Sargent Cherry – Prunus sargentii

Sargent Cherry – Prunus sargentii
Fast-growing and hardy, Sargent cherry offers an
outstanding spring floral display and abundant fruit.
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Sargent Cherry blossoms

With good fall color and delicate pink blossoms, Sargent cherry is highly recommended for the home and urban landscape. Growing at a moderate rate into a 25 to 40-foot-high, upright-spreading to rounded tree, Sargent cherry makes an ideal shade tree, spreading as wide as it is tall and casting dense shade below. It is often grown with several multiple trunks or upright branches originating from the same position on the trunk ascending in a graceful fashion. This structure could be somewhat of a problem in ice-storms. Training to develop well-spaced branches along the trunk may help reduce this problem.

In late April or early May the one-inch-wide, pink to deep pink single blooms appear before the new red-tinged leaves unfold. The small, pea-sized fruits which follow are red, ripening to a dark purple in June and July. The fruits are inconspicuous but are easily found by birds who quickly devour them. The three to five-inch-long, dark green leaves take on various shades of orange, bronze, and red before dropping in late September.

Flower color: pink, showy. / Fruit shape: oval / Fruit length: less than .5 inch / Fruit covering: fleshy
Fruit color: purple, black, red / Fruit characteristics: attracts birds; not showy

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don't droop; showy; typically multi-trunked; thorns
Pruning requirement: needed for strong structure. Susceptible to breakage. Light requirement: full sun
Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; acidic; slightly alkaline; well-drained. Drought tolerance: high. Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate

Sargent cherry tree
This specimen is 24 years old

Sargent Cherry works well as a street tree (probably the best of the cherries for street planting) in areas which can accommodate the spreading canopy. It can be planted along the entry road to a subdivision or commercial landscape on 20-foot-centers or in the tree lawn space between the curb and sidewalk. It is also very effective as a specimen in the lawn or landscape bed.

Sargent Cherry should be grown in full sun on very well-drained, acid soil. although it grows moderately fast and can reach up to 60 feet tall in the wild, it is relatively short-lived with perhaps a 50-year lifespan, but provides reliable service during this period. Sargent Cherry requires little maintenance once established and is quite tolerant of drought and clay soil.

Sargent Cherry Blossom closeup

Sargent Cherry in fall colors
Sargent Cherry has outstanding fall color

1. USDA NRCS Plants Profile Amur Chokecherry
2. USDA Forest Service Fact Sheet ST-514 October 1994
3. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network – (GRIN)
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Family Rosaceae – Rose Family; Fruit Trees
Containing Hawthorns, Apples, Pears, Cherries, Plums, Peach, Almond, Mountain-Ash and Whitebeam. Rosaceae is a large family of plants with about 3,000 species in ~100 genera. Crabapple and other fruit trees provide some of our most outstanding flowering ornamentals, as well as food for birds and other wildlife.
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