Cherry trees


When to spray a cherry tree for good fruits


Below you will find basic information on caring for a Cherry tree – either Prunus avium (sweet cherry) or Prunus cerasus (tart cherry).

Watering:  Regular watering using a drip hose is best so as not to wet the tree leaves.  Test soil moisture to a depth of 2-3 inches and water only when the soil feels dry at that lower level.  Too much moisture can cause root rot and too little will stress the tree, so it’s important to determine how often it needs to be watered.  Once there is fruit on the tree, the regularity of watering will increase as the tree needs more moisture to swell the fruit.

Fertilizing:  Feeding your tree should be done in the very early spring before bud break.  A layer of good quality compost or sheep manure spread all around the tree will help feed it but make sure to keep it away from the tree trunk.  After you have done this, spreading 2-3 inches of mulch over top will help retain soil moisture and keep weeds at bay, again keep it away from touching the trunk.  It is best to under fertilize rather than over fertilize.  If you decide to use a commercial fertilizer, follow the package instructions carefully.

Pruning:  A tart cherry tree should need very little pruning because of its natural growth habit but a sweet one will need regular pruning to keep it productive and pest free.  Pruning should be done in late autumn, winter or very early spring – after leaf drop and before bud break.  Prune out diseased, dead, decaying or dangerous branches as well as branches that cross to begin with, then prune to re-size and shape in order to let air circulate through the tree – this will help with disease & pest control as well as fruit ripening.  Pruning tools should be sterilized before and after use on your tree so as not to spread disease.

Diseases:  Cherries are susceptible to many ailments such as blight, brown rot, powdery mildew, leaf spot and black knot.  Spraying with a commercial copper sulfate spray will help control many of these.  Spraying should be done 2 – 3 times over the winter months.  Many nurseries or agricultural suppliers will have this, but make sure you follow the package instructions carefully.

Pests:  The most common pests that attack Cherries are Aphids, Borers and Scale.  Birds are also a really big problem when fruit is ripening and can strip a tree of all fruit in no time at all.  Investing in bird netting to cover the tree is very wise if you want to harvest some fruit.

Cherry trees take 5 – 6 years to mature enough where you get a significant harvest so be patient.  Hope this general information is helpful.

May 2, 2021