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PRUNUS cerasus 'Montmorency'

Image of Prunus cerasus 'Montmorency'

James Burghardt

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

PRUNUS cerasus 'Montmorency'

Plant Common Name

Montmorency Tart Cherry, Sour Cherry

General Description

One of the most widely-grown pie or sour cherries, ‘Montmorency’ is prized for its heavy crop of tart, flavorful, juicy red fruits which are a seasonal treat for pies and desserts. This selection originated in France in the 17th century and trees were introduced in the United States around 1760. Cultivated since ancient times, sour cherries probably originated in eastern Europe or western Asia from a hybrid between sweet cherry, Prunus avium, and ground cherry, Prunus fruticosa.

This spreading, deciduous tree with shiny, toothed leaves produces masses of white, cup-shaped flowers in spring. These are soon followed by abundant clusters of large, glossy, plump, bright red cherries which ripen by midsummer.

For best flowering and fruiting, sour cherries need a location in full sun and average, well-drained soil. Cut back any suckers that develop at ground level; otherwise, little pruning is needed other than to maintain shape. They are not tolerant of areas with extremely high summer temperatures, and their early blossoms may be susceptible to killing frosts in spring. Sour cherries are self-fruitful and do not require a second pollinator plant; however, they are not suitable pollinators for sweet cherry varieties. Expect hungry songbirds to rob fruits from this tree unless covered in a protective netting.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Fruit

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    12'-18' / 3.7m - 5.5m

  • Width

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, Europe, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single, Double

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Fruit / Fruit Tree

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes