Sweet Cherry Tree (Prunus avium)

Sweet Cherry Tree (Prunus avium)


  1. a) Life expectancy of 20-30 years
  2. b) Bears fruit within 3-5 years
  3. c) Productive in the late Spring and Summer
  4. d) Bears fruit for 20-25 years
  5. e) Native to Europe
  6. f) Average annual rainfall in area of origin is 619-900 millimetres
  7. g) Latin name: Prunus avium Family: Rosaceae
  8. h) Uses/benefits:

Fruit: Sweet, delicious fruit for human consumption, birds love them too!

Stalks: Medicinal – fruit stalks are astringent, diuretic and tonic.

Leaves: Produces a green dye.

Bark: Wounded bark yields a chewing gum substitute.

Wood: Firm and compact grain useful for turnery, furniture and instrument making.

Tree canopy: Provides shade for humans, animals and underplanting.

Flowers: Attractive and fragrant flowers.

  1. i) Height: 15-20 metres, trunk diameter of 1.5 metres, spreading deciduous tree (with a spread of 8-10 metres). Dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties limit the tree’s height to 3-6 metres more suitable for smaller gardens.
  2. j) Well suited to cold areas. Late flowering means frost are rarely a problem. Particular about soil and site. Prefers perfectly-drained, deep, fertile soil. Sheltered location for good pollination. Requires cross pollination from other cherry trees planted nearby (of a different variety).

Caution: Plant leaves can be toxic to animals if eaten. As with all members of the genus, contains amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid).

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