Succulent and juicy, sweet and colorful; growing a classic sweet cherry tree is simple and rewarding. These easy to grow trees are perfectly happy in a home orchard but also make stunning edible landscape trees. Enjoy these ruby red or bright yellow fruit fresh from the tree, in baked goods, or preserved in jams, you will love their sweet flavor profiles.
Below are 6 of our favorite sweet cherry trees. Choose a few different varieties for your garden and enjoy their sweet, sweet fruits for years to come.
A Collection Of Sweet Cherry Trees
Bing Cherry Tree
The Bing Cherry Tree is the cherry most people associate with a classic sweet cherry. The gorgeous dark red fruit is shiny with a rich and juicy flavor; perfect for snacking. It is a good thing the Bing Cherry Tree is a prolific producer, you will want to preserve some for the winter after you have eaten your fill fresh from the tree.
The Bing Cherry comes in a semi-dwarf form that is only 16-20 feet tall when mature making it easy to harvest. Widely grown in USDA Zones 5 through 9, the tree requires between 700 and 800 chill hours.
Lambert Sweet Cherry Tree
The dependable and extremely productive Lambert Sweet Cherry Tree offers growers a rich flavor that is indicative of the dark ruby, heart shaped fruit. Delicious eaten fresh off the tree, you will want these easy to grow trees in your home orchard.
Widely adaptable and grown in USDA Zones 5 through 7. The Lambert Sweet Cherry requires 800 chill hours. With a mature height of 15 to 18 feet, these pretty trees are a good size for the home gardener to harvest.
Corum Sweet Cherry Tree
The Corum Sweet Cherry Tree is distinguishable by its pretty yellow/orange fruit that has a bright red blush.
The best pollination partner for the Corum Sweet cherry is the Royal Ann cherry. When these two are planted together, you will have an extended harvest; first the Corum then a week or so later, the Royal Ann will be ready to pick.
The Corum Sweet Cherry grows well in USDA Zones 5 through 7 and requires 700 chill hours. It offers growers fragrant spring flowers followed by pretty yellow fruit.
Sweetheart Cherry Tree
Classic, showy white blossoms that give way to shiny bright red fruit are the hallmarks of the Sweetheart Cherry Tree. The fruit has a delicate heart shape and a sweet and lightly tart flavor. It is firm and juicy making it perfect for eating fresh off the tree.
Grown in USDA Zones 5 through 7, the Sweetheart Cherry requires 1,000 chill hours to set fruit. This easy to grow tree offers a later harvest and makes a beautiful ornamental plant. The growth habit is large, with a mature height of 30-35 feet. The tree is a stunner. You can harvest all the low-hanging fruit and let the birds clean off the top of the tree.
If you want to learn more about the Sweetheart Cherry Tree, visit our overview with all the information you need to get started with this variety.
Lapins Cherry Tree
The Lapins Cherry Tree produces large, juicy fruit that you won’t be able to stop eating. This Royal Horticultural Society Award Winning cherry tree makes a beautiful ornamental tree with a brilliant display spring, summer, and fall. This versatile cherry is plump and resists splitting; it is perfect for baking and preserving.
Offering a wide-ranging habitat with USDA growing Zones 5 through 9, the fully grown Lapins Cherry Tree will reach a height of 20 feet. Requiring 800-900 chill hours, this variety is fairly cold hardy. In spring bloom this tree is a pollinator magnet.
Rainier Cherry Tree
Bright yellow fruit with a beautiful red blush is the trademark of the Rainier Cherry Tree. The fruit is wonderfully sweet and delightful for fresh eating.
Widely grown in USDA Zones 5-9, the Rainier Cherry Tree was developed at Washington State University and is named for Mount Rainier. The semi dwarf tree reaches a full height of 15-25 feet tall making it easy to harvest. This cherry tree requires only 700 chill hours to set fruit making it a viable choice for a wide geographical range of orchards.
You can read all about The Rainier Cherry Tree and why you should plant one in your own home orchard.
Planting Zones For Sweet Cherry Trees
Sweet Cherry Trees are adaptable to a wide variety of USDA growing zones, ranging from zone 5 up to zone 9. Cherry trees also require a certain amount of chill hours to set fruit. Typically, they range between 700 and 1,000 chill hours. Be sure to check the individual variety to hone in on the best growing zone and chill hour requirements.
For all the little details about cherry trees, visit How To Grow Cherry Trees.
Many sweet cherry trees are self fertile and can produce fruit without a pollination partner. However, planting two sweet cherry trees that are pollinator friendly will increase each tree’s yield and extend your harvest season. It behooves the home orchardist to plant at least two trees thereby providing a bumper crop as a reward for your gardening efforts.
Caring For Your Sweet Cherry Tree
- Full sun is ideal with at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. Morning sun is the most important as it will dry off the overnight dew and help prevent mold and diseases.
- Cherry trees prefer rich, well drained soil.
- Regular watering is required in dry regions.
- You can control the size of your tree, even keep it under 10 feet tall, by pruning it in the summer months after harvest.
- Prune in the winter to remove dead branches, open up the center of the tree to increase air circulation, and shape the scaffolding branches.
- For all the up-to-date information about pruning your cherry trees, check out our post on Pruning Your Cherry Tree.
- Diseases & Care
- The biggest part of caring for your cherry tree is protecting the fruit from the birds. Birds love the delicious ripe fruit, so netting your tree is critical if you want to preserve a bountiful harvest. Of course, when you have your fill, the birds will be delighted to clean off any remaining cherries.
- We highlight all the information you need to keep your cherry tree healthy in Cherry Tree Diseases and Care.
Common Uses For Sweet Cherries
Eating these gems fresh from the tree is Mother Nature’s sweet treat. These little sugar bombs are juicy and meaty. Besides eating them fresh from the tree, they are perfect in baked goods, preserves, and make excellent sauces.
Cherry preserves will extend your enjoyment of the harvest well into the next season. The Hungry Hutch offers up a quick and easy Homemade Cherry Preserves. They also highlight the “frozen plate test,” a method of determining if your jam has reached the correct consistency. This method helps to determine the thickness of your jam while you are still in the preparation stage. By placing a spoon of the hot preserve on a frozen plate, then refreezing for a minute, you can assess the projected consistency of your cooled jam. Pretty ingenious.
Health Benefits of Sweet Cherries
Sweet Cherries are deliciously sweet and make a perfect substitute for sugary snacks. In addition to satisfying your sweet tooth, cherries are naturally high in vitamin C and polyphenols. Eating cherries can help reduce inflammation, aid in sleep, are a great source of fiber, and are gut friendly.
For more details on The Health Benefits of Sweet Cherries, visit our blog.
Purchasing Your Sweet Cherry Tree
We highly recommend purchasing your orchard trees from a reputable vendor; our choice is Nature Hills Nursery. Their selection of Sweet Cherry Trees is extensive and the quality of their trees is unsurpassed. They take exceptionally great care with the saplings as they mature, ensuring you receive a tree that is ready to plant and will produce fruit within a few years.
Buying Sweet Cherries
While you are waiting for your cherry trees to produce fresh fruit, you can enjoy these yummy little jewels by purchasing them from your local farmers market or grocery store. You can find sweet cherries from late May through August as a steady supply arrives from California and the northwest.
The key to purchasing a delicious cherry is in the stem. If the stem is intact and green, that is a great sign. A missing stem can promote fruit rot. With or without stem, the fruit should be shiny and firm. When you find great cherries, buy several pounds — some for eating and some for preserving.
Sweet Cherry Trees
Growing your own sweet cherry trees is easy. They make beautiful edible landscape trees and produce copious amounts of sweet, delicious fruit. Check out the reviews of our favorite cherry trees and select one or two that will work for your taste buds and home orchard.