must when seeking them out. The good news is that after the blossom season, we’re much closer to the actual cherry-picking (and eating) season.
Stage 4: Green Cherries
Once the petals fall, little green fruits will appear on the branches, signaling the cherries will be ready in a few short weeks. Daily observers will be able to discern the color transition as green fades into yellow, meaning we’ve reached a new stage of cherry growth.
Stage 5: Yellow Cherries
Yellow cherries are the final stage before the fruit is ready to be harvested. Watch for yellow or green-yellow fruit on the trees in July and early August, up until local orchards give us the go-ahead for picking.
Stage 6: Ready to Pick
When it’s cherry time, you’ll know. Signs on highways and in front of orchards and farms will appear inviting visitors to “Pick Your Own Cherries,” fresh cherry products will appear on local store shelves and restaurant menus, and the trees will sprout countless bright red fruits, ready to be picked, washed and enjoyed.
Stage 7: Out of Season
While cherries are never really out of season, the pick-your-own season usually ends in mid-August, when the fruits of the autumn harvest begin their own growth processes.
Where Can You See Blossoms in Door County?
In the spring, cherry blossoms and wildflowers are everywhere you look. What you see depends, of course, on what’s in season, so check out the Blossom Tracker to know which flowers will be blooming and which stage the cherries will be in before you arrive.
Discover scenic drives of cherry blossom-lined highways and byways with our handy map. When studying the maps and routes, be sure to search for nearby stops, such as shops, restaurants or natural lookout points.
Plan out your cherry stops by researching country stores, markets, and pick-your-own farms.
What Can You Do with Door County Cherries?
Eat them, of course! If you need some culinary inspiration, find some dried cherries or cherry juice and page through the Cherries section of the Door County Recipe Book to find some local snacktime inspiration. The cherry wine-braised ribs and cherry margarita are both can’t-misses!
Food is one of the most meaningful ways in which we connect to a locale and develop a sense of place. We hope these recipes inspire you to cook up something amazing in your own kitchen.
Do you need more cherry inspiration? We’ve got even more to explore with the All Things Cherry video series.
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