TREES & plants

Sargent's cherry

Spring flowers of Sargent's cherry.

Sargent's cherry is one of the hardier, more adaptable and attractive trees for the Midwest. The tree has beautiful pink flowers in early spring and shiny green foliage turns bronze to red in fall. 

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.


Botanical name: 
Prunus sargentii
All Common Names: 
Sargent's cherry
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks, 
  • Wide median
Landscape Uses: 
  • Shade tree, 
  • Specimen
Size Range: 
  • Large tree (more than 40 feet), 
  • Medium tree (25-40 feet)
Mature Height: 
40-50 feet
Mature Width: 
40-50 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Tolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Intolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Intolerant
Planting Considerations: 
  • May be difficult to find in nurseries
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Spring blossoms, 
  • Fall color, 
  • Showy flowers, 
  • Attractive bark
Season of Interest: 
  • Early spring, 
  • Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Pink
Shape or Form: 
  • Vase-shaped
Growth Rate: 
  • Moderate, 
  • Fast
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
  • Insect pollinators
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Full sun to part shade,
Best in well-drained soil, pH adaptable.
Tolerant of windy sites but not air pollution.

Disease, pests, and problems

Black knot is a common fungal disease.
Eastern tent caterpillar commonly attacks this tree.
Other possible problems include cankers, leaf spots, borers, aphids and scale.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to Japan and Korea.

Bark color and texture 

Attractive reddish to chestnut brown shiny bark aging to gray.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, simple, deciduous leaves with serrate margins.
bovate leaf shape, 3 to 5 inches long.
Purplish new growth turns dark green in summer then to a bronze to red fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Showy, single pink flowers up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

A 1/2 inch red to black cherry (drupe) matures in mid-summer.

Cultivars and their differences

Pink Flair® (Prunus sargentii 'JFS-KW58'):  A narrow, upright cultivar growing 25 feet high and 15 feet wide.    This cultivar flowers one to two weeks later than the species.  Good, red-orange fall color.

Prunus sargentii or Sargent's cherry