Prunus / Fruiting Cherry Trees - Growing Guide

Growing fruiting cherries


Some of the cherry species which produce fruit are just as impressive as the Japanese flowering cherries which do not. Others, however, are grown for their fruit and the flowers are not that impressive by comparison. We do not stock plums (P. x domestica) or peaches (P. persica).

Not all of the fruiting cherries are large trees.

1. Dwarf growing and medium shrub fruiting cherries

P. tenella ‘Fire Hill’ is a form of the dwarf Russian almond which grows as a suckering spreading shrub into a 5x5ft shrub in maturity. It has bowl shaped dark pink flowers in March and small almond-like grey-yellow fruit in the autumn. This is a mixed border or even a rockery plant and thrives when grown with heathers in a peaty heather bed.

P. x cistena grows to a similar height. It has red leaves when young turning red-purple in maturity and solitary bowl-shaped white flowers in late spring. It needs a fair bit of space in the herbaceous border.

P. incisa ‘Kojo-No-Mai’, the Fuji cherry, grows quite slowly into a rounded spreading shrub of about 8x8ft in maturity. It has pale pink or white flowers before the leaves appear in mid spring. The fruits are cherry like and purple-black. These make attractive plants in a mixed border.

P. mume ‘Beni-chidori’, a form of the Japanese apricot, grows to around 8ft with an upright shrubby habit. It has dark pink flowers and yellow apricot like fruit which are bitter to the taste.

P. mume ‘Omoi-no-mama’ grows to a similar height but has semi-double pink flushed white flowers.

P. nipponica var. kurilensis ‘Brilliant’ has a compact dwarf habit with white flowers which fade to soft pink.

P. triloba is a tall shrub which can achieve 10ft or more in height. It is densely branched with bowl-shaped pink flowers in mid spring followed by spherical red fruits.

2.  Fruiting cherry trees

P. cerasifera ‘Nigra’, the cherry plum, grows to around 30ft and produces plum-like edible red or yellow fruit. Its leaves are red when young then turning dark purple-red. The leaves offset the pale pink flowers which fade to white nicely. We have found that this tree will fruit in the nursery but not perhaps every year. As a foliage plant in the garden it stands out superbly and is therefore a multipurpose tree!


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