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Everything You Need To Know about Stella Cherry Trees

Convenient and elegant, Stella cherry trees self-pollinate to yield juicy, delicious dark red fruit.

Author Image Written by Brenda Woods Updated 05/28/2024

Stella cherry trees are a dream come true for gardeners with limited space. After a springtime display of gorgeous white blossoms, these self-pollinating trees produce a bounty of sweet summer cherries perfect for snacking, baking, or preserving.

Stella cherries are less prone to cracking and splitting than other varieties, and you only need to plant one for an abundant crop. Our guide covers everything you need to know about these compact trees, including how to plant and care for them.

Stella Cherry Trees at a Glance

Juicy, sweet fruit resists splitting and cracking
Perfect for small gardens
Can fruit in as few as one to four years
Attract birds
Do not require pruning to fruit


Stella cherry trees are elegant flowering plants that showcase vibrant white blossoms in spring. These flowers give way to deep red, heart-shaped cherries, about 1 inch in diameter, that are ready for picking in summer. Stella cherries have a sweet, juicy flavor and firm texture. They also resist cracking better than other varieties.

Upward-reaching branches give this tree a round or vase-like shape. Alongside the cherries, dense foliage emerges in the summer. The 4-inch oval leaves start as a vibrant green, then turn yellow and red in fall before dropping in winter.

Stella cherry trees come in a range of sizes, with both traditional and semi-dwarf varieties available. The traditional trees grow to 10–30 feet tall, while the semi-dwarf variety reach a maximum height of 18 feet.

Stella Cherry Tree Specifications

Ready to plant your home orchard? Use this quick guide to determine if a Stella cherry tree will thrive in your backyard.


White blossoms in spring; deep red cherries in summer; narrow, oval, four-inch leaves that turn yellow and red in fall


Semi-dwarf: 10–18 feet tall, traditional: 10–30 feet tall

Hardiness Zones

Zones 5–9

Type of tree


Sunlight requirements

Full sun to partial shade

Soil composition

Highly adaptable but prefers moist, well-drained soil with a pH of 6–7

Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones indicate the regions where plants can grow, depending on minimum winter temperatures. Stella cherry trees are best suited to Zones 5–9, which cover most of the country. That means they can survive winter temperatures down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Since they prefer moderate summers, they are not a good fit for the hottest parts of California, Texas, and Florida.


The best time to plant a Stella cherry tree is spring, after the last frost, or fall. We recommend taking these steps:

  • Choose a planting site with full sun or partial shade.
  • Clear away any debris, weeds, or turfgrass.
  • Dig a hole that’s the same depth of the root ball and twice the width, leaving a mound of soil in the center.
  • Tease the root ball gently with your hands or a small spade.
  • Place the tree on the mound of soil and spread the roots. The tree’s crown should be about 1 inch above the surrounding soil.
  • Backfill the hole halfway, then add water to the top.
  • Once the water drains away, finish backfilling the hole.
  • Apply a 2–3 inch layer of mulch over the root zone of your Stella cherry tree, being careful not to let it touch the trunk.

For a visual demonstration, check out this how-to video with expert contractor Jenn Nawada. Though the homeowner here chose a Yoshino cherry tree, you will follow the same basic steps to plant a Stella cherry tree. Just remember that a Stella cherry tree requires less space (especially semi-dwarf varieties) and prefers slightly acidic soil, unlike the ornamental Yoshino.

Stella cherry trees are low-maintenance with few pruning requirements, and they can adapt to many different soil types.

Sun and Shade

Stella cherry trees thrive in full sun with at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day. They can also grow in partial shade, but they will yield less fruit.


Stella cherry trees are widely adaptable to a broad range of soil types, but they prefer moist, well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH range of 6–7. You can test your soil at home to determine the pH level.


When your Stella cherry tree is young and still establishing itself, water it deeply with a hose for 30 minutes once a week. As it matures, water it once every 10 days to two weeks. You’ll know you need to water when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry, which you can test by inserting your finger into it. When it’s dry, water the soil to a depth of 8–12 inches.


Do not fertilize your tree the first year after planting. After that, feed it annually with 1/10 pound of nitrogen for every year the tree has been alive, up to a maximum of 1 pound. The best time to fertilize is in a single spring treatment, or you can spread it into two treatments over spring and summer.


Stella cherry trees do not require pruning in order to keep fruiting—however, you should cut away any dead, damaged, or diseased branches as soon as you see them. If you want to prune for aesthetic purposes, do it in winter when the tree is dormant.


Stella cherry trees are self-fertile, so you only need to plant one tree. However, planting another cherry tree nearby for cross-pollination will increase the yield. Some nurseries sell Stella cherry trees that fruit as early as the first year, while others may take up to seven years to fruit. The cherries will be ready for harvest between June and July.

Our Conclusion

Stella cherry trees offer stunning spring blossoms, vibrant foliage, and delicious fruit—all in a compact, self-pollinating package. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, this cherry tree is a low-maintenance way to add a touch of sweetness to your home garden.

FAQ About Stella Cherry Trees

How big do Stella cherry trees get?

Standard Stella cherry trees can reach a mature height of 15–20 feet, while semi-dwarf varieties typically top out at 10-15 feet tall. This makes Stella cherries an excellent choice for home orchards with limited space.

How long does it take for a Stella cherry tree to produce fruit?

It depends. Stella cherry trees can begin producing fruit as early as the first year after planting, but it can take up to seven years for a tree to reach full fruit production.

Are Stella cherries good to eat?

Yes, Stella cherries are good to eat with a sweet, juicy flavor and firm texture. They are more resistant to cracking and splitting than other varieties and popular for freshing eating, baking, and preserving.

Do you need more than one Stella cherry tree to get fruit?

No, Stella cherry trees are self-pollinating, so you only need one to get fruit. However, you will get a bigger yield if you plant a second cherry tree for cross-pollination.

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