Originated in Ujfeherto, Hungary, and brought to the U.S. by horticulture professor Amy Iezzoni during her search for later blooming cherries. Fruit is sweeter, larger and firmer than Montmorency, making it one of the best sour cherries for fresh eating. Dark-skinned, red-fleshed morello-type cherry makes a dark red juice, excellent pie and incredible jam.
After WWII, the Hungarian government created large cooperative farms throughout the country, and scientists went around collecting sour-cherry scions for propagating regional varieties. The cherries from the village of Ujfeherto were considered the best. When Iezzoni eventually brought the cherry to the U.S., she knew it needed a name that was easier to pronounce than Ujfehertoi Furtos. In an interview with NPR, she explained why the cherry was named after a lake on the opposite side of the country: “Well, if you look at a Hungarian map, about the only thing an American can pronounce is Lake Balaton.”
Fruiting in Zone 4 regions of Maine. Self-pollinating but more productive when pollinated by other cherries. Z4/5. (2½-6' bare-root trees)
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