Cherries can be purple, red, pink, nearly black, occasionally orange, and light yellow. Sweet cherries have a soft, tasty fruit that you can eat raw from your palm.
The cherries remain tart until they are quite mature; typically, they are too acidic to consume without cooking.
For cakes, cobblers and jams, using sour cherries. Duke cherries are a hybrid of sweet and savory cherries.
Cherries are sturdy, leafy trees. Most are grafted, which means that their root structure is separate from the seed.
Cherries flourish and grow in the spring. The fruit is set for early to early summer harvest.
Standard sweet cherries can grow up to 25 feet, smaller when grown on a rootstock dwarfing.
Standard sour cherries can grow up to 15 feet tall, smaller if grown on the rootstock dwarfing.
Semi-dwarf cherries grow to approximately 12 feet high. Dwarf cherries grow to nearly 10 feet tall.
Cherries are either sold as bare-root, balled, or burlap or as container-cultivated fruit. Bare root and balladed trees are available and better planted in the spring.
Cherry trees in container are available all year round and are best planted in late summer through spring.
Cherries are generally grafted, meaning that their root systems are different from that of the plant producing fruit. Local nurseries typically have fruited stems (scions) grafted into a rootstock that is best grown in the area. Rootstock affects the mature tree height.
Many sweet cherries are not self-producing and require a suitable cross-pollination partner. Pollen is brought by bees or other insect pollinators from one tree to the other.
Another cherry tree ideally for pollinating would be 25-30 feet away.
The self-fertile sweet cherries are ‘Stella,’ ‘Lapins,’ ‘Starkcrimson,’ and ‘Sunburst.’
Sour cherries and duke cherries are self-fertile; only one tree is needed.
Sweet cherries do not pollinate sour cherries, but sour cherries can pollinate sweet cherries. Even though it is impossible because sweet cherries and sour cherries do not develop simultaneously.
Sweet cherries are grouped for pollination, grouped sweet cherries may be used for pollination of cherries outside their group but not for cherries belonging to the same category, such as ‘Bing’ or ‘Lambert’ or ‘Napoleon’ which may pollinate each other.
Check the nursery label or inventory for a list of pollinators for the specified tree.
If you have enough space for a single cherry tree, select a tree with shoots grafted into the tree from pollinators.
Plant bare-root trees in early spring as long as the soil can be handled as the trees stay dormant.
In spring or early summer, plant container-grown or balled and burlap covered trees, before hot, dry weather.
Prepare a region in the full sun that is shielded from the prevailing wind or breeze.
Working well-rotted compost or manure in the dirt, applying a cup of all-purpose fertilizer to the ground.
Dig a hole half as deep again, and twice as long as the roots of the oak.
Put in a tree stake (or fan support wires) before planting. Drive the stake to the ground at least 2 feet deep on the side of the hole.
Place the tree in the hole so that the ground marking on the stem is on the surface of the surrounding soil. Remove both twines and burlap from balladed trees. Extend the roots all the way.
Refill the hole with half natural soil and half aged compost or professional organic planting mix; firm in the ground, so that no air gaps between the roots are present. Water in the soil and build a small reservoir of soil around the tree to retain water during watering.
Protect the tree with tree ties to the stake.
After planting, water growing cherry trees deeply and fertilize it with a liquid starter fertilizer with high phosphorus.
Dwarf cherry trees can be grown in larger garden containers.
Choose a big pot or container which is well-draining, at minimum 18 inches wide and deep.
Plant trees inside a mixture of natural organic potting soil.
Keep the soil moderately moist without overwatering. Feed the cherries trees growing in containers with an all-purpose fertilizer, and that is slightly higher in potassium.
You will need to replant the cherry tree into a 24 “wide and deep or larger container after two years.
Remove fruits from the tree with a pruner that leaves the stems attached to the fruit. Fruit with attached stem stores better than fruit and without any stem. Leaving the stem behind may render the cheery tree susceptible to injury.
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