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Cherry (Sweet cherry: Prunus avium L; Sour cherry: Prunus cerasus L.)

There are two varieties of cherry trees: sweet and sour; sweet cherries are typically eaten fresh and sour cherries are typically used for pies and jams.

The cherry tree is very delicate and is can easily die from a variety of diseases such as brown rot, bacterial canker, cytospora canker, root and crown rots.

Because cherry trees are so hard to maintain, it is important that they are planted in well-drained soil on a small mound.

Sour cherries are able to self-pollinate but sweet cherries need pollenizers to help with the cross-pollination.

Requirements for Soil

Cherry trees like soil that is slightly acidic at a pH range from 6.0 to 6.8.  As mentioned before, they grow best in well-drained soil. Sweet cherry trees in particular need well-drained soil. Soil that is not well-drained can result in diseases such as brown rot, bacterial canker, cytospora canekr, root and crown rots. These diseases can become a major issue if not dealt with immediately.

Along with adequate drainage, cherry trees need lots of sun. They require a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight each day. Cherry trees don’t grow very well in areas of frequent fog, specifically summer fog because they need so much sun.

Requirements for Water

Sweet and sour cherries are both very sensitive to water. Excessive watering will bring rot and other disease but too little watering will cause the trees to die. Soil that retains water is not good for cherry tree roots so a watering basin shouldn’t be created in heavy soil.

Cherry tree irrigation requirements depend on the environment that the trees grow in.


Because mature cherry trees have an extensive root system, they don't necessarily need fertilization. Cherry trees grow quickly so it is easy to see when they need extra fertilization. If the twigs grow less than 25 centimenters per year, fertilization is necessary. Other signs that the cherry trees may require fertilization would be if the leaves grow out smaller than previous years, if the leaves yellow in midsummer or if they fall before autumn. Other than in these situations, cherry trees shouldn't be given fertilizer or else they may grow too much and reduce fruit production.Please visit Fertilizer Managmeent section of the web page for more information.

Cherry tree management

Winter dormant season

Spring bloom season

Spring/Summer harvest season

Summer/Fall tree growth