United States Edition

Wild cherry    

Prunus avium

Wild cherry is a plant which belongs to the Prunus genus.

Cherries have been valued for their fruit for millenia. Sweet cherries require more chilling hours (hours below 40F) than sour cherries so their range is more limited. The fruit is eaten fresh as well as consumed in jams, jellies, preserves, juice and wine. The flowers are also beautiful, which has led to the breeding of ornamental cultivars that don’t fruit but are grown purely for their flowers.

Species trees are good as ornamental trees but the fruit is smaller and not as sweet as the cultivars.1

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   White. When mature, blooms are roughly 3.8 cm (that's 1.48 inches in imperial) in diameter.The mature flowers are of a clustered form. When ripe, fruit appear in these approximate colours:   Cherry and   Dark scarlet. It is a flowering edible fruit / ornamental that typically grows as a deciduous, which is defined as a plant that sheds its leaves annually. Wild cherry is known for growing to a height of approximately 19.82 feet (that's 6.10 metres in metric) with a tree habit. This plant tends to bloom in early spring, followed by first harvests in late spring. This plant is a great attractor for bees and birds, so if you are looking to attract wildlife Wild cherry is a great choice. Consider Stella, Bing, Black tartarian, Lapins and Sweetheart to grow as they are very popular with home gardeners.

Turkey is believed to be where Wild cherry originates from.

Wild cherry needs a moderate amount of maintenance, so some level of previous experience comes in handy when growing this plant. Ensure that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant and keep an eye out for pests.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Wild cherry have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Wild cherry

  • Full Sun

    +
  • Medium

The mature height of a cherry tree is determined by the rootstock it is grown on. So wen selecting a rootstock, make sure not only that it is well suited to your local soil and conditions, but also that it limits the height to what you can handle. Remember you can also limit height by summer pruning. Other considerations are how many chill hours your cherry cultivar needs to set fruit and whether it’s self-fruitful or needs a pollenizer.

In dry years keep evenly moist to prevent split fruit.

Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water moderately. Use Zone 3 - Zone 9 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Ensure your soil has a ph of between 6.5 and 7.8 as Wild cherry is a weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil loving plant. Keep in mind when planting that Wild cherry is thought of as hardy, so this plant will survive close to or on freezing temperatures.

Growing Wild cherry from seed

As with many tree fruits, it does not grow true to seed. So while you can plant seeds and get a cherry tree, it likely will not resemble its parent very closely. However, if you have the room, the time and the patience to experiment, it could be rewarding. The seed needs to be “cold stratified” which means keeping it at a temperature below 40 F (but not freezing) for a prolonged period. You can either do that by keeping it outside during winter if you live in a cold area, or putting it in the fridge. Stratify it for at least 3 months.

Transplanting Wild cherry

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Wild cherry is a hardy plant.

Harvesting Wild cherry

Fruit color can be bright red, dull red, dark red, or even yellow.

Companion plants for Wild cherry

These plants have been known to grow well alongside Wild cherry so consider planting:

Repellent plants for Wild cherry

These plants will not grow well with Wild cherry so avoid planting these within close proximity:

Common Wild cherry problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Wild cherry plants:

Cherry fruit is prone to splitting when watered (by rain or artificial watering) after a period of non-water during fruit development. Some cultivars are less prone to splitting then others.

scab, rots, crown gall powdery mildew, bacterial canker

Cherries are very popular with both birds and gophers so you need to protect your tree from them. Birds love the fruits and gophers love the roots. Birds can be held off with bird netting. Gophers can be deterred by planting the trees in metal cages of a heavy enough gauge that a gopher can’t chew through. Cherries are prone to a number of other pests as well.

Aphids, whiteflies, scale, and flies.

Wild cherry Etymology

Avium refers to birds, which love eating cherries.

Wild cherry Folklore & Trivia

A myth about one of the United States’ Founding Fathers, George Washington, says that he was confronted by his father after a cherry tree was cut down. When asked, he said, “I cannot tell a lie…”, admitting that he cut it down. This is pure myth, though.

Other names for Wild cherry

Grace star, cherry tree

Prunus avium (L.) L.

Wild cherry care instructions

How long does Wild cherry take to grow?

These estimates for how long Wild cherry takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Footnotes

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