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Black Tartarian Cherry Tree

Have You Heard of the Black Tartarian Cherry Tree?

The Black Tartarian cherry tree has a storied history that has made a journey across the Atlantic Ocean all the way to our local grocery stores. Black Tartarian cherry recipes cover everything from sweet treats to next-level barbeque sauces. 

Black Tartarian Cherry Tree

Let’s celebrate black tartarian cherries and get inspired to plant our own! 

History of the Black Tartarian Cherry Tree

You’ll never guess what the black tartarian cherry tree was first called when it made its way from Russia to England in 1794. Before we knew it by the name black tartarian cherry, this tree was called “Ronald’s Large Black Heart.” It went by that name until the early 1800s when it was first brought to America. 

This tree is popular as both an ornamental plant and a source of fruit. The dark red cherries produced by this tree are very sweet and are great to eat right off the branch. Since it’s traveled from Russia, the black tartarian cherry has become an incredibly popular cherry tree throughout the world. 

Black Tartarian Cherry Tree Characteristics

These are impressive trees that grow quite tall and have purple, dark red, and almost black fruits. As the original name suggests, these trees have heart-shaped cherries. With vibrant flowers and striking fall colors, these trees also make great ornamentals. 

They are also great sites for birds. If you are looking to help support the pollinators in your local environment, this tree is an ideal way to bring them in. 

Planting Zones

Black Cherries on the Tree
black cherries on the branch.

So, you want to know how to grow the black tartarian cherry tree? 

It all starts with knowing where you can plant these trees outdoors. The black tartarian cherry tree has a more restrained growing range with zones 5 through 7 being ideal for this plant. 

Size and Spacing

Black tartarian cherry trees can grow quite tall! These cherries regularly reach over 30-feet tall and have a spread that can get over 15-feet. 

Fully grown black tartarian cherry trees should have ample breathing room. We recommend somewhere between 20 to 30-feet of space between trees. 


Black Tartarian Cherry Blossoms

The black tartarian cherry tree is not self-pollinating. Unlike other fruiting trees, and even other cherry trees, this cherry needs to have another plant around that can pollinate it. 

The black tartarian cherry tree is in flowering group 4 and will need an appropriate plant nearby that can pollinate it. Any other sweet cherry will do the trick. We recommend having a second sweet cherry within 100 feet of your black tartarian cherry for best results. 

Now that you’re growing your own black tartarian cherry tree, you’ll want to take care of it. 

Tree Care 

Caring for black tartarian cherry trees is actually very easy. While they are a little more intensive than dwarf cherries or micro trees, the black tartarian cherry is still very easy to grow on your own. 

Here’s what you’ll need. 


No surprises here. You’ll need plenty of sunlight to grow this plant. This is another full sun fruit tree. This means that you’ll want to make sure it gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Be careful with smaller or younger black tartarian cherry trees as they can get overshadowed by their surroundings. 


If you’re in the right climate zones, you should be fine letting average rainfall take care of this tree. However, if a drought comes along you’ll need to supplement natural rainfall with watering. These trees love sandy and slightly moist soils that drain well. They are not drought tolerant.  


Pruning A Cherry Tree

The best time to prune these cherry trees is during the late summer. Like all other sweet cherries, the black tartarian cherry tree is prone to disease when cut. Make sure you’re pruning judiciously and not as aggressively as you might want to prune another type of cherry tree. 

Diseases & Care

The black tartarian cherry tree is susceptible to a few common tree problems you’ll want to look out for. 

Keep an eye out for mildew, bacterial canker, and other common tree illnesses. These can quickly spread and notably damage your harvest. Remember that all the energy spent fighting off a disease is not going into making cherries. 

Pests are also a problem for the black tartarian cherry tree. Look out for aphids, flies, and even birds and mammals when the fruit becomes ripe. 

Common Uses For The Black Tartarian Cherry 

The black tartarian cherry tree really can’t be beat. The fruit from this cherry tree is delicious and easily falls away from the stone. The black tartarian cherry can be cooked, frozen, dried, or prepared using countless techniques. 

Here are some of the best ways to use the black tartarian cherry. 

What Does This Fruit Taste like?

The black tartarian cherry has one of the most pronounced and delicious tastes of all the sweet cherries. 

Bite into a black tartarian cherry, and you’ll instantly feel like you’ve struck gold. These cherries are very juicy and have a rich, concentrated flavor. The flesh peels away from the pit very easily making these a great choice for a quick snack. All in all, these are some of the best tasting cherries around! 


Cooking black tartarian cherries really has no limit. These fruits are great when they play a central role in a dish and great when they are playing backup. 

These cherries have traveled the world and have changed culinary culture wherever they have landed. You can find traditional meat dishes that feature sautéed cherries as well as deserts. There are even fermented beverages made with black tartarian cherries for the aspiring home brewer! 

If you don’t want to wait until they cook, you can always try these cherries raw. 

Check out some Amazing Cherry Recipes on Minneopa Orchards.

Can You Eat These Cherries Raw?

Of course, you can! Nothing completes summer vibes quite like picking cherries and snacking on them right off the branch. 

The black tartarian cherry is juicy with a strong flavor. There’s really no mistaking it. Keep in mind that these cherries do have pits. This means you’ll either need to peel the flesh away, spit them out, or use a fun DIY method to get them out. The chopsticks trick is one of our favorites! 

If you’re looking to keep a little summer all year long, you can always preserve these cherries. 

Canning / Freezing / Drying

These cherries handle all three methods of preserving very well. 

The most common way to keep these cherries for the long haul is to can them as jams or preserves. This lets you have black tartarian cherries all year long. The black tartarian cherry also does great as a compote which can also be canned. 

There are even more ways to get the maximum flavor out of these cherries. 

The Best Black Tartarian Cherry Recipes

Cherry Vodka Sour
Cherry Vodka Sour (Click on the image for recipe).

These really are some of the best cherries around. Whether you are making jam or you want to try your hand at a new barbeque sauce recipe, the black tartarian cherry is going to be your go-to cherry this summer. When in doubt, just snack on them raw and leave the cooking for another day! 

Now that we’re all racing to buy our own black tartarian cherry tree, what kinds of health benefits can we expect from this fruit? 

Health Benefits of the Black Tartarian Cherry Tree

Where to start with the health benefits of black tartarian cherries? 

Like with many fruits, these cherries make a great substitute for people who want a sweet treat, but want to start phasing out processed chemical-based snacks. 

The black tartarian cherry is well known for its high vitamin content. It can also help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. These cherries also provide a potential boost to heart health and antioxidant benefits. 

With delicious fruit this healthy, we can’t blame you for wanting to grow your own black tartarian cherry tree. Where should you look to pick up your own? 

Where To Buy This Cherry Tree?

You can find the black tartarian cherry tree for sale from home and garden centers throughout the United States. This is a popular tree for its ornamental value and its fruit. The black tartarian cherry can also be purchased online at several retailers in addition to Amazon. 

Maybe you just want to try out a few black tartarian cherry recipes before you commit to your own cherry orchard? If so, here’s where you can find them. 

Where To Buy These Cherries

After those beautiful early spring flowers bloom, this tree will begin to fruit. The fruit of the black tartarian cherry tree ripens over the course of a few months. You can typically expect these cherries to be fully ripe between June and July. 

Coincidentally, that’s also when you can get the best cherries in grocery stores and farmers markets. These cherries can also be found at local farms if you have someone growing cherries in your community. You can even grow one of these trees yourself and have ripe cherries literally falling into your lap. 

Wrapping up The Black Tartarian Cherry Tree

The black tartarian cherry tree has made a long journey from Russia in the 1700s to the United States today. Whether you are looking to enjoy a delicious black tartarian cherry right off the branch or you want to make preserves, it’s hard to go wrong with these cherries. 

We hope that we’ve inspired you to give black tartarian cherries a fresh look. Excited for more cherry content? Then visit our cherry page for more planting tips, growing guides, recipe ideas, and more!