Cherries are a type of stone fruit that belong to the Prunus genus, which also includes peaches, plums, and almonds. There are many species and varieties of cherries, but the most common are Prunus avium, the sweet cherry, and Prunus cerasus, the sour or tart cherry.
Size: Cherry trees have a variety of growth habits, from the spreading canopy of sweet cherry trees to the more upright habit of many sour cherry trees. They typically reach 15-30 feet (4.5-9 meters) in height, depending on the species and variety, with dwarf varieties being much smaller.
Flowers: Cherry flowers are usually small, white to pink, and appear in clusters in early spring.
Fruits: These attractive blooms are followed by cherries, which vary in size, color, and flavor depending on the species and variety. They have a rich nutritional profile, being a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. Cherries, particularly tart cherries, are also known for their high levels of antioxidants and potential health benefits.
Hardiness: Cherries are hardy in USDA zones 5-9 for sweet cherries and 4-9 for sour cherries. This means they can grow in a wide range of climates, from moderately cold to hot.
Uses: Cherry trees are primarily grown for their fruit, which can be eaten fresh, dried, or used in cooking and baking. They also serve an ornamental purpose with their spring blossoms and can provide habitat and food for wildlife.
Pollinators: Cherry flowers attract various pollinators, particularly bees. Cherry trees are non-toxic to humans and pets, but the pits contain cyanide compounds and should not be eaten.