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Cherry Trees

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 28 Jun 2020 | 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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Are any cherries poisonous? We have several cherry trees which have never produced significant fruit but this year enough to harvest. They are smallish and red. I was brave (or foolish!) enough to break one open and put the flesh to my tongue, it tasted like a sweetish sour cherry.Thanks.
New Girl Cat - 28-Jun-20 @ 11:18 AM
I just bought some property and I found this tree shrouded in overgrown trees when cutting them down I discovered the tree flowering with pink flowers. It's a tree only 15ft. Tall and skinny. I let it be but going back I described what appeared to be cherries growing. The color is yellow to orange then deep pink. No pits that I can find but the juice is sticky and only tasting the juice it's sweet. I'm not sure if it's a cherry tree but it looks like one in regards to the fruit. The fruit is small but that could be from being shrouded by bigger trees. Now to the question. How can I be sure it's an edible cherry?
Jillyboo - 31-May-20 @ 6:18 PM
My fruit bearing cherry tree has not flowered this year I think it is dead but the ends did show start of blossom a few weeks ago. It is very old should I take down ordo they ever miss a year? I have removed some bark as suggested and it is not green Thanks
Dee - 18-May-20 @ 3:05 PM
We have a young patio cherry velvet tree. we replanted it from a container into the garden in February. It's not produced any leaves but did bud and now the buds are dried up and brown. Do you have any idea what's happend. We were given the tree last year. It had leaves but didn't fruit then. grateful for any advice please.. thanks
Caz - 22-Apr-20 @ 11:33 AM
I have a cherry tree that has always produced lovely cherries. It’s a big tree and this year it seems to have some kind of disease. The leaves are spotted and then going brown and falling off. Help! What should I do?
Olivia - 10-Jul-19 @ 10:55 PM
Hi I have 2 Stella cherry trees on a dwarf root stock which I planted in February 2019 they have plenty of healthy green leaves on an what appears to be tiny little cherries forming this is now 22nd of April 2019. but I haven't had a single flower or blossom any help appreciated.
mick - 22-Apr-19 @ 2:48 PM
I have a cherry treein my garden called MARILO. Is it edible, if so is it sweet or sour
Joe - 18-Dec-18 @ 1:54 PM
My wife purchased a cherry tree called MARILO and never recorded what type it was before she passed away. Could you tell me if it is edible and if so is it sweet or sour
Joe - 18-Dec-18 @ 1:48 PM
@Jax53 - maybe it had never previously been pollinated and the new trees have solved that issue. Great that you have new life in it.
JiLL67 - 25-May-18 @ 9:17 AM
Hi, Years ago we planted a Flagpole Cherry tree, this tree never bore fruit, and last year I had bought Fruit trees, I went into my Garden after my tree had blossomed only to find that now my Flagpole cherry tree is bearing fruit? I am stunned does this usually occur?
Jax53 - 24-May-18 @ 9:24 AM
I have a flowering cherry tree which is well establishedand always used to give a full treeful of blossom.The tree divides into two trunks and in the last 2-3 years only one trunk section produces blossom,although both give plenty of leaves.The non blossoming trunk does not appear to be diseased and it grows quite strongly.Do you have any idea what could be causing this effect. Thanking you, Roy Dennard
Grandad - 6-May-18 @ 10:44 AM
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
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