Caring for your Cherry Trees
In addition to their wonderful fruit, many property owners grow cherry trees for their spectacular spring flowers. Cherry trees can have a graceful weeping form or attractive upright canopy depending on the species. There are many varieties to choose from. Most cherries produce pink to white flowers. The tree’s leaves are also attractive in the fall. Bing Sweet Cherry Trees produce large, delicious, deep red fruit. They begin to bear fruit in their fifth or sixth year, and once mature can yield up to 100 pounds of fruit.
Ornamental flowering cherry trees, such as the Kwanzan, Chinese, and Yoshino Flowering trees, are sterile and do not produce fruit, but are cultivated to be decorative by producing more abundant blossoms. The Kwanzan is the highlight at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.
How Do You Grow Cherry Trees?
- These trees should be planted in early spring. If growing cherries for their fruit, a cooler drier climate is best. One should plant varieties that bloom at the same time as successful pollination is necessary for a bountiful harvest. These trees flourish in full sun and well-drained soil.
How Large Do Cherry Trees Grow?
- Cherry trees can grow from 20 to 30 feet high and develop a Crown Spread of 15 to 25 foot
These trees are susceptible to many stresses, including insect problems and disease, such as blight, making their life span around 20 years. However, by properly controlling insects and tree disease, as well as watering, regular pruning, and using tree fertilizer, you can enjoy the beauty and fruit of this tree on your landscape for years.
Cherry Tree Pruning
Pruning and training deciduous fruit trees are performed primarily to increase fruit production and develop a strong tree framework of optimum size and shape. This is especially important for a tree which can grow faster than its body and limbs can actually support. Pruning is necessary to maintain tree health, vigor and productivity throughout the life of the home orchard. Benefits of pruning and training include:
- Aid in the establishment of newly planted trees
- Enhance early productivity
- Increase fruit size and quality
- Promote flower bud development throughout the tree canopy
- Promote development of new fruiting wood needed to maintain productivity
- Reduce the tendency for biennial bearing
- Reduce incidence and spread of certain tree diseases
- Facilitate spraying, fruit thinning and harvesting
Your SavATree certified arborist is equipped with the latest techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to keep your trees healthy, beautiful and safe. Contact us today for information on pruning or any of our other tree care services.
Cherry Tree Diseases, Pests & Signs
There are several damaging diseases and pests that affect these trees. Some of the most common are:
Brown Rot This fungus infects blossoms, fruit and small branches. Signs include cankers, fruit rot and blight. Powdery, brown gray tufts can be seen on the twigs or fruit especially when wet.
Powdery Mildew Fungal disease that attacks twigs and leaves. Signs are white patches on new leaves and premature dropping of leaves.
Cherry Leaf Spot Fungus that primarily affects leaves but can also attack twigs and stems. Look for dark colored spots on the leaves, leaf yellowing, premature dropping of leaves and white spots on leaves in wet weather. Leaf spot is more prevalent in humid areas.
Black Cherry Aphid These tiny soft bodied, black insects eat the leaves of the tree causing them to become twisted, stunted and curled. The aphids also secrete honeydew which may cause black fungus to grow. Severe infestations can kill young trees and reduce quality and quantity of a mature tree’s harvest.
Other cherry tree diseases and pests include:
- White Prunicola Scale
- Black knot
Don’t let these diseases or pests destroy your precious trees. If you suspect a problem with your trees, call a SavATree certified arborist right away for an evaluation and treatment options. Our tree care experts can help protect your trees and keep your landscape beautiful.
If you’d like to establish tree varieties in your landscape, we can connect you with a reputable and qualified landscape expert that can help you purchase and plant new ones.
For a complimentary consultation with a certified arborist, contact the location nearest you.