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Care Advice

Fertilizing

Fertilizing is an important component of a flowering cherry tree care program. By providing the necessary nutrients to your cherry tree through a slow-release fertilizer you will help to ensure beautiful blossoms and vigour. Be sure to choose a fertilizer that has been specifically formulated for use on cherry trees.

Learn more about TreeHelp Complete Fertilizer for Cherry trees.

 

Pruning

Cherry trees have some specific guidelines for pruning. They can be pruned moderately to let in light in and to thin out branches, this can improve air circulation to help prevent disease. Most stone fruit trees are pruned in winter, when the tree is dormant. However, cherries are usually pruned in summer, to reduce the attack of a disease called Silver Leaf. It is recommended to cover pruning cuts with a non-asphalt-based pruning paste to protect against disease. Prune off dead, damaged or diseased wood. Shape the tree into an open vase-shape if you can. However, weeping cherries should be pruned to maintain their weeping shape. Cherries fruit on 1-year-old shoots and lateral spurs, so you can prune off new material as you see fit. Make sure you remove and destroy any fallen wood, leaves and old fruit as this will help to reduce the risk of disease. Cuts should be made about 1/8th of an inch above a bud and should be made on an angle to allow water to drain off. Also, it is important to disinfect pruning tools after each cut when pruning diseased trees.

Please read the article How to Prune a Tree for more general information about pruning trees.

 

Watering

Most Cherry trees prefer moist soil. However, the Sargent Cherry will tolerate drier conditions. Probe down into the soil about 3 inches and check the moisture level there. When it is no longer moist at this level, it is time to water again. After doing this a few times you should start to get an idea of how often your tree needs to be watered. When watering, it is better to allow a slow trickle for a couple of hours rather than soaking quickly. Be sure to water enough to wet the bottom of the root zone. However, be careful not to overwater as Cherry trees are susceptible to root rot.

 

Soil Amendment

Probably the most important factor for a healthy cherry tree is good soil. The type of soil determines not only the amount of nutrients and water the plant has access to, but also how efficiently the tree can use those nutrients. This can determine whether your cherry can successfully withstand the stresses of growing in an urban environment or fight diseases such as black knot. As a homeowner, the best contribution you can make to your cherry tree's soil and to the long-term viability of your tree is the addition of beneficial mycorrhizal fungi.

Learn more about TreeHelp Mycorrhizal Treatment for Cherry.

 

Planting a Cherry Tree

Choose a sunny location that has deep, well-drained soil and good air circulation. It is important for the soil to be well-drained because otherwise a tree that seemed healthy during drier years may die during a wet year because the soil is holding too much water. Avoid low areas where cold air settles, instead choose a more elevated area to prevent blossoms from being killed by frost. It is not a good idea to plant a cherry tree in areas surrounded by buildings or shade trees. Avoid planting plum trees or cherry trees in a location where there was a previous tree infected with a fungal disease like Verticillium Wilt.

For more information, please read the article How to Plant a Tree.