In What States Do Cherry Trees Grow?
Several species of cherry trees hailing from the Rose family grow wild across the United States. Their ranges include many states, covering various large sections of the nation. These cherry trees all produce a fruit called a drupe, featuring a stone-like core that holds the tree’s seeds.
Pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica) has nicknames such as bird cherry and fire cherry, references to the value of the fruit as food to birds and the the ability of this species to colonize areas ravaged by forest fires. Pin cherry grows to 30 feet high, notes the “National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees.” Pin cherry grows throughout all of New England and into New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, western Maryland, parts of Virginia and West Virginia and south through eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and northern Georgia. In the western part of its range, pin cherry occurs in Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Iowa, northern Indian, northern Illinois and in the extreme western parts of the Dakotas.
Bitter cherry (Prunus emarginata) takes the form of a large shrub or small tree in parts of the Far West. Bitter cherry typically forms thickets along streams and wet mountain slopes, reports the United States Department of Agriculture. The fruit has a bitter taste but is suitable for the production of jams. Bitter cherry’s eastern range includes such western states as Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Idaho. Bitter cherry also grows extensively through California, Oregon and Washington State.
Carolina laurelcherry (Prunus caroliniana) is a small cherry tree species of the Atlantic coastal plain, Florida Panhandle and parts of the Gulf Coast. This evergreen cherry can grow between 12 and 36 feet tall and produces stalks of cream white flowers in the late winter or early spring. Carolina laurelcherry grows native to the Carolina coastal plain region into southern Georgia and northern Florida. From there its range extends west through southern sections of both Alabama and Mississippi, with the western range ending in extreme southern Louisiana and eastern Texas.
Black cherry (Prunus serotina) has an extensive range across the East and parts of the Southwest in America. The tree, able to grow to heights as much as 90 feet, produces fragrant drooping clusters of flowers along with edible purple black fruit. Black cherry grows across the entire Northeast, with the exception of northern Maine. The tree occurs all through the eastern states, with the southern range ending in central areas of Florida. Black cherry has a continuous range through the East to Minnesota and western regions of Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Texas. In the Southwest, black cherry grows sporadically through the higher elevations of New Mexico and Arizona.
- United States Forest Service: Pin Cherry
- United States Department Of Agriculture: Bitter Cherry (Plant Guide PDF)
- Wildflowers: Prunus Caroliniana
- University of Connecticut Plant Database: Prunus Serotina
- "National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees"; Elbert L. Little; 2008
John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.