Ah Bing immigrated from China to the U.S. around 1855. He worked as a foreman, managing more than 30 workers, and caring for trees in the Lewelling family fruit orchards in Milwaukie, Oregon for about 35 years. While working on the Lewelling farm, Ah Bing cultivated the Bing cherry. As the story goes, one day Seth Lewelling and Ah Bing walked through the rows of cherry trees where each of them maintained separate seedlings. In Ah Bing’s row, Seth found that Ah had developed a new type of cherry. Lewelling decided to name the cherry after Bing because “it’s a big cherry and Bing’s big [more that six feet tall] and it’s in his row, so that shall be its name.” While working in Milwaukie, Bing’s wife and children remained in China. In 1889 or 1890, Bing returned to China to see his family. However, he was never able to return to the U.S. due to the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Today, the Bing cherry is the most produced sweet cherry in the U.S.
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