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How to Care for Cherry Trees
- 1). Apply a layer of fertilizer in early spring. You should use a slow-release fertilizer that has been specially formulated for cherry trees. Cherry trees are very prone to diseases and bacterial infections, so you may wish to use a fertilizer that has extra nutrients to counteract these issues as well.
Check the leaves and fruit for pests and evidence of disease at least once a week. If you see that insects are taking over your tree, then use an organic pesticide to combat the problem. If at all possible, avoid chemical insecticides because then you will not be able to eat the fruit once it is ripe. If you notice signs of disease on the leaves, you may need to prune the afflicted area of the tree to prevent the infection from spreading.
- 3). Harvest the fruit. Even if you do not plan to eat the fruit, harvesting it will help prevent insects and other pests from harassing your cherry tree. You can leave some of the fruit on the tree if you wish so that you do not prevent reproduction, but you should remove most of the fruit by pulling just the cherry--not the stem--off of the tree. Pulling the stem off often damages the "spur" of the fruit, which can lead to smaller crops the following year. You may need to cover ripening fruit with a garden net if the birds and insects will not leave your tree alone.
- 4). Fertilize again after the harvest. Use the same type of slow release fertilizer so that it will help sustain your tree through the winter months and prepare the soil for spring when the tree becomes active again.
Pruning paste will help protect your tree after you have pruned it
Prune the tree in late summer. While most fruit trees are pruned in the winter while they are dormant, cherry trees are extremely susceptible to a disease called Silver Leaf that can take hold in winter months. Instead, prune your cherry tree in the late summer and remove dead growth, unwanted shoots and diseased areas. If you are forced to prune during the growing season, make sure that you use a wound sealer to keep other problems from taking advantage of the tree's "injury" and getting into the main body of the plant.
- 6). Water your tree only as needed. Cherry trees like moist soil, so if you dig down 3 inches and the soil is still dry, then you need to water the cherry tree and the area around it. Do not use high water pressure or water so heavily that the water sits on top of the soil, as this type of watering can lead to root rot. Instead, set up a hose to water the tree with a slow trickle of water for up to an hour, then examine the soil again to see if it is moist enough.