Planting & Care Guide
Bare-Root Cherry Trees
Congratulations on your new CherryHill cherry tree! Your bare root Lapin tree is self pollinating so will grow sweet cherries in 3 – 4 years. Below are some planting and care instruction to help you get the most out of your new favourite tree!
- When handling your tree ensure you are careful to not knock the buds, and always handle the tree from the pot.
- A bare root tree can only be planted in winter or early spring.
2. Site selection and preparation
- Cherries like full sun and soil that is well drained. A heavy soil which does not drain and stays wet may not be suitable to grow your cherry tree.
- Prepare the soil well where the tree will grow by digging and cultivating to allow the roots to establish when the tree is young.
- You may wish to mound the soil where the cherry tree will grow which will aid drainage.
- Apply lime to raise soil pH if needed and gypsum to break up heavy clay soil
- Do not apply Nitrogen fertiliser within 2 weeks of lime
- Dig a hole twice as big as the space needed for the size of the roots.
- Loosen the soil in the bottom of the hole.
- Trim any damaged roots with clean secateurs.
- Place your tree in the hole and ensure the root ball is covered by around 15cms of soil.
- Backfill the hole around the roots, tamping with your foot lightly as you fill the hole to remove any air gaps
- Apply mulch and compost to your newly transplanted tree.
4. Initial pruning and tree training
- A bare root tree should be pruned after planting before the buds swell.
- Only prune during dry weather.
- We recommend pruning fruiting cherry trees to an open ‘vase’ shape which is free-standing and will produce cherries within 3-4 years. For an open ‘vase’ style tree, prune quite hard to begin.
- Prune each branch to a height approx 20cm from the trunk leaving 4-6 buds from which to grow from.
- If you are trellising or creating ‘espalier’ style trees, you can tie the branch to the wire or training guide and leave unpruned or prune as required
5. Watering and Fertilising
- Water in a newly planted tree.
- Additional watering is usually only required after the initial growth begins in spring.
- Don’t over-water your tree, remember the roots don’t like being wet, apply more water during dry and hot weather.
6. Further Pruning
- After 1 year’s growth, again prune back branches hard, do this in winter. This forces the tree to develop more branches which will produce fruit in future years.
- NB: If you miss this early pruning, the tree will ‘bolt’ upwards without developing enough branches and the tree will be hard to maintain.
- After 2 years, you may prune again or leave some or all the branches to mature and develop fruit buds which will bear fruit.
- NB: Cherries mostly grow on 2nd year fruiting ‘spurs’, so don’t be discouraged too quickly, , our commercial cherry trees take 4 years to fruit
- Remember to trim any sucker growth from below the graft.
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