The selection of cherries followed an interesting path, or rather split. The pragmatic part of the people preferred fruit cherries, while the aesthetes love Cherry Blossom.
So what is the difference between them and which of them to plant in the yard? Today I will try to give comprehensive answers to these questions.
First of all, these plants belong to different species.
Sour cherry is selected from the species Prunus cerasus. There are a large number of varieties that we will talk about later.
Prunus avium is the basis of all varieties of sweet juicy cherries.
On the other hand, Cherry Blossom has many varieties based on various species of the genus Prunus. For example, the popular Yoshino Cherry is an interspecific hybrid and is famous as one of the best flowering varieties.
Prunus serrulata is also a flowering cherry tree. Its second name is Japanese flowering cherry.
There is even a weeping flower cherry (Prunus subhirtella), which has fantastic flowering braids in spring.
Thus, all cherries, both flowering, and fruiting have different origins and are often hybrids of different species or even varieties. However, their differences do not end there but only begin.
|Cherry Blossom||Cherry Tree|
|Name||Prunus serrulata, Prunus subhirtella||Prunus cerasus, Prunus avium|
|Mature height||30-50 ft||15-25 ft|
|Mature width||35-50 ft||35-40 ft|
|Light exposure||full sun, partial shade||full sun|
|Soil||moist, drained||moist, drained|
|Watering||1 time per week in a drought||1 time per week in a drought|
|Pests||insects||insects, caterpillars, birds|
Cherry Blossom has better blooming
Cherry blossoms have a lush, dense bloom, and this is its strong point. No fruit cherry tree can match the cherry blossom in this regard.
Although among the cherry blossoms, there are also significant differences in the shape and color of flowers.
One of the most popular varieties is Kwanzan. It has two or three rows of petals on each flower, making it very lush during flowering. Besides, the pink color of the petals looks stunning.
However, in the range of flowering cherries, you can find even more incredible varieties. For example, Kikuzakura, this variety can have more than a hundred petals per flower. As a result, its flowers look like small pompoms, which creates an incredible impression.
On the other hand, the fruit cherry tree has flowers with five petals that can not be compared with cherry blossoms.
The only variety of flowering cherry tree that looks a bit like a fruit cherry tree is Ukon. They have a similar color of flowers, but still, the number of petals is more significant, and as a result, the flowers look richer.
Cherry blossom bloom for two weeks, which is longer than fruit cherries. Also, by planting different varieties side by side, you can achieve continuous flowering for a month or more.
As a result, the aesthetic pleasure of contemplating these beautiful plants will last for an incomparably more extended period than with fruit cherries.
Cherry Tree has fruits
The main advantage of ordinary cherries over Cherry blossoms is the fruit. If you plant a cherry tree in the yard, then provide yourself with fresh fruit.
However, this does not mean that flowering cherries do not bear fruit. Some Cherry blossoms form fruits, but their size is very small and not suitable for human consumption. Besides, they taste very sour, so only birds eat them.
On the other hand, there are a large number of varieties of fruit cherries. They fall into two main categories: sour and sweet cherries.
One of the most popular and quite unusual cherries is Black Gold Cherry. Its peculiarity is that the color of the fruit is dark red or almost black. The fruits have a sweet taste and are very juicy.
Another common variety is Rainier Cherry. It is a compact tree that has yellow-red fruits and a sweet taste.
So if you prefer fruit trees over ornamental ones, then fruit cherries get an absolute victory in this chapter.
Cherry Blossom live longer
Fruit cherries live a little less than Cherry blossom. For example, sweet cherries live an average of 10-15 years, after which they cease to bear fruit and die.
Sour cherries live a little longer. On average, their life cycle lasts 25 years.
However, if the cherry is grown from seed (not grafted), it can live much longer. But most fruit varieties are propagated only by grafting.
On the other hand, Cherry blossom lives 30-40 years, which is not such a long time as other trees. There are flowering cherries that are more than 80 years old, but this is rare.
The reason why fruit cherries live less is that the formation of fruit takes a lot of effort, and the plant ages faster.
In terms of life expectancy, fruit cherries lose in comparison with flowering ones. You will have to update your orchard more often, which requires more money, time, and effort.
Fruit cherry tree needs more sun
For the formation and ripening of fruits, cherries need a lot of sunlight because all the nutrients are formed due to solar energy. Cherry blossoms have almost no fruit, so they do not need as much energy.
On average, fruit cherries require at least 7-8 hours of direct sunlight. However, it is best if your cherry will get 10 hours of daylight, then the fruit will be juicy and ripe.
Here I have to make an adjustment to the climate in which you live. In hardiness zone 8, seven hours of direct sunlight will suffice, and the rest of the day, the cherry will benefit from the shade. For the north (3-4 zones), good fruit ripening requires ten or more hours a day.
Cherry blossom needs 6 hours of direct sunlight. For cold climates, it can be a little longer (8 hours).
A cherry tree is more challenging to maintain than a Cherry blossom
Caring for cherries is more complicated than caring for cherry blossom. First of all, this applies to diseases and pests. Unfortunately, fruit trees have a lot more problems than ornamental.
Among the pests of cherries, many different caterpillars eat both fruits and leaves. There are even those that eat the branches from the inside, and it is almost impossible to fight them.
Various beetles and mites also like to eat cherries.
The worst part is that you can’t beat the pests with standard pesticide spraying, as you can with ornamental plants because pesticides can kill bees that pollinate cherry blossoms.
Besides, chemicals can enter the fruit, and as a result, the crop will be poisonous.
To adequately protect cherries, you will have to gain a lot of experience and spend a lot of effort and time.
Another nuisance is the birds; they also like to eat cherries. Dealing with birds is even more challenging than dealing with insects.
The second serious problem in growing cherries is diseases.
Very often, the fruit is covered with black spots or rot. All this is the result of the disease. To cope with this, you need to use special methods and in the right order. Unfortunately, not everyone can do it correctly and on time.
A good harvest will only be if you give the cherries enough fertilizer. Therefore, top dressing with organic matter and mineral fertilizers are mandatory.
These days, there are varieties of cherries resistant to disease, but you have to work hard in general to get quality fruit.
With Сherry blossom, everything is more manageable. One preventive spray is usually enough to protect the tree from diseases and pests.