Prunus Avium Hertford is a deciduous sweet cherry cultivar of the wild cherry Prunus Avium. It is more commonly known as Sweet Cherry Hertford and notable for its large red-black skinned cherries with exceptional pink flesh. This is a sweet tasting fruit with plenty of character.
Spring foliage is oval, veined and textured appearing just before the sweetly scented delicate white blossoms of early spring. Each blossom measures just one to two centimetres across, but arrives with such profusion it appears the whole tree is covered in snow. Pollinators love cherry blossom, so expect plenty of bees and butterflies if you choose this cultivar.
If pollinated, dark fruits will begin to swell from small, hard spheres in late spring and become succulent black skinned cherries ready for picking in late July.
Height and Spread of Prunus Avium Hertford The height and spread of a cherry tree depends on it rootstock, but Prunus Avium Hertford will grow to a maximum height of six to eight metres and spread over approximately four metres without pruning. On a dwarf rootstock it will reach 2.5 metres in height. Sweet Cherry Hertford is easy to manage. It doesn’t get too big and it is a good size for a more compact garden, particularly as this variety takes well to formative pruning.
How Hardy Is Prunus Avium Hertford Prunus Avium Hertford is fully hardy in the UK, but as with all cherry trees the blossom may be damaged by late frosts. Cover blossom with fleece if a fall in temperature is predicted.
How To Use Prunus Avium Hertford This attractive cherry can be planted as a specimen fruit tree in the lawn or as part of a wide border or hedgerow. It is also possible to fan train this variety or grow it in a large well watered container. The fruits are best eaten fresh from the tree when they are ripe, but they also cook well and will keep for several days to a week in a cool environment.
How To Care for Prunus Avium Hertford This is a self-sterile cultivar, so a pollinating partner is required to produce cherries. Prunus Avium Hertford is a low maintenance tree that requires little care, but if you want to eat fruit a frost-free site away from the dry, gusty winds that remove blossom is recommended. It will grow in any fertile soil and is not fussy about pH conditions.
There is no need to prune Cherry Hertford because it naturally grows in an upright crown, but you can remove dead branches or crossed ones in summer after the fruit has been picked. Don’t remove too much wood because cherries bloom and fruit old wood.
If you want a less common cherry for your garden Sweet Cherry Hertford is a good pick. It doesn’t get too large and produces a good crop of black skinned but pink fleshed cherries.