Is pink cherry tree fruit edible?

Written by melissa worcester
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Is pink cherry tree fruit edible?
Some cherry trees have white blossoms and some have pink blossoms. (cherry tree in blossom image by PHOTOFLY from Fotolia.com)

Pink cherry trees are any one of many kinds of cherry trees that have pink blossoms. The blossoms seem to cover the trees in the spring, partly because the leaves are not yet fully developed at that time. The flowers are short-lived but looked-for, celebrated and enjoyed by many. Cherry trees are part of the rose family and are related to peaches, apricots, almonds and plums.

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Cherry blossoms

The blossoms of cherry trees may be white or pink. The colour is not a determining factor in whether the tree will bear edible fruit. Cherry blossoms, whether they are pink or white, are the unofficial national flower of Japan. In 1912, Japan gave 3,000 cherry trees to the United States and they were planted in Washington, DC. The US holds a National Cherry Blossom Festival every year to celebrate these trees.

Ornamental vs. fruiting cherry trees

Ornamental cherry trees are popular in many places because of their beautiful flowers. Other varieties of cherry trees are grown for their fruit. These also have flowers, either white or pink, and can produce either sweet or sour cherries. Cherries from either type of tree are edible, but cherries from ornamental cherry trees may not be very tasty. Some ornamental cherry trees don't produce fruit at all.

Sweet vs sour

Different varieties of cherries have different flavours, from very sweet Bing and Maraschino cherries to sour Morello cherries. All of them are edible, though they have a pit or stone at the centre that is not edible. You may prefer one variety over another, or you may just enjoy the blossoms and forgo the fruit.

Know your varieties

Some varieties of cherry trees that are known for their pink blossoms include the Kwanzan oriental cherry; the Barbados cherry, which produces delicious and nutritious fruit; and the Prunus serrulata, an ornamental cherry tree. Another variety is the Sakuranbo, a Japanese variety that produces edible, tasty cherries.

Development of blossoms and fruit

In the spring, most cherry trees are covered with blossoms, though there are a few varieties that are grown to flower in other seasons. Each year's quality and quantity of flowers may be different, and this depends mostly on the severity of the preceding winter. A smaller number of blossoms means a smaller number of cherries will grow that year.

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