Bing cherries are a popular sweet cherry variety (prunus avium) for backyard and home gardeners. Developed in the Pacific Northwest, Bing is a major cultivar both for home and commercial gardens. Bing cherries are named after Ah Bing, a Chinese foreman in the Lewelling family fruit orchards in Milwaukie, Oregon. Developed in 1875, there is some dispute over if Ah Bing was the person responsible for the cultivar or if it was named in his honor due to his long service with the Lewelling family.
Bing cherries are grown for the fresh eating market and are characterized by dark, large, firm cherries. They are susceptible to mold, especially with late rains that cause the skins to crack. From the Bing cultivar, other varieties such as Rainier were developed.
Other interesting produce that was named after individuals include the following:
- Granny Smith apples -originting in Australia after Marie Ana (Granny) Smith
- Bartlett pear – originally called the Williams pear, who was a 17th century horticultuarlist, it was inadvertently renamed after Enoch Bartlett in the early 19th Century
- Clementines – named for Pere Clement Rodier, a French monk
- Hubbard Squash – named after Elizabeth Hubbard in Massachussets in the mid 1800s.
Like many fruit trees, they are susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases. For help on improving fruit quality and tree health with yearly maintenance, contact us for details.
Photo: Bing Cherries by Kate Fisher
Cover Image by Matt McGee, used under its Creative Commons license.