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Botanical Name: Prunus 'Montmorency'

Common Name: Montmorency Cherry

Cultivar: Montmorency

Other Names: Sour Cherry

Plant Type: Tree

A popular commercial fruit tree, the ideal size for backyard orchards, showy white flowers in spring followed by loads of bright red sour cherries in mid summer, excellent for pies and jam, needs full sun and well-drained soil, self-pollinating

Plant Categories: Tree, Fruit Tree, Edible, Fruit & Nut Tree, Flowering Tree, Ornamental Tree, Deciduous Tree

Landscape Application: Accent, Orchard

Water Requirements
Average To Moist

Sunlight Requirements
Full Sun

Plant Height
20 Feet

Plant Width/Spread
15 Feet


Attracts Birds

Has Edible Parts


Growth & Care

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone4a
Recommended Pruning MethodLate Winter Pruning
Pollinator RequirementSelf

Size & Shape

Growth RateMedium
Plant FormOval

Additional Categories

Additional CategoryCherry


Foliage TypeDeciduous
Foliage ShapePointy


Flower ColorWhite
Flower PeriodIn Mid Spring
Flower FragranceHigh


Edible ComponentFruit
Edible UseCooking, Baking, Preserves, Juice
Edible Harvest PeriodIn Mid Summer

Edible Qualities

Montmorency Cherry is a small tree that is commonly grown for its edible qualities. It produces cherry red round fruit (technically 'drupes') with yellow flesh which are usually ready for picking in mid summer. Note that the fruits have hard inedible pits inside which must be removed before eating or processing. The fruits have a sour taste and a firm texture.

The fruit are most often used in the following ways:

Cooking, Baking, Preserves, Juice-Making

Features & Attributes

Montmorency Cherry is clothed in stunning clusters of fragrant white flowers along the branches in mid spring before the leaves. It has dark green deciduous foliage. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding orange in the fall. The fruits are showy cherry red drupes carried in abundance in mid summer. The fruit can be messy if allowed to drop on the lawn or walkways, and may require occasional clean-up. The smooth dark red bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

This is a deciduous tree with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition. This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Aside from its primary use as an edible, Montmorency Cherry is sutiable for the following landscape applications,

Accent, Orchard/Edible Landscaping

Planting & Growing

Montmorency Cherry will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years. This is a self-pollinating variety, so it doesn't require a second plant nearby to set fruit.

This tree is typically grown in a designated area of the yard because of its mature size and spread. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.