Cherry, Sweet (Prunus avium)
Exposure: Full zun. Zone 4 - 8.
Soil: Sweet cherries prefer a light, well drained sandy soil, but will live in well drained, aerated clay soil. All cherries respond well to mulches and compost, though keep the mulch well away from the stem. Avoid heavy applications of nitrogen fertilizer, as this will increase the trees susceptibility to disease. Because of their shallow roots, they prefer a fairly moist soil. Mulch helps with this.
Growth habits: Sweet cherries can be long lived, spreading to upright trees from 25-35’ in height and 20+’ in diameter. They bloom in mid spring with masses of small white flowers and are followed by masses of ripe fruit in June. Cherries are among the most beautiful of trees with beautiful dark green serrated leaves and rich, reddish-brown bark. Their fall leaf color is yellow. Sweet cherries are less reliable producers than pie cherries in our region, so don’t count on an annual crop, particularly during wet years as the fruit is susceptible to brown rot and fruit crack during those times. Birds also love cherries, so plan on sharing your harvest or planting a Mulberry nearby to distract them.
Landscape uses: These beautiful trees make nice shade, screen, specimen, and orchard trees with their dense, spreading canopies, and beautiful leaves, flowers, fruit, and bark. Be sure to prune or spread the side branches for wide crotch angles to support heavy fruit loads.
Pollination: With the exception of ‘Stella’, sweet cherries require cross pollination with another variety of sweet cherry. Mazzard cherries can pollinate sweet cherries.
$32.00 / 3 gal. $39.00 / 5 gal., $49.00 / 7 gal., $60.00 / 10 gal. Sizes vary by variety
'Pregnancy' - Grafted from a favorite Asheville tree at the Asheville Pregnancy Center.
‘Rainier’ - A large golden-yellow fruit with a red blush, ‘Rainier’ is early bearing, heat tolerant, and produces large crops of sweet, delicious fruit in July. The fruit keeps well after harvest. Cross pollinate with ‘Stella’ or 'Compact Stella'.
'Compact Stella' - A large dark red to black fruit that has black, juicy flesh with a sweet flavor that is good for fresh eating, jams, and preserves. Vigorous and productive, self fertile, and a good pollinator.
'Stella' - Dark red juicy cherries. Self fertile tree is a good pollinator for sweet cherries.