Cherry Tree Requirements
Cherry trees prefer a protected site and rich, well-drained soil - they loathe wet feet. When the tree is about to fruit (around late spring) it's best if there isn't any rain around that time as you get better cherries with fewer subject to rotting.
How to Prune Cherry Trees
Cherries are borne on fruiting spurs on branches that are at least 2 years old. So if you prune off the spurs by accident, you will have to wait another 2
years for any fruit.
Pruning essentially is done to ensure that the cherry trees assume an open vase shape, taking out any dead twigs and removing any branches that cross over each other.
Pruning is best done when conditions are dry - avoid pruning in wet and damp conditions as cherry trees are prone to fungal diseases
Apply a fertilizer that is high in nutrients during the early spring. Apply 1 lb. of 10-10-10 ratio fertilizer for each square foot surrounding your cherry trees. Spread the fertilizer at least ½ inch thick around the base of your tree. Continue applying the fertilizer to your cherry tree every spring until it fruits or flowers. It typically takes between two and four years for cherry trees to bear fruit. Apply half of the amount of fertilizer the year your tree bears fruit. Apply the fertilizer only until the fruit appears. Fertilizer after that can hinder the production of fruit and only aid leaf growth.
Spraying Cherry Trees
Always read chemical labels and follow manufacturer’s directions carefully to avoid injury to your tree, the environment or yourself.
To control scale insects and mites, spray with #1 Dormant Oil in early spring before buds swell. Do not spray when freezing or near freezing temperatures are expected or have just occurred. To control Brown Rot, spray with #2 Daconil or Fung-onil just before blooms open and when blooms are 90% open. Continue spraying with #3 Orchard Tree Spray after petal-fall every 14 days. Stop spraying 2 weeks before harvest or Aug. 30 whichever comes first. Apply one last #1 Dormant Oil spray to the tree in late fall after most leaves have dropped. Avoid spraying during freezing temps.
Birds love cherries. Because of this, you will either have to share your cherries with the birds, or cover your tree with netting to prevent the birds from getting at
your crop. Sometimes you can alleviate the birds from taking as much as they can by hanging scare devices like aluminum pie pans from the limbs of the tree. When harvesting your growing cherry trees, taste the cherries before picking them. Sour cherries are soft and juicy when they are ripe. Sweet cherries are ready when their color is uniform and they have a sweet flavor in a meaty fruit.Harvest your cherries with the stem attached. This helps retain their freshness after you pick them. They keep better and longer if the stem is still attached after harvest.