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Cherry Trees

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 7 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Cheery Trees Growing Cherry Trees Cherry

The cherry tree belongs to the same family (Rosaceae) as almonds, peaches, plums and apricots. There are many varieties growing across the world, ranging from Europe to North America and Asia.

There are two types of cherry: sweet and sour. The sweet fruit is best for eating raw, although it can be cooked, and the sour cheery is best used in cooking and jam making. If you want to grow cherries in you garden, however, you’ll only be able to have either a sweet or a sour variety. The two varieties don’t cross-pollinate each other so you’ll need to have two of the same type. The Morello type of sweet cheery is self-fertile, however, so you’ll only need to have one of them in your garden.

Cherry trees have a short fruiting season. They normally fruit in July in the UK, though this can be slightly earlier, or later, depending on the weather. The trees are attractive ones to have in the garden, though they can grow big (up to 10m tall if they grow on a standard rootstock). Many sour varieties of cherry can be bought on a dwarf rootstock (reaching a height of just 2m) and trained along a trellis in a fan shape. They are also very hardy so will tolerate a north-facing wall – handy if you have nothing else to grow on it.

The trunk is often a reddish-brown, and the leaves appear after the blossom, proving a spectacular spring display. Cherry blossoms are pretty and pink, and some varieties of the tree such as 'Kanzan' are just grown for their ornamental display. Many of these ornamental cherries have no reproductive function at all. Instead of stamens and pistils they have extra petals. These are known as double flowers and are incredibly decorative.

Growing Requirements
Cherry trees prefer a well-drained, light soil, such as a sandy loam. The fruit will need to be protected from birds in the summer, either by netting around the individual fruit clusters or using a bird scaring device, such as a scarecrow.

Cherries are prone to a range of ailments, including damage from rain and hail. They are also prone to attack from aphids, so if you grow them in your garden it’s a good idea to encourage ladybirds and lacewings to visit your garden, which will keep the aphid population in check. You can encourage them by planting a few wild flowers at the base of your tree, and avoid using pesticides, which can kill them.

Health Benefits of Cherries
Cherries have been shown to have a range of health benefits, including boosting the immune system, preventing heart disease, improving blood circulation, and helping with the treatment of certain rheumatic illnesses, such as gout.

Cherry trees are extremely versatile. They can be grown as ornamental trees with spectacular blossoms, sour fruit trees that can be trained along a trellis, or large sweet fruiting varieties that produce delicious cherries that you can eat straight from the tree. Whatever your reasons for growing these beautiful trees, they will bring years of pleasure – in both their ornamental blossom, and the delicious fruit they produce.

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Firstly, I live in southern Australia, in a region with a classic Mediterranean climate (warm-hot dry summers, cool wet winters, with 2-3 days of light frost). Last year I bought an upright "Stella" cherry tree which was meant to be a dwarf. When I planted the single stem in winter (2015), I pruned off one third, and last winter (2016) I removed one third of each of the four branches it had formed. Now, at the end of our summer, it has between 3 and 4 branches on each of the 4 initial branches, but the tree is now well over 3m tall. These branches are up to 2m long. Is there a particular method of pruning I can use to keep its height down? Is it possible to prune it into a weeping form, using, say mild steel wire to gently bend the stems? The tree is in a sunny aspect with a wall about 2m behind it, it has a rock mulch around it.
HamiltonJim - 7-Feb-17 @ 12:57 AM
Can I grow cherry in Cameroon ? my mom bought cherry seed overseas and I don't know whichtype of it is and it's quite hot in my country with dry a raining season only
saurelle - 25-Jan-17 @ 10:02 PM
I have a cherry tree with sweet cherry,s at the bottom and sour small growing at the top can i prune the top to get rid of the sour cherry so next year only the sweet will grow
barb - 11-Dec-16 @ 7:06 AM
caroline - Your Question:
I have a cherry tree in front garden, it was there 14yrs ago when the houses were built, it does not have cherries on it and has a thin trunk ,it weeps over to 1 side so is pretty in blossom in april time and I feed birds on tree , I am worried it will get enormous so not sure whether to take out, it is about 8 feet tall will it grow a lot as everyone says cherry trees are enourmous and it is only 6 feet from front window, how do you know what type it is and how big it will grow the flowers are a light pink when it flowers once a yr they do not stay long mrs caroline

Our Response:
Much depends whether the tree is dwarf stock (which I imagine it is if it is 14 years old and still small). Semi-dwarfing rootstocks will restrict the size to about 10-13ft making them suitable for growing as dwarf bush trees or in containers, so should not do damage. However, the most important factor is with regards to larger trees which can impact the foundations of a house and/or drainage systems. You can see more via the RHS page here. This doesn't really answer your question, but if you are concerend you may wish to seek some advice.
FruitExpert - 27-Sep-16 @ 10:34 AM
I have a cherry tree in front garden, it was there 14yrs ago when the houses were built, it does not have cherries on it and has a thin trunk ,it weeps over to 1 side so is pretty in blossom in april time and I feed birds on tree , I am worried it will get enormous so not sure whether to take out, it is about 8 feet tall will it grow a lot as everyone says cherry trees are enourmous and it is only 6 feet from front window, how do you know what type it is and how big it will grow the flowers are a light pink when it flowers once a yr they do not stay long mrs caroline
caroline - 26-Sep-16 @ 8:28 AM
@Jude - There can be many issues from lack of pollination, bad weather/winter/frost damage, or no cold snap to end the dormant phase, plus disease. Also if your tree has experienced extra growth through over fertilisation (especially with nitrogen) then new speedy growth can halt fruit production.
GoingGreen** - 17-Aug-16 @ 11:23 AM
I've got a cherry tree in my garden, last year we had lots and lots of delicious cherries, this year, nothing! Any ideas?
Jude - 16-Aug-16 @ 3:13 PM
Rita- Your Question:
Hi I am in London. I have a 16 yr old wild cherry tree which has been thriving well, fruits well etc. Two of its branches were blocking the view of my garden so I got those cut in late July. After that one by one all leaves are going autumnal and falling like crazy. The tops of all other branches inficate that the tree is dying. This tree is dear to me as I planted it from a sapling when my son was born. How can I save it? I have been watering it daily sonce I saw leaves were dying. Is it going to really die if it got a shock by pruning. We had pruned it in past twice but in autumn.Please help/advise.

Our Response:
As always questions such as these are very difficult to answer with such little information. Summer is the correct time to prune a cherry tree as pruning at the wrong time of year can put trees at risk from silver leaf disease, which can kill the tree. Did the person who pruned your tree use a sealant after pruning? If not your tree could be susceptible. You can see the list of symptoms via the RHS link here. I would first of all take a look at your tree closely and check for unusual signs both on the bark and the leaves and then put any evidence in a sealed bag and ask your local garden centre for advice. Don't over water either unless your tree is in a pot and needs an increased water supply because of the hot weather.
FruitExpert - 16-Aug-16 @ 12:24 PM
Hi I am in London. I have a 16 yr old wild cherry tree which has been thriving well, fruits well etc. Two of its branches were blocking the view of my garden so I got those cut in late July. After that one by one all leaves are going autumnal and falling like crazy. The tops of all other branches inficate that the tree is dying. This tree is dear to me as I planted it from a sapling when my son was born. How can I save it? I have been watering it daily sonce I saw leaves were dying. Is it going to really die if it got a shock by pruning. We had pruned it in past twice but in autumn. Please help/advise.
Rita - 15-Aug-16 @ 8:04 PM
Hi, please help! I am new to fruit growing and have recently purchased a cherry tree. The label states it is prunus avium ciliegio nano, but I can not find any information about this type of cherry. I believe it is a dwarf plant, but I don't know if it is self fertile or not, or if it needs any special requirements. Do you have any advice for me? Thank you for any help you can give. Linda
Linda - 26-Jul-16 @ 11:45 AM
Ade - Your Question:
Please I just wanted to find out if cherries and berry can be grown in Nigeria. Thanks

Our Response:
It is very difficult to grow cherry trees in hot climates due to their inability to tolerate heat. You get the best fruit production from cherry trees grown in regions with four specific seasons. In warmer climates growth and fruit production are stunted.
FruitExpert - 26-Jul-16 @ 10:54 AM
I have two cherry trees planted some distance apart I do get plenty of fruit from them but this year I noticed that we lost a lot whats the best spray I can buyas I don't have to much time on my hands to keep a close eye on them all the time
danny - 25-Jul-16 @ 3:04 PM
Please i just wanted to find out if cherries and berry can be grown in Nigeria. Thanks
Ade - 25-Jul-16 @ 11:07 AM
Hi. Brought a draft stock Stella Cherry last year.We pruned it sligtly last year.This year it has cropped really well.However two of last years branches have lost all there leaves and no new growth. One of the branches the cherries have ripened on it but the other just looks like a dead branch but the sap is still in the branch.Other branches we pruned last year have produced new growth at the ends now making it look like a weeping tree.No side branches have grown.Any advice regarding pruning this year?This is the first fruit tree I have attempted to grow.
Bushy - 17-Jul-16 @ 4:40 PM
ginuzzo - Your Question:
Hi, can anybody tell me why my cherry tree I think is a morello...this year it all blossom but now all is gone and the leaves are yellow and rusty with holes as the slugs have been on it why? I had the same problem before with a bigger cherry tree that I have thrown away now

Our Response:
It could be the pear slug Sawfly (Caliroa cerasi), which can affect pear, cherry and apple trees. If your 'slugs' are black and slimy, then this is likely to be your culprit. Damage always affects the upper side of the leaves and the pests come from a continous cycle of ground larvae. However, these slugs do not usually come until later in the year (September), generally after the tree has fruited. Therefore, you may wish to get a second opinion. It is treatable and in the short term a jet wash to the leaves may help, as will a insecticide bug clear solution from your garden centre. Your garden centre will give you further advice.
FruitExpert - 1-Jul-16 @ 11:37 AM
hi, can anybody tell me why my cherry tree i think is a morello......................this year it all blossom but now all is gone and the leaves are yellow and rusty with holes as the slugs have been on it why? i had the same problem before with a bigger cherry tree that i have thrown away now
ginuzzo - 30-Jun-16 @ 2:55 PM
Janeybaby - Your Question:
Hi sent a question about my cherry tree can I get some advice please or does nobody reply to these questions.Thanks Janeybaby.

Our Response:
Hi Janeybaby - we have a lot of sites to cover, so will always try and get to questions when and where we can, but we like readers to help answer others' questions also. You don't say where your tree is planted and in what sort of soil/pot, which would help us try and answer your question more fully. But, there may be a few reasons why, begining with; not enough water or nutrition to your tree at the important development stage of your fruit. Or adverse weather conditions, plus where the tree is planted as your geographical location and the soil it is planted in, will all have an effect. However, cherry run off is very common and the RHS page here will give you more information regarding the causes and solutions. I hope this helps.
FruitExpert - 14-Jun-16 @ 1:50 PM
Hi sent a question about my cherry tree can I get some advice please or does nobody reply to these questions .Thanks Janeybaby.
Janeybaby - 13-Jun-16 @ 5:54 PM
Hi I have a Stella cherry tree on a dwarf root stock about 5 yes old now have plenty of blossom and leaves but barely any cherries as they seem to die when they have formed can you advise please on how to get a better crop thanks
Janeybaby - 6-Jun-16 @ 6:12 PM
Have found this morning on my very young Stella very small red bugs stuck tight to all leaf axils they look like tiny red kidney beans! Any are interested so I'm sure it's a bug also sure it's not cherry black fly Help please before I zap them just in case they're a goody not a baddie
Greeny - 5-Jun-16 @ 9:48 AM
So sad my cherry tree fell over in a storm. It was already an off shoot of the tree that had split years ago. It produced cherries last year. Now it has cherries on it that r ready to be picked in about 2 to 3 weeks. I don't think there is any saving it now. My question is will the cherries continue to ripen if I just leave it there so I can pick them In a couple of weeks or am I sol?
Kel - 2-Jun-16 @ 1:46 AM
Offspring- Weeping Cherry Tree We had a weeping cherry what was only a few years old but that was doing great until it appeared to die after a really cold winter.It grew back as a suckers Plant, late the next spring and I just Left it sit. Then the following year it doubled in size and had 6 huge suckers off the base but let it sit. Now this year it is a towering tree w huge canopy, large stalks off the base, there may be more than one canopy. It looks so amazing. One tree guy that came thru said that trees could be taken off the base but how and when do you do that? In water or soil? Wait now till fall
jo - 31-May-16 @ 7:56 PM
Ginny - Your Question:
Have young Stella cherry tree planted two years ago, leaves and a couple of pips the firstYear I think to be expected,this year a lot of blossom but it all looks like it's dying,leavesAre wilting blossom doesn't look any better,all my other tree's looking good and healthy.Good sunlight raised bed about ten inches,(border)Good top soil used for this area,but deeper down very clayey ,would like any suggestions As to what I can do to save it?Help.

Our Response:
Are they both planted in the same bed? Cherry trees prefer deep, fertile and well-drained soil and dislike shallow, sandy and/or heavy, badly drained soils. Yellowish leaves could mean overwatering/poor soil drainage. Low vigor, wilting or leaf drop, leaf die-back (from the tip back) or very little new growth can mean water stress. As the roots go, then so follows the top. Of course it is very difficult to advise without seeing your tree, but your local garden centre may be able to help regarding whether it can at this stage be saved. You might want to take a photo and take it in.
FruitExpert - 19-May-16 @ 11:08 AM
Have young Stella cherry tree planted two years ago, leaves and a couple of pips the first Year I think to be expected,this year a lot of blossom but it all looks like it's dying,leaves Are wilting blossom doesn't look any better,all my other tree's looking good and healthy. Good sunlightraised bed about ten inches,(border) Good top soil used for this area,but deeper down very clayey ,would like any suggestions As to what I can do to save it? Help.
Ginny - 18-May-16 @ 2:52 PM
@N/A - You will just have to wait it out and see whether your tree heals itself and produces new growth. There are a few things you can do such as trying to ensure mold and rot doesn’t set in but keep an eye out as any new growth of bark will be able to help heal the damaged areas and show that your tree is still alive.
Aidy67 - 18-May-16 @ 2:07 PM
I have a couple of first year Stella cherry trees that I planted last fall. They leafed out with heavy new leaf sprouts this spring, but due to illness I was unable to get fencing around them to protect them from the deer. The deer jumped all over them and stripped them of all their foliage. My question is will the resprout this year, or will they die and I'll have to start all over this fall with new trees? I greatly appreciate your help. Garnett
N/A - 17-May-16 @ 9:32 PM
Hi can you help me.. as a child my nan had a big cherry tree in her garden shed actually had 2 one was way bigger than the other.It blossomed a beautiful pink and then later we had cherrys not sure if they was sweet or sour... I need to find this tree that flowers pink and also fruits.. does anyone know what the tree is called and where I can get one .. thanks Essex
Donna staples - 17-May-16 @ 1:58 PM
Hello. I bought a Hedelfinger cherry tree and planted it in March. Now in May, there are leaves but no flowers. I suspect that the tree needs a pollinating partner and am thinking of buying a Stella and planting it right next to it. Is this the right decision? What else could I do to ensure that next year we have flowers (and fruit! ). Thank you
Newtogardening - 16-May-16 @ 9:23 PM
I have a fruiting (?Merton Glory) cherry tree that is more than 30 years old.This year it flowered well but leaf coverage is very sparse with many branches completely bare.Should I panic or is this just a reaction to the weather?I prune the tree regularly and have usually been rewarded by plentiful fruit.Last year it was very badly invaded by blackfly - could this be the cause or is it just nearing the end of its life? Leaf Worried
Leaf Worried - 14-May-16 @ 11:37 AM
I HAVE A SUNBURST CHERRY IN A LARGE POT, THIS MORNING I CHECKED IT AND IT HAD REDDISH/ORANGE JELLY ON THE BRANCHES, ANY HELP THANKS PITMAN
pitman - 10-May-16 @ 2:43 PM
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