Cherry Tree

Prunus avium

Sweet Cherry, Wild Cherry, Kersie (Afr.)

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Prunus avium, blossom, Metylovická pahorkatina 03 by Daniel Baránek (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Prunus avium cherry blossom
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Prunus avium, blossom, Metylovická pahorkatina 03 by Daniel Baránek (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Tall and attractive, the Wild Cherry, Prunus avium, is a deciduous tree that speaks to almost all the senses with its fragrant white-pink flowers in Spring, its orange, pink & red leaf-jacket in Autumn and the small tasteful deep-red fruits that are known across the world. It has culinary & medicinal applications. It is ornamentally cultivated as a flowering tree or grown for the delicious fruit. This tree can survive in a wide range of habitats and is a beautiful addition to an informal garden.

Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Summer, Spring

Fruiting time

Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Fruit are hand-picked when ripe.

Propagation

Cuttings

Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, winter in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame.

Seed

Sowing time - Winter. Germination time - Seed needs 3 months of cold to break dormancy period and will sprout in Spring.

Suckers

They produce quite a lot of suckers and can form thickets, especially if the main trunk is felled.

Special features

Autumn colour

The leaves turn orange, pink or red before falling.

Attracts useful insects

Attracts insects such as bees during blossom time.

Attracts birds

The fruit are readily eaten by numerous kinds of birds.

Repels harmful insects

The tree exudes a gum from wounds in the bark, by which it seals the wounds to exclude insects and fungal infections.

Attractive flowers

Special features

Origin

Europe & Western Asia.

Natural climate

Cool to temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Medicinal

Fruit stalks are astringent, diuretic and tonic. A decoction is used in the treatment of cystitis, oedema, bronchial complaints, looseness of the bowels and anaemia, amongst other treatments.

Edible

Fruit is eaten fresh, in tarts, as a dessert, frozen, candied, pickled, in sweet & sour dishes or preserved in jams, liqueurs & syrups. Otherwise eaten by birds, animals & various insects.

Notes

Culinary

Personality

Family

Rosaceae

Flower colour

Pink, White

Scent

Strong

Problems

May get aphids, caterpillars, leaf-mining moths and bullfinches. May be affected by silver leaf, bacterial canker and blossom wilt.

Companion plants

Other Cherry trees will help with better pollination and fruitset.