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PRUNUS avium

Image of Prunus avium

Bosh Bruening

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

PRUNUS avium

Plant Common Name

Sweet Cherry

General Description

This sweet cherry is among the most universally enjoyed of all tree fruits. It is believed to have originated from a region between the Black and Caspian Seas in Asia Minor. The Greeks and Romans popularized the fruits through heavy cultivation and planted the trees throughout their ancient empires. Continued European cultivation inspired more refined selection and eventually breeding. American colonists introduced sweet cherries to the New World early on and the trees were brought westward to the California mission orchards where many popular American varieties originated.

Sweet cherry trees are large and deciduous. Their thick canopies become covered with deep green shiny serrated leaves during the growing season. In spring, they burst into heavy bloom, bearing clusters of sweetly scented white flowers that are five-petaled, cupped and ornamental in their own right. Most varieties require a pollinating tree nearby to ensure a good fruit crop. The fruits are borne in clusters or singly and are shiny, round and red. They usually ripen by midsummer.

Plant sweet cherries in climates where summers are drier. This will ensure that the fruits will have maximum sweetness and won’t crack during development. They require full sun and well-drained soil that’s moderately fertile. Like many fruit trees, cherries fruit best when pruning regularly. Prune while the trees are dormant to shape them and remove unwanted suckers. Cherries can only survive in regions with cold winters and require 1000 to 1500 annual chilling hours for good flowering and fruit production.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 6, 7, 14, 15

  • Plant Type

    Fruit

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    30'-35' / 9.1m - 10.7m

  • Width

    25'-35' / 7.6m - 10.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Shade Trees, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No