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Cherry crop will be early

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POLSON — The wild roses bloomed early, haying started early and now the Flathead sweet cherries are ripening early. 

The Finley Point cherry plant will be opening as early as July 5, according to Brian Campbell, Monson Fruit Company field representative and local cherry grower. 

Sun exposure, proximity to Flathead Lake, and horticultural practices define why some orchard’s cherries ripen earlier than others, Campbell said, but usually the dark red fruit ripens earlier on the southern end of Flathead Lake, usually Finley Point and then the south shore. 

“Washington is really early, too. We follow them, we can bank on it,” Campbell said.

Washington has a good-sized crop, while Flathead growers will have a smaller harvest than normal due to a freeze in November, Campbell said.

“So far the quality and size (of the cherry) is looking good,” he added, there just won’t be as many cherries this year.

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