Have you ever wondered where the colorful fruit that you usually see on top of desserts and drinks came from?
Cherries are popularly served on top of cakes, ice cream, for cocktail drinks, served together with pancakes, mixed with sauces, and even added to salads.
It can also be eaten raw because of its natural sweetness and delicious taste.
But did you know that a cherry tree takes a few years to grow and mature?
- The common sweet cherry variety will start bearing fruit only in its 4th year or so, and other varieties will bear fruit even more years after that. Unlike other plants that bear fruit after planting them within a year, a cherry is different.
- There is the dwarf variety wherein bearing fruit will take as early as two years after its transplant.
- Sour cherries, on the other hand, will take three to five years after transplant to grow fruits.
- Sweet cherry variety can bear fruit in seven to 10 years, while the sour cherry may produce fruit in four to five years.
- Germination differs, as well, for the distinct varieties, and sometimes the swiftness of its germination depends on proper caring and correct seed and soil preparation.
- Planting a cherry needs preparation, such as cleaning the seed you will use for planting. There should not be any remnants of the fruit pulp, so it is ideal to clean it under running water to prevent any residue that will stop the seed from germinating.
- It takes some time before the breaking of the dormancy period and may take six to eight weeks before it happens.
- The seed after six to eight weeks must be planted in prepared soil 10 inches deep. Planting must not be too snug and should be loose, so the roots will crawl and penetrate the soil quickly.
- There should be peat moss in the soil for drainage. Planting the seed 2 inches deep is ideal. It requires spacing if you are to plant more than a seed, then watering should follow.
- The growing of a cherry tree will require hard work cause you should be aware of its needs in order for it to grow. Most of the cherry variant has common needs though, such as sun exposure, correct watering, proper fertilization, pruning and maintenance.
Table of Contents
What Are The Most Common Types Of Cherry Trees?
Vandalay Cherry Tree
The product of cross-pollination between Stella and Van variants of the cherry tree. This type of cherry was created by Doctor Ghassem Tehrani in the late 90s. This variant is incredibly delicious and sweet and is often used for pastries, cakes, and sauces.
It has a deep, reddish hue and is highly attractive because of its color.
Considered fairly easy to grow, but it also has its cold zone requirement that one must know before choosing it for your home garden ideas.
The Vandalay cherries can self-pollinate, but if you want to have bigger harvests, using a pollinator can be an advantage.
Black Tartarian Cherry Tree
Just like the Vandalay cherry, this tree also produces delicious and sweet cherries. They introduced this variety in the late 1700s in the US and some parts of England from Russia.
It has a dark reddish hue, and the fruits can be harvested in summer. Not a type that is hard to cultivate, but rather can adapt to the different soil, plus it can withstand drier weather as compared to other varieties.
Besides its beautiful color, this cherry also gives off a sweet aroma during the summer months.
Sweet Cherry Tree
Most often requested as fresh and eaten raw because of its highly sweet, and delicious taste.
This variety can thrive more in full sunlight and well-drained, fertile soil. It requires moisture in its soil and is suitable in a colder region.
Benton Cherry Tree
This cherry variant bears bigger fruits, but with the same bright reddish hues, with a pinkish-red flesh. It is the product of Stella and Beaulieu cherries, where it gets its sweet flavor and early maturity.
This cherry type grows large with its branches spreading fully in an upright pattern.
Tibetian Cherry Tree
Most common in parts of Tibet with a small and round structure. Its bark is glossy with a copper hue that makes it highly attractive. They sometimes grow it as a shrub to beautify a garden or a park as it stands striking wherever you plant it. Fruits are expected during spring.
Van Cherry Tree
It has well-spread leaves and branches, and the fruits from this cherry variant are considered juicy, sweet, and delicious. Its fruit is firm and better eaten raw. Most of the users want to incorporate it in their meals and desserts. They also use this cherry variant for sorbets, added to jams, and used to prepare sauces.
Japanese Cherry Tree
This cherry variant stuns onlookers because of its spectacular bloom display. Flowers are in different colors such as violet, white, and shades of pink that are seen during late summer or spring.
They mostly use it as a decoration in parks and gardens and offer shades that are not just useful, but, at the same time, breathtaking.
Sweetheart Cherry Tree
The fruit of this cherry variant is succulent, delicious, and sweet. It can grow unruly, though, and will require frequent pruning to keep it in shape. It will thrive in moist, well-draining soil.
Lapins Cherry Tree
You can harvest its fruit during summer and spring. This cherry tree will give you a round of sweet and dark fruits likened to the Bing variety. The flesh of the cherry fruit is firmer, and the diameter reaches 2.5 centimeters.
Sargent’s Cherry Tree
The fruit of this cherry tree may not be for most people because of its sour taste. It can be used in parks and even in your home garden as it provides umbrella-like clumps of flowers that are beautiful to look at. It has a rounded structure and is considered a deciduous tree.
Now that we recognized the most common types of cherry trees, here are some tips on how to care for them.
How You Best Care For Your Cherry Tree
Do not overwater. They do not require it to keep on watering your cherry tree, cause it only requires moist soil without the dry spots. Make sure that you water your cherry tree most, especially during the summer and humid weather.
Removing weeds. Weeds will compete with the cherry tree and must be eliminated from the soil. Applying mulch around the tree base will help in controlling the weeds and keeping the moisture of the soil intact.
Removing diseased branches and dying leaves. Diseases can affect the cherry tree, and when you fail to remove some dying branches and leaves, it may lead to the disease affecting other parts of the tree. Leaves that are unhealthy must also be removed and pruned.
Fertilize. Using fertilizer can help your cherry tree grow healthy and fast. However, using the correct fertilizer is important, and the overuse of fertilizer is not advised. Once the cherry tree started bearing fruit, return to light fertilization after fruit harvest.
Watch out for the birds. Birds will eat the fruit of your cherry tree. You must cover the trees to protect them from the species.
Protection from insects. Control insects by monitoring your cherry tree. You will find some products you can use in the market that will help resist insects from feeding off your cherry tree.
What You Need To Watch Out For When Growing Your Cherry Tree
Improper soil used. The soil must be well-drained with just enough moisture. It should not be soaked in water, and there should be correct fertilizer used.
Not enough sun exposure. Planting your cherry tree where it cannot get enough sunlight may mean its stunted growth. The cherry tree requires sun exposure for it to grow healthy and fast. It is also a factor in making sure that your cherry tree will bear many fruits.
Excessive water and moisture. This is usually a problem for a cherry tree, most especially if it is a variety that only requires light soil moisture. Soaking the soil in water will not do your cherry tree any good.
During dry weather, you can water the cherry tree once a week, and it will not saturate the roots but will not leave it dry either.
Too frequent fertilization. The fertilizer used must be the correct one for the cherry plants. It should also be used in just the right quantity and right timing. Low nitrogen fertilizer may be used once a year, plus a twice a year composts application is a key,
Uncontrolled pests. The pests must be handled soon before it wreaks havoc on your cherry trees. Not doing it soon enough will mean an unhealthy growth for your cherry, if it can even survive pests such as caterpillars, Japanese beetles, mites, aphids, borers, leafhoppers, and thrips, plus cherry fruit flies.
Not recognizing plant diseases. The uncontrolled plant disease may mean the slow death of your cherry tree. Some diseases, when allowed to travel to other parts of the tree, may mean its eventual demise.
Samples of the disease include leaf spot, bacterial canker, fungal issues, and brown spot.
Bird problems. Birds will eat cherries, most especially, the sweet and luscious variety. When it ripens, birds will flock to get their share. It is a must to create a solution, by using bird netting to protect the fruits from the birds.