How to Plant a Sugar Sweet Cherry Bush


The sugar sweet cherry bush (Prunus tomentosa), sometimes referred to as "nanking cherry tree," is a fruit-bearing shrub that grows 8 to 10 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. In early spring, blush-colored blooms appear, followed by small edible fruits that are often used in pies, jams and jellies. This bush is extremely hardy and is able to endure heat, drought, and winter temperatures that dip to 40 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Select the right location in your yard or garden. These bushes do best when planted in an area that receives full to partial sun most of the day. Sugar sweet cherry bushes prefer soil that holds moisture well but doesn't remain soggy.

Step 2

Dig a hole that is double the width and the same depth as the container that the cherry bush is growing in. Leave 6 to 8 feet between each bush if you are planting more than one. Mix one shovelful of organic compost with the loose soil to add extra nutrients and increase acidity.

Step 3

Turn the cherry bush's container upside down and gently squeeze the sides until the root ball can be easily removed. Use your fingers to carefully loosen any compacted roots and place the root ball into the planting hole. Replace the compost and soil mixture, and pat down to remove any air pockets.

Step 4

Water until the soil around the cherry bush is completely saturated. Continue to water well whenever there is a lack of soaking rain throughout the growing season, especially during the first 2 years of growth when the root system is becoming established.

Step 5

Add a 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the bush to help seal in moisture, prevent weed growth, and protect the roots during winter months.

Tips and Warnings

  • The sugar sweet cherry bush requires cross-pollination in order to produce fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic compost
  • Organic mulch


  • Backyard Gardener: Prunus tomentosa (Nanking Cherry)
  • North Dakota State University: Nanking Cherry
  • Nature Nanking Cherry
  • Greenwood Nursery: Nanking Cherry Tree
Keywords: sugar sweet cherry, sugar cherry bush, nanking cherry, grow cherries, cherry tree

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.