Sweet Cherry Trees are a Great Addition to Every Home Garden for Fresh Eating
(originally published by Stark Bros.)

Here are some of the reasons why I love cherries! 1) Cherries contain antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and pain as well as help fight chronic illnesses such as reducing cholesterol; 2) Cherries make a great snack and 3) Cherry blossoms signal spring!

My new cherry trees have just arrived and in this video you will see how I prepare them to be planted in a container.  You will see that these trees look different from the ones that you are used to seeing me work with. These are brand new bare root trees which means they have to be prepared for a container, differently than other already potted plants. Did you even know that it’s possible to plant trees in a container? Let me show you how.

The key to long life is soaking the bare root tree first. I suggest soaking them for about 1-2 hours. You can soak them longer, but no longer than 24 hours which will damage the tree.

While my trees are soaking in a metal container filled with water, I prepare my container for planting. You will see that I have managed to find a large 18 gallon galvanized metal container.  While the tree is soaking, I will prepare my mammoth container with organic soil and fertilizer.

Once the tree has soaked sufficiently, I gently place it in the container. I place the roots deeply into the soil, about 2” below the rim.  And then I do what I call deep watering. It is crucial that a newly planted bare rooted tree is soaked after planting.

Why Plant Cherry trees?

Cherry trees are as versatile in the landscape as any other fruit tree. They can be trained to grow flat against a wall (espaliered) or incorporated in your garden for aesthetic reasons, including the striking hint of red they bring to any landscape, once the tree bears fruit.

Cherry trees thrive in most of America from zones 4-9. They require a cold winter in order to produce a bountiful harvest. When planting cherry trees, you need to plant at least two different varieties for the trees to cross-pollinate and bear fruit. I have chosen to plant black gold cherries and white gold cherries. You can also choose to grow sour cherries which are often self pollinating.  Some self-pollinating sweet cherry cultivars also exist.

Planting tips:

  1. The best time to plant your cherry tree is in early spring or fall.
  2. Plant your cherry tree in a sunny spot with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight in slightly acidic soil adding an organic fertilizer like compost or bone meal.
  3. Lightly mulch, keeping the mulch away from the trunk of the tree
  4. Regular watering in the first year will insure proper root growth and establishment of the tree
  5. Fertilize once per year in the spring and prune in the late winter when the tree is dormant. Be careful not to take off too much of the 2 year old branches.
  6. Once your tree is mature little or no pruning is needed.
  7. Fruit bearing cherry trees, can provide a harvest of 10 to 15 quarts of cherries from dwarf cherry trees and 30-50 quarts of cherries for standard size cherry trees.
  8. Pick the cherries when they are fully ripe which may mean waiting until the cherries are about to fall off the tree. This ensures that your cherries are at the peak of their sweetness.