Where Do Cherries Grow?

cherries-grow Credit: Tim Lucas/CC-BY-2.0

Cherries grow on trees in most temperate climates, such as North America, Canada's British Colombia, Australia, New Zealand, southern Europe, and the United Kingdom. In North America and southern Europe, they ripen in June, in the U.K. and British Colombia they ripen in July to August, and in New Zealand and Australia, they ripen in December.

Sweet cherry trees, such as prunus avium, fare best in mild dry climates, while tart cherries, or prunus cerasus, are easy to grow in most temperate climates. Tart cherries are great for cooking if picked early, but if it is left to overripen on the tree, it is more palatable when fresh. While cherries generally grow on trees, there are a couple of cherry-like fruits that grow on bushes, such as prunus besseyi and prunus tomentosa, that fare well in colder areas where trees would struggle.

Because cherries are at their peak in Australia and New Zealand in December, they have become associated with the Christmas celebrations. The trees need to be exposed to cold weather before they can germinate. This is to stop them from germinating during warmer periods and the sapling dying in winter because of the need for cold weather, they cannot grow in tropical climates. After being planted in autumn, a cherry tree will take three or four years to start growing fruit and seven years before maturing.