In the study, it is aimed to determine whether the harvest can be delayed with the application of MeJA in sweet cherry fruits. For this purpose, some of the fruits were collected on the estimated harvest date, while some were kept on the tree for an extra week. Delayed harvest caused a significant increase in fruit mass of control and MeJA treatment performed 1 week before the estimated harvest. On the other hand, in MeJA treatments made 2 or 3 weeks before estimated harvest, there were no significant differences between harvest dates in terms of fruit mass. Fruit firmness showed a significant decrease because of delayed harvest in both control and MeJA treatments. Firmness measured in late harvested fruits was lower in MeJA treatments compared to the control. Control fruits had higher cracking index than fruits treated with MeJA at normal harvest and delayed harvest date. Delaying harvest resulted in increases in vitamin total phenolics, total flavonoids, anthocyanin content, and antioxidant activity of fruits in both control and MeJA treatments. In the study, the effect of MeJA applications on the change in fruit quality characteristics during storage was also investigated. Compared to the control, MeJA treatments reduced weight loss and respiration rate during storage. The total phenolics, total flavonoids, anthocyanin content, and antioxidant activities measured during the storage period were also found to be higher in MeJA applications compared to the control. Practical applications The study provides knowledge on the cold storage of sweet cherry. It presents the effect of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) sprayed on trees in different regimes before harvest on the quality characteristics and bioactive compounds of sweet cherry during harvest and cold storage.