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A Complete Guide to Autumn Cherry Trees

Autumn cherry trees reveal their stunning pink-white blossoms in early spring—and do an encore in fall.

Author Image Written by Brenda Woods Updated 05/22/2024

An autumn cherry tree is a beautiful addition to any yard. This cherry tree variety blooms two times per year, producing flowery clusters in early spring and again in fall. If you want to add one to your garden, growing an autumn cherry tree is simple under the right conditions. In this article, we’ll cover how to care for an autumn cherry tree, where to plant them, and what their blooming schedule looks like.

Autumn Cherry Trees at a Glance

Blooms twice a year
Blooms earlier in spring than most cherry trees
Attracts songbirds


The autumn flowering cherry tree has delicate, broad upright branches. It grows at a fast rate of 2 feet or more per year until maturity, reaching 20–35 feet in height and 20–25 feet wide. Its lustrous, serrated, oblong-ovate leaves transition from green in the spring to gold, bronze, and red in autumn.

Its famous semi-double blossoms start as deep-pink buds, which become pale pink as they open, then become nearly white as they open fully. In the spring, the Autumn Cherry tree yields small, black, fruit-like berries that attract songbirds and other wildlife.

Autumn Cherry Tree Specifications


Glossy leaves that transition from green to red, gold, and bronze in rounded canopy. Semi-double, 10-petal blooms start as pink buds before blossoming into pale pink-white flowers. Small, black berry-like fruits.


20–35 feet

Hardiness Zones

Zones 5–8

Type of tree

Deciduous flowering

Sunlight requirements

Full sun to partial shade

Soil composition

Adaptable, but prefer acidic, well-drained, moist loam or clay soil

Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones indicate the best regions to grow various types of plants based on average temperatures throughout the year. Out of 11 total, autumn cherry trees grow best in Zones 5–8, thriving across most of the country.


Planting a cherry tree is simple. Start by choosing a location that receives full sunlight—at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day—to partial shade. From there, follow the steps outlined below to get your autumn cherry tree in the ground:

  • Clear away any weeds and debris.
  • Dig a hole that is the same depth as the root ball but twice as wide, leaving a mound of soil in the hole’s center.
  • Place the tree on top of the soil mound and then spread the roots. You want the tree’s crown to be roughly an inch above the surrounding soil level.
  • Backfill the hole about 2/3 of the way, then water the tree.
  • After, fill the hole with soil so that the roots are covered but the crown is not.
  • Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch over the tree’s root zone.

You should plant autumn cherry trees at least 35 feet apart, if you plan to plant several.

Autumn cherry trees are low-maintenance and extremely rewarding. Set them up for success, and you’ll enjoy a beautiful range of foliage colors year-round and soft clusters of blossoms twice per year.

Autumn cherry trees thrive in full sunlight but can tolerate partial shade. They grow best with at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day.

These trees are adaptable and can tolerate a range of soils but grow best in moist, acidic, well-drained loam or clay soils.

The correct level of moisture is key when you first start growing your autumn cherry tree. If the soil is soggy, your tree’s leaves will yellow and fall off. Once your tree is established, you don’t need to water more than once every seven to 10 days, giving your tree about half an inch of water each time.

Fertilizing your autumn cherry tree isn’t necessary unless your branches are experiencing slow growth—less than 8 inches per year. Using fertilizer won’t enhance the number of berries your tree grows but can boost its foliage and branch growth. Balanced fertilizer, with an NPK value of 10-10-10, works best. Apply it in early spring.

If you want to prune your Autumn Cherry tree, wait until after its bloom encore in the fall. This way, your tree will have time to heal before the following spring.

Our Conclusion

Autumn cherry trees bloom in early spring, and then they flower again in fall. These trees produce small berries that birds like to eat but humans don’t. Autumn blooming cherry trees are easy to care for, enjoying six hours of direct sunlight and well-drained soil. We recommend you water your cherry tree weekly and apply a fertilizer in early spring. If you notice your autumn cherry trees’ leaves turning yellow, it could mean root rot, disease, or invasive bugs. Contact an arborist immediately if you see any wilting or discoloration.

FAQ About Autumn Cherry Trees

Do autumn cherry trees lose their leaves in autumn?

Autumn cherry trees lose their leaves around the same time as many other trees, but before they drop their leaves, they turn bronze, gold, and red in fall. They also flower for a fall encore.

What do autumn cherry trees look like in the fall?

In the fall, autumn cherry leaves retain their rounded canopy, but their oblong, semi-ovate leaves turn to shades of bronze, gold, and red. They bloom once again, with semi-double, 10-petal blooms that are pale pink-white opening in large clusters.

Do autumn cherry trees bloom more than once?

Yes, autumn cherry trees bloom more than once. They are unusual among cherry trees in that they bloom in spring and again in fall.

Do you eat cherries from autumn cherry trees?

No, you cannot eat cherries from autumn cherry trees. Autumn cherry trees produce small, black, bitter berry-like fruits that songbirds like to eat but people do not.

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