The Morello Cherry Tree Produces A Perfect Pucker And Thrives In A Shady Yard

Cherry trees are so much more than fruit producers. Sublime spring blossoms, luscious berries, flaming fall foliage, and silvery bark make any type of cherry tree gorgeous all year. In addition to their undeniable beauty, they invite pollinators and nest makers to their branches and hollows. And of course, this fruit tree will bring a bountiful harvest to your yard. Come midsummer, your baskets will overflow with fruit for cooking, preserving, and just straight eating.

But maybe a small space or shaded yard is keeping you from adding a cherry tree to your landscape. Despite the limitations of your yard, you can reap many benefits by opting for a morello cherry tree. This small tree is shade tolerant, grows well in pots, and can be trained to climb walls and trellises. Let long-lasting spring blossoms brighten up dark corners of your landscaping, and dazzling red, orange, and yellow autumn leaves illuminate overcast fall days.

Why should you plant morello cherries?

Morellos are easygoing cherry trees that like shade, and they even grow in pots for patio gardening. Plus, they are self-pollinating, meaning that you don't need other cherry trees nearby for them to fruit. Morello cherries are hardy and versatile. Although morello cherries are sour, when they're fully ripe, they can be eaten raw.

Most tart cherries don't bear much fruit without full sun, but this is not the case with morello cherries. These workhorses are known for bountiful harvests, even if they partly grow in shade. What's more, birds don't usually like sour cherries, leaving more for your preserves, pies, and fresh snacking needs. Although morello cherry trees typically take two to five years after planting to see a full harvest, some bear fruit after one year. They are also are famed for their high yield after they've reached maturity. 

There's a good number of small trees that grow in shade, but finding one that leaves you with a tasty crop as well as year-round appeal is hard to beat. While most tart cherries don't fruit well in shade, morellos can handle less than full sun. They can live in large containers as long as their pots are deeper and wider than their root ball. Even a north-facing wall can support a trained morello cherry.

How to grow morello cherry trees

Whether it's a shady corner, a pot on your patio, or a spot in full sun, it's hard to go wrong when choosing where to plant a morello cherry tree. They prefer well-drained soil that's kept moist and grow best when planted in the fall.  Morellos flourish in shade, but with a little more sun, you may find they produce sweeter fruit. 

Without pruning, morellos can grow from 12 to 15 feet in height and width. Morellos are semi-dwarf trees, but you can trim one and keep it shorter if it's going to spend its life in a pot. Morello cherries can be cordoned and grown up a wall when you don't have much room to save space and give your garden a classic European look. Morellos, like other cherry trees, benefit from pruning. Check out our guide on the best time of year to prune cherry trees and how to do it