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Cherry trees

Cherry trees are an excellent choice for the garden because they are at their best when eaten straight from the tree.

  • Amber Heart

    Amber Heart cherry trees
    The most popular traditional English white cherry, widely known as Kent Bigarreau.
    £39.50buy
    • Picking season: Mid
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Aprikyra®

    Aprikyra cherry trees
    A sweet self-fertile apricot-cherry cross, also known as an Aprichery or Cherrycot
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • Athos®

    A natural dwarf sweet cherry tree, unlikely to get much bigger than 2m.
    £62.00buy
    • Picking season: Mid
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • Black Oliver

    Black Oliver cherry trees
    A traditional English black cherry from the West Midlands.
    • Picking season: Mid
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Burcombe

    A dark red / black cherry from the Tamar valley.
    £38.75 - £57.75buy
    • Picking season: Late
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Celeste

    Celeste cherry trees
    Celeste is a compact dark red/black cherry, one of the best early-season varieties, with a sweet mild flavour.
    £64.50buy
    • Picking season: Early
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • Colney

    Colney cherry trees
    Colney is a large modern late-season English dessert cherry, dark red/black, with a good flavour.
    • Picking season: Late
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
    • Awards: RHS AGM (former)
  • Early Red Maraly®

    Early Red is a modern dark red sweet cherry with a firm flesh.
    £54.00buy
    • Picking season: Early
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Felicita®

    A modern self-fertile dark-red cherry, notable for its very large cherries.
    £64.50buy
    • Picking season: Mid
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • Hertford

    Hertford cherry trees
    A large dark red English cherry with a good flavour.
    £45.50buy
    • Picking season: Late
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
    • Awards: RHS AGM (former)
  • Knight's Early Black

    Knight's Early Black cherry trees
    A traditional English early-season black cherry
    £39.50buy
    • Picking season: Early
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Kordia

    Kordia cherry trees
    Kordia is a large late-season true black cherry variety with a good balanced cherry flavour.
    £54.00 - £64.50buy
    • Picking season: Late
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
    • Awards: RHS AGM (current)
  • Lapins

    Lapins cherry trees
    Perhaps the best all-round sweet cherry for the UK. Easy to grow, with heavy crops of good-flavoured cherries.
    £45.50 - £63.50buy
    • Picking season: Mid
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
    • Awards: RHS AGM (current)
  • Merchant

    Merchant cherry trees
    An early-season black/red cherry with a good flavour.
    • Picking season: Early
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
    • Awards: RHS AGM (current)
  • Merton Glory

    Merton Glory cherry trees
    A well-known mid-season English white cherry.
    £57.75 - £63.50buy
    • Picking season: Early
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Morello

    Morello cherry trees
    Morello is a traditional late-season acid or sour-cherry, ideal for cooking with, and can be grown in north-facing situations.
    £45.50 - £63.50buy
    • Picking season: Late
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
    • Awards: RHS AGM (current)
  • Napoleon Bigarreau

    Napoleon Bigarreau cherry trees
    A traditional white cherry, with an excellent flavour and appearance.
    £39.50buy
    • Picking season: Early
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Nimba®

    Nimba is a modern large-fruited red sweet cherry, ripening right at the start of the cherry season.
    £54.00buy
    • Picking season: Very early
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Pacific Red®

    Pacific Red is a modern large-fruited red sweet cherry with a firm flesh.
    £54.00buy
    • Picking season: Early
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • Penny

    Penny cherry trees
    Penny is a high quality late-season black cherry - ripening in mid-August.
    £45.50 - £63.50buy
    • Picking season: Very late
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
    • Awards: RHS AGM (current)
  • Regina

    Regina cherry trees
    Regina is a new late-season sweet black cherry, with a good flavour and resistance to splitting.
    £54.00buy
    • Picking season: Late
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Skeena®

    Skeena cherry trees
    One of the best of the Canadian late-season cherries.
    • Picking season: Late
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • StardustTM

    Stardust cherry trees
    Stardust is a new mid-season white cherry which is also fully self-fertile.
    £54.00 - £64.50buy
    • Picking season: Early
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • Stella

    Stella cherry trees
    If you only want to grow one cherry tree, choose Stella - self-fertile, easy to grow, and a good pollinator.
    £38.75 - £63.50buy
    • Picking season: Mid
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
    • Awards: RHS AGM (current)
  • Summer Sun

    Summer Sun cherry trees
    Summer Sun is productive mid-season cherry, and should ripen even if the summer weather is less than perfect.
    £38.75 - £63.50buy
    • Picking season: Mid
    • Self-fertility: Partially self-fertile
    • Awards: RHS AGM (current)
  • Sunburst

    Sunburst cherry trees
    Sunburst is a large red mid-season cherry with a good sweet mild flavour, and notably easy to pick.
    £38.75 - £63.50buy
    • Picking season: Mid
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • Sweetheart

    Sweetheart cherry trees
    Sweetheart is one of the best-flavoured late-season cherries for the UK climate.
    £40.50 - £64.50buy
    • Picking season: Late
    • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
    • Awards: RHS AGM (current)
  • Sylvia

    Sylvia cherry trees
    Sylvia produces large dark red sweet cherries, ripening in the middle of the cherry season. It is a naturally small tree and grows with a columnar form, useful if space is limited.
    £57.75buy
    • Picking season: Mid
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Tamara®

    Tamara cherry trees
    Tamara has probably the largest fruit size of any of the cherry varieties we offer.
    • Picking season: Late
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Waterloo

    Waterloo is a traditional English sweet cherry with a red / black skin.
    £39.50buy
    • Picking season: Mid
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile


How to choose Cherry trees

Cherries are perhaps the most diverse member of the genus Prunus, which includes other popular stone fruits such as plums, peaches, and apricots. There are two main types, the sweet cherry Prunus avium (best for eating fresh) and the acid or sour cherry Prunus cerasus (best for culinary use).

Cherry trees are generally easy to grow, but sweet cherries like sun, so choose a sunny aspect when planting. All cherries prefer well-drained soil, so avoid areas that are prone to water-logging. The most serious disease affecting cherry trees is bacterial canker, and this tends to be more aggressive in wet soils.

The other main horticultural challenge is bird protection. It's a foregone conclusion that birds will get your cherry crop before you do, because they are prepared to eat slightly un-ripe cherries whereas humans are not. However the simple precaution of netting the trees just before the harvest will solve this problem - on very large and inaccessible trees drape a net over some of the lower branches, allowing the birds to take their share from the higher branches.

Cherry trees do not need much attention as they grow, a simple mulch to keep the area free of weeds is sufficient. Once fruiting begins the mulch remains important, and should be extended to match the spread of the branches, because it acts as a sponge and therefore helps prevent fruit-splitting after heavy downpours. You should also apply compost and/or manure during the winter to supply the tree with the nutrients it needs for growth and fruiting.

Provided you can keep the birds off, cherry trees make a good choice for the garden because cherries are a fruit that is best eaten straight from the tree - sweet cherries do not keep more than a day or so and the flavour fades very rapidly. Shop-bought cherries are often quite expensive, and can never be as fresh as those you pick from your own tree.

Sweet cherry varieties can be crudely classified into two groups: traditional English, and modern. The traditional English varieties are in fact mostly of central European origin (and have very un-English names) but were the mainstay of cherry orchards in Kent for the first half of the 20th century or earlier. These varieties are typified by good traditional cherry flavours, but are not particularly easy to grow and often have complicated pollination requirements.

Modern cherry development is now an international affair but was started by the Summerland research station in British Columbia, Canada in the 1940s. The original objective was to tackle the horticultural problems associated with commercial cherry production, particularly fruit-splitting and pollination. The most famous of these new varieties is Stella but there are many others (often starting with an "S"-sound, such as Sweetheart, Sunburst, and Celeste). Whilst they lack the tradition and romance associated with the older English varieties, the flavours are still excellent and their self-fertility and easier horticultural characteristics make them a much better choice for the gardener with space for only one or two cherry trees.

Some other terms that often arise with cherries:

  • Bigarreau. This means a firm-fleshed variety (as opposed to a soft flesh).
  • Heart. Whilst most cherries are spherical, many have a distinct heart-like shape.
  • White cherries. This refers to the flesh rather than the skin colour. Whilst most cherries have a dark flesh, white cherries have a white or pale yellow flesh. Most white cherries are old traditional varieties.

There is not such a great variation in the flavour of cherries as there is with, say, apples, so when choosing which varieties to grow, it is perhaps more important to think about the ripening season and other horticultural attributes. All cherries are superb if eaten straight from the tree on the day they