Pin Cherry, Fire Cherry

Prunus pensylvanica

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Prunus (PROO-nus) (Info)
Species: pensylvanica (pen-sill-VAN-ee-ka) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer




Good Fall Color

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


College, Alaska

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Halifax, Massachusetts

Grand Portage, Minnesota

Isle, Minnesota

Middleburg, Pennsylvania

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 14, 2016, CCrews from Palmer, AK (Zone 4a) wrote:

Specimens have been growing for decades in the Georgeson Botanical Garden at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Fairbanks, Alaska. 99709. Seems to produce a heavy crop in most years without supplemental watering.


On Jan 6, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A large shrub to small tree with abundant showy white spring flowers, brilliant fall color, and excellent wildlife value. Fast-growing, tends to be short-lived (20-40 years), like other cherries. Like other cherries, it has shallow, thirsty roots.

Native to most of northern and easter N. America, it is among the first woody plants to colonize disturbed sites, and serves as a nurse tree for forest species.


On Jul 6, 2010, nicholtammy from Huntsville,
Canada wrote:

I like this cherry it almost looks like the big ones the fruit also tastes better than choke or black cherries but they all contain cyanide.


On Mar 29, 2008, OutlawDJ from Middleburg, PA wrote:

I like this tree, but it can be a negative depending on your growing situation. You can not grow this tree anywhere that livestock have access to it. The wilted leaves will kill any livestock that eat it. The smell or taste of the leaves is attractive to them. My Dad raises horses and he literally hates this tree. It's kind of amusing to watch him around a Pin Cherry. He stomps on seedlings and actually grinds them to pieces with his heel, lol.

The flesh of the fruit is edible, but the stone and leaves contain cyanide. From what I have read the twigs have a bitter almond taste, so they must contain some cyanide too. A good thing to know if you have kids.

My interests go towards wildlife, and I have no children, so I am now in the process of replanting my prope... read more


On Oct 27, 2004, nevrest from Broadview, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

Grows wild here in Saskatchewan (Zone 3)
The cherries make a wonderful slightly tart jelly, the color of which is vibrantly beautiful.
The wood also has a very pretty grain and works well for turning although it never gets large enough for anything except spindles and candlesticks.