Cherry trees--flowering deciduous plants belonging to the rose family (Rosaceae)--generally grow well in full-sun locations. Fruiting cherry tree varieties typically produce either sour cherries or sweet cherries. Sour cherries are commonly used in baking recipes, while the sweet cherries can be eaten fresh. Most sour cherry trees are self-fruitful, while the sweet cherry varieties require a pollinator.
The Lapins (Prunus avium) cultivar is a bird cherry variety that thrives in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zones 5 to 8. Mature Lapins trees range in height from 12 to 18 feet with spreads between 12 and 15 feet. These cherry trees prefer moist, well-drained soils in fully sunny locations. The pink blossoms bloom in April, followed by sweet, red cherries in the summer. Potential diseases include shot-hole fungus, powdery mildew and crown gall. Fruit flies and saw flies occasionally infest Lapins cherry trees. This semi-dwarf variety grows well in smaller spaces.
The North Star (Prunus) is a sour cherry tree that thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. This smaller variety reaches about 9 feet in height with slightly larger spreads. White blossoms bloom in April, followed by large, red cherries that mature in June. These sour cherries work well in pie recipes. The North Star cherry tree requires moisture-retentive soils in fully sunny positions. Possible problems include bacterial canker, black knot and leaf curl. Scale and saw flies occasionally feed on these trees. Gardeners often use North Star cherry trees in small gardens.
The Stella bird cherry tree variety (Prunus avium) reaches up to 12 feet in height with similar spreads. White blossoms appear in April, while the dark red, sweet fruit matures in the early summer. Winter hardy in USDA Zones 5 to 8, the Stella cherry tree needs moist, well-drained soils in fully sunny planting sites. Scab, leaf scorch, aphid and scale sometimes affect these trees. This smaller cherry tree works well in areas with space limitations.
The Manchurian cherry tree (Prunus maackii), also called the Amur cherry tree, produces sour cherries often used to make juices and jams. Indigenous to Manchuria and Korea, this variety generally thrives in USDA Zones 2 to 6. This cherry tree reaches between 20 and 30 feet high with spreads ranging from 18 to 25 feet. White blossoms appear in April and May, followed by black cherries that mature in the summer. The Manchurian cherry prefers fully sunny positions and well-drained soil. This variety cannot tolerate high levels of heat or humidity. Fireblight, borers and caterpillars often attack this tree. Manchurian cherry trees work well planted in groups along streets or in lawns.
The Thomas cherry tree (Prunus avium), a bird cherry tree variety, generally grows well in USDA Zones 5 to 7. This tree matures to heights ranging from 15 to 18 feet with similar spreads. White cherry blossoms appear in April and the sweet, golden cherries ripen in the early summer. The Thomas cherry tree needs moisture-retentive soils in fully sunny planting sites. Possible disease problems include brown rot, crown gall and powdery mildew. Fruit flies and aphids sometimes feed on this tree. The Thomas cherry tree works well in smaller gardens.