I love Michigan cherries. I finally had to recycle a "Cherry Republic" t-shirt from Leelanau Cty. this summer; it was about 10 years old!
What kind of dried tart cherries are you using, if you don't mind me asking? I've had the cherries that are much like raisins, and currently (currant-ly?), I have a container of dried cherry "puffs" from justtomatoes. They're not like raisins at all -more like the fruit puffs you'd see in cereals. Nothing added to them - just dry.
And verrrrry sour. Yum.
"In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833