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Rainier Cherry Fruit and Leaves
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Rainier Cherry Tree

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Lovely Ornamental with Outstanding Fruit

Rainier Cherry Tree is a fruit-producing tree with outstanding yellow-cherries.  Plant one in a prominent spot in your yard for its decorative appeal and the delight of watching your harvest develop.

Often called the “white cherry” (for its creamy white flesh), Rainier is prized for its exceptionally sweet fruit.  It is often considered the best yellow cherry by gardeners--sometimes even called the best of ALL cherry varieties. 

Rainier is a large cherry with a lively, yellow skin and delightful scarlet blush.  It’s early bearing so you’ll already be enjoying your delicious harvest in mid-June when other garden treats are just getting started.  Rainier tends to be a heavy bearer, so you’ll have plenty of its sweet and healthy cherries to cook with, freeze or just eat right off the tree. 

Rainier Cherry tree will grow to 35 feet in height, but can easily be kept smaller with a little pruning.  People love its spring blooms almost as much as the cherries.  The pink-tinted, white blossoms appear in profusion mid-spring, emitting a delicate fragrance that will be as enjoyable to you as to your yard’s pollinators.  In autumn Rainier puts on another show when its foliage transitions to spicy tones of bronze and yellow. 

You’d expect Rainier to be a difficult tree to grow, but just the opposite.  Even with all its spectacular qualities, Rainier is surprisingly low maintenance and easy to grow.  Try one yourself this year and you’ll see how truly amazing Rainier Cherry trees are.

* Superior fruit & early harvest
* Stunning spring flowers
* Cold tolerant
* Adaptable to a variety of soils

Recommended pollinators: Van, Lapins, Bing, Stella

Super Sweet Yellow Cherry

The Rainier Cherry was a stroke of luck. This selection was not what Washington State University hybridizer Harold Fogle had been expecting in 1952. After crossing a deep dark red Bing Cherry with a deep dark red Van Cherry one of the seedlings was a creamy yellow, slightly red blush-skinned cherry. It looked nothing like either of its two distinctive red parents. Fogle named this selection after Mount Rainier.

The Rainier is exceptional sweet - much sweeter than either parent when measured in brix, a common sugar rating for fruit. Bing is rated at 17 brix and Van Cherry typically rates around 22 Brix, but the Rainier typically rates at 20 to 25 Brix or higher.

Pioneering fruit growers like Grady Auvil, founder of Auvil Fruit Company in Washington, was one of the first to see the potential in the Rainier Cherry. It produced exceptionally large fruit with sweet, yellow flesh.

Along with the obvious selling points came a few challenges for growers. The Rainier cherry has very thin skin, so the fruit is very sensitive to temperature, wind and rain. Birds eat an estimated 1/3 of the entire crop. This made the Rainier cherry a more expensive Cherry to grow commercially.

For many years, the Rainier was most commonly enjoyed as a home gardener's back yard tree. However, with more attention to commercial farming techniques, Rainier Cherries have now become a delicious common offering at stores and farmers markets each Cherry season.


Rainier Cherry Tree Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-9
Growing Zones 5-9
More Information
Brand Nature Hills Nursery
Botanical Name Prunus avium 'Rainier'
Foliage Variegated Green, Cream and Pink
Mature Height Semi Dwarf: 15 - 25 feet
Mature Spread 12 - 18 feet
Soil Type Widely Adaptable
Moisture Moderate
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Pink and Purple
Fall Color Yellow
Fruiting Time 3 - 5 years