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Make your own maraschino cherries! This is one of the best sweet cherries you’ll find anywhere. Tree is consistently productive. Fruit is perfect for canning jellies and jams or making homemade maraschinos. Best when picked fresh and popped into your mouth like candy. Resists cracking. Introduced to the U.S. circa early 1900s. Ripens in late June. Best pollinators: Stark® Gold™, Whitegold®, or any other sweet cherry variety, except Bing.


Bloom Color White
Fruit Color Red
Fruit Size Medium
Ripens/Harvest Late June
Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy
Soil Moisture Well Drained - Average Moistness
Soil pH Level 6.0 - 7.0
Taste Outstanding
Texture Firm
Years to Bear 4 - 7
Zone Range 5 - 7

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 5 - 7
My Hardiness Zone ?
The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Make sure that your hardiness zone lies within the zone compatability range of this variety before ordering.

Size & Spacing

Mature Size

When your tree matures, it will be approximately 15 - 18' tall x 15 - 18' wide.

Recommended Spacing

We recommend spacing these trees 15 - 18' apart to ensure room for growth.

Tools & Supplies

Having the proper tools and supplies when growing your own can make the difference between a good harvest and a great harvest! Here's a list that our experts recommend for this variety.

Planting & Care

Learn all about how to grow cherry trees in The Growing Guide. An entire section of our website dedicated to your growing success.

Shipping Information

Estimated Delivery Date

You don't pay until it ships.

We work hard to make sure that your order arrives at the ideal time for planting in your location. That's why we only ship living products during certain times of the year. Order now and your credit card won't be charged until your climate is suitable for planting success and your order is shipped.

Our Promise of Satisfaction

1 Year Warranty

Every order comes with our promise of satisfaction. If you aren't completely satisfied with your order, let us know within one year for a free one-time replacement or refund.


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Questions & Answers

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Browse 6 questions Browse 6 questions and 10 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
sounds like they will taste great!
Tauna P on Oct 9, 2018
Pollinator for my Rainier cherry.
Wesley C on Apr 11, 2016
sounds like they will taste great!
Tauna P on Oct 9, 2018
I have one I planted 6 years ago and I got cherries last year. They are fantastic!
Joshua V on May 26, 2018
Pollinator for my Rainier cherry.
Wesley C on Apr 11, 2016
Trying to get something comparable to rainier cherries. Which are my wife's favorite cherries.
David B on Feb 18, 2016
I have one I planted 6 years ago and I got cherries last year. They are fantastic!
Joshua V on May 26, 2018
Trying to get something comparable to rainier cherries. Which are my wife's favorite cherries.
David B on Feb 18, 2016
A friend has a tart cherry tree and one sweet cherry tree. The tart cherry produces cherries. The sweet cherry blooms but does not produce cherries. She was told that if you have tart cherry trees you do not need sweet cherry trees to pollinate. Does she need a sweet cherry tree to pollinate?
Bill B on Jun 29, 2017
BEST ANSWER: In rare circumstances a tart cherry can pollinate a sweet cherry, but for real success, your friend needs another variety of sweet cherry with a similar bloom time to get sweet cherries. Tart cherry varieties are largely self-pollinating, which is why she's getting a crop of tart cherries.
How do you know when they are ready to be picked?
Tracy S on Jun 9, 2018
BEST ANSWER: The sugar content rises significantly in the last few days of ripening, so wait to harvest the fruit until it is completely red. When the fruit is ready, it will be firm and fully colored. Sour cherries will come off the stem when they are ripe enough to be harvested, but sweet cherries should be tasted for maturity.
is it self pollinating (emporer francis cherry)?
wes z on Dec 6, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Hi, Wes. No, this variety needs a pollinator. Best pollinators: Stark?? Gold???, Whitegold??, or any other sweet cherry variety, except Bing.
Will a Lapins cherry tree pollinate the emperor Francis cherry tree?
Nicole F on Jun 5, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Yes, they are a good pollinating pair.
Can this be planted densely and/or grow in a pot? Would cuttings grow?

I'm thinking of growing this as an espalier archway, ~2' spacing in each row.
Lewis G on Jun 14, 2017
BEST ANSWER: We would not normally recommend planting cherry trees densely because it might open them up to fungal diseases (due to lack of air circulation). Spacing them 2" apart would only be advisable if you are espaliering them virtually to a vine habit. A semi-dwarf tree can certainly be grown in a pot if pruned to size. You can grow additional trees from cuttings as long as you are very, very patient for them to grow and bear, which will be 6-9 years or longer.

Customer Reviews

4.1 / 5.0
24 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
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1 Star
Very pleased in Northeast Kentucky
Purchased this last spring along with two other cherry trees (Royalton and Lapins) It's not yet mature enough to fruit, but the tree is growing great! I was extremely pleased with all the trees and berry plants that I've ordered from stark. One recommendation I'd make about the fruit trees: spend the extra money and order the "deluxe" tree. I've bought both standard and deluxe versions, and it is well worth the extra few dollars to start with a deluxe tree that is more mature. Can't wait till I start seeing some fruit!!
May 5, 2017
over 2 years ago
Emperor Francis Sweet Cherry
So far I like the Emperor Francis trees just fine. They are growing great. I bought them to be pollinators of Rainier trees so in 4 or 5 years we shall see how they do at that job. I've never tasted this variety but I'm guessing they taste like the Rainiers. Again, we shall see.
May 11, 2016
over 2 years ago
emperor francis sweet cherry
Nice trees when they arrive. They start out great, Unfortunately, deer have destroyed them. We tried a 2nd year and deer got at them again so we give up. Were glad the had a meal and we live in town.
May 4, 2016
over 3 years ago
Emperor Sweet Cherry
It did not do well after planting and during the last spring summer growth time. I don't think it likes our NE Oklahoma weather. I think it prefers cooler and less sunny weather. It has blossomed some and is really taking off in the growth department this spring so far. It has real potential for the future. I would like to add that fruit tree spikes were used for all my trees.
May 10, 2016
over 3 years ago
looks nice
2nd leaf and tree looks healthy. Should be fruiting next year hopefully.
May 29, 2016
over 3 years ago
Tree is growing great, Even with the moderate drought conditions this year and the heavy rain from last year. Still no fruit yet. But its only on its 2nd year. So we don't expect anything until possible next year anyways.
August 6, 2016
over 4 years ago
Tree shipped too late in the season
The tree arrived with the buds leaved out----all white from being in the dark. It never recovered or grew properly and died a few weeks later.
August 12, 2016
over 3 years ago
Perfect tree
The Emperor Francis Sweet Cherry tree is developing quite well. It has grown at least three feet, blossoms galore, cherries soon
July 2, 2017
over 2 years ago
Good looking plant
Like my other reviews, I planted this tree a little over a year ago, in April 2016. It leafed out well both years, surviving this past winter (which was admittedly mild). No flowers or fruit yet, but the tree is young and still has a few years to go.
May 4, 2017
over 2 years ago
Looking great.
None of the fruit trees have bloomed yet but it's starting to pop. There are a lot of people hoping this tree has a lot of cherries.
May 4, 2017
over 3 years ago