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9 Fastest Growing Cherry Trees That Bear Fruit Quickly (1st Year)

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Home » Fruit Trees » 9 Fastest Growing Cherry Trees That Bear Fruit Quickly (1st Year)

Cherries are one of my favorite fruits.

I love them so much that waiting years for them to produce simply isn’t an option!

If you too are impatient for delicious cherries, you are in luck.

I have tracked down the quickest fruiting cherry trees, including some that can bear fruit in their first year after planting!

1. BingPrunus avium ‘Bing’

Bing cherry trees can bear fruit in the 1st year after planting, according to Fast-Growing-Trees.

The Bing cherry tree is renowned for its early yield of great-tasting cherries, making it a favorite among home gardeners and commercial growers alike.

This drought-tolerant variety adapts well to various soil types, ensuring a hassle-free cultivation experience.

With its capability to bear fruit in the first year and under optimal conditions, the Bing cherry tree stands out for its hardiness, down to -10 degrees.

Its popularity is attributed to the large, juicy, and sweet cherries it produces, which are perfect for fresh eating, canning, and baking. The tree is covered with vibrant pink blooms in spring, contributing ornamental value alongside its fruiting benefits.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5-8
  • Mature Tree Size: 12-15 ft tall, 10-12 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Chill Hours: 700-800
  • Self Fertile: No. Requires cross-pollination with varieties such as Black Tartarian, Rainier, Lapins, Montmorency, or Stella Cherry Trees to produce fruit

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2. North StarPrunus avium ‘North Star’

North Star cherry trees can bear fruit in the 1st year after planting, according to Fast-Growing-Trees.

The North Star cherry tree is a compact, highly productive cultivar renowned for its abundant harvest of tart, sweet-sour cherries.

This dwarf variety, perfect for small spaces, impresses with its early fruiting ability, often producing cherries within the first year.

Covered with stunning white blossoms in spring, the North Star cherry tree is both an ornamental delight and a robust producer of bright-red cherries with dark-red flesh, ideal for fresh consumption, baking, and preserves.

Self-pollinating and cold-hardy, it’s a low-maintenance, disease-resistant addition to any garden, offering both visual appeal and a bountiful cherry crop.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4-8
  • Mature Tree Size: 6-10 ft tall, 8-12 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Chill Hours: 800-900
  • Self Fertile: Yes. Adding another North Star cherry will improve yield though

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3. RainierPrunus avium ‘Rainier’

Rainier cherry trees can bear fruit in the 1st year after planting, according to Fast-Growing-Trees.

The Rainier cherry tree is a popular choice thanks to its early-bearing nature and the production of some of the world’s sweetest yellow cherries, a favorite at farmer’s markets and supermarkets alike.

This tree, developed by Washington State University, boasts large, delicious yellow fruit with a captivating dark red blush, known for their exceptionally sweet taste and high sugar content.

The Rainier cherry tree not only delights with its fruitful bounty but also enchants with its beautiful pink-tinted white spring blossoms and golden fall foliage.

Requiring cross-pollination for optimal fruit production, it is recommended to plant alongside varieties like Black Tartarian, Bing, Stella or even Montmorency Sour Cherry to enhance yield and extend the harvest season.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5-8
  • Mature Tree Size: 10-15 ft tall, 10-15 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Chill Hours: 400-700
  • Self Fertile: No. Good pollination partners include Black Tartarian, Stella, Bing and Montmorency Sour Cherry, vital for maximizing fruit production

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4. MontmorencyPrunus cerasus ‘Montmorency’

Montmorency cherry trees can bear fruit in the 1st year after planting, according to Fast-Growing-Trees.

The Montmorency cherry tree, heralded for its large, bright red sour cherries, is a staple in pies and desserts with its firm, amber flesh and tangy juice.

Originating from France’s Montmorency Valley, this variety is popular not only for its culinary superiority but also for its potential medicinal benefits.

The tree is covered with fragrant white blossoms in spring, attracting pollinators and enhancing its ornamental appeal.

Self-pollinating and heavy-bearing, the Montmorency cherry tree is cold-hardy and ripens its fruit later in the season, ensuring a bountiful harvest even in USDA zones 4-8.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4-8
  • Mature Tree Size: 12-15 ft tall, 12-15 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Chill Hours: 700
  • Self Fertile: Yes. Increased yields when planted alongside another cherry tree.

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5. Black TartarianPrunus avium ‘Black Tartarian’

Black Tartarian cherry trees can bear fruit in the 1st year after planting, according to Fast-Growing-Trees.

The Black Tartarian cherry tree is a revered old variety known for its large, delicious dark purplish-black fruit and deep, dark-red juicy flesh.

This tree bursts into life each spring with gorgeous ruffled, fragrant white blooms, setting the stage for high yields of rich, sweet cherries that ripen in June and July.

While it is a stunning addition to any landscape with its early spring flowers and wildlife interest, it requires a pollinator like Bing, Rainier, Stella, Montmorency, Van, or Lapins to bear fruit.

Ideal for fresh eating, sauces, and preserves, the Black Tartarian offers both ornamental beauty and a bounty of juicy, tender cherries with approximately 700-800 chill hours.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5-8
  • Mature Tree Size: 12-15 ft tall, 10-12 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Chill Hours: 700-800
  • Self Fertile: No. Good pollination partners include Bing, Rainier, Stella, Montmorency and Lapins, essential for fruit production

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6. StellaPrunus avium ‘Stella’

Stella cherry trees can bear fruit in the 1st year after planting, according to Fast-Growing-Trees.

The Stella cherry tree stands out as a self-pollinating variety that thrives in compact spaces, making it a perfect addition to any home garden.

This semi-dwarf tree dazzles with its springtime display of fragrant white blossoms, attracting pollinators and setting the stage for a mid-summer bounty of heart-shaped, black-red cherries.

Known for its sweet, flavorful cherries that resist splitting, the Stella cherry is ideal for fresh eating, preserves, and baking.

With its upright compact habit and requiring only 400 chill hours, the Stella cherry tree is not only a prolific producer but also an excellent pollinator for other cherry varieties, offering both beauty and practicality in a disease-resistant form.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5-8
  • Mature Tree Size: 15-20 ft tall, 12-15 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Chill Hours: 400
  • Self Fertile: Yes. Planting an additional Stella tree will improve yield

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7. LapinsPrunus avium ‘Lapins’

Lapins cherry trees can bear fruit in the 1st year after planting, according to Fast-Growing-Trees.

The Lapins cherry tree, a cross between the Van and Stella cherry varieties, produces some of the largest and most succulent sweet cherries.

This self-fruitful tree not only stands out in the landscape with its frilly white spring blossoms and vibrant fall foliage but also serves as a pollinator for other cherry cultivars.

Awarded by the Royal Horticultural Society, the Lapins cherry is celebrated for its deep-red to purple fruit that resists splitting, offering a harvest of firm, plump cherries perfect for baking, preserves, or fresh eating.

With its generous chill hour requirement and moderate growth rate, it’s a delightful addition to any garden, providing beauty across seasons and a bounty of delicious cherries by mid-late summer.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5-9
  • Mature Tree Size: 15-20 ft tall, 12-15 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Chill Hours: 400-800
  • Self Fertile: Yes. Planting an additional Lapins tree will improve yield

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8. Barbados ‘Acerola’Malpighia emarginata

Barbados cherry trees can bear fruit in the 1st year after planting, according to Fast-Growing-Trees.

The Barbados cherry tree, also known as the Acerola Tree, is not a traditional cherry of the Prunus genus, but the fruit is still often referred to as a cherry so I have included it here.

For gardeners above zone 8, this may be the closest they will get to a traditional cherry tree.

Barbados cherry trees have vibrant pinkish-lavender blossoms and glossy red fruit, rich in Vitamin C and other nutrients.

Thriving in USDA zones 9-11, this tree or large shrub blooms in spring, attracting pollinators with its fragrant flowers.

It reaches a modest height of 10-12 feet, making it suitable for small orchards or as a specimen in edible landscaping.

The Barbados cherry is not only a source of delicious, tart fruit but also an ornamental beauty with its glossy green foliage, offering both nutritional value and visual appeal.

Self-fertile and requiring less than 100 chill hours, it’s a low-maintenance choice for gardeners looking to add a tropical flair to their yards.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 9-11
  • Mature Tree Size: 10-12 ft tall, 10-15 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate-Fast
  • Chill Hours: Under 100
  • Self Fertile: Yes. Planting another Barbados cherry will increase yield

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9. Romeo & JulietPrunus fruticosa x Prunus cerasus ‘Big Red’ PPAF

Romeo & Juliet cherry trees can bear fruit in 2-3 years after planting, according to Fast-Growing-Trees.

The Romeo and Juliet™ cherry trees offer a compact solution for cherry enthusiasts with limited gardening space.

This duo of dwarf trees, perfect for small spaces, promises a hefty yield of up to 25 pounds of the sweetest pie cherries each season.

The deep-red cherries produced by these trees are praised for their sugary flavor balanced with a touch of acidity, offering a rich taste perfect for various culinary creations.

Hardy to -40 degrees, these self-fertile trees start bearing fruit in just 2-3 years, ensuring a bountiful harvest of cherries with smaller pits and more flesh.

Ideal for those who appreciate both the aesthetic and practical benefits of home-grown cherries without requiring much space.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2-7
  • Mature Tree Size: 5-8 ft tall, 5-7 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: 2-3 years
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Chill Hours: 500-600
  • Self Fertile: Yes

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Fast-Growing-Trees

Comparing Quick Fruiting Cherry Trees

VarietyUSDA Growing ZonesMature Tree SizeTime to Bear First FruitAvg Growth RateChill HoursSelf Fertile
Bing5-812-15 ft tall, 10-12 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate700-800No
North Star4-86-10 ft tall, 8-12 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate800-900Yes
Rainier5-810-15 ft tall, 10-15 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate400-700No
Montmorency4-812-15 ft tall, 12-15 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate700Yes
Black Tartarian5-812-15 ft tall, 10-12 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate700-800No
Stella5-815-20 ft tall, 12-15 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate400Yes
Lapins5-915-20 ft tall, 12-15 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate400-800Yes
Barbados ‘Acerola’9-1110-12 ft tall, 10-15 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate-FastUnder 100Yes
Romeo & Juliet2-75-8 ft tall, 5-7 ft wide2-3 yearsModerate500-600Yes
*Growth rates are approximations; actual performance varies with climate, soil, and care.

Why Cherry Tree Growth Rates Differ

Our aim has been to deliver precise and thorough details on each cherry variety, encompassing their growth patterns and the timeline for fruit production.

It’s important to note, however, that these timelines should be viewed as general guidelines. The actual rate of growth and the time to fruit can vary widely, affected by elements like the local climate, soil conditions, and how much care is given.

Cherry trees can be propagated using a variety of methods, including seeds, grafting, budding, cuttings, layering, or air layering, each with its own set of benefits.

Grafting is often the preferred method for consistently producing specific cherry varieties, as it tends to lead to earlier fruiting and fruit that is true to type.

Conversely, starting cherries from seeds might be easier but requires a longer period before fruit production begins.

Opting for a grafted cherry tree from a nursery is usually the fastest and simplest option for many aspiring cherry growers.

Given the range of cultivation methods used by both online and physical nurseries, the timeframe until a tree produces its first fruit can vary greatly from one source to the next.

Why Cherry Tree Size Matters

Nurseries often present a wide selection of cherry tree sizes for sale. Typically, the smaller the tree, the less expensive it is, while the larger trees, being more developed and closer to bearing fruit, command a higher price.

For those eager to start cherry production quickly, selecting a grafted or more mature tree might be the most effective strategy.

For instance, Fast-Growing-Trees lists the Bing cherry tree in various heights: 3-4 ft, 4-5 ft and 5-6 ft tall.

If you want to harvest cherries at the earliest opportunity, choosing a more mature option and ensuring it is grafted, may be your best option.

Additionally, cherry trees may be Dwarf, Semi-Dwarf, or Standard size, each reaching a different mature height.

Verifying the mature size of the tree is crucial to ensure it fits well within your garden or orchard space and meets your growing requirements.

Chill Hours

Choosing a tree that matches your local climate demands consideration of its chill hour needs, which are vital for its development and ability to produce fruit.

Cherry trees, for instance, require a certain number of hours of cold weather, with temperatures between 35 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit, annually to bloom and bear fruit successfully.

A lack of adequate chill hours may result in poor flowering and inadequate leaf development.

Why Pollination Matters

Growing several cherry trees can greatly improve pollination and fruit production via cross-pollination.

Unlike many peach varieties, cherry varieties often require a partner for pollination, as many are not self-fertile.

This means they need the pollen from the flowers of one cherry tree to be transferred to another.

Cross-pollination enhances not just the number of fruits but also their size and quality.

Hence, positioning two or more compatible cherry varieties in proximity to each other can lead to a more consistent and plentiful yield.

Other Fast Growing & Bearing Fruit Trees

Looking to diversify your home orchard beyond the standard cherry trees?

Uncover the possibilities with pear, peach, apricot, apple, lemon, and fig trees, identifying those that grow faster and yield fruit sooner.

Happy planting!

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Fern Berg - Founder

Expert Gardener & Horticulturist in Training

Fern has planted and currently cares for over 100 different native and exotic fruit, nut, and ornamental trees. She also cultivates an extensive vegetable garden, several flower gardens and cares for an ever-growing happy family of indoor plants. Fern has a special interest in biodynamic farming, food production and closed loop agriculture. Fern founded Tree Vitalize to help guide others with an interest in tree planting, identification and care.