Different Kinds of Cherry Trees

Categorizes within the genus Prunus, cherry trees make ideal specimen trees and are striking grown in masses along a garden wall. Grown for their edible and tasty fruit, cherry trees create a showy garden display. According to Fine Gardening magazine online, leaves are usually toothed, and the five-petaled flowers are white, pink or red. Often blooming in spring, cherry trees require moist, well-drained soils with plenty of nutrients.

Wild Cherry

Wild cherry (Prunus serotina) is a deciduous cherry tree variety with a rapid growth rate. Growing 50 to 80 feet tall, wild cherry trees have a pyramidal form, draping slightly as the tree matures. The foliage and twigs have a cherry fragrance and bitter taste--the leaves are poisonous to livestock, according to North Carolina State University Extension. The spring-blooming white flowers are followed by small, red-to-black berries in summer. The leaves have a yellow-to-red fall color that lights up the garden with a fiery display. Wild cherry trees require full sun and tolerate a wide range of soil types. Plant wild cherry trees in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 2 to 8.

Japanese Cherry

Japanese cherry (Prunus serrulata), a deciduous cherry tree with a moderate growth rate, grows 15 to 25 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide. The upright shape has spreading branches that hold the striking white May blooms. The leaves of the Japanese cherry grow 2 to 5 inches long and turn bronze to red every fall. Japanese cherry trees require full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soils to thrive. Plant in USDA zones 5 to 6.

Fire Cherry

Fire cherry (Prunus pennsylvanica) is a deciduous tree with a rapid growth rate. Growing 25 to 40 feet tall, fire cherry trees have a rounded, open crown and horizontal branches that hold the pale blooms. A bird attractant, according to NCSU Extension, the pale red fruit emerges in summer to bring the winged creates to the garden. Beginning in spring, the white-clustering flowers bloom to last through the season. Fire cherry tree foliage sports a maroon, red or orange fall color that lives up to its name--fire cherry. Fire cherry trees require full sun and well-drained soil to thrive. Versatile, they thrive in a wide range of soil types. Plant in USDA zones 3 to 7.

Keywords: cherry tree varieites, wild cherry tree, Japanese cherry tree, fire cherry tree

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in Travels.com and GardenGuides.com and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and Forbes.com.