Cherry, sweet (Prunus avium)
Full sun. Zone 4 – 8.
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 tree’s susceptibility to disease. Because of their shallow roots, they prefer a fairly moist soil. Mulch helps with this.
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.
Most sweet cherries require a second variety for pollination.
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.
‘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’. Out of stock
‘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. The tree is smaller than most sweet cherries at 12-14 feet tall.
$39.00 / 5 gal., $49.00 / 7 gal. Sizes vary by variety
Rainart – 3 gal: 3
Compact Stella – 3-5+ gal: 15