Growing Cherry Trees

From our own experience we have found that cherries are not that easy to grow. They can be affected by diseases and pests, and the fruit require the right conditions to grow and ripen. But cherries are expensive to buy, an established tree will produce a lot of fruit (plenty for you and the birds), and the blossom is beautiful, so for these reasons a cherry tree can be worth the extra effort.  Now that cherries are grown on dwarfing rootstock, you can also grow productive trees in small gardens and large containers.  There are two types of cherry, the sweet cherry for eating, and the acid cherry for cooking and jam making.


How to Grow Cherries – QUICKSTART GUIDE
  • Fruit Planting Calendar - Cherry TreesPlant bare-rooted trees November to February
  • Plant so that the join between rootstock and tree is at least 8cm (3in) above soil level
  • Provide support in the form of a stake
  • Protect blossom from frosts
  • Do not prune or apply fertilizer the first year after planting
  • Planting Cherry TreesPrune established trees during the growing season (never in the dormant season), and paint large cuts with wound paint
  • Protect fruits from birds using netting or fleece
  • Protect fruit from rain as they begin to ripen
  • Pick cherries when they are fully coloured


Cherry Varieties

Cherry Tree VarietiesMorello, Stella and Sunburst are self-fertile, and can be planted singly.  For other cherries, you will need to grow more than one variety so that cross-pollination can occur.  Check that they flower at the same time.

Morello – acid cooking cherry, juicy fruits, self-fertile, heavy cropping
Stella – sweet flavoured firm cherries, self-fertile, high yields, suitable for containers
Merton Glory – large yellow cherries with some red, sweet flavoured, requires Morello for pollination
Sunburst – sweet cherry, very dark red cherries, excellent flavour, self-fertile, compact growth
Griotella – sweet firm fruits, heavy cropping, self-fertile, dwarf tree, weeping habit


1. Growing Cherry Trees – QUICKSTART GUIDE
2. Planting Cherry Trees – Help on planting bare rooted and potted cherry trees
3. Cherry Tree Care – How to maintain a healthy and productive cherry tree
4. Picking Cherries, Storing and Freezing – How to pick, store and freeze your cherries
5. Cherry Tips – Some tips to help you get the most out of your cherry trees
6. Cherry Tree Diseases, Cherry Problems and Pests – Some help if things go wrong with your cherry trees

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