Growing Cherry Trees

The biggest offender of growing cherry trees in your garden is the weather. Cherry trees are very particular about their climate.
-They don’t like long hot summers.
-They need a chilling out period during the winter.
-They don’t need a late frost!
The other garden enemy of the cherry tree is birdlife. Growing cherry trees will guarantee a huge garden bird population flocking to your garden. But if you want to eat the cherries you will have to guard against the birds. They can strip a tree in less than half an hour.

Decide on the site for your tree/s some months in advance of planting. Soil Ph should be between 6.2 and 6.8. Check and adjust accordingly. Land must be well-drained. Cherry trees can’t tolerate wet feet. Check the site throughout a rainy spell: Dig a hole 2 or 3 feet deep. If the rainwater stays in the bottom of the hole for any length of time, the land isn’t well-drained enough for growing cherry trees.
Dig over the soil, remove all weeds and dig in well-rotted animal manure if available.

Choosing Cherries!
From the small wild cherry thousands of years ago, man’s enjoyment of cherries has developed and we now expect to eat sweet varieties whenever in season.
We have wild cherry trees popping up everywhere in our garden. Thanks to the birds spitting out the pips on their own doorstep! Tut!

“Have you grown cherry trees from pips? Scroll down to the bottom of this page and share your cherry tree success story!”

In our case the system can work well because the birds stay up in the heights of the old wild cherry trees, and tend to ignore the garden cherry trees tucked away in the vegetable plot. That’s the theory but it doesn’t always work like that. -Best to net your trees as soon as they start to fruit!

Browse through your local garden centre catalogue or drop into a local nursery to have a look at the varieties available in your region.
Because cherries are sooo particular, many varieties have been developed to cope with different temperatures and viruses.

When you buy your cherry trees check instructions for:

Pollination requirements: as a rule sour cherries – the wilder varieties – are self-pollinating. Sweet cherries generally need cross-pollination and should be planted near a compatible variety.
Regional Compatibilty Double check the variety is suitable for your region. Growing cherry trees in extreme temperatures will require a very special variety.
Planting Instructions Growing cherry trees in your garden requires a little fore-thought. They are trees after all! There are a few dwarf varieties on the market and these may have specific planting instructions.
Here are a few different varieties available online, there are many more!

 ‘Stella’  ‘Sunburst’ from Crocus.

This link will take you to their homepage. Choose ‘plants’ from the menu, then under ‘plants by type’ choose ‘fruit’. There are loads of amazing mouthwatering fruits to drool over including these two glorious cherry varieties.

Growing cherry trees at Nature Hills ‘Montmorency’ available for U.S. deliveries

Growing cherry trees at Nature Hills ‘Stella’ available for U.S. deliveries

As mentioned above, instructions should be double checked before you plant your cherry tree.
Here is a rough guide to growing chery trees in your garden;
Dig a large hole in your prepared soil.-18-24 inches depending on the age and variety of tree.
Tease out the roots of your tree, unless instructions state otherwise.
Place the root ball at the bottom of your hole and fill in with soil. Press down firmly. When all soil has been packed back in the hole, use your heel to firm the tree in place.
If required, place a stake in the ground next to the tree.
Water well.

After Care
It’s easy to forget to water trees in the garden. New trees, especially fruiting trees, need lots of water until they are established. During hot summer periods your cherry trees will still require water to ‘swell’ the cherries.

Netting is considered dangerous to birdlife and it’s true, birds do get caught in nets sometimes.
One way round this is to build a cage type affair to put over your trees when they start fruiting.
Build a square wooden frame that will sit over your tree and stretch very fine netting round all four sides and over the top. The very fine netting will stop the birds getting caught up, and you can enjoy a healthy crop of cherries.
This system works well when growing cherry trees on a small scale. If your trees are big or you have many of them, other methods such as bird scarers may be more appropriate.

Pick the fruit as it becomes ripe. Eat fresh off the tree or bake cherry tarts and pies.
Fresh cherries will store well for a number of days in a cool place.
Growing cherry trees successfully does need a little time and energy – but worth every delicious mouthful!

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