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The Rainier Cherry Tree

Cherries come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and offer you flavors from tart to extreme sweetness. If you are wanting to have fresh cherries right out your backdoor and an easily accessible summer snack, a cherry tree is a great option for your space.

One cherry tree that is perfect for adding to your outdoor space is the Rainier Cherry. A Rainier Cherry tree produces a steady heavy crop in the summer months and produces fruit early on in its life, providing you cherries earlier and sooner.

Rainier Cherry Tree

Rainier Cherry trees are often tolerant of a ton of soil environments but need a little bit of protection from the wind, so the pastel pink flowers stay on to turn into fruit. If you are wanting to know all of the details of growing your own Rainier Cherry, you have come to the right place. Continue reading to learn what Rainier Cherries are, where they originated, and how to grow your own.

What are Rainier Cherries?

Often called the most popular cherry variety in America, Rainier Cherries are a great choice for all types of gardeners. If you have noticed yellow and red cherries at your local grocery store, more often than not, they are Rainier Cherries.

One thing to note is that Rainier Cherries are sometimes confused with Royal Ann Cherry because of their very distinct coloring. Rainier cherries and Royal Ann cherries both offer you a stunning mix of red and yellow that are incredibly sweet to enjoy.

Rainier cherries are the most popular cherry for a good reason; their sweet flavor is hard to beat and has people coming back time and time again. Rainier cherries are also considered one of the sweet varieties you can buy, which is another reason so many people love them.

Rainier Cherries are very popular and are often more expensive than most cherries you see. These cherries are a mix of Van and Bing cherry varieties which creates the popular Rainier Cherry that we all know and love today.

Besides taste, one reason people flock to these cherries is for their yellow interior flesh that is not red like the typically cherry you see. A yellow interior provides you and your family a healthy snack option without worrying about the staining red color getting all over clothes and fabric in your home.

Pink pastel blooms will pop against any background in the spring months and will be followed by large yellow and reddish fruit that you can eat straight from the tree. Not only will you see color in the blooms and cherries, but your Rainier Tree will be a flash of color in the fall as well. Rainier cherry trees will be painted with colors of bronze and yellow, adding an entirely new aspect to your backyard.

Rainier Cherries in a Basket

The History of The Rainier Cherry

Rainier Cherries originated in the state of Washington and today are grown all over Oregon as well as California. Washington State University created the Rainier Cherry alongside Harlod Fogle, and they have been winning hearts ever since.

The name Rainier comes from Mount Rainier, which is the highest peak near Washington State University. These cherries have grown more and more popular over the years, and it is a variety that was created and cultivated in the United States.

What does a Rainier Cherry Taste Like?

The moment Rainier Cherries are ripe and make their way to local grocery stores and farmer’s markets, they are snatched up by people everywhere. Rainier Cherries are incredibly popular for their sweet and delectable taste that makes them one of the sweetest varieties.

These cherries are harvested during mid-summer, and having your own tree will ensure you have a steady demand of cherries to harvest every single year. Rainier cherries are also adored by birds, and wildlife will eat any cherry that is not protected by a net or protective barrier.

With a thin exterior, once you take a bite, you will be overwhelmed with the naturally sweet interior that provides you a punch of flavor right away. A thinned skin variety of cherries allows the majority of the flavor to be in the thick yellow flesh that greets you as you take a bite.

Rainier Cherries on a Tree

How to Grow Rainier Cherries?

Rainier Cherry Trees require another cherry tree to pollinate with in order to have a crop of cherries every summer. The Black Tartarian and Montmorency Cherry Tree are great options of varieties that will be great pollinator trees for your Rainier Cherry. While a pollinator is absolutely necessary for a successful Rainer Cherry tree, once you plant both trees, you will be rewarded with a plethora of cherries every summer.

Rainier Cherry trees are not picky when it comes to soil, but they do need a site in full sun to grow to their full potential. Typically Rainier Cherries do best in hardiness zones 5-8, which covers most of the United States except the more northern states throughout the country. Rainier cherries are not huge fans of the cold, so areas that have extended cold weather should look at a different variety that is more old hardy, such as a Royal Ann Cherry Tree.

Once you have your Rainier Cherry Tree, dig a hole that is at least three times the root ball both for depth and width. After you have your hole dug and ready, put your tree in place, cover it with soil, and then ensure you water the roots thoroughly. You can also add mulch to the top of the mound around your Rainier Cherry tree to retain moisture and keep your tree from drying out too much.

After your tree has had some time to mature and grow, you can prune back any weak or old branches in the winter to encourage consistent and steady growth over the years. These trees are also easily pruned to keep a certain size and can be pruned to be around ten feet tall with continual attention and pruning. When choosing a site for your Rainier Cherry tree, make sure to find one that is blocked from the wind as more wind will knock off cherry blooms and will minimize your harvest every year.

Once planted, Rainier Cherry trees typically bear fruit earlier than most cherry trees so picking a perfect spot is optimal because you will likely see fruit within your first year. Rainiers can grow to be up to 30 feet tall, so unless you plan to prune it back, finding a great site is crucial.

Where to Buy a Rainier Cherry Tree?

A Rainier Cherry Tree is a great option to add to your backyard, but you must remember that you will need a pollinator for it to grow and produce a cherry harvest. Instead of wasting time running around from nursery to nursery, have a ready-to-grow tree delivered right to your home.

With a ready-to-grow cherry tree dropped off on your doorstep, you can use the time you saved to sketch out your backyard orchard design or take more time to prepare a site so when your tree arrives, you will be ready to go.

How to Use a Rainier Cherry?

Cherry Jam

It is important to note that while Rainier cherries are a great option for a quick snack, they often bruise easily, so they should be handled with care. Rainier Cherries are delicious in a jam like this one to add some flavor to your morning routine. They are also delicious combined with breakfast pastries and added to a bowl of yogurt in the morning.

Rainier Cherries also offer you beautiful spring pastel colors that will be used as a border tree or as an accent in your home garden.


Why are Rainier cherries so expensive?

Rainier Cherries are more expensive than most because of supply and demand. Rainier cherries are bought by so many people that their price can be easily increased because the demand will still be there.

What are Rainier cherries good for?

Rainier cherries are great for eating fresh or combining into any recipe that requires cherries. From adding them to pie or canning them for later, Rainier Cherries are a great option.

Are Rainier cherries edible?

Absolutely, Rainier Cherries are edible and are a delicious snack at any time of day.

Are Rainier cherries high in sugar?

Yes, Rainier Cherries are made up of naturally occurring sugars that provide you with a sweet snack without all of the added calories that many desserts or snacks have.


Rainier Cherry Trees are overall a great choice for your home because they offer you a huge amount of flavor right out your back door. These cherry trees provide you with year-round color from green to pastel pink blooms to red and yellow fruit and ending the year with a bronzey yellow color.

Rainier Cherry trees do need a pollinator, so taking time to find the best site is crucial to the success of your trees, and you want to make sure you have enough room for both trees to grow strong. If you find that you love growing fruit in your very own backyard, adding an apple tree or blueberry bush is a great place to continue your backyard orchard. A fruit tree adds an entirely new element to your backyard and provides you easily accessible fruit that will produce every year.

Excited for more cherry content? Then visit our cherry page for more planting tips, growing guides, recipe ideas, and more!

Mark Warren

Saturday 15th of April 2023

I planted a Rainier Cherry tree and really don't have any room for another. I have a Washington Dwarf apple tree and a peach tree. I have to find where to plant another Cherry Tree.


Saturday 15th of April 2023

Grow one in a container.