Cherries are delicious whether they are eaten fresh, cooked into a pie or tart, or preserved in jam. They are an excellent source of minerals as well as fiber and antioxidants. Recent research suggests that patients who suffer from type 2 diabetes and the discomfort linked with inflammation may benefit from eating cherries. After the trees have been planted, it will be many years before there is a full harvest, but after that, they will continue to produce for decades.
Two Groups: Sweet and Tart
The fresh cherries that may be found in supermarkets and at vendors along the side of the road are sweet cherries. The tartness of dried cherries and pie cherries contributes to the fruit’s explosion of powerful taste. Cherry trees, whether sweet or sour, thrive best in loam that is nutrient-dense, has excellent drainage, and has a ph that ranges from 6.0 to 7.0. Cherry trees want new water on a consistent basis, thus it is essential that the soil has enough drainage. On the other hand, the cherry tree roots will rot if the soil is too moist.
Trees that provide sweet cherries might be difficult to care for. They are not dependably winter hardy above zone 5, and they cannot withstand the heat that is present in zones 8-10. They grow well in zones 5-7, but they cannot be grown there. Only a few types are capable of producing their own offspring, therefore you should always plant at least two trees, even if you are certain that the type of tree you are growing does not need pollination from other species. Since sweet cherries blossom before tart cherries, they are more likely to suffer crop damage from a late frost. Tart cherries bloom later in the season.
The cultivation of sour cherries, sometimes known as tart cherries, is more common than that of sweet cherries. Some types of sour cherries may thrive in zone 3, while others grow better in zone 8. Both sweet and sour cherries are subject to the same illnesses and insects that affect cherry trees.
Standard vs. Dwarf Cherry Trees
Sweet cherry trees of the standard kind may reach heights of up to 50 feet, although tart cherry trees typically only reach heights of up to 25 feet. Cherry trees that are classified as dwarfs often only reach heights of 8 to 20 feet and may yield sour or sweet cherry types. In general, allowing trees to grow to a height of 8 to 12 feet makes harvesting and taking care of the trees simpler.
Cherry Diseases and Pests to Watch Out For
Cherry trees are susceptible to infection from a variety of diseases, including powdery mildew, brown rot, and perennial canker. Your trees will be better able to ward off infections if you maintain them healthy by planting them in soil that is rich and well-drained and by giving them water on a consistent basis. This will help your trees stay disease-free. Late in the winter, apply fertilizer to your trees, and mulch around their bases to help prevent weed growth. At a minimum of once per month, do a check of your trees to see whether they have sustained any harm, and address any issues immediately to prevent them from spreading.
It is important to remember to preserve the tree’s bark since the majority of diseases and pests, such as mites, peach tree borers, and shothole borers, will attack the trunk or main branches of the tree. Wire or some other kind of barrier should be used to round the trunk of the tree so that animals like rabbits, voles, and deer cannot gnaw on the bark. It is recommended that you install mosquito netting in the spring in order to avoid insects that lay eggs from burrowing into the trunk of the tree.
Never mow or trim the grass in close proximity to cherry trees, since any debris that gets trapped in the mower or trimmer has the potential to fly out and cause harm to the tree’s trunk or branches. If you find holes that are leaking what looks like a sticky substance or a sawdust-like material, you may kill the insect by inserting a needle into the hole, and then you can spray the area with garlic oil to destroy any remaining larvae.
The best way to make garlic oil is to combine one cup of chopped or crushed garlic with one quart of mineral oil and let the mixture rest in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the garlic cloves using a strainer, and then use the oil to treat any areas on the tree’s trunk or branches that show signs of mold, mildew, disease, or pests.
This will also prevent other animals, such as deer and other ungulates, from consuming the bark.
Bird Netting to Protect Your Crop
There are three different strategies you might use to keep birds from eating your cherries: One strategy would be to grow yellow cherries, which have a lower probability of attracting birds. On the other hand, yellow cherries do not contain nearly as many of the many antioxidants and nutrients that are found in red cherries. A mulberry tree may also be grown in close proximity to cherry trees as a second option. The presence of the mulberries will entice the birds, and as a result, they are more likely to avoid damaging your cherries.
Installing protective netting over the trees is a third method for discouraging birds from nesting there. When doing this, it is important to ensure that the netting is secured to the ground and that it extends all the way to the ground so that birds do not accidentally nest underneath it. Make sure that the trees are covered before the berries get ripe and the birds begin to feast on them. The fact that they need less maintenance is another another advantage of miniature cherry trees.
Cherries are an important crop since they may be eaten fresh, preserved, or dried; they are sweet, sour, and healthy all at the same time. Why don’t you give planting some trees a shot?