Planting & Care Guide
Potted Cherry Trees
Congratulations on your new CherryHill cherry tree! Your potted 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 favorite tree!
- When handling your tree ensure you are careful to not knock the buds, and always handle the tree from the pot.
- As you have purchased your tree in Summer, we recommend that you continue caring for it in the pot and if you want to plant it in the ground, do it during the cooler months such as from Autumn.
2. Site selection and preparation
- Cherries like full sun and soil that is well drained
- 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 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
- Prune your tree in August (small trees are pruned in August and large in Summer, to promote new Spring growth).
- 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 unprinted 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. 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 3rd – 4th year fruiting ‘spurs’, so don’t be discouraged too quickly
- Remember to trim any sucker growth from below the graft.