The 6 U.S. States That Grow the Most Cherries

Written by Patrick MacFarland
Published: March 31, 2024
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Cherries are delicious fruits. A variety of cherries grow on trees —  some of them are red, some of them are yellow, and others are black. In fact, there are more than 1,000 kinds of cherries. These delicious fruits originated around the Black and Caspian seas in Asia. Historians believe that birds probably brought them to Europe. They have been around Europe for centuries.

As time progressed, English colonists brought cherries to America. In 1629, there were cherry trees throughout the Eastern coast. Likewise, Spanish missionaries brought cherries to the West Coast in the 1600s, as well. Over time, cherry trees were planted in many states throughout the nation. But what states grow the most cherries? Let’s take a look at the six U.S. states that grow the most cherries. This list will include producers of sweet and tart cherries.

6. Wisconsin

Cherry trees in the sunrise

The Wisconsin cherry production, both sweet and tart, amounts to about 10 million pounds of cherries every year.

©ImagesbyK/iStock via Getty Images

The Badger State produces on average 6,450 tons of cherries. Wisconsin is more known for its cheese than cherries, but it happens to be one of the top producers of cherries in the nation. Farmers mainly plant tart cherries. Wisconsin’s history with cherry planting started in 1896 in Door County. There are now 10,000 acres of cherry orchards in the state. The Montmorency cherry is the most common one grown in the state, although there are many varieties of cherries grown.

5. Utah

Fresh sour cherries in a wooden bowl and green leaves on the board. Fresh ripe sour cherries.Cherries in a dish closeup.Food background.

In 1997, the Utah State Legislature designated the cherry as the state fruit because of its close history.

©IURII BUKHTA/iStock via Getty Images

The Beehive State produces on average 11,300 tons of cherries. The history of cherry production in Utah began in the 1800s and the industry took from there. The 1970s were a turning point for the cherry industry when farmers increased the amount of land. Tart cherries were the most abundant type planted, which is why Utah is one of the top producers of tart cherries. The tart cherry production in Utah generates up to 20 million per year for Utah farmers.

4. Oregon

The cherry harvest in the Pacific Northwest lasts from early June to the end of August.

©Jack Shiner/

The Beaver State produces on average 32,100 tons of cherries. Oregon is the third largest producer of sweet cherries in the country, but the state produces both sweet and tart cherries. The main location of cherry trees in Oregon is in the Mid-Columbia Valley area — with 12,300 acres. The Willamette Valley also has cherry trees, but as abundant, with only 3,200 acres. The Bing cherry, which is the most popular cherry harvested in the United States, was originally cultivated in Oregon in 1875 and named by the Chinese foreman in Seth Lewelling’s cherry orchards.

3. California

Six cherry varieties are grown in California — Bing, Brooks, Chelan, Coral, Rainier, and Tulare.


The Golden State produces on average 55,100 tons of cherries. California is a vast state that produces so much agriculture. The Central Valley is famous for its agricultural production when it comes to all types of fruits and vegetables. As for cherries, they are mainly grown in San Joaquin County near Lodi, CA. The Bing Cherry is usually grown in this part of the state, however, other varieties can withstand the warmer temperatures of Southern California and therefore are grown there. The California cherry harvest season starts in mid-April and ends in mid-June. There are approximately 33,000 acres dedicated to cherry orchards.

2. Michigan

Cherry Blossoms

Michigan is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States.

©Sean Patrick Doran/

The Wolverine State produces on average 90,250 tons of cherries. Tart cherries, which is what is typically grown in Michigan, are smaller than sweet cherries and also more red. The history of cherry farming started in 1852 when Revered Peter Dougherty planted the first trees. From there, cherry production took off. The reputation of Michigan being a top producer of cherries has garnered a city called Traverse City the nickname, “Cherry Capital of the World.” Furthermore, the National Cherry Festival takes place in Traverse City every July. Michigan mainly grows the Montmorency cherry. They also grow cherries for maraschino cherry production.

1. Washington

Washington is the nation’s largest producer of all types of cherries.


The Evergreen State produces on average 144,500 tons of cherries. It seems fitting that the state of Washington is the largest producer of cherries in the nation because of the George Washington myth of him chopping down a cherry tree when he was six years old. Cherry orchards were introduced in the 1840s by Iowan Henderson Lewelling (Seth’s brother). Since then, it has become a staple of Washingtonian culture. Today, it is one of the largest agricultural industries in Washington where 44,000 acres are dedicated to cherry orchards. The Bing cherry is the most popular cherry grown in Washington with more than 50% cultivation, followed by the Rainier cherry.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Andrey Mihaylov/

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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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