Windsor is the standard late Bigarreau and one of the most profitable of the hard-fleshed cherries grown in New York. Both fruit and trees deserve the approbation of cherry-growers. In color the cherries meet the market demand, buyers preferring a dark-colored Sweet Cherry. None would find fault with the appearance of Windsor. The flesh is firm and the product stands harvesting and shipping well and at a season of the year when brown-rot is usually rife this variety is fairly free from this scourge of the Sweet Cherry. The quality is from good to very good, equaled but not surpassed by others of its class. But it is in its tree-characters that the superiority of Windsor is best shown. The trees have the reputation of being the hardiest of the Bigarreaus and of thriving in many soils. They are usually fruitful. To offset these merits, the trees have two or three rather serious faults. Thus, they do not come in bearing early; they are tall and upright in growth, being almost fastigiate, making it difficult to harvest the crop; and the load of fruit is too much clustered.
Cherry-growers agree that the worst of all pests of this fruit is the robin and that the Windsor, for some reason or other, is the freest of its kind from this and other thieving birds. From the behavior of the variety in New York, we can heartily join with practically all who are growing this variety in recommending it as a late, market Sweet Cherry.
Windsor originated in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century on the farm of James Dougall, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and was introduced to fruit-growers in 1881 by Ellwanger & Barry, Rochester, New York. It has been planted extensively in many sections of this country for both home and market use and is now offered for sale by a large number of nurserymen. The American Pomological Society added Windsor to its fruit catalog list in 1885 and the variety still holds a place there. Though rather widely known in the United States the commercial culture of this variety is almost wholly confined to New York. It seems as yet not to have found its way to Europe, a fact to be regretted, for its many good qualities would soon make it known in the Old World where the Sweet Cherry is better grown and more appreciated than in America.
Tree large, vigorous, upright-spreading, open-topped, very productive; trunk thick, shaggy; branches stocky, very smooth, brown nearly overspread with ash-gray, with large lenticels; branchlets thick, rather short, brown overspread with light ash-gray, smooth, with few small, inconspicuous lenticels.
Leaves four inches long, two inches wide, folded upward, obovate to oval, thin; upper surface dark green, slightly rugose; lower surface light green, pubescent; margin doubly crenate, glandular; petiole one and one-fourth inches long, tinged with dull red, with from one to three globose, reddish glands of medium size on the stalk.
Buds conical or pointed, plump, free, arranged singly as lateral buds and in very numorous clusters variable in size, on short spurs; leaf-scars somewhat prominent; season of bloom intermediate; flowers white, one and one-fourth inches across; borne in scattering clusters, in ones and twos; pedicels one inch long, slender, glabrous, greenish; calyx-tube green, campanulate, glabrous; calyx lobes greenish or with a tinge of red, acute, glabrous within and without, reflexed; petals broad-oval, slightly cretiate, with short, blunt claws; filainents five-sixteenths of an inch long; pistil glabrous, shorter than the stamens.
Fruit matures in late mid-season; three-fourths of an inch in diameter, slightly oblong to conical, cornpressed; cavity deep, wide, flaring; suture a line; apex roundish, with a depression at the center; color very dark red becoming almost black; dots numerous, small, russet, obscure; stem slender, one and one-fourth inches long, adherent to the fruit; skin thin, adhering to the pulp; flesh light red, with reddish juice, tencler, meaty, crisp, mild, sweet; good to very good in quality; stone semi-free, ovate, flattened, blunt-pointed, with smooth surfaces; ventral suture rather prominent near the apex.
1. Gard. Mon. 24:208. 1882. 2. Cult. & Count. Gent. 49:636. 1884. 3. Am. Pom. Soc. Cat. 22. 1885. 4. Del. Sta. Bul. 35. 16 fig. 7. 1897. 5. Ont. Fr. Exp. Sta. Rpt. 5:41 fig, 1898. 6. Am. Gard. 21:76. 1900. 7. Can. Hort. 25:3, 262 fig., 263. 1902. 8. Am. Pom. Soc. Rpt. 56, 57. 907.
[Windsor in 'Cherries of Utah']