How to Grow a Cherry Tree? In the spring, cherry trees are a sight to behold, with their white or pink blossoms. They then produce the wonderful cherries that everyone knows and loves. Learn how to cultivate cherry trees in your own backyard!
Cherry trees typically bear fruit in their fourth year, with smaller trees bearing fruit a year early. A mature, standard-size tart or sweet cherry tree will provide 30 to 50 quarts of cherries per year, while a dwarf tree will yield 10 to 15 quarts.
Plant cherry trees in a sunny location with adequate air circulation and deep, well-drained soil in early spring or late fall (when the ground is soft and has a greater moisture content). Apply mulch and thoroughly water. To safeguard the fruit from birds after flowering in a fruiting year, drape trees with wildlife-safe netting.
1. Sweet cherries to Grow a Cherry Tree
Sweet cherries are the most common kind found in marketplaces. They have a thick, creamy texture that is almost plum-like. Sweet cherries thrive in hardiness zones 5–7, are self-sterile and are ideally suited to an orchard or a big garden. You’ll need at least two or three trees to pollinate one another. Consider the small, self-pollinating cultivar ‘Stella’ if a room is restricted.
2. Sour Cherries
Sour cherries are not often eaten raw, but they are commonly utilized in preserves and other cooking applications. And Sour cherries are smaller than sweet cherries, and they are all self-fertile. They thrive in zones 4–6.
Where Do Cherry Trees Grow Best?
Sweet cherries grow best in hardiness zones 5–7 and are best eaten fresh. Zones 4 to 6 are optimal for sour cherries, which are best for cooking, baking, and preserving.
Cherry trees need at least 700 chill hours [hours below 45 degrees] to set fruit. If your area’s winters do not have enough cold days, your trees may not produce much fruit. Once you’ve determined your zone and the number of cool hours in a typical winter, you can choose the best variety of cherry trees for your area.
How to Grow a Cherry Tree?
1. Planting to Grow a Cherry Tree
- Trees grown on normal rootstock should have the graft union a few inches below the soil surface. Trees grown on dwarf rootstock should have the graft union several inches above the soil level to prevent the graft from producing its own roots and bypassing the rootstock.
- Construct the appropriate supports before planting fan-trained trees. Plant fans should be spaced no more than 12 to 15 feet apart.
- For bare-root trees, set the rootstock on a small mound of soil in the center of the planting hole and spread the roots down and away, being careful not to bend the roots. Backfill with soil.
- For container-grown trees, first, remove the rootball and turn the tree on its side; use shears to cut through any pot-bound or encircling roots. Don’t cover the top of the root ball.
- There is no difference between sour and sweet cherries in terms of treatment.
- Mulch is used to keep moisture in the soil.
- Drape netting over trees to keep birds away from the fruit.
- In arid places, water is on a regular basis.
- Cherry trees do not require fruit thinning because they thin spontaneously in early summer.
- Every year in late winter, prune trees to foster the establishment of new fruiting wood. Pruning should not be done in the fall.
- Treat early in spring with a low-nitrogen fertilizer (such as 5-10-10) a few weeks before trees begin to flower, then fertilize as needed (test soil fertility) until cherries are harvested. After mid-summer, don’t fertilize because new growth requires time to harden off before fall and winter.
- Pick fruits only when they are Totally ripe (dark red, black, or yellow); the sugar content rises a few days before they are fully ripe.
- Within a week, you should be able to harvest. Eat or prepare right away.
- Fruits should be picked while they are firm if they are to be frozen.
- Top pick using the cherry stem to avoid tearing into the fruit, but take care to lead the fruit spur to produce fruit next year.
- Hand-picking may cause injury to the shoots and infection; instead, cut the stalks using scissors.
- Keep in mind that cherry trees normally do not develop fruit until their fourth year. After that, they should be able to produce 30 to 50 quarts of cherries per year.
4. Pests and Diseases
- Japanese beetles
- Brown Rot
- Black Knot
- Bacterial Canker
5. Wit and Wisdom
A cherry year, a merry year.
There is a popular tale that President George Washington hacked down a cherry tree and then confessed to his father. This story was created by a biographer of President Washington in order to demonstrate his honesty. We still believe that celebrating President’s Day with a tasty cherry pie recipe is a fantastic idea!
Also Read: How to Grow Grapefruit?