Cherry, Montmorency Prunus cerasus

Cherry, Montmorency - Prunus cerasus

The most popular sour cherry in America for pies and preserves. The medium large fruit is bright red with firm, yellow flesh and clear juice. Ripens early. A hybrid between sweet cherry x nanking cherry, P. tomentosa. Self-fertile.(zones 4–7)

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Zones 4 - 7 Zones 4 - 7
Hardiness Zones 4 - 7
The Montmorency Cherry can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the zone map. View Map
Fruit Tree Fruit Tree
Type of tree
Fruit Trees
8' - 15' High 8' - 15' High
Mature Height
The Montmorency Cherry grows to be 8' - 15' feet in height.
10' - 20' Spread 10' - 20' Spread
Mature Spread
The Montmorency Cherry has a spread of about 10' - 20' at full maturity.
Medium Growth Medium Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a medium growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
This cherry does well in full sun.
Various Soils Various Soils

This tree prefers well drained, sandy, loam soils.

Rounded Shape Rounded Shape
This cherry has rounded shape.

Montmorency cherry is the most popular tart cherry in America. The tastiness of its bright, red cherries in pies and preserves make it a favorite with cooks, while its tolerance for temperature extremes, its production, and the firmness of its fruit are appreciated by farmers and shippers. Our standard Montmorency seedlings are budded to Prunus mahalb, while our dwarf seedlings grafted to Prunus besseyi (Sand Cherry).

Chill hours (CU) requirement: 700. (Chill hours are the average hours of air temperature between 32 and 45 degrees F in a typical winter season). For best fruit production, calculate the chill unit (CU) for your growing zone to be sure it aligns with the CU requirement of this tree.


A small vigorous tree with upright, spreading branches and rounded top. Spring white flowers in clusters of 2–4 on long pedicels are borne on one year old wood as well as spurs. Because they bloom later than sweet cherries, Montmorency are more dependable fruit producers in cooler climates. The leathery leaves are dark green on top, pale green beneath. It is self fertile and requires no pollinator. the juicy, tart cherries ripen early, just two months after spring bloom. Average yield for a mature tree is 36–44 pints.

Wildlife Value

The fruit is eaten by many varieties of birds and mammals. The foliage is browsed. Flocks of birds are the greatest threat to the trees. They will eat the cherries at the first sign of ripeness. Nylon or cheesecloth netting draped over the trees as the fruits begin to ripen is an effective deterent. This technique can be very practical if the trees are kept to a reasonable height by pruning.


This cherry takes its name from the Montmorency Valley in France where it was developed sometime before the seventeenth century. Its fame quickly spread to England. It has been cultivated under various names in the United States from at least the early nineteeth century. It accounts for 95% of all production of sour cherries.

Height Variations

The standard grows to 18', and dwarf grows to 8' in height.

Spread Variations

The Montmorency cherry tree has a spread of about 10'-20'.


This tree requires moist, well drained soil and has some resistance to drought.


Simple, alternate, elliptic with acute tips, smooth and dark green on top, about 3" long with double teeth at margin

Flower Color


Bloom Time


Fruit Description

Medium large, bright red fruit with firm, yellow flesh, a rich tart, tangy flavor and clear juice.