Advice on Buying Cherry Trees

Your cherry trees will be providing you with delicious fruit for many years to come: we want to make sure you choose the right ones for your garden. cherries

Your available space will determine the shape of tree that you can grow. There are 2 main options:

  1. Fan Trained Cherry Trees:
    This space-saving shape is grown flat with horizontal wires for support, usually against walls or fences.
    To make a fan cherry tree, you need to buy a Maiden sized tree (this is the smallest you can buy) and prune it into the desired shape.
  2. Free Standing Cherry Trees:
    These two sizes take up more room and give the biggest crops:
  • Bush Cherry trees: This is a short tree with a main trunk about 1 metre tall and a final height of about 3 metres - great for most people's gardens and easy to harvest.
  • Half standard Cherry trees: A "proper" tree that will reach about 5 metres tall.
    The heaviest cropping size, but you will need a safe ladder to harvest your trees when they are full-grown.

Which Starting Size of Tree Should You Buy?

Maidens: These are the cheapest option and can be trained into any shape you like. If you want a fan, you must start with a maiden.

Bushes & Half-Standards: These are the largest starting sizes you can order: go for a half-standard if you have plenty of room or a bush if space is tight. Even if you are on a tight budget, it still makes sense to start with these rather than a maiden, because you will spend less time on them and get your crops sooner. 

Sweet or Sour Cherries?

Both, of course!
All sweet cherries need plenty of sun. We only grow one sour cherry, the world-famous English Morello. Not only is it the best, it is also very hardy and, unlike sweet cherries, thrives in shady North facing sites.

Cherry Tree Pollination

The sour Morello cherry and some sweet varieties are reliably self-fertile.

  • If you only have room for one cherry tree, choose a self fertile one.
  • More than half of our sweet cherry varieties are not self fertile and must be pollinated by a compatible tree to bear fruit - this includes all the early fruiting trees.
  • You can choose cherry pollination partners here.

Harvesting Cherry Trees

Cherry trees as a group have quite a short season, ranging from late June to August.
Cherries don't store well and need to be eaten, cooked, preserved as jam or frozen without delay when they are ripe.
If fresh cherries for your kitchen all summer is your dream, it is best to choose at least 3 types of cherry tree to cover the whole season:

Harvest TimeTrees
(Late June-Mid July)
Amber Heart, Early Rivers
(Through July)
Knight's Early Black, Merton Glory, Merton Bigarreau, Lapins Cherokee, Kordia
(Late July-August)
Van, Colney, Bigarreau Napoleon, Penny, Skeena, Stella, Summer Sun, Sunburst, Morello (Sour Cherry)
Very Late
(From Early August)


Planting Cherry Trees

Your trees need good soil drainage and will suffer in heavy clay areas that trap water: heavy clay itself is fine, as long as it is on a hill or slope that sheds water well.
The more sun your trees get, the better your crops will be.
If your soil is poor, the effort you spend digging in lots of manure and compost as deep as you can will reward you with healthy trees and good crops for many years to come.

Cherry trees, like all named edible fruit trees, are cloned by taking cuttings from an adult tree and grafting them onto a rootstock from another tree.
We use Colt rootstocks, which are as close as it gets to being universal.
They are fine for growing your trees as a wire-trained fan and if you want a full sized tree, it will reach 4-5 metres.

Our 1 Year Guarantee:
Many people have reservations about buying plants online, especially bareroot plants, since it is hard to tell if they are alive when they arrive with no leaves in winter!

Our guarantee to you goes well beyond the basic legal requirements of selling perishable goods by mail order:

If you are not happy with your plants after inspecting them upon arrival, we will either refund you or replace them (we will refund the sending delivery charge but you will pay the return charge).

If you buy & plant a bareroot tree in winter, we will replace (not refund) it if it dies within a year after you receive it.

You must send us good quality photos of the entire plant, both close up and with the surrounding area in shot.

We will replace the trees free of charge: we will only charge you for delivery.

We can keep our prices low because we only sell by mail order and our nursery is closed to the public.
Every tree has discounts on larger orders beginning when you buy only 3 of a particular tree.
Discounts only apply to each individual, named variety of tree: if you buy 3 different trees, you get no discount.

Delivery information:

The planting and delivery season for bareroot cherry trees is between November and March.

A limited range of potted cherry trees is available for the rest of the year - these are delivered in pots but will need to be planted out.

You can place your order for bareroot cherry trees at any time of year and choose a winter delivery date that suits you.

Whenever you place your order, you will not charge you until your plants are ready to be shipped.

You will receive a reminder e-mail to notify you of the delivery date,

When they are delivered, we use a 24 hour courier service to get your order to you in top condition.

We do use cookies, which are bits of code that stay on your browser. They help you to buy products from us online in a convenient and secure manner, and help us to improve and give you the smooth service that you desire.

Thank you, The Ashridge Nurseries Team.

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