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How to Plant a Sugar Sweet Cherry Bush

sweet cherry image by Zakharchenko from

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


These shrubs make an ideal windbreak when planted in a row 6 to 8 feet apart. The sugar sweet cherry bush provides an excellent source of food, as well as an ideal nesting location, for many songbirds.


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

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