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Cherry Watch 2021: It’s Blossoms Season

It’s that time of year again: spring is in the air and the arrival of the cherry season is on the horizon. That means now is the perfect time for a refresher course on the lifecycle of the humble cherry fruit and what to look for if you’re ever in Door County during mid-to-late spring.

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 in the next few days and weeks, 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.

Until then, study up on your cherry stages so you can follow along with their progress this summer and beyond.

A couple meanders through a seemingly endless orchard of cherry blossoms in bloom

Stage 1: Budding

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. 

But, the beautifully fragile white and pink petals aren’t here yet (as of publication). Keep an eye on the Cherry Blossom Report or Facebook to learn when the blossoms begin arriving.

Stage 2: Blossoming

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. Get an idea of which flowers and plants to expect during a May or June trip here.

A woman stops in an orchard to admire the cherry blossoms

Stage 3: Petals Fall

A sad truth about the 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 blossom season being over means we’re that much closer to actual cherry-picking (and eating) season.

Stage 4: Green Cherries

Once the petals fall, little green fruit 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 fruit, ready to be picked, washed, and enjoyed.

Stage 7: Out of Season

While cherries are never really out of season if you truly love (or freeze) them, pick-your-own season usually ends in mid-August, when the fruits of the autumn harvest begin their own growth processes.

Cherry History in Door County

More Cherry Blossom Experiences

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