Cherry trees are one of the most preferred fruit trees in the world. But, they won’t just grow anywhere.
Where do cherry trees grow best? Cherry trees grow the best in locations with quick, well-draining soil that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day (or more). Excessive sunlight helps prevent bacteria and fungus infections from setting up on Cherry trees and their fruit.
Read on below and discover everything you need to know about growing cherry trees in the best soil, space, grow zone, and more!
Ideal Planting Location for Cherry Trees
The best planting locations for Cherry trees are in yards, gardens, orchards that receive full sun all day long and have deep and fertile organic soil that is well-draining.
Cherry trees thrive in excessive sunlight, and quick-draining soil, because the combination allows for quick, steady, growth and very little infestations from pests, bacteria, fungus, or mold.
All things considered, if you have space in your yard or garden that receives sunlight for the majority of the day, has a slight breeze, and has more than three feet of soil depth, you’re good to go with planting Cherry trees!
How Much Sunlight do Cherry Trees Need?
Cherry trees do the best when they are planted somewhere that allows them a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of full sun each day. That said, the more sun the merrier because there isn’t such a thing as too much sun for most fruit trees (including Cherry trees).
Ideal Grow Zones for Cherry Trees
Over 430 types of Cherry trees exist, counting North American, European, and Asian species, each slightly different from the next. For each species, the most ideal grow zones vary. That said, most Cherry trees thrive under growing conditions in zones 4, 5, 6, and 7.
Best Soil Type for Cherry Trees
The best soil for Cherry trees has a pH of between 6.5 and 6.75 and is naturally a bit acidic. The opposite to sandy and shallow soil, Cherry trees prefer soil that is rich with organic matter, deep, and very well-draining.
If you don’t have deep fertile soil, your first step to planting cherry trees that thrive is building up the soil health (before you even think about sticking trees in the ground).
Ideal Temperature & Chill Requirements of Cherry Trees
The ideal temperature for chilling Cherry trees is 32 to 40 degrees for between 250 and 750 hours depending on the species. If they don’t reach this cold of a temperature range for several weeks during the winter they won’t be likely to produce fruit during the following production season.
Ideal Surroundings for Planting Cherry Trees
(please discuss considerations for the immediate surroundings such as: are there overheard wires that could obstruct it? Will the tree block a neighbor’s view or hang over a neighboring sidewalk? Will it block sunlight for other trees/plants? Are there underground pipes or power lines that could hinder growth? etc.)
Ideal Spacing when Planting Cherry Trees
To figure out the proper spacing for planting your Cherry trees, you need to know how high and wide the type grows:
- Standard Cherry tree height and spread: up to 25 feet by 25 feet
- Sweet Cherry tree height and spread: up to 35 feet by 40 feet
- Semi-dwarf Cherry tree height and spread: up to 15 by 15 feet
- Dwarf Cherry tree height and spread: up to 10 by 10 feet
When planting, allow Cherry trees a minimal space of:
- Standard Cherry tree spacing requirements: 20 to 25 feet apart
- Sweet Cherry tree spacing requirements: 30 to 40 feet apart
- Semi-dwarf Cherry tree spacing requirements: 10 to 20 feet apart
- Dwarf Cherry tree height and spread: 5 to 15 feet apart
Planting in Higher vs Low-lying Areas
If you want your Cherry tree to really thrive, you’ll need to plant it somewhere on the high grounds of your property.
The reason being? Planting in low-lying areas may put your Cherry trees at risk for frost damage during the cold seasons.
That means the early blooms may become damaged and result in less fruit (or even no fruit in worst-case scenarios).
Planting on the high ground also prevents the tree’s root systems from becoming waterlogged and/or rotting.
Pollination Considerations when Planting Cherry Trees
Most cherry trees rely on bees for natural cross-pollination to bloom and produce Cherries each year.
However, it is crucial to note that some sweet Cherry tree varieties (like Stell, and Stella Dwarfs) are self-pollinating, but not all of them are.
Again, the majority of Some Cherry trees require cross-pollination.
That means these trees need to be paired with compatible varieties if you want them to blossom and produce fruit.
Therefore considering extra space is a must with these sorts of species.
Best Cherry Tree Varieties for Each Grow Zone
For each of the world’s growing zones, various Cherry trees are better suited for planting, growing, and producing cherries than others.
Below is a list of the best varieties of Cherry trees for each of the preferred hardiness zones:
Hardiness Zone 4
- Rainer (a sweet species)
- Other sweet species
- Various sour species
Hardiness Zone 5
- Utah Giant
- Royal Rainer
Hardiness Zone 6
Hardiness Zone 7
The above species are but a smattering of the most popular Cherry tree species for growing in grow zones 4, 5, 6, and 7. There are hundreds more suitable varieties and hybrids to choose from!
When is the Best Time to Plant a Cherry Tree?
Early spring (right after winter blows out of town for the year) and late fall (directly before winter sets in for the year) are the best times of the year to plant a Cherry tree of practically any variety. The most important part is that the ground is moist, well-drained, and warming up for the year.
Are Cherry Trees Easy to Grow?
Cherry trees are some of the easiest fruit trees that a person with little to no experience may grow. Once the first two to three years go by, they practically take care of themselves, besides any pruning you might wish to do to give them your desired shape.
Cherry trees do the best when planted in well-draining, loamy soil, somewhere in the full sun. Further, they prefer deep rich fertile soil that their roots can shoot down into and thrive. If you give them light pruning, and a healthy dosage of fertilizer each spring and fall, they’ll respond in kind by producing even more vigorous and healthy growth.