How to Plant, Grow, and Care for ‘Bing’ Cherry Trees

The most popular cherry grown by commercial farmers is also available for growing in home gardens. In this article, gardening expert Wendy Moulton shares how to care for fantastic ‘Bing’ cherry trees!

A close-up of a bunch of red 'Bing cherries nestled among verdant leaves, suspended delicately from a branch. In the backdrop, a soft blur highlights the abundance of lush green foliage, enhancing the natural beauty of the scene.


The sweet fragrance of white cherry blossoms in spring will burst into rich, large fruits in summer with their tasty, sweet flesh. In autumn, the green serrated leaves turn golden – truly a tree for all seasons. It is, however, the cherries that they are known for.

‘Bing’ cherry trees produce deep red heart-shaped fruits with a sweet, delicious taste and small seeds, giving you more cherry for your pie. These vigorous growers are perfect for temperate climates and will produce up to 50 pounds of fruit per year for many years to come.

The prolific fruit on this tree, the large size of the cherries, and the deep red color all make this the variety to plant. It requires a pollinator tree planted nearby, which adds to the variation in cherries you can grow in a home garden. Here, I’ll share the requirements ‘Bing’ cherries need to perform at their best.

‘Bing’ Cherry Tree

‘Bing’ Cherry Trees:

  • yield up to 50 pounds of sweet fruit per year
  • produce cherries great for pies or fresh eating
  • have ornamental and fragrant spring blossoms
  • grow well in zones 5-8

buy at Epic Gardening Shop


A close-up of a 'Bing' cherry tree reveals its intricate branches adorned with lush green leaves and ripe red fruits. Sunlight gently filters through the canopy, casting a warm glow on the foliage.
The ‘Bing’ cherry tree is scientifically classified under the genus Prunus and species Prunus avium.
Genus Prunus
Species Prunus avium ‘Bing’
Family Rosaceae
Native Area Oregon, USA
Height and Spread 15-35 feet tall x 12-25 feet wide
Maintenance Pruning
Hardiness Zones 5-8
Exposure Full Sun
Watering needs Medium
Pests Aphids, cherry fruit flies, leaf-mining moths, winter moth caterpillars
Diseases Black rot, bacterial canker, cherry leaf spot, brown rot, silver leaf, and blossom wilt
Soil Type Sandy, well-draining
Flowering time Spring
Fruiting time Summer
Attracts Pollinators when in flower

What Is It?

A close-up of 'Bing' cherries nestled among vibrant green leaves on delicate branches. The rich red hue of the cherries and dew drops catch the light, exuding freshness and ripeness, promising a burst of sweet juiciness with every bite.
A six-foot-tall Chinese immigrant named Ah Bing developed the distinctive ‘Bing’ cherry.

Prunus avium ‘Bing’ is America’s most produced variety of cherry in the commercial market. Its origins have a colorful history, starting in the mid-1800s when the Lewelling family traveled west across the country from Iowa to Oregon, bringing with them 700 fruit trees. They started the first nursery on the West Coast and planted orchards of prunes, apples, and cherries, which is believed was the beginning of Oregon’s fruit-growing industry.

The ‘Bing’ cherry tree was named for Chinese horticulturalist and foreman at the Lewelling orchards, Ah Bing. His legacy lives on in this award-winning cherry cultivar. For the nearly 150 years that the ‘Bing’ cherry has been in production, it has set the standard by which other cultivars are judged.

Native Area

A solitary red cherry dangles delicately from a slender branch, catching the light with its vibrant hue. Lush green leaves frame the scene, creating a natural backdrop that enhances the vividness of the cherry.
The ‘Bing’ cherry was bred in Milwaukie, Oregon, from trees brought from Iowa.

Originally from Germany, these trees are descendants of the ‘Napoleon Bigarreau’ variety. The ‘Bing’ cherry was bred in Milwaukie, Oregon, from original trees brought from Iowa by the Henderson Luelling.


A serene landscape basks in sunlight, adorned with lush trees reaching towards the sky. In the midst, a cherry tree commands attention with its abundant foliage and ripe, red fruits hanging from its branches.
‘Bing’ requires nearby pollinators like ‘Sam’ or ‘Van’ to bear fruit.

‘Bing’ is a tall tree with a rounded canopy that can grow up to 35 feet and 25 feet wide. Dwarf varieties are more compact, with a mature height of around 15 feet and 12 feet wide. The leaves are long, serrated, dark green for most of the year, and turn golden yellow in the fall.

The tree will be full of pretty, fragrant spring blossoms that form the sought-after large fruits, a deep red when ripe in the summer.

This tree is a vigorous grower and a prolific producer of quality, firm cherries.

‘Bing’ requires another pollinator cherry close by to set fruit; it is not self-pollinating. The best-recommended varieties to plant as pollinators are ‘Sam’, ‘Van’, ‘Rainier’, and ‘Stella’.


A person wearing black boots diligently plants a young tree sapling in the soil, tenderly nurturing nature's growth. They skillfully employ a shovel to carefully encase the sapling with rich soil, ensuring its roots settle firmly into their new home.
Prepare the hole adequately and use a stake for stability when planting ‘Bing’ cherry trees.

Find a position in full sun and with enough space for the mature size of a ‘Bing’ cherry—at least 25 feet—and a pollinator cherry. Locate it away from other plants and buildings in a spot with plenty of sunlight.

Dig a hole at least twice the width and height of the root ball so that the roots have a chance to expand and sit in the ground well to hold the weight of the tree. A stake is necessary, particularly in windy areas. Add the tree and backfill the soil, pressing it down as you go to remove any air pockets in the soil and prevent any bacterial infections from getting to the roots.

Create a basin around the tree’s base to help direct water toward the roots. After planting, water the plant well and add a layer of mulch, making sure that the mulch does not touch the tree’s bark.

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A person with arms extended carefully plants a cherry sapling into the earth, fostering growth and renewal in the soil. Beside them, a shovel and metallic bucket rest, tools ready for nurturing the burgeoning garden.
Preserve root ball and prune severely when transplanting tall trees.

As these trees grow very tall, it’s unwise to transplant the tree. If there is no choice, dig out the tree, keeping as much of the root ball intact as possible before planting in the new position. After planting, prune the tree back severely. This directs the trees energy to the roots so they can establish quickly.

Growing from Seed

Fresh, plump 'Bing' cherries dangle enticingly from a delicate branch, their vibrant red hue contrasting beautifully against the green foliage. In the background, a blur of lush leaves adds depth to the scene.
Buy a mature tree from a nursery for quicker fruit harvesting.

It is possible to grow a cherry tree from a pit, but it would mean waiting a very long time for the tree to produce any fruit. After all, that is why we plant cherries. Rather, buy a properly grown and healthy tree that is a few years old at a nursery so that cherry harvesting season would be a few years at most.

How to Grow

With the correct growing requirements, a ‘Bing’ cherry tree would be a good producer of quality fruit for years. They will also be less susceptible to any pests and diseases that may be around.


Ripe, crimson 'Bing' cherries dangle gracefully from slender branches, interwoven with verdant leaves, catching the light. In the backdrop, a soft blur hints at lush foliage, enhancing the vibrant allure of the cherries.
Planting the ‘Bing’ variety requires a minimum of 6-8 hours of daily sunlight.

For maximum fruit production, ‘Bing’ needs at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. That means planting in your best full-sun position.


A silver watering can gently pours water over a young cherry sapling, nurturing its growth. In the background, a wooden fence provides a rustic backdrop, blending harmoniously with the natural scene of tender care for the plant.
Make sure to water newly planted trees once a week for at least 30 seconds.

Water newly planted trees for at least 30 seconds once a week. They should generally receive an inch of rain every week. To test if they need water, dig down two inches; if the soil there is dry, then water. Water more often in hot, dry conditions.


Loose, grainy sandy soil creates a textured landscape, promising potential for plant growth. Among the grains, a scattering of dried fallen leaves adds a rustic touch, hinting at the passage of seasons and the cycle of nature.
Optimal conditions for ‘Bing’ cherry trees include sandy, well-draining soil.

Bing’ cherries prefer soil that is on the sandy side but very well-draining. A pH level of 6-7 is ideal. If your soil is too acidic or alkaline, you can amend it easily to create favorable conditions.

Temperature and Humidity

A close-up captures red 'Bing' cherries, their plumpness and glossy sheen highlighted as they reflect incoming light. Beside them, the sturdy trunk and lush green leaves frame the scene, adding to the natural beauty.
‘Bing’ cherries need 700 chill hours below 45°F to fruit.

To set fruit, ‘Bing’ cherries require at least 700 chill hours at temperatures below 45°F (7°C). These trees grow well in hardiness zones 5-8, making them adaptable to a wide range of climates.

They are hardy to -10°F (-23°C). Like other sweet cherry varieties, they prefer low humidity.


A hand adorned in white and blue gloves delicately holds granules of fertilizer, poised to nourish the soil beneath a flourishing cherry tree. In the backdrop, blurred green leaves scattered on the ground add to the serene gardening scene.
Apply balanced fertilizer with high nitrogen content in spring before new growth.

Feed this tree with a balanced fertilizer with a high nitrogen value, like 10:10:10, in spring, just before the trees start sprouting their new growth. This annual feeding is all they need to produce a good crop of fruit each year. Keep the fertilizer away from the tree’s trunk at least six to eight inches.


Blue-gloved hands precisely trim a cherry tree branch with red pruning shears. Golden sunlight filters through the foliage, casting a warm glow upon the tree, illuminating the careful pruning process.
‘Bing’ cherries require annual removal of dead or diseased branches.

These trees require very little maintenance, but they do require removing dead and diseased branches so that the tree does not become stressed. The only other important maintenance requirement is annual pruning.


A person with a determined expression holds a blue electric pruner, ready for action. Positioned beneath a cherry tree, they carefully aim to trim a slender branch adorned with lush green leaves, ensuring precision in each cut.
Annually prune cherry trees like ‘Bing’ by selecting main branches.

Prune ‘Bing’ cherry trees once a year to ensure a good harvest the following year. The idea of pruning is to get sunlight into the canopy of the tree and into the center so that enough light falls on all the branches to get the tree flowering and fruiting in the season. To do this, pick your main branches with care, cut off any crossing branches, and open up the canopy by removing branches that cross each other, inhibiting airflow.

Use a combination of a sharp pair of pruners, a lopper, and a tree saw for this task, cleaning and sterilizing between trees so as not to carry any diseases from one tree to another. Burn any diseased branches after cutting away.


A close-up of a hand delicately reaching towards a ripe cherry, fingers poised for the pluck. Lush green leaves frame the fruit, hinting at the bountiful harvest. In the background, a blur of foliage adds depth to the scene.
Conduct a taste test of ‘Bing’ cherries before harvesting to determine their readiness for picking.

Cherries from the ‘Bing’ variety will be ready for harvest in early summer. They need to be a deep red color before attempting any harvest, as cherries will not ripen on the tree. Taste test a few before harvesting a batch. When they are ready, you can twist them off the stems easily.

Common Problems

Yellow sticky traps are an ideal way to see what pests are around and how big the problems are. Large infestations must be dealt with immediately; some are minor nuisances, and some will destroy your crop entirely.

Apart from the following pests and diseases to look out for, ‘Bing’ has relatively few problems if all their needs are met. However, heavy rain that occurs when the fruit is ready for harvesting may cause the fruit to crack.


A close-up reveals a leaf infested with black aphids, tiny insects clustered together. These pests, known as black aphids, feed on plant sap, causing leaves to wilt and distort, posing a threat to the plant's health and growth.
Spray off cherry aphids with a strong jet from the hose.

Sucking insects like cherry aphids, western cherry fruit flies, peach tree borer, and spider mites may become a problem. They should be dealt with swiftly and appropriately to avoid increased infections of other plants and trees nearby.

Cherry aphids are sucking insects that can be seen on the underside of leaves, and often, these can be removed with a jet of water. Beneficial insects like ladybugs are good deterrents for these sucking insects, and getting rid of any ants who use aphids as tools to produce honeydew is a good start. Avoid chemical intervention with this minor type of pest.

Peach tree borer is another matter, as this pest that bores into the tree’s wood can eventually cause the tree’s demise. You can spot the damage by the holes punched into the trunk and branches, and if you peel away the bark, the tunnels of these pests will clearly be seen. Cut away and destroy any infected areas.

Western cherry fruit flies attack the harvest by laying eggs on the fruit, from which larvae hatch and burrow into it, making it inedible. At the first signs of these pests, action needs to be taken, and chemical pesticides must be employed. It is important to read the instructions for these pesticides carefully and do the follow-up treatments because the larvae will hatch on a continuous basis. Wash the fruit carefully before eating, and never eat fruit off a tree that has been sprayed.


A close-up of a tree reveals a bacterial canker, manifesting as discolored lesions on the trunk's surface. The canker, caused by bacterial infection, appears as darkened patches surrounded by areas of withered bark and oozing sap.
Bacterial canker manifests as sticky residue in dark areas on branches and leaves.

Look out for diseases like black knot and bacterial canker on cherry trees.

Black Knot

Black knot is caused by the fungus Apiosporina morbosa. It manifests as black tar-like galls or swellings that develop, and a growth point or fruit spurs from the spores landing on these areas. They can be 1-6 inches in length. Cut away all the problem areas and burn the infected branches. Make sure to sterilize secateurs or loppers so as not to infect other areas of the tree. There is no known chemical treatment for this fungus, so heavy infestations will result in the tree having to be removed.

Bacterial Canker

Bacterial canker is common amongst cherry trees and can be seen in dark areas, where sticky residue forms on branches, buds, leaves, and fruit. It is seen more often in spring and autumn. Leaves and buds will die, and the whole tree will eventually become infected. Treat it as soon as it’s noticed with an appropriate copper-based product. This disease is often the result of poor drainage in soils that have become waterlogged and is preventing the roots from getting enough air circulation.

Silver Leaf

The fungal disease silver leaf is caused by the pathogen Chondrostereum purpureum, which infects trees through wounds from pruning and garden tools. It causes the leaves of the tree to turn silvery. This is a sign the tree is in decline. If you notice silvery leaves, there is no cure. The best thing to do is remove damaged parts, and burn them. Prevent the disease by using proper pruning techniques, and avoiding the use of heavy machinery around the trunk.

Blossom Wilt

Blossom wilt presents itself as browning spots on buds, and later stages develop conidia on buds and bark. The pathogen Monilia laxa is to blame. It generally survives and overwinters in dead foliage and branches at the base of the tree. Remove these to prevent the disease. If you see symptoms of blossom wilt, spray them with copper fungicides to prevent spread to fruit.

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast do ‘Bing’ cherries grow?

Depending on the conditions, these cherries can grow to a height of 35 feet at a rate of 13-24 inches a year.

Why are Bing cherries so expensive to buy in the shops?

Firstly, cherry season is not very long, with harvesting only taking place once the cherries are ripe on the tree in late spring to mid-summer. Then, it’s a very labor-intensive fruit that has to be harvested by hand. They also don’t grow in all areas, and some require long transportation routes. It’s better just to buy your own trees and harvest them in your backyard.

Do Bing cherries help you sleep?

Cherries contain high amounts of melatonin, which studies have shown can improve sleep. However, they provide ample nutritional benefits, like vitamins A and C and magnesium.

Final Thoughts

‘Bing’ has become the most well-known and preferred cherry variety in America. If this isn’t reason enough to choose this tree for your back garden, simply taste one! It’s like growing a delicious taste of history.

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