Van Cherry Overview
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Van Cherry Tree

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One of the Finest Cold-Hardy Sweet Van Cherry Tree

  • Abundant Producer
  • Late-Midseason Large, Red-Black Fruit
  • Intense Cherry Flavor
  • Crack-Resistant
  • Great Cherry Pollinator

Our Van Cherry Tree (Prunus avium Van') has a well deserved reputation as one of the finest cherries for the home grower. It's among the cold hardiest of cherries and comes with the added bonus of its striking ornamental features. Growers appreciate its shiny, serrated leaves and its upright, rounded form, making it a visual delight for both the front yard or the mini orchard out back.

The Van Cherry Tree provides a beautiful display each spring when it becomes weighed down in clusters of lovely snow white flowers, creating a show for the neighborhood that's bound to garner a compliment or ten.

The green foliage is contrasted by the rich red cherries that hang by the handful, tempting you to reach up and grab a filling and sweet-tart snack.

Fruiting generally occurs by mid June on this a late mid-season variety. Van Cherries are sweet, shiny and red black in color. They resist cracks, so your harvest is bigger and more bountiful. The fruit is outstanding eaten fresh off the tree, or can be used for jellies, jams, pies or preserves.

Van cherries also freeze well, so you can preserve part of your crop for use later on in the year. Dry any added cherries to add to a trail mix or snack mix.

#ProPlantTips for Care

Make size control a regular part of growing all your fruit trees. Maintain Van Cherry at a reasonable height under 8 to 10 feet so that netting is an easier task. You will not want to give up a single piece of this wonderful fruit to birds, once you have tried it.

Although Van Cherry requires a pollinator it is one of the best pollinators for any other sweet cherry tree, so let ripening time and your taste be your guide in selecting your partner cherry variety. Plant the dark red, Black Tartarian Cherry or the blushed red over yellow Rainier cherry to extend your harvest of cherries for over 2 months.

Van Cherry trees need 700 chilling hours, so gardeners in the north, Midwest and Great Lakes area will have wonderful luck with this variety. If you are in more marginal cold climates, use the Stella Cherry as a pollinating partner.

Order your Van Cherry today! You'll love the outstanding intense cherry flavor of the Van Cherry, one of the finest for the home grower.

Recommended pollinators: Rainier, Stella, Black Tartarian

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep.

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 14.95
20 - 49.99 17.95
50 - 69.99 19.95
70 - 99.99 24.95
100 - 129.99 29.95
130 - 130+ Approx 25%

Click here to see our full rates

Arguably the Best Cherry One Can Eat

In its short time, and with very humble beginnings, Van Cherry has become one of the most important cherries of the 20th Century. As with so many of the modern varieties of cherries, Van was developed in the Summerland Agriculture Research Station in Summerland, British Columbia.

In 1936, A.J. Mann of the Summerland Station made the original cross using Empress Eugenie, an open pollinated selection as the primary parent. Empress Eugenie itself is a cross of Duke Cherry, a hardy Prunus avium crossed with a sour cherry variety from France, which added to its adaptability.

Van was selected by Mann in 1942 and named in honor of J.R. Van Haarlen of the Horticultural Experimental Station in Vineland, Ontario. Van was introduced commercially in 1944. Recognized for its ability to compete with the Bing in harsher climates, the Van was noted for its resistance to doubling, cracking and splitting. Van's quality compared to that of the Bing but boasted a firmer texture.

Van become popular quickly, but the focus in the 1950's and 60's was on creating self-fruitful varieties. The introduction of the self-fruitful Stella Cherry in the early 1970's gave the Van a lot of commercial competition.

Today, Van remains one of the most dependable cherry varieties for the home garden in Zones 4 - 9. It is also a popular contributor for creating new hybrids. With Van's outstanding attributes, hybridists have used it to create many of the popular varieties known today. First and foremost, the Rainier cherry is a Van Cherry cross. Lapin's Cherry also has Van as a parent plant, and is fast becoming the most popular variety planted both in the commercial and the home garden.


Van Cherry Tree Is Suited to Grow in Zones 4-9
Growing Zones 4-9
More Information
Botanical Name Prunus avium 'Van'
Mature Height 20 - 30 feet
Mature Spread 12-15 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Type Widely Adaptable
Moisture Moderate
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color White
Foliage Color Green
Fall Color Yellow
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Fruiting Time 3 - 5 years