How to Grow Cherry Trees

Cherry Trees

Whether your goal is fresh snacks, pies, or landscape interest, growing cherry trees is a fruitful endeavor, especially if you keep the following in mind.

There are so many reasons for growing cherry trees: the satisfaction of picking your own homegrown fruit, creating family memories, preserving your harvest to enjoy during the cold winter months ... the list is a long one! As you probably know, there are two types of cherries:

Sweet cherries are what you usually see at the supermarket. They have a “meaty” texture, much like a firm plum, and a rich, sweet flavor and can be eaten fresh, cooked, frozen or dried. Sweet cherries grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 7 and most require pollination from another sweet cherry variety. Make sure that you plant alongside another variety with a similar bloom time for proper pollination. Bloom times can be found in each characteristic section. These cherry trees typically take about 4 to 7 years after planting to bear fruit. Sweet cherry trees will yield approximately 15-20 quarts for dwarf trees, and 30-50 quarts for semi-dwarf trees. The yield will vary based on sunlight, available nutrients, soil quality/drainage and local weather conditions during the season.

Sour cherries are most often used for cooking, especially pies and preserves. Sour cherries, also referred to as tart cherries, are noticeably smaller than sweet varieties. They grow best in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 6.

These cherry trees typically take 3 to 5 years to begin bearing fruit, depending upon the tree size (dwarf trees will bear sooner) and the variety. Sour cherry trees will yield approximately 15-20 quarts for dwarf trees, and 20-60 quarts for semi-dwarf trees. The yield will vary based on sunlight, available nutrients, soil quality/drainage and local weather conditions during the season.