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Sweet cherry, tart cherry, pie cherry, Bing cherry

Prunus spp.

Sweet cherry, tart cherry, pie cherry, Bing cherry

A plump, juicy cherry is a luxurious treat. Whether you grow sweet or sour cherries, plan to share a few with the wildlife in your area. This is usually not a problem as a mature tree will produce more fruit than one family can consume. When choosing a cherry tree, select for disease-resistance and small size. The smaller the tree, the easier it will be to harvest the fruit.

Sweet cherries grow in the coast valleys of California, near the Great Lakes, and in the Northwest. They thrive where winter and summer are mild. Sweet cherries require a pollinator so be sure to plant two varieties. Sour or pie cherries are easy to grow for most home gardeners. The hardy plants are adaptable and self-fertile -- you only need one plant for fruit set.

Plant Type:
Plant Height:
8-80 feet
Plant Width:
6-50 feet
Flower Color:
The white or pink flowers are often fragrant and a welcome addition to the spring landscape.
Bloom Time:
Cherry trees bloom in midspring. Freezing temperatures can kill buds and prevent fruit set.
Landscape Uses:
Beds & Borders
Special Features:
Flowers,Fragrant,Fall Color,Attracts Birds
Top Varieties

is the standard for sweet black cherries. The deep mahogany fruit is firm and juicy. The large spreading tree yields large crops. Use 'Sam,' 'Van,' or 'Black Tartarian' as a pollenizer (not 'Royal Ann' or 'Lambert'). Zones 5-8
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is a 10-foot-tall sour cherry tree. Its bright red fruit has yellow flesh and is favored for pie making. This is an ideal cultivar for home gardens. Zones 4-8
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is a medium to large sour cherry tree. It produces masses of large red fruit with yellow flesh. Zones 4-9
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is a sweet cherry with large, dark red fruit. The 25-foot-tall tree grows especially well in the South and West. Zones 5-8
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is the standard for blushed yellow cherries. The firm, juicy fruit is excellent for fresh eating or canning. The large tree spreads with age. Use 'Corum,' 'Windsor,' or 'Hedelfingen' as a pollenizer (not 'Bing' or 'Lambert'). Zones 5-8
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Harvest Tips
Sour cherries begin to bear 3-4 years after planting. Fruits ripen about 60 days after bloom, from late May to mid-June. Sweet cherries begin producing heavy yields in their fifth year and bear fruit in July. Store ripe cherries for up to a week in the refrigerator.