Flathead growers expect plump cherry crop

With the apex of cherry season just weeks away, cherry growers along Flathead Lake are taking stock of the fruit on their trees and picking the varieties that ripen early.

“So far this year the weather has been cooperating,” said Bruce Johnson, president of the Flathead Lake Cherry Growers Association. “We’ve been pretty dry for two weeks now, and this is the time period where we don’t want any rainstorms.”

On average, the size of the cherries appear to be larger than last year’s crop, but each tree has fewer cherries, Johnson said. That’s a good thing, he said. Last year some trees produced fruit so small the growers didn’t even bother picking it, Johnson said.