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Rainier Cherry

Prunus avium 'Rainier'

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Rainier Cherry (Prunus avium 'Rainier') at The Barn Nursery and Landscape Center

Rainier Cherry flowers

Rainier Cherry flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  25 feet

Spread:  15 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  5

Other Names:  Sweet Cherry, Mazzard Cherry

Description:

A popular fruit tree with showy white flowers in spring followed by sweet golden-yellow cherries with a reddish blush; needs full sun, well drained soil, and a pollinator

Edible Qualities

Rainier Cherry is a medium-sized tree that is typically grown for its edible qualities. It produces yellow round fruit (technically 'drupes') with a red blush and yellow flesh which are usually ready for picking in mid summer. Note that the fruits have hard inedible pits inside which must be removed before eating or processing. The fruits have a sweet taste and a firm texture.

The fruit are most often used in the following ways:

  • Fresh Eating
  • Baking
  • Preserves

Features & Attributes

Rainier Cherry is blanketed in stunning clusters of fragrant white flowers along the branches in early spring before the leaves. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves turn yellow in fall. The fruits are showy yellow drupes with a red blush, which are carried in abundance in mid summer. The fruit can be messy if allowed to drop on the lawn or walkways, and may require occasional clean-up. The smooth dark red bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

This is a deciduous tree with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition. This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Disease

Aside from its primary use as an edible, Rainier Cherry is sutiable for the following landscape applications;

  • Shade
  • Orchard/Edible Landscaping

Planting & Growing

Rainier Cherry will grow to be about 25 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It has a high canopy with a typical clearance of 5 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more. This variety requires a different selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit.

This tree is typically grown in a designated area of the yard because of its mature size and spread. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Shade  Orchard 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features