Nanking Cherry Fruit
Nanking Cherry Fruit Nanking Cherry Tree Nanking Cherry Flowers Nanking Cherry Flowers Close Up
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Nanking Cherry

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Sweet Spring Blooms and Tart Summer Fruit!

Nanking Cherry, Prunus tomentosa, has showy white flowers with a pink blush which covers the plant in early spring. This is followed by tasty, edible, bright red fruit, great for jams and jelly. These 1/2" bright red fruit, which ripen in early July, are edible but a little tart for fresh eating.

Nanking Cherry is a large wide spreading shrub and can be pruned as a small tree.

It is a great conservation plant with attractive soft green foliage. The plant works well as a mass planting or informal hedge.

Nanking Cherry is native to northern China and is very cold hardy. It requires a good, well-drained soil. Nanking Cherry is fairly drought tolerant and does best in full sun. It needs cross pollination to produce fruit, so purchase 2 Nanking's to be sure of pollination.

  • Profusion of White Flowers in Spring
  • Abundant 1/2" Brilliant Red Fruit
  • Wide Shrub or Small Tree

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 .655 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
3.5" Container Equal to .67 dry quart / .74 dry liter in volume
4" Container Equal to .87 dry quart / .96 dry liter 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

Historical, Beautiful, Nutritious Sour Cherry Selection

The Nanking Cherry may be one of the most diverse fruiting plants known. This is a true edible ornamental that has been cultivated for 1000's of years throughout eastern Asia. It combines the fine qualities of a beautiful flowering shrub and tremendously healthy fruit - all growing on a plant that will withstand some of the harshest climates known.

The Nanking Cherry, also known as Prunus tomentosa, is a native sour cherry variety found in China, Korea, Mongolia, and surrounding areas. Although typically classified with the sour cherries, the Nanking Cherry has good sweetness and rarely is too sour to eat fresh.

Nanking Cherry comes true from seed, so there can be a little difference in flavor or hardiness depending on where the mother plant originated. Used in Asia primarily for the abundant flower and the nutritious fruit, the plant's dependable fruit production made it a staple in the Asian diet.

Though the Nanking Cherry looks like a cherry, it is actually closer related to a plum. Because of this, P. tomentosa has been used as a dwarfing rootstock for peaches, plums, and some cherries for many years. Although, more recent research has determined that the Nanking Cherry should only be used for dwarfing certain selections, due to a shorter tree life and lesser production issues.

Introduced into the United States in 1892 by the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, the Nanking Cherry's many qualities were quickly recognized. Most obvious was the hardiness of the plant, which drew the attention of cold climate growers across the nation. The plant was particularly adapted to the upper Midwest's cold winters and hot dry summers.

By 1935, it was considered a potential commercial crop for these regions with cultivars being introduced from the University of Minnesota. This never materialized, and the developed cultivars have all been lost.

However, the Nanking Cherry's popularity in the home garden market grew tremendously. The plants great adaptability to USDA Zones 2 - 7, and the ability to tolerate drought conditions, were key to the variety's popularity. The edible and ornamental aspects of this tree only add to the demand.

Little maintenance is required to establish this plant as a hedge or windbreak. A wonderful, fragrant spring flower display followed by the early fruit set adds to the home garden value.

Nanking Cherry is a nutritious fruit high in Vitamin C and antioxidants. The fruit is best eaten fresh but is also used to make jams and juices. The Nanking Cherry has also been a popular tree among the Bonsai community in Japan and is becoming popular with Bonsai enthusiasts in the United States today.


Nanking Cherry Is Suited to Grow in Zones 2-6
Growing Zones 2-6
More Information
Botanical Name Prunus tomentosa
Foliage Soft Green
Mature Height 8 - 10 feet
Mature Spread 10 - 15 feet
Soil Type Widely Adaptable
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Flower Color White