Cherries

Credit: www.spaldingbulb.co.uk
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Botanical name: Prunus avium (Sweet Cherries) Prunus cerasus (Sour Cherries)

Plant type: Fruit

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Any

Soil pH: Slightly Acidic to Neutral

Sweet cherries are the ones most often found in markets. They have a thick, rich, and almost plumb-like texture. Traditionally, sweet cherry trees are self-sterile and best for an orchard or a large garden. You'll need at least two or three trees so that they can pollinate each other. However, a recent and exciting development in sweet cherries is the dwarf self-pollinating "Stella." (See image below.)

Sour cherries are not usually eaten raw, but are widely used for preserves and other cooking uses. Sour cherries are much smaller than sweet cherries and all varieties are self-fertile.

Standard-size trees start bearing fruit in their fourth year and can produce 30 to 50 quarts of cherries each year.

Dwarf Cherry Tree (Prunus Avium 'Compact Stella'). Credit: www.spaldingbulb.co.uk

Planting

  • For sweet cherries, make sure the different varieties will pollinate each other.
  • Plant sweet cherries in late fall or early winter if grown outside, or at any time if container grown.
  • When planting fan-trained trees, construct the necessary supports before planting.
  • Space fanned trees 15 to 18 feet apart.
  • Planting for sour cherries is the same as for sweet cherries, however, space bushes and fans only 12 to 15 feet apart.

Care

  • Thinning is not necessary.
  • Apply mulch to retain moisture.
  • Drape netting over trees to protect the fruit from birds.
  • Water routinely in dry areas.
  • There is no difference in care between sour and sweet cherries.

Pests

  • Aphids
  • Caterpillars
  • Brown Rot
  • Black Knot
  • Bacterial Canker (cut out any branches with signs of black knot or bacterial canker as soon as possible)
  • Birds

Harvest/Storage

  • Pick fruits with stalks when fully ripe.
  • Eat or cook immediately.
  • Pick fruits when firm if they are to be frozen.
  • Hand-picking may injure the shoots and cause infection; Cut the stalks with scissors.

Recommended Varieties

Sweet Cherries

  • Early - 'Black Tartarian'
  • Midseason - 'Bing'
  • Late - 'Stella'

Sour Cherries

  • Early - 'Early Richmond'
  • Midseason - 'Montmorency'
  • Late - 'Meteor'

Recipes

Wit & Wisdom

A cherry year, a merry year.

Comments

Can cherries be grown in the

By Cindy Earnest on July 25

Can cherries be grown in the Panhandle of Florida (Panama City)???

We assume you are looking for

By Almanac Staff on July 25

We assume you are looking for a fruit cherry tree versus an ornamental cherry tree?
Not many cherry tree varieties thrive in your climate, however, there is a Barbados Cherry that may interest you:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp390
We would advise that you contact your University of Florida cooperative extension for more on-the-ground expertise. All the best!

I have a very large flowering

By ColleenM on July 19

I have a very large flowering tree in my front yard in noth west B.C. In the past 3 to 4 years, I have started getting fruit. Each year the berries get larger, darker & sweeter (though still a bit tart). They taste like cherries & look like a bing cherry but about 1/2 the size, with small pits. My question, 1. What might the variety be? 2. Can I do anything with the fruit?

It would be hard to identify

By Almanac Staff on July 21

It would be hard to identify the tree, and especially the variety, without a sample--there are lots of cherry species and cultivars, as well as cherry lookalikes. We'd suggest that you take a sample (flower or fruit, and a branch with some leaves showing how they are arranged on the branch) to your local garden nursery. A horticulturist there might be able to give you some advice. Good luck!

hello i have a wild cherry

By michelle goodall on July 18

hello i have a wild cherry tree which i planted in january it was growing really well then the last couple of weeks the leaves have all withered and dried out ive watered it can anyone tell me what im doing wrong thank you

Has it gotten enough water?

By Almanac Staff on July 21

Has it gotten enough water? Be sure to water deeply. Was there a heat wave recently? The tree is clearly under some type of stress, whether from weather, pests, disease, or cultural or physical damage, such as to the base of the trunk when mowing (which sometimes happens). Check the root zone--has there been any disturbance recently? If watering doesn't work, and the trunk and branches don't appear damaged, and the root zone is undisturbed, it might be a disease--several cause wilting/drying leaves in cherries, unfortunately. In this case, you might want to prune out infected branches (unless too widespread) to see if this prevents it from overtaking the entire tree.

We have purchased "cereza"

By Alan Nilsen

We have purchased "cereza" Cherry trees. We have both full sun and shady areas and both wed and well drained soil. Altitude is about 4K ft ASL and temp only varies from 65 to 80 degrees F. lease advise.

Do you mean Barbados cherry

By Almanac Staff on July 21

Do you mean Barbados cherry trees (Malpighia glabra, aka M. punicifolia)? If so, you might be interested in the following growing information:
 
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/barbados_cherry.html
 
http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/acerola.html
 
In general, choose a site in full sun to partial shade (full sun is better for fruiting) with fertile, well-drained soil. It is hardy in USDA Zones 9 to 11.

we have purchased "cereza"

By Alan Nilsen

we have purchased "cereza" cherry trees. Our altitude is about 4K ft. We have a variety of locations waring from full sun to shady and wet to well drained. Temp varies between 60 to 75 degrees F. Please advise.

Regards.

Hi Susan, Cherry trees can

By Almanac Staff

Hi Susan,
Cherry trees can take a long time to bloom. If the tree looks healthy you may have flowers next year. Check your variety and make sure that it is self pollinating. If not you need to plant a different variety for pollination.

ive had my dwarf cherry tree

By susan bagley

ive had my dwarf cherry tree over 3 years and still had no fruit it looks healthy so what am i doing wrong

What type of cherry tree is

By JJwbw on July 25

What type of cherry tree is it? Some cherry trees need a second cherry tree of a different type to produce cherries. Some cherry trees are self pollinating and don't need a second tree for example a Stella cherry tree is self-pollinating.

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