The aim of this study was to establish a reliable method for testing in vitro viability of sweet cherry pollen. Pollen of eight sweet cherry cultivars ('Bigarreau Gaucher', 'Bing', 'Noble', 'Starks Gold', 'Stella', 'Van', 'Vista' and '0900 Ziraat') was collected and pollen performance tests were assessed. Three stain tests (TTC, IKI and FDA) and the 'agar in plate' method were applied to determine pollen viability and germination capacity. There were significant differences among the viability and germination ratios of the cultivars. Pollen viability rates differed according to stain tests. 'Noble' had the highest (93.9%) viability while 'Vista' had the lowest (74.5%). The pollen germination rates in 15% sucrose + 0.5% agar + 5 ppm H3BO3 solution varied between 34.8% ('Starks Gold') and 59.3% ('Bing'). In vitro pollen germination increased with increasing incubation period, and the highest germination was obtained after 48 h for all cultivars.