6 Edible & Flowering Cherry Tree Varieties for USDA Zone 6

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Written By Lakeisha Ethans

Heritage Gardener with Grafting Expertise

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Home » USDA Zone 6 » 6 Edible & Flowering Cherry Tree Varieties for USDA Zone 6

When planning which cherry tree varieties to plant in your garden or orchard, one crucial thing to consider is the planting zone you are in.

One of the vastest zones is USDA Zone 6. It extends from the Mid-Atlantic US down the Atlantic Coast. In addition, it includes some of the Midwest, the South, and the temperate Southwest regions.

The climate throughout the zone is mild, the winters are cold, and the summers can be pretty hot. The growth season typically starts in the early spring and ends at the start of fall.

With this in mind, lets take a look at six excellent zone 6 cherry trees that will thrive in your climate.

6 USDA Zone 6 Cherry Tree Varieties to Plant Today

1. Rainier Cherry Tree (Prunus avium ‘Rainier’) – Edible Cherry Tree

Rainier cherries were first developed through Washington State University’s breeding program in 1952. They are perhaps the most delicious yellow cherries you’ll see growing abundantly in NY, NJ, and PA.

It is a fantastic choice for home gardeners since it is a very hardy tree, and it is not very picky in regards to the soil. However, remember that the Rainier Cherry Tree requires loamy soil and full sunlight to thrive.

A year after planting, you can prune this tree every winter to boost foliage and fruit. Rainier is not self-fertile and will need a pollinator partner to bear fruits.

Pair your Rainier tree with Black Tartarian, Bing, or Stella varieties to encourage fruiting. While Rainier trees do very well in warm weather, the same cannot be said about colder climates.

Other Common Names: Rainier; Prunus avium ‘Rainier’

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 30-35 ft tall, 18-25 ft wide

Fruiting/Flowering Season: The Rainier cherry tree will be ready for picking as early as May and June – much earlier than other cherry trees. The tree typically flowers in April

Available at: Nature Hills

2. English Morello Cherry Tree (Prunus cerasus ‘English Morello’) – Edible Cherry Tree

English Morello Cherry Tree
Image by Rod Waddington via Creative Commons

First introduced to the United States in the mid-1800s, the Morello cherry tree will give you some of the best sour cherries. A favorite among OR and CA gardeners, the tree does very well in most climates but, much like the Rainier Cherry, requires loads of sun to thrive.

This late-blooming tree is self-fertile, which means you only need one to enjoy the deep red and firm, sour cherries mid-summer every year. However, to keep the tree short, you’ll need to prune it accordingly.

The tree boasts beautiful white flowers and bright green leaves aside from the deep red cherries dangling from every branch. This tree thrives in moist and well-draining soil and prefers more water and nitrogen than other cherry varieties.

English Morello can fall prey to rot, spot, powdery mildew, and knot diseases, so it’s essential to keep a close eye and treat before they take over your tree.

Other Common Names: English Morello

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 ft tall, 10-12 ft wide

Fruiting/Flowering Season: The Morello cherry tree will start flowering at the start of the spring, and the blooms will last for a long time compared to other varieties. Its fruit will be ready for picking in June and sometimes July

Available at: Nature Hills

3. Lapins Cherry Tree (Prunus avium ‘Lapins’) – Edible Cherry Tree

The Lapins cherry tree is one of the smaller edible cherry tree varieties. However, it is just as sturdy as the ones mentioned above. But, like the others, it will require full sunlight to do well and provide a good yield.

Named after famous agronomist Karlis (Charles) O. Lapins, this tree is one of the seven cherry varieties to have received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. Grown mainly in OR, WA, and CA, the tree boasts fragrant white flowers and produces some of the juiciest sweet cherries.

Lapins Cherry tree is self-fertile, so you won’t need to grow supporting trees or plants for pollination. They’re also precocious, which means they bear fruit at a very young age. An authentic Lapins Cherry tree will start bearing fruits when they are around three to five years old.

However, this tree attracts birds, cherry blackflies, aphids, caterpillars, and moths. You can prune this tree annually during winter to remove dead or drooping branches.

It is perfect for people with smaller yards because it doesn’t grow too tall or too wide.

Other Common Names: Cherokee cherry

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 8-13 ft tall, 8-13 ft wide

Fruiting/Flowering Season: The Lapins cherry starts to flower in spring, bringing out beautiful petals, which then become a big yield of delicious fruit in the summer

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

4. Yoshino Cherry Tree (Prunus x yedoensis) – Flowering Cherry Tree

Yoshino Cherry Tree flowering
Image by Bernard Spragg via Flickr

This is one of the most popular flowering cherry trees that adorn the streets and yards of WA, FL, and MD. And it is no surprise – the vibrant pink and white blooms are head turners. In addition, it has an oriental branching pattern, making it the highlight of your yard.

It typically likes plenty of sunlight (at least four hours a day); however, it can take partial shade too. Another reason it is a fantastic tree to have in your garden is that it is not picky when it comes to soil  – it can do well in all soil and is even somewhat drought tolerant.

However, you must ensure you have plenty of space in your yard because it can grow quite tall and wide. These trees require minimal pruning, so if you want to enjoy the foliage and ensure your tree is healthy, prune in spring before new growth. However, if silver leaf disease is a problem, mid-summer pruning will be required.

The Yoshino Cherry tree can fall victim to caterpillars, leaf-mining moths, and bullfinches. Also, it is highly susceptible to Xylella fastidiosa, a plant pathogen caused by sap insects.

Other Common Names: Japanese flowering cherry

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 40-50 ft tall, 25-40 ft wide

Flowering Season: Yoshino cherries are some of the first cherry tree varieties to bloom as early as March and April. They will leave the colorful show on for up to three weeks

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

5. Weeping Cherry Tree (Prunus × subhirtella) – Flowering Cherry Tree

Weeping Higan Cherry Tree
Image by MdAgDept via Flickr

The Weeping Cherry tree resembles a weeping willow covered in gorgeous pink and white petals. It is perfect for growing in lawns, gardens, and, generally, smaller places. The Weeping Cherry will need plenty of moisture and sunlight to thrive. 

Adorning the streets and gardens of MD, this stunning flowering cherry tree can turn heads and accentuate surroundings. The trees are short-lived and can survive between 20 and 25 years if maintained well.

If silver leaf is a problem, you will need to prune this tree mid-summer; otherwise, you can prune in winter when the tree’s dormant. Weeping cherry prefers loamy, well-draining soil but can fall prey to borers, powdery mildew, aphids, caterpillars, and bullfinches. Much like the Yoshino Cheery tree, Weeping Cherry is also highly susceptible to Xylella fastidiosa, a plant pathogen caused by sap insects.

Other Common Names: Weeping Higan Cherry Tree, Rosebud Cherry, Spring Cherry

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 15-25 ft tall, 15-25 ft wide

Flowering Season: The first petals of the weeping cherry tree can appear as early as late winter or the first days of spring before even the leaves have shown up

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

6. Kwanzan Cherry Tree (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’) – Flowering Cherry Tree

close up of Kwanzan cherry tree flowering
Image by Light in Colors via Flickr

Commonly seen growing in WA and FL, most gardeners believe this is perhaps the most ornamental of all cherry trees. Although it doesn’t produce any fruits, the tree’s gorgeous flower clusters that look like carnations steal the show when they’re in full bloom.

The Kwanzan thrives in full sun and requires moist, well-draining soil for healthy growth; however, its widespread branch system isn’t ideal for smaller backyards or gardens. Much like the Weeping Cherry Tree, the Kwanzan is short-lived and typically lives between 15 to 25 years when maintained well.

If silver leaf is a problem, you’ll need to prune this tree mid-summer; otherwise, you can prune in winter when the tree’s dormant.

Other Common Names: Japanese Flowering Cherry

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 25-35 ft tall, 25-35 ft wide

Flowering Season: This Japanese flowering cherry will bloom later than the Yoshino by almost two weeks. They typically start to bloom in mid-April up until the start of May. They peak around April 22nd.

Available at: Nature Hills

Beautiful, Delicious, Ornamental

USDA Zone 6 can offer a wide variety of cherry trees, both flowering and edible, each with unique traits. In our list, you can find a few suitable for smaller yards and spaces and others that need plenty of room to reach their full potential.  

While you may be tempted to grow just any edible or flowering cherry tree in your garden, be it for the delicious fruit, or the gorgeous petals, you must ensure that you are in the correct growing zone first.

USDA Zone 6 is home to a wide variety of cherries and is perhaps one of the best zones for this. However, don’t forget to make sure that you have plenty of space for some of these cherry trees – while they are majestic, you may have trouble if you don’t have enough room for them to grow.

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Lakeisha Ethans

Heritage Gardener with Grafting Expertise

Lakeisha grew up in East Africa, literally surrounded by nature which sparked her interest in learning more about trees and plants from a very young age. She belongs to a family of gardeners, so for her, gardening is a way of life, a tradition she’s proud to uphold. As a self-taught gardener, Lakeisha has successfully grafted trees to produce hybrids for gardens and landscapes. When she’s not gardening, she’s writing about her experience with nature or watching baking fails!

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