The Bing Cherry – An Oregon Native
A large red Bing Cherry Sculpture in Milwaukie Oregon Sculpture Garden

By Mary Pellegrini

Oregon artist Tyler FuQua has created a spectacular, five-foot red steel ball sculpture to tell a story few people know: The most famous sweet red cherry, the Bing, was introduced in Milwaukie on rich farmland south of Portland in 1875 and it became an instant success that dominated much of the Oregon Cherry Market.

Chinese-born Ah Bing worked decades grafting, propagating and growing new fruit tree varieties along the Willamette River in the late 19th century. The Bing cherry, a cross between the Black Republican and Napoleon cherries, was developed in 1875 in a row of experimental seedlings under Bing’s care in Milwaukie, Oregon. Read more of the lost history of Ah Bing, his namesake cherry and Chinese labor in Oregon. It’s a long read but quite interesting if you love Oregon History.

In 1882, Congress passed the federal Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned the immigration of Chinese laborers to the United States. It was against this background that, in 1889 or 1890, Bing traveled back to China, never to return to the U.S.

Today, the Bing cherry is one of the most popular varieties of sweet cherries. Although cherries can be found throughout the Willamette Valley, the majority of Oregon’s cherry crop is tucked in the shadow of Mt. Hood, in the Upper Hood River Valley and on hillsides overlooking the Columbia River. The U.S. Pacific Northwest is the most important sweet cherry production region in North America with new varieties and selections being tested by Oregon State University at a variety trial located in The Dalles, Oregon.

Oregon Mural Tral

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The Bing Cherry – An Oregon Native, Old Parkdale Inn

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4932 Baseline Dr, 

Mount Hood Parkdale, 

OR 97041, United States  

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