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How To Care for Fruiting Cherry Trees

2012-08-04   Views:6

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Close cousins to the prune and plum, cherry trees are deciduous trees that produce plump round fruits that turn red when ripe. The deep green foliage of cherry trees lavishly changes in fall--turning varying shades of crimson, brown, pink and orange

How To Care for Fruiting Cherry Trees

Close cousins to the prune and plum, cherry trees are deciduous trees that produce plump round fruits that turn red when ripe. The deep green foliage of cherry trees lavishly changes in fall--turning varying shades of crimson, brown, pink and orange during the autumn season. Not to be outdone are the attractive cherry blossoms that brilliantly accent the trees in the spring. This continuous flow of colour change and fruiting requires little care once the cherry trees are established. Prior to establishment, a delicate balance of watering and maintenance is necessary.

Skill level:Moderate

Things you need

Soaker hoseMulchFertiliserPruning saw or pruning shearsBird netting

Instructions

1 Plant your fruiting cherry trees in sunny, well-drained soil. Overly wet soil or standing water can damage or kill the cherry trees, causing diseases such as root rot. Fruiting cherry trees also require at least 8 hours of sunlight every day.

2 Water your cherry trees immediately after planting and throughout the first growing season, using a soaker hose. A soaker hose will supply the cherry trees with deep watering. Supply the cherry trees with at least 1 inch of water per week, maintaining moist soil at all times. After the first growing season, cherry trees will require only supplemental watering during times of drought.

3 Apply a layer of mulch under the canopy of the cherry tree to help with weed reduction, water retention and root protection. A 3-inch layer of sawdust, bark chips, straw or pine needles should suffice. Keep the mulch at least 6 inches from the tree trunk to reduce pest infestations.

4 Fertilise the cherry tree with an all-purpose, nitrogen-based fertiliser. Check the packaging instructions on the fertiliser to determine allocation amounts and time frames. Make sure that you apply the fertiliser to the soil and not the wood of the cherry tree.

5 Prune your cherry trees to keep them strong and healthy. Prune the cherry trees in the spring, summer or fall before winter dormancy. Use a pruning saw or sharp pair of pruning shears to remove damaged, dead or inwardly growing branches, approximately 1/8-inch above the bud. Pruning your cherry trees will also help to keep them neat and tidy.

Tips and warnings

Place bird netting over the cherry trees when they begin to fruit to prevent birds from getting to the fruit first. You can purchase netting from a garden centre.

Harvest the cherries after they ripen. Most cherry trees will begin producing cherries 3 to 5 years after planting. Peak fruiting time for cherries is usually in the summer.

Consult a professional arborist if you notice pest infestations affecting the health of your cherry trees.

Do not overwater your cherry trees. Too much water can cause root rot and other tree diseases. Check the soil before each watering by pressing your fingers down into the soil to a depth of 1 inch. If the soil feels moist, do not water. Instead, check again in a few days.

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