How to Plant Sour Montmorency Cherries


Montmorency cherry trees (Prunus cerasus 'Montmorency') produce the most popular sour cherries in the United States. This cherry tree is self-pollinating, blooming in early May and producing a heavy crop of cherries in early July. Growing up to 15 to 25 feet tall at maturity, the Montmorency is a hybrid tree of the sweet cherry and the Nanking cherry. This sour cherry tree grows best in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 7, where winters are cooler and temperatures can dip down to as cold as minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Choose a planting site that has full sunlight and well-draining soil. Plant your sour Montmorency cherry tree in early spring, after the last frost.

Step 2

Remove all weeds, grass and other debris from the soil at the planting site. Dig a planting hole for your Montmorency cherry tree that is the same depth as and twice the width of the root ball or nursery container.

Step 3

Loosen the soil around the sides and bottom of the planting hole. Mix into the displaced soil some organic compost or well-rotted, aged manure so that you have a mixture of one part compost or manure to two parts native soil.

Step 4

Remove the sour Montmorency cherry tree from the nursery container or burlap sack. Loosen the tree's roots, and then set the root ball into the planting hole with the tree standing up straight.

Step 5

Back fill the planting hole around the Montmorency cherry's root ball with the amended displaced soil. Pack down the soil with your hands as you refill the hole, and then water the soil thoroughly around the tree to soak it down to the root ball.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't forget to water your sour Montmorency cherry tree regularly, particularly during the tree's first growing season. Water your Montmorency tree deeply to soak the soil down to the root ball once every week throughout the spring, summer and early autumn, whenever there is less than 1 inch of rainfall per week.

Things You'll Need

  • Montmorency cherry tree
  • Shovel
  • Organic compost or aged manure
  • Garden hose


  • Arbor Day Foundation: Cherry, Montmorency -- Prunus cerasus
  • Flower & Garden Tips: Growing Cherry Trees

Who Can Help

  • Nature Hills Nursery: Montmorency -- Prunus cerasus 'Montmorency'
  • University of Georgia: Cherries -- Prunus avium, Prunus cerasus
Keywords: plant Montmorency cherry trees, grow sour cherries, grow Prunus cerasus

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.