Hansen's Bush Cherry

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Attractive and edible! Enjoy the best of both worlds: Dainty white blossoms in the spring with silvery-green leaves that turn red in the fall for ornamental appeal and tasty cherries in the summer for an edible bonus. Tolerates a wide range of planting sites, including sandy hills, rocky slopes and lake shores. Bears young. Fruit is most enjoyable when allowed to ripen to a deep purple-black color on the bush. Introduced in the early 1900s. Cold-hardy. Ripens in July. Partially self-pollinating, but plant two or more for larger crops. Not able to pollinate our other cherry varieties. (Prunus besseyi)

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Bloom Color White
Fruit Color Purple
Fruit Size Small
Pollination Self-Pollinating
Ripens/Harvest July
Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy
Soil Moisture Well Drained
Soil pH Level 6.0 - 7.0
Taste Tart, Tangy
Texture Crisp, Firm
Years to Bear 2 - 3
Zone Range 3 - 8

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 3 - 8
My Hardiness Zone ?
The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Make sure that your hardiness zone lies within the zone compatability range of this variety before ordering.


This variety is self pollinating.

In many cases, you may still want to plant pollinating partners to increase the size of your crops, but with self-pollinating varieties doing so is optional. Plant one of these varieties within 50' for best results.

Tools & Supplies

Having the proper tools and supplies when growing your own can make the difference between a good harvest and a great harvest! Here's a list that our experts recommend for this variety.

Planting & Care

Learn all about how to grow cherry trees in The Growing Guide. An entire section of our website dedicated to your growing success.

Questions & Answers

Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 32 questions Browse 32 questions and 111 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
cherry blosums are beautiful when in bloom
FITZROY F on Mar 29, 2020
good size for grandchildren to pick from so they are involved in gardening
VANESSA C on Mar 23, 2020
cherry blosums are beautiful when in bloom
FITZROY F on Mar 29, 2020
Bush cherries urban gardening
Eric S on Mar 28, 2020
good size for grandchildren to pick from so they are involved in gardening
VANESSA C on Mar 23, 2020
Looks like a good variety to grow
jackson w on Mar 21, 2020
Friends in Western Wyoming have good luck with this, so I wanted to try it.
Kathleen C on Mar 17, 2020
This will be easy fruit to pick and makes a nice ornamental for the yard.
Dionne Z on Mar 14, 2020
size, hardyness, fruit for me and birds
Arthur A R on Mar 13, 2020
I am interested in how this will be. If this works out I can see a border with these.
Dave D on Mar 7, 2020
Small cherry bush.
Terri V on Dec 16, 2019
horticulturist in my area suggested
Lori L on Apr 29, 2019
Using for edible hedge row.
Robert K on Apr 24, 2019
Small size fits my landscape well.
Carrie M on Apr 24, 2019
price and a compact shrub. Seems really interesting so I had to try it
martin v on Apr 20, 2019
Looks awesome! I think a few of these would line our walk way perfectly.
Eric H on Apr 19, 2019
Great size and has pretty flowers. I???ve never tried the fruit.
Shannon H on Apr 16, 2019
I make jelly and jam that includes cherries plus I love blooming shrubbery for my yard, so it's a win win for me!
Terrie P on Apr 6, 2019
Smaller size makes it easier for us and our kids to harvest
April K on Mar 31, 2019
I have bee hives & thought the blooms in the spring would bee good for them!
Kevin M on Mar 24, 2019
Want to put more perennials in our garden. Thought these would add color and environment for other plantings near it.
Lamar A on Mar 24, 2019
inexpensive, grows in shade and rocky soil, cool that you can eat the berries.
kathy w on Mar 15, 2019
Very pretty blooms and cherries to boot.
Pat on Mar 15, 2019
People love it for the blossoms, so I try it.
Kim H on Mar 15, 2019
We have been expanding our orchard and these sound like they will look good and thrive on the slope in the yard.
Ellen S on Mar 1, 2019
I like the looks of this bush, the fruit is a plus.
Sly on Jan 27, 2019
I already have 8 plants growing very well, adding a couple more.
Philip L on Jan 13, 2018
I wanted something small so my kids could pick them easily and so I could pick them easily too. I also wanted something I could easily net to keep birds at bay. These guys are taking off. I look forward to fruit next year.
Daniel C on Oct 5, 2017
I live in a row house with a smaller yard. I am planting this out front; away from my pipe line and sidewalk. This cherry bush will add color in fall; due it changing from white in the summer, to burnt orange/red color. My husband loves to eat cherries.
Sharlene C. on Apr 10, 2017
I wanted a cherry tree, but didn't have room for one. Hopefully this will fill the void.
Laura M on Apr 9, 2017
Size great for where I want to use them. Others who had bought them had great comments on them.
Todd J on Mar 25, 2017
The smaller size makes it easier to protect the fruit from birds.
Elsie B on Mar 11, 2017
It is to be planted at our mountain house in Zone 6 and we were adding it to our raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry bush area.
Rose B on Feb 27, 2017
Needed small fragrant shrubbery. The fruit is an added bonus!
Marjorie L on Feb 12, 2017
I wanted to see if it was similar to my carmen jewel bush cherry. It gave me a few small berries the first year. We will see what this year brings. It got very large the first year.
KAREN J on Jan 30, 2017
I plan to use this as a hedge in front of my house.
Richard B on Jan 26, 2017
Replacing some other bushes, needed a small compact option and I love cherries.
LOIS S on Jan 12, 2017
Thriving in the desert! Love it!
Michele S on Oct 22, 2016
interesting plant with edible fruit.
Catherine J on Jun 5, 2016
I already have Nanking variety, so I'm adding this for diversity.
Ben C on May 21, 2016
I want to grow my own cherries.
Judith K on May 20, 2016
No room for a full size or dwarf cherry tree. Perfect for a smaller yard.
Tonya J on May 17, 2016
family recomended
Paul on May 15, 2016
Only have room for one bush. Bought it because it is self pollinating.
Paul M on May 10, 2016
I heard about them on face book and wanted to give them a try.
victoria p on Apr 26, 2016
Not many choices for sweet cherry trees in zone 4 n the Adirondacks, but I've had good luck with Hansens at our previous home. Just need to remember the bird netting or it'll be a race to see who gets them first.
Scott F on Apr 25, 2016
Trees are too tall to pick produce safely. Wanted something more manageable.
Faith P on Apr 15, 2016
Yes I have an aunt who has some and they are delicious cherries!!!
I can't wait!!
Shayna S on Apr 9, 2016
I love cherries but didn't really have the space to put a tall tree, and find a bush easier to harvest the cherries from. My mother had bushes like these and they did well. While I would have preferred a sweeter cherry, I really wanted the bushes, and these were marked cold-hardy.
Bridget M on Feb 27, 2016
Bush cherries urban gardening
Eric S on Mar 28, 2020
Looks like a good variety to grow
jackson w on Mar 21, 2020
I have 6 of you cherry bushes there 3 years old produce great but I don't know when to cut them back ( prune ) can you help ?
lisa A on Mar 19, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Ideally in the winter, before leaves appear so that it's easier to see where to make the shaping cuts, but any time the bush isn't in bloom or holding fruit should be fine as well. They are pretty low-maintenance bushes ??? and tolerant of pruning. Just keep them at the size and shape you'd like.
Would Hansen's Bush cherry be a good pollinating partner for the Montmorency cherry?
Deborah B on Feb 24, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Hansen's Bush Cherry is not closely related to other cherry trees, so it is not a recommended pollinator for trees like Montmorency. Since it is a seedling, we recommend planting two or more Hansen's Bush Cherries for greater fruit yields. While Montmorency is a self-pollinating variety of sour cherry tree, if you want to boost the fruit yield, another different variety of sour cherry tree is the way to go.
I got bare stem with roots how long till I see growth so I know there alive?
[oname] $ on May 20, 2016
BEST ANSWER: You can scratch the bark and see if it looks green and moist. Not a big scratch. Use your finger nail. I don't know where you are, here in NJ it's been dry. Despite the cloudy weather. Keep it watered but not soaked.
Sometimes as a last resort you can force growth by covering it in a clear plastic bag so it's like a mini greenhouse. You may have to vent it to keep it from getting to hot. This time of year it should leaf out within a week or two from planting.
Can these be planted with blueberries or grapes?
Nikki on Nov 6, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I believe they can be inter planted with both blueberries and grapes. My soil is slightly acidic and my Hansen cherries seem to be happy. Make sure you space them appropriately, about 8 feet apart.
I have two bush cherry plants, do I need to do anything with them for winter?? We are in zone 5A
Pixie on Oct 13, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I did mot fo anything last year, except put wire around the to keep the deer & rabbits away. But I am mulching around them at the base this year as well as putting new wire around them (enlarged my wire circles around them)
Are the cherries sweet - like Bing cherries ? Referring to Cherry Bush
Kathy M on Apr 3, 2016
BEST ANSWER: They are not sweet fresh. They are flavorful, but in a tart and tangy way that is best used in pies and jams (where you'd add some sweetness).
How long before they start getting foliage on the Bush? After you receive it from your company?
Amy M on Jun 2, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Mine, which I planted a year ago, has foliage on it and had a few blossoms, though no cherries yet. Try Carmine Jewel Red for cherries - I planted 2 of them in 2011 and the last two years got over 30 lbs. of cherries each year, and they're great tasting! I'm looking forward to these too.
I was thinking about planting this in the landscaping around my above ground pool. Can anyone think of any reason why that wouldn't be a good idea? There wouldn't be too much splash from the pool to cause Chlorine to be an issue and the pH is a similar level. I also have enough room to plant it about 3' away and don't think the roots should grow that wide. Will be on the sunny side of the pool.
Tracy M on May 8, 2017
BEST ANSWER: I have had problems with powdery mildew on mine, but it is shaded. This should not apply to you. The picture shows the bush filled out. Mine are about 3 feet tall and thin, like with leaves and branches are <6in across. If you are looking for something fragrant, consider honey berry bushes (and you get fruit!), but if you are looking for some flowers, fruit and pretty red foliage in the fall, go with aronia viking as this beautiful, bears fruit and is native to the US with few pest problems. Insects were already eating my hansen cherry leaves.
Are these plants deer resistant?
willie on Apr 26, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Bush cherries are not deer or rabbit resistant.
Are the cherries sweet or sour?
Patty D on Apr 17, 2019
BEST ANSWER: It was my first crop last year. They produced lots, but they were pretty small tart berries. It???s a beautiful bush regardless!
Are the cherries good for canning?
Andrea H on Apr 29, 2017
BEST ANSWER: yes. You can use the cherries like any other tart cherry, however, they are small and tart. Great addition to any garden area. Recommend you plant 3-4 plants in order to have sufficient number of cherries to can.
Does this plant do well in large pots? Thanks.
Brittany M on Jun 7, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I don't see why they shouldn't. We planted ours in raised beds last fall after leaving them in pots over the summer. They are doing very well and we will have cheeries soon!
Are they susceptible to any diseases?
Sophia B on Apr 8, 2018
BEST ANSWER: not that I have seen. They bloomed real nice this year.
My bush cherry plants are still mostly a single stalk in this second season. Should I prune? How?
Gary B on Mar 26, 2018
BEST ANSWER: We did prune to thicken it up
How big are the cherries?
Lauren M on May 1, 2017
BEST ANSWER: About the size of a marble, depending upon the soil, sun, rainfall and nutrient supply the bush receives.
Can these be planted close to the house on east side?? Will root system grow into foundation??
Pixie on Apr 12, 2016
BEST ANSWER: The roots are not particularly invasive, and foundations by nature are very compact, where roots are not likely to grow ??? however, it's not a good idea to plant near a house because the bush itself gets about 5 feet wide and the house will create shading issues. It would be a good idea to watch how the sun and shade hits your yard and pick a location that gets 6 to 8 (or more) hours of full sun.
How prolific are these plants, i.e. yield?
Lsrry J on Apr 7, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Variation may occur, since the plant is grown from seed, but yield is from 3 to 8 quarts on average ??? from a mature plant (3+ years after planting). It bears young, but the yield increases as the plants mature.
would these bushed do well on a hill?
roberta h on Mar 1, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I think that they would do ok as long as they have good soil and water.
Can the Hansen bush cherry thrive in clay?
Susan B on May 7, 2017
BEST ANSWER: I don't know what the experts say but I have clay soil. I added copious amounts of compost to the area and planted my bush cherry into it.
They been in the ground a little over a year now and are doing fine with green fruit this year forming ... It has only been a year now and I'm hoping they will do good long term. Short term they seem fine
Is the fruit good for eating plain on these? Or does it need to be made into a Jelly or Pie? looking for something to eat straight off the plant! TIA
Kristen on Mar 27, 2019
BEST ANSWER: A dwarf sweet cherry tree can be pruned as small as you want and the cherries will be much more like what you're used to right off the tree.
Are hansens bush compatible with nanking bush?
Poppy on Mar 17, 2018
BEST ANSWER: the difference between them would be nanking has fruit up and down the
branches and hansen is more like a cherries with stems (small tree) both are beautiful when flowering . The hansen bush seems to be more bushy those.
Is the pruning for the Hansen's Bush Cherry the same as it would be for any sour cherry tree in the Growing Guide?
Kathryn S on Oct 9, 2020
BEST ANSWER: They seldom face any disease-related problems and can flourish without regular pruning. Just light pruning to maintain shape and prune out any diseased or dead branches.
Do you have an estimated date of when the Hansen Bush Cherries will be available again? I would like several of them.
Jeanne W on Jun 1, 2020
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. We do not have a guaranteed ETA on when more will become available. We are very sorry for this inconvenience and completely understand your disappointment. Rest assured, that if you sign up for a notification, you'll be one of the first to be notified when it becomes available again.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us, remember that we're here for you. Have a great day!

How to prune this cherry Bush?
CALLIE G on Sep 19, 2019
BEST ANSWER: There is really no need to prune it aside from shape.
How tall and wide can I expect the Hansen???s bush cherry to get?
pj G on Aug 7, 2019
BEST ANSWER: With proper care, this plant will grow to be 4-5' tall and wide.
Is this the same as Nanking bush cherry?
Craig K on May 13, 2019
BEST ANSWER: No, this is a different species.
Can you plant them in shade?
Robert O on Apr 19, 2019
BEST ANSWER: This plant requires full sun. If you plant it in the shade, it will be spindly and will not produce fruit.
Are they a good nectar source for honey bees?
Gayle T on Jul 9, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Ours are still immature that they haven't flowered. We bought them because the berries make wonderful jelly.
Can this bush be trained espalier style?
SamStark on Apr 30, 2018
BEST ANSWER: No, it really cannot. It's naturally a bush form and only reaches a mature size of 4-5' tall and wide. There would not be enough length to espalier and there are no lateral branches, per se. A dwarf cherry tree would be a much better candidate.
are these a start, or a seed?
Thomas L on Apr 6, 2016
BEST ANSWER: These bushes are seed-grown.

Customer Reviews

4.4 / 5.0
49 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Grows like crazy, fruit is awful
I won't hold the fruit flavor against the bush in the review, but want to mention it for anyone thinking this will be edible stuff. I had the bushes in for 3-4 years, they grew very nicely. About 5-6' tall and LOADED with beautiful blossoms and eventually fruit. Our dog and the cardinals liked the fruit. Otherwise I could only every choke down a few of them at a time. DO NOT BUY THIS FOR THE FRUIT. It is bitter and chalky and not good at all.

Nanking cherry is the way to go if you want an edible bush cherry. The whole family loves the nankings. I eventually cut off and took out the Hansens Bushes. Miss the spring blooms, but not the fruit. :)
April 28, 2017
Hansens Bush Cherry
My Bush Cherry made it through the winter and is leafing out. I suppose it will take 2 or 3 years before i will have fruit, but I am eager for that. I am 83 years old. I grew up on a fruit farm in Utah. i remember well as a little girl my father always got his fruit trees from Starks. So I have always known they were the best.
May 7, 2016
over 6 years ago
Fast Growing Bush Cherries In Zone 7B
I purchased two of these Hansen bush cherries in the spring of 2018 and potted them in Miracle Grow potting soil. They grew considerably, and I planted them in the ground the spring of 2019. Since I planted them in the ground, they have more than quadrupled in size this summer - with branches from the ground now about one inch thick and reaching upward over four feet and a good eight feet long (both are about 6 feet in diameter now in July). Both bloomed this spring but produced no fruit. The way they have grown, I expect they will have an abundance of fruit next year. One of these was small and the other larger when received. They are both large now. I did stake the branches to keep them off the ground, but they no longer require a stake now at the end of July. They are very strong plants now and filling in thick quickly.
July 22, 2019
over 2 years ago
Planted them last spring. They grew like crazy and now have cherries on them and it is only the second year.
May 23, 2016
over 6 years ago
Lovely bush, disappointing fruit
I planted three Hansens bush cherry plants and have been pleased with their robust growth and aesthetic beauty. However, I planted them with hopes of "tasty cherries" and though prolific bearers, I find the cherries to be grainy and sour. I will probably uproot them to make room for other edible landscape plants. I vastly prefer my Nanking cherries and Mesabi cherry tree (both of which also produce sour cherries, but to a more pleasing effect).
July 15, 2017
hansens bush cherry
Both of these bushes are thriving. They have blossomed out this spring already. I will probably snip off most of the fruit this year so that the plants can really get strong but I am thrilled that the plants look healthy.
May 5, 2016
over 5 years ago
Great for Jams
The bush is beautiful all year and really produces the fruit
May 23, 2016
over 5 years ago
Cherry Bush
I planted this bush last summer, and I have cherries on it this spring,after the blossoms faded away. Off to a great start!!!
May 13, 2016
over 5 years ago
They do look pathetic at first.
All three are leafing out. Looking forward to see how big the sticks get this year.
May 16, 2016
over 4 years ago
First year they grew quickly. Arrived healthy. Greened up nicely. No cherries the first year. The flowers this spring were heavenly, smelled wonderful. We're moving but I plan to buy more.
May 7, 2016
over 6 years ago