fbpx Sargent's cherry | The Morton Arboretum

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):


Planting Site:

  • Residential and parks,
  • Wide median

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

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


  • Alkaline soil,
  • Road salt

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

Seasons 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.

Location of Prunus sargentii (Sargent's cherry) at the Arboretum