The Sweet Cherry tree, Prunus avium, is often called wild cherry, sweet cherry, bird cherry, or gean. Sweet cherry trees are a species of cherry that is native to Europe, Asia and many other parts of the world. Belonging to the rose family (Rosaceae), sweet cherry trees are one of the most popular fruit trees in America. They produce delicious fruit that you can pick right off the tree. The trees are vigorous growers with gorgeous blossoms and foliage. There are dwarf cherry trees that can be placed in small places or even in a large pot. Gardeners relish the thick, rich, almost plum-like texture and sweet taste of this luscious fruit.
Thriving best in a mild, dry climate, most trees need a second cultivar for pollination. The cherries come in purple, red, and yellow, and there are two types: firm-fleshed and soft-fleshed. The soft-fleshed tend to have less cracking of the skin. Sweet cherry trees grow well throughout the United States but they do best in the dry summers of the West, and they are not as winter hardy as the tart cherry varieties.
Under the right growing conditions, cherry trees will grow about 2/3 foot a year. If a tree is growing too slow, it is recommended that the soil be checked for nutrients. This tree often blooms early and fast, and the cherries are susceptible to frost and moisture content, especially in the last two weeks of ripening. Applying a good layer of mulch is important. Make sure you select the right cultivar for your specific environmental conditions. Choosing a variety that is adaptable to your area, and resistant to its major diseases, is very important.