Identifying Cherry trees

The cherry tree is a beautiful and popular tree that belongs to the genus Prunus

Identifying Cherry trees

In this article:


The cherry tree is a beautiful and popular tree that belongs to the genus Prunus. With its vibrant flowers and delicious fruits, it is no wonder why cherry trees are highly valued. This article will guide you through the process of identifying cherry trees based on their physical characteristics, popular varieties, leaves and bark, flowers, and fruits.

History and significance of the cherry tree

Cherry trees have a storied history and hold cultural significance in various countries. They originated in Asia and were brought to Europe and North America by explorers. Cherry trees are often associated with beauty, love, and the arrival of spring. They are commonly seen as a symbol of renewal and happiness.

Physical characteristics of the cherry tree

Cherry trees typically have a moderate to fast growth rate, reaching heights of 20 to 30 feet. They have a round or oval-shaped crown and their branches spread in a graceful manner. The tree's bark is smooth initially, but it develops vertical cracks and becomes rougher as it ages.

. Bing cherry tree

The Bing cherry tree is one of the most well-known cherry tree varieties. It produces large, dark red fruits with a sweet and juicy flavor. The tree has a dense, upright form and its leaves are dark green.

. Rainier cherry tree

The Rainier cherry tree produces yellow and red blush fruits. These cherries have a delicate, sweet flavor and are highly sought after. The Rainier tree has a spreading, open habit and its leaves are light green.

. Stella cherry tree

The Stella cherry tree is a self-pollinating variety known for its medium-sized, dark red fruits. These cherries have a sweet and slightly tart taste. The Stella tree has a compact shape and its leaves are glossy green.

. Montmorency cherry tree

The Montmorency cherry tree is a sour cherry variety commonly used for pie fillings and preserves. Its bright red fruits have a tangy flavor. The Montmorency tree has a more upright and spreading growth habit compared to other cherry trees.

Identifying cherry tree leaves and bark:

. Leaf shape and size

Cherry tree leaves are simple and alternate, meaning they are attached to the stem individually and not in pairs. They have an oval shape with serrated edges and can reach a length of 2 to 5 inches.

. Leaf color and texture

The color of cherry tree leaves varies throughout the year. In the spring and summer, they are typically bright green. In the fall, they turn vibrant shades of yellow, orange, or red. The texture of the leaves is smooth and shiny.

. Bark color and texture

Young cherry tree bark is smooth and has a brownish-grey color. As the tree ages, the bark becomes rougher, developing vertical cracks, and turns darker in color.

Identifying cherry tree flowers:

. Blossom type and appearance

Cherry tree flowers are typically arranged in clusters and have a five-petal structure. They can be either single bloom or double bloom, with double bloom varieties having a fuller appearance.

. Flower color and fragrance

Cherry tree flowers come in various shades of pink and white. Some varieties have a pleasant fragrance, filling the air with their sweet scent.

Identifying cherry tree fruit:

. Fruit shape, size, and color

The shape, size, and color of cherry fruits vary depending on the variety. They can be round or slightly elongated, and range in color from dark red to bright yellow with red blush.

. Fruit taste and texture

Cherry fruits have a juicy and sweet taste, although sour cherries have a tart flavor. The texture can range from firm to soft and succulent.

. Harvesting season

The harvesting season for cherries typically falls in late spring or early summer, varying based on the specific variety and climate.

Tips for accurately identifying cherry trees

- Familiarize yourself with the physical characteristics and popular varieties of cherry trees.
- Observe the shape, color, and texture of the leaves and bark.
- Examine the flowers, noting their type, color, and fragrance.
- Pay attention to the shape, size, color, taste, and texture of the fruit, as well as the harvesting season.
- Consider consulting a local arborist or horticulturist for assistance in identification.


Identifying cherry trees can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. By understanding their physical characteristics, popular varieties, leaves and bark, flowers, and fruits, you can confidently recognize and appreciate cherry trees in your surroundings.

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