Everything you need to know about growing, caring for, and using delicious cherries.
Cherry trees come in ornamental landscaping varieties that provide dazzling displays of gorgeous blossoms or as edible fruit varieties that yield bountiful harvests of cherries each year. You have the option of planting standard full-sized trees or dwarf-sized trees, which makes cherry trees a great option for smaller gardens.
Here, you’ll find everything you need to buy, plant and grow your own cherry trees. We’ve even included pest and disease control, pruning, when to pick and much more.
Here you’ll find information about all sorts of cherry trees. You’ll find info on a tree’s history, where you can find it, how to grow it, and the best ways to enjoy it.
Find some of the tastiest uses of cherries, from turnovers to jams to cocktails!
Sweet cherry trees start producing fruit within four to seven years of being planted and sour cherry trees produce fruit within three to five years. Dwarf varieties yield even sooner — some as soon as two years after planting.
The cherry tree considered to have the prettiest blossoms is the Kwanzan Cherry tree. With clusters of four to five double-pink flowers, the blossoms on this tree look like carnations.
The Autumn Cherry is another tree with attractive semi-double blossoms that make two appearances each year — a full bloom in the spring and a second, lesser, bloom in the fall. Yoshino Cherries are the famous Cherry Blossom Festival trees that blossom along the Potomac in Washington D.C. every year.
Yes, but not all varieties of cherry trees produce fruit that is edible by humans. The ornamental “cherry blossom” trees like Higan, Yoshino, and Kwanzan were bred for show-stopping displays of flowers, rather than the delicious fruit of edible cherry trees.
No. Sweet cherry varieties won’t cross pollinate sour cherries. Technically, a sour cherry is able to pollinate a sweet cherry tree, but it’s not likely that the blossoms of the trees will be open at the same time.
It depends on a couple factors.
What do you want to use the fruit for? Sweet cherries are best eaten raw. Sour cherries aren’t good snacking fruit, but are better for baking (pies, tarts, turnovers, etc) than sweet cherries.
How much space do you have for planting? Sweet cherries need another sweet cherry tree nearby as a pollination partner. You’ll need space for two trees planted at least twenty-five feet apart for full-sized trees and six to ten feet apart for dwarf-sized trees. Take into consideration you’ll need to plant them the same distance away from buildings and structures as well.
A sour cherry tree doesn’t need a pollination partner, so it can be the sole cherry tree in your garden and still produce fruit. Full-sized sour cherries need to be at least 18 feet away from structures and other trees.
Most cherry varieties only live between fifteen to thirty years, mainly because of pests and diseases. Healthy trees, however, can live a long time. Black Cherry trees, for example, can live up to 250 years. The world’s oldest living cherry tree is Jindai Zakura, an 1,800-2,000 year-old ornamental wild Higan Cherry tree in Japan.
Mature, standard-sized cherry trees yield thirty to fifty quarts of fruit — around 7,000 cherries. If you consider a cherry pie contains roughly 250 cherries, a single sour cherry tree produces enough fruit to make about twenty-eight pies!