9 Cherry Trees in Connecticut: Ornamental & Edible Varieties

Cherry trees are adored around the world for their unbeatable blossom which heralds the beginning of spring.

Cherry trees are also planted for their delicious fruit which can be enjoyed fresh, preserved, or in cooking.

Edible cherries can either be sweet (Prunus avium) or tart (Prunus cerassus.) Cherry trees need a specific amount of chill hours (temperatures between 32° and 45° F) for the buds to open each spring, meaning the state of CT is suitable for their cultivation.

All cherry trees prefer, deep, rich well-drained soil, that’s slightly acidic.

9 Cherry Trees To Grow in Connecticut

1. Bing Cherry (Prunus avium ‘Bing’)

Bing Cherries
Image by Kyle Mahan via Flickr

The Bing Cherry is one of the most popular sweet cherries for home growers. Early spring sees the Bing cherry covered in gorgeous white flowers which emit a pleasant fragrance. The fruit is large and heart-shaped, with a purplish-red flesh. A mature tree can produce between 50 – 100 lbs of fruit per season, usually in mid-June or mid-summer.

The Bing Cherry needs between 700-800 chill hours and requires cross-pollination with other varieties with the same bloom time, such as Montmorency, Vista, Ranier, Vega, Tartarian, Schmidt, Gold, Stella, and Cavalier.

It’ll bear fruit after 5-6 years. The simple leaves are 5-6” long and have teethed margins. The Bing Cherry will grow in a rounded shape and has a reddish bark with horizontal stripes.

The Bing Cherry is not drought tolerant and prefers well-drained sandy soil.

Other Common Names: Bing Cherry

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 30-35 ft tall and 20-25 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring

2. Black Tartarian Cherry (Prunus avium ‘Black Tartarian’)

Black Tartarian Cherry
Image by Koocheekoo via Flickr

The Black Tartarian Cherry is an early ripening variety of cherry. It’s long been favored for its reliable yields of dark, sweet fruit and as a pollinator for other varieties. Clusters of white, fragrant, 5-petaled flowers adorn the Black Tartarian Cherry tree’s branches in the early spring.

After the flowers fade, dark green, oval foliage with a pointed tip covers the tree. The leaves retain their color throughout the growing season.

Early to mid-summer sees the dark, lustrous fruit ripen under the rounded, pyramidal canopy. The fruit are about 1” in size, dark in color, and rich in taste. Black Tartarian Cherry trees are an excellent choice for those looking to create an edible landscape or to plant a beautiful ornamental tree in any part of their land.

Other Common Names: Black Tartan, Black Russian, Circassian Black, Ronald’s Large Black Heart

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 20-30 ft tall and 20-30 ft wide

Flowering Season: Mid-spring

3. White Snow Fountains Weeping Cherry (Prunus x ‘Snofozam’)

Snow Fountains weeping cherry
Image by beautifulcataya via Flickr

The White Snow Weeping Cherry is a show-stopper when in bloom. It’s a compact and tidy ornamental cherry variety that requires little maintenance when planted with full sun exposure.

Spring sees the weeping, arching branches that can nearly reach the ground covered in pure white blossoms which attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The leaves retain their green color throughout the growing season. Fall sees the foliage provide a show of oranges and reds.

The White Snow Cherry provides a wonderful accent tree wherever you decide to plant it. They can handle being covered in heavy layers of snow and ice and are also somewhat drought tolerant.

Other Common Names: Weeping Higan Cherry, White Fountain Cherry, Snofozam Weeping Cherry

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 8-15 ft tall and 6-12 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring

4. Kwanzan Cherry (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’)

Kwanzan Cherry
Image by Drew Avery via Flickr

The Kwanzan Cherry is native to China, Korea, and Japan and gets its name from a mountain in Japan. It’s the most popular of the double flowering cherry trees and is planted solely for its blossoms, as it bears no fruit.

The Kwanzan Cherry grows in a vase shape and produces an abundance of double pink flowers 2 ½ inches in diameter from early April to May.

The ovate to lanceolate leaves are alternate and have serrated margins. They emerge with a reddish copper hue, turning dark green in the summer and yellow/bronze/orange in the winter months. The Kwanzan Cherry prefers moist soil but will tolerate some drought.

Other Common Names: Kwanzan Flowering Cherry, Oriental Cherry, Hill Cherry

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 20-35 ft tall and 20-25 ft wide

Flowering Season: Early April to May

5. Montmorency Cherry (Prunus cerassus)

Montmorency Cherry
Image by Elvis Kennedy via Flickr

The Montmorency Cherry is native to large parts of Europe and Southwest Asia, and whilst closely related to the sweet cherry (Prunus avium) it has a much more acidic flavor. Sour Cherry trees are much smaller than sweet cherries and usually have a rounded or spreading crown. The leaves are ovate, abruptly pointed, and have fine teeth.

The flowers are white, appear in clusters of 2-5 on slim pedicles and appear with the leaves on year-old wood. The fruit is globlose, black/light red, and has a slightly sour-acidic taste in comparison to sweet cherries. The fruit ripens 2 months after the spring blooming period.

Montmorency Cherries are late-season producers and require 900 hours of chill time. Whilst cross-pollination is not required, a cross-pollinator will improve production.

Other Common Names: Sour Cherry, Tart Cherry, Dwarf Cherry

Growing Zones: 4-7

Average Size at Maturity: 15-25 ft tall and 15-25 ft wide

Flowering Season: April- May

6. North Star Cherry (Prunus cerassus ‘North Star’)

Northstar Cherry
Image by Austin Hill via Flickr

The North Star Cherry is a cold-hardy cherry developed at the University of Minnesota. It has a vase-shaped habit and upright spreading branches. Late spring sees the emergence of clusters of white flowers along the branch tips and are followed by a crop of large, light red fruit in early/mid-summer.

The fruit resists cracking and can remain on the tree for a while (provided the birds don’t get to them)

The leaves of the North Star Cherry are elliptic and change to hues of orange in the fall. It’s a self-fertile variety but will produce a better crop with another variety close by for cross-pollination. The North Star Cherry will grow best in well-drained soil in full sun.

Its small size makes it ideal for CT gardeners who lack space but still want the benefits that growing cherry trees offer.

Other Common Names: Dwarf North Star Cherry Tree

Growing Zones: 4-8

Average Size at Maturity: 8-10 ft tall and 7-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: Late spring

7. Danube Cherry (Prunus cerassus ‘Danube,’)

Danube Cherry
Image by hey tiffany! via Flickr

The Danube is a tart cherry tree from Hungary that produces a crop of large, juicy, firm, sweet/tart fruit. The Danube is a large, spreading tree, and blooms early, making it slightly less cold-hardy than other tart cherries like the Montmorency Cherry.

It’s partially self-fertile but may provide greater yields when planted with a sweet cherry pollinizer close by.

Danube cherries are known for keeping well, remaining okay to eat for days left at room temperature under normal conditions. They ripen early-to-mid-July.

Other Common Names: Erdi Botermo

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 10-12 ft tall and 10-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: Early spring

8. Yoshino Cherry (Prunus × yedoensis)

Yoshino Cherry
Image by Bernard Spragg. NZ via Flickr

The Yoshino Cherry is one of the most popular flowering trees grown in Japan and is one of the stars of Cherry Blossom festivals in suitable areas globally. The Yoshino Cherry tree is cultivated for its white/pink blossom and faint almond aroma that graces the tree in the springtime.

The Yoshino Cherry grows in a rounded shape. The alternating leaves are simple, emerging a reddish color, and turning dark green in the summer. The fruit measures around 1” and are attractive to birds such as robins, cardinals, and waxwings. The Yoshino Cherry prefers moist conditions but will tolerate some drought.

Other Common Names: Tokyo Cherry

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 15-35 ft tall and 25-40 ft wide

Flowering Season: Early or mid-spring

9. Stella Cherry (Prunus avium ‘Stella’)

Stella
Image by 阿橋 HQ via Flickr

The Stella cherry tree is a variety of sweet cherry tree with a pyramidal habit and sweetly scented white spring blossom along the branches. The flowers are followed by heart-shaped, large dark cherries in the early to mid-summer.

Their flavor is sweet and rich and is commonly eaten fresh, canned, or made into preserves. The foliage is a lustrous shade of dark green in the summer.

Stella Cherry doesn’t require a pollinator but serves as one to other trees which do require cross-pollination. The Stella Cherry tree will require 600 hours of chill time for the buds to open each year and hence to fruit.

Other Common Names: Sweet Cherry Stella, Stella Sweet Cherry

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 ft tall and 15-20 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring

Connecticut Cherries

Cherry trees are treasured throughout the world, both for their aesthetic appeal and for their delicious fruit. The opening of the cherry blossom marks the beginning of spring for many cultures.

Cherries can be either sweet or tart, and both can be eaten raw, cooked, or made into preserves to be enjoyed at a later date.

The state of CT is perfectly situated and receives enough cold hours to enable the cultivation of cherry trees so you can enjoy watching them grow in your own home.

Related Articles: