Table of contents:
Video: Cherry tree: location and cultivation
Many dream of a cherry tree in the garden, and not only amateur gardeners taste the small aromatic fruits. If you want to harvest a lot of cherries in the garden, you should consider these tips for growing and caring for cherry trees.
With cherry trees, one has to differentiate between sweet cherries and sour cherries because these are different types of trees. While the wild ancestor of sweet cherries - the bird cherry (Prunus avium) - has long been one of the native tree species, the ancestors of sour cherries probably come from the Near East and were only later naturalized in Central Europe. Sweet cherries prefer airy, southern elevations. They bloom very early and should therefore be in places where no late frost can occur. In addition to the flowers, the bark is also prone to frost and there is a risk of it bursting. Sour cherries, on the other hand, bloom later, are rather insensitive to frost and generally do not place too high demands on the heat. However, a sunny location should also be chosen for them, as this is the only way they can develop their optimal aroma.
The soil requirements of sour cherries are also lower than those of sour cherries. A humus-rich, loamy sandy soil is ideal for them. Sweet cherries, on the other hand, need deep, slightly calcareous and well-ventilated soils. If the cherry tree is in a soil that is too acidic and wet, it is more susceptible to frost damage or rubber flow. A pH of seven is optimal for the cherry.
Autumn is the ideal time to plant sweet cherries and sour cherries. The cherry trees can take root until winter and sprout vigorously in spring. Most cherries are - with a few exceptions - not self-fertile. This means that there should be another cherry tree nearby. If not, you will need to plant a second one. It should be borne in mind that a sweet cherry tree can reach a height of four to ten meters, depending on the variety and finishing material, and can develop a correspondingly massive crown. A minimum distance of seven meters should be enough to ensure good growth. Sour cherries can grow up to six meters high and usually form a somewhat slimmer crown. Depending on the type, you need a stand with a diameter of three to five meters.
When cherries are harvested depends on the type of cherry, the altitude and the amount of sunshine.
To plant a cherry tree, dig out a generous planting hole - the volume should be twice as large as that of the root ball. If the floor is prone to waterlogging, you can improve it by adding drainage. To do this, spread a five to ten centimeter high layer of fine gravel on the bottom of the planting hole. You should mix the topsoil that you have excavated with leaf compost so that it becomes a little looser and more permeable. After you have placed the cherry tree in the planting hole - the upper edge of the root ball is at ground level - fill the hole with the soil. Kick them lightly with your foot. Larger trees should be fixed on the west side of the trunk with a tree post, so that they do not tip over during the growth phase during a storm. Finally, the new cherry tree is thoroughly watered.
In contrast to sweet cherries, sour cherries only need fertilizer once a year. Simply mulch them with some compost. In contrast, sweet churches should be regularly supplied with nutrients and mulched. A so-called educational cut of the cherry trees should be carried out again and again, especially in the first years. It depends on the size of the tree and the shape of the tree. To slow down growth, it's best to prune cherry trees after harvesting in summer. They remove bare wood, steep side shoots and superfluous end branches of the thick branches. A cut in the spring would only stimulate growth.
The trunk needs special care: in autumn you should remove the loose bark with a brush. How to destroy the pest shelter. Then paint the trunk with lime or special paint white. Pests and diseases have less of a target. The white trunk reflects the sun's heat and therefore does not heat up so much in the cold season. This means that there are no large differences in temperature between day and night, which prevents cracks in the bark. If branches or the bark are damaged, you should cleanly cut the damaged branches on the trunk or main branch and cover the edges of larger wounds with wound closure material.
A cherry tree is particularly popular with cherry aphids, cherry fruit flies, spider mites and voles. In order to protect it from frost tensioners, you should provide the trunk with a glue ring from September, because the flightless females of the pests stick to it. The most common fungal disease is the Molinia peak drought. This fungus usually affects weakly growing trees and especially damages some types of sour cherries such as the 'morello morelle'. It penetrates shoots through flowers and causes them to die.
Ripe cherries are also very sensitive to rain. They absorb the moisture from the stalk pit and burst overnight. Here a small droplet can open a cherry. However, this does not mean that cherries need little water - on the contrary! Cherry trees usually have a very limited root volume and are dependent on regular watering in dry summers. If the cherry tree does not get enough water, growth and fruit quality can suffer greatly.
Cherry trees bloom in April and May.
Photo: Fotolia / Digitalpress
Flowering, harvesting and storage
Most cherry trees bloom in April and May. The sweet cherries are about two weeks earlier than their sour relatives. Differences can arise from the variety and location as well as from climate and weather deviations. When cherries are harvested depends on the type of cherry, the altitude and the amount of sunshine. Harvest time for the earliest varieties begins in mid-May and lasts until early August - depending on the ripening time, the various varieties are divided into so-called cherry weeks. By the way: you can roof your cherry tree - which is of course only practical for weakly growing specimens - you can advance the ripening time by up to two weeks. If the ripening phase runs perfectly, you can look forward to up to 20 kilos of cherries per cherry tree. The best way to harvest the fruit, including the stem, is by hand so that no bacteria can penetrate the cherries. Ripe cherries are generally not very long-lasting and should therefore be eaten or processed as soon as possible. Even in the fridge, they last a maximum of three days.
Cherries are small but powerful. They contain a lot of vitamin C, can reduce uric acid levels and protect against gout when consumed daily. They are also believed to have anti-inflammatory effects. Eating red fruits can also make your skin more beautiful and healthier. Natural medicine uses cherries for arthritis and periodontal disease.
Photo: iStock / dropStock