Many people enjoy them, but very few understand why the cherries can grow in such a cold climate. Simply put, it’s the microclimatic effect of Flathead Lake. While the ideal situation doesn’t always exist, it maintains itself most of the time and enough to enable the cherries to flourish. In the spring of the year, when we can have fluctuating temperatures between very warm and very cold, the lake, still cold from the long Montana winter, allows for the land to stay cooler, so there isn’t the great fluctuation in temperatures that might trick the cherries into growing and then freezing when the temperatures drop again. By the time the trees commence blossoming, the landscape is beginning its warming phase. Then, throughout the summer months, the warm sun heats up Flathead Lake. In autumn, when killing frosts arrive, that heated water, slow to cool, allows the land to stay a bit warmer and protect the trees until they go dormant. Otherwise, a freeze would kill them. These cherry trees are delicate and they owe their existence to Flathead Lake.