Skylar Rae, is a a new, bicolored cherry variety that is said to have the highest sugar levels of any cherry grown commercially (between 23-25 Brix), and a firm, crisp bite. This variety is exclusive to Stemilt and was found growing on Jack Toffness’ family farm in Wenatchee, WA, in 2005.
The exact parentage of this new variety is unknown. It is distinguished from other cherries by its golden yellow background color with partial to full orange-red blush covering it. Biting into the fruit offers a unique experience – it’s both firm and full of sugary sweetness.
Shortly before the discovery of this cherry, Troy and Kim Toftness suffered the loss of their infant daughter, Skylar Rae.
According to a press release, Skylar Rae’s grandpa, Jack Tofness, was working in the orchard when “he looked up to the sky with tears in his eyes to see a beautiful rainbow come down over the hill. The rainbow became a source of healing for him, and the whole family. Today, when the Toftnesses or their two children, Brock and Brylee see a rainbow, they know it’s Skylar Rae smiling down at them.”
Soon after this moment, the family discovered a different cherry growing on a tree they had planted a few years before, the tree was growing between blocks of Sweetheart and Rainer cherries. But, it was unlike those varieties in flavor, color, and texture. This chance variety lead to the discovery and planting of a new brand of cherries – to be called Skylar Rae, in order to honor the memory of Skylar Rae Toftness.
The Toftness family selected Stemilt to grow and market these cherries in North America. Skylar Rae is available to plant through C&O Nursery.
Source: Stemilt News Release