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Cherry Trees

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 27 Jul 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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I have two cherry trees, not sure of the type. They were bought at different stores a year or two apart.They are about 4 or 5 years old. The leaves start out green then turn purple. Last year there was fruit but they were very small and tasted bitter. I would like to find out more about these trees before my husband cuts them down, he believes they might be just ornamental. I believe they are fruited and that is what the label said. HELP!
discouraged - 27-Jul-17 @ 1:33 AM
@Apes The common life expectancy of a flowering cherry tree is 15 to 20 years, so this may be the reason.
Gilly - 7-Jul-17 @ 11:42 AM
Our neighbour has a huge cherry tree which has fruited brilliantly at least for the twenty years we have lived here in South East.Birds strip it every year of the dark red fruit and drop the pips in my garden. I now have a small, fruiting version of the big tree. For the first time the big tree has not fruited.But mine has, with tiny fruits for the fourth or fifth year.Could the fact that two large birch trees were removed last year which grew close to the big cherry, have affected the cherry's fruiting? It is such a shame as it was a fantastic fruiter.Will it recover?
Apes - 6-Jul-17 @ 8:33 PM
@None - you don't have to do anything - just leave it.
Chris - 6-Jul-17 @ 3:21 PM
We've just harvested our cherry tree - what do we need to do to the tree now please?
None - 5-Jul-17 @ 3:50 PM
I have for the last 2 years a cherry tree... we had a dog eat all the branches down to nothing... it grew back to 8 feet tall but it has only leaves growing and it doesn't branch out... Will this ever bare fruit and how can I trim it to help it branch out
Need help - 11-Jun-17 @ 6:45 AM
hi I have a 17 year old cherry tree and we have had huge crops of cherry in past years. it's been 2 years in a row where the amount of cherries has been very low. normally at this time of year the branches would be full of green cherries. do you have any advice for future years. we aren't doing anything actively different
fkuk - 27-May-17 @ 5:15 PM
Last year my tree had a lot of sap on the trunk (clear jelly) and very few leaves in the summer. This spring it has had wonderful blossom and sap on trunk all gone so I thought it had recovered. However, it has very few leaves, almost bare branches. How can it blossom so well but the leaves fail? Is there anything I can do?
Rentam - 19-May-17 @ 9:02 PM
Dr Turab Syed - Your Question:
I have two trees in garden which blossom in spring ( cherry blossom) like whole Milton Keynes is turned out in blossom. Then they have yellow fruit similar but not like American yellow cherries in M&S. tree is around 12 years old as was planted by previous owners. Can I please send you an image to see if the fruit is edible or not?

Our Response:
You may be better taking a sample to your local garden centre to analyse as I'm afraid we cannot accept images or private correspondence.
FruitExpert - 17-May-17 @ 2:33 PM
I have two trees in garden which blossom in spring ( cherry blossom) like whole Milton Keynes is turned out in blossom. Then they have yellow fruit similar but not like American yellow cherries in M&S. tree is around 12 years old as was planted by previous owners. Can I please send you an image to see if the fruit is edible or not?
Dr Turab Syed - 13-May-17 @ 8:00 PM
@Jennypenny - you might have a poor pollination problem i.e no other cherry trees nearby that bees can take pollen from to help pollinate yours.
LucieL - 11-May-17 @ 11:24 AM
We have had lots of blossom but no cherries
Jennypenny - 10-May-17 @ 1:39 PM
P.S is there anyway to tell if the tree is a cherry tree if it is a sapling? So practily just a stick, so the sticks culler and general height? Because I don't have one yet so Im practily clueless, please help! X(
Cherie girl - 4-May-17 @ 2:42 PM
Hi, two things, first thanks for the answer so quickly, and don, the red bugs on your leaves, I had the same thing on my Lily's! (According to your discretion) My advice is to take a picture of them into your local plant specialist\stoor to see if they can identify it and give you something to help it because those bugs totally ATE MY LILYS so just in case it's the same thing, you should check for the safety of your tree! :(
Cherie girl - 4-May-17 @ 2:35 PM
Hi, I've a Stella tree on dwarf stock just planted this year.The leaves are coming through and the tree is looking healthy.However, this morning I noticed what looks like small red balls on many of the leaf axils.I'm assuming they're some sort of bug but they're stuck tight to the leaf stem.Grateful for any information as to what I should do.
Don - 3-May-17 @ 6:43 PM
Cherie girl - Your Question:
How can I tell apart cherry trees from other trees?

Our Response:
The cherry tree’s leaves are 2-5" long, oval shaped toothed and have a point at the tip. There are also serrated divisions on the leaves. The cherry tree's bark is a brown/grey colour, with horizontal lenticels that are either darker or lighter than the rest of the bark. Some produce fruit and some don't. They can sometimes be confused with peach and plum trees - but the blossom is either white or pink in colour and have no scent. If you use Google images, you should be able to see the structure of the leaves and the blossoms more clearly. This will help you further find whether your tree is a cherry.
FruitExpert - 2-May-17 @ 11:35 AM
P.S, I need an answer before May 5 because that is when we ar choosing! ;)
kittensrock17 - 1-May-17 @ 6:21 PM
How can I tell apart cherry trees from other trees?
Cherie girl - 1-May-17 @ 5:50 PM
@Pinki. Use a balanced fertiliser during spring and summer to replace nutrients used up from the compost. After flowering and during fruit swell, feed your container fruit trees with a high potash feed every two weeks. Make sure the compost doesn’t dry out in hot weather as this may halt fruit production. After two years, remove your fruit tree from its container and comb out as much soil as possible from the root ball using a hand fork. Trim the roots back and replant the tree back into its original container with fresh John Innes No. 3 compost for a healthy tree.
Vic - 4-Apr-17 @ 11:12 AM
Hello, i have a 2 year old Morello cherry tree in apot. It is 2M now but what should i feed it to keep it healthy and promote fruiting? Thanks.
Pinki - 3-Apr-17 @ 6:24 PM
Leswang - Your Question:
My cherry tree has four flowers on it but there are no leafs I thought you need leafs to produce the blossom why has this happened

Our Response:
Your tree obviously has a problem and may be under some degree of stress if it has failed to leaf. It may be because the winter has been too mild, or there is a root issue through lack of proper irrigation. As a rule, watering, feeding and pruning and making sure your tree has the right nutrients will keep your tree healthy. However, it's hard to say from just one sentence what the issue is - some advice from your local garden centre may help.
FruitExpert - 24-Mar-17 @ 10:00 AM
My cherry tree has four flowers on it but there are no leafs I thought you need leafs to produce the blossom why has this happened
Leswang - 23-Mar-17 @ 1:24 PM
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
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