Cherries – planting and care

cherries planting and care Blog

Garden favorite

Cherry is rightfully considered the favorite garden plant of Russians. It is especially widespread in central Russia, in the Volga region, in the North Caucasus. But it is also popular in the northern latitudes – zones of risky farming.

Cherries are good at all seasons, but in spring, when they are in a white outfit, or in autumn, during fruiting, they are especially beautiful. They love cherries not only for their beauty – they value cherries for the quality of the fruits, they are used fresh, dried and frozen, they prepare compotes, jams, wine, cherry liqueur and jam from them. Wonderful aromatic jam, which is treated to the most eminent guest.

Cherry fruits have long been considered healing. In folk medicine, berry infusions and juice were used in the treatment of inflammation of the respiratory tract, arthritis; decoctions of leaves and shoots were used for bleeding, jaundice, skin lesions. Each housewife certainly puts a cherry leaf in pickles and marinades – it has tanning properties. Finally, cherry blossoms are loved by bees who visit them willingly in the spring.

Unfortunately, cherry is much inferior to other horticultural crops in terms of winter hardiness, planting and caring for it in the north are not common. Cherry does not tolerate severe winters, it freezes, sometimes completely.

But if you carefully, painstakingly take care of cherries, follow the rules of agricultural technology, choose the right varieties and choose a site with the necessary characteristics, then cherries can be grown even in severe winters. After all, there was a time, not so distant (remember the Cherry Orchard of A.P. Chekhov?), When cherry was a widespread crop – the second after the apple tree. And it was brought to Russia by monks back in the 15th – 16th centuries.

Types of cherries

This is a perennial crop that grows in the form of a tree or bush called common cherry. Its crown can have different shapes – round, pyramidal, oval, etc. The inflorescence is an umbrella of 5 flowers, and the fruit is called drupe, and there are two varieties, depending on the color – with dark red skin and light red. The varieties Vladimirskaya, Lyubskaya, Shubinka and others, widespread in the Non-Black Earth Region, are representatives of this very ordinary cherry.

Felt cherry. In the European part of Russia, this species is cultivated thanks to IV Michurin, and in its biological properties, felt cherry is significantly different from ordinary cherry. This is a bush before2.5 mtall with wrinkled, oval leaves. Blossoms slightly earlier than ordinary cherry, usually at the end of May. At this time, its compact bushes from the base to the tops are completely covered with fragrant flowers, rather large, sitting on a very short pedicel. Fruits are spherical or ovoid, from coral red to pale yellowish pink in color.

This cherry is called felted because of the tomentose lower leaves. Its valuable qualities are early maturity (fruiting in seedlings begins from the third year of life, fruits ripen in late July – early August), frost resistance, the ability to propagate it by seeds, because with this method, maternal properties change slightly.

But this species also has disadvantages. Its fruits are difficult to pick because of the short stalk and tender pulp, they are not transportable; bushes often die due to tissue damage in the zone of the root collar and in the forks of skeletal branches (damping out of the root collar), which is facilitated by abrupt transitions from thaws to frosts, damp autumn and spring. But despite this, felt cherry as a dietary product is becoming more and more popular among amateur gardeners who consider it to be similar to sakura.

So, we know that a cherry can grow like a tree and like a bush. In a tree cherry, the harvest is formed on bouquet branches, which are located in the crown on branches of various ages. The more of these bouquet branches and the longer their life, the higher the yield. In most cases, such cherries have one or two trunks. On increments of 30-40 cmbuds are usually vegetative. The next year, shoots grow from them or bouquet branches are formed, due to which the branches are less bare than those of a bush cherry.

Bush cherry. Bush cherry forms its main harvest on the growths of the previous year. It is imperative that the annual growth rate is at least 3040 cmto form as many vegetative or group generative buds as possible, which bear fruit. If the shoots are short, then they, having given the harvest, become bare.

How cherries grow

A grafted cherry lives in the Non-Black Earth Region for about 15 years, no more (in the south, its life expectancy is up to 25 years). In self-rooted cherries, the root system is located closer to the surface of the earth, and it is more branched, especially at the base of the trunk. In the grafted, the roots lie deeper and they branch less. This must be taken into account when caring for plants – when working the soil and applying fertilizers.

During these 15 years, the cherry goes through three periods. The first is the growth period, from the beginning of grafting or overgrowth growth to fruiting. This is 2-5 years (depending on the variety), when the crown is formed, skeletal branches grow, vegetative buds are formed, of which are shoots. The main attention during this period is paid just to the increments. The second is the period of fruiting, when the number of generative (fruit) buds increases from year to year, and growth processes slow down. At this time, it is the grower’s task to keep the trees in good condition. The third period is the beginning of aging: branches die off, growth dies out, harvest falls. But in self-rooted plants, life is extended due to the growth. Their life can also be restored in case of freezing of trunks. Therefore, in the Urals and Siberia, it is better to plant own-rooted cherries.

In all periods, an indicator of the level of fruiting is the length of the growth. Insufficient is bad, but excessive is also not good. also reduces the yield.

The cherry blossoms are bisexual and carry bee pollen. Most varieties are self-fertile, they cannot fertilize with their pollen. But there are also self-fertile varieties of cherries for the middle lane, which bear fruit better with mixed plantings and are varieties – pollinators of self-fertile varieties.

Cherry varieties for the middle lane

Alatyr (Volzhskaya panicle) . Bush up to4 m, ripening later, self-fertile variety. The best pollinators are self-fertile Ural Ruby, Izobilnaya, Zvezdochka. Average winter hardiness, relatively resistant to diseases. The fruits are dark red, sweet and sour.

Bolotovskaya – bush to2 mheight. The variety is fast-growing, self-fertile, yield 7-8 Kg from a bush, fruits ripen in the first half of August, winter-hardy, susceptible to coccomycosis.

Vladimirskaya is an old Russian variety, partially self-fertile, the yield in the Urals is low. The best pollinators are Vasilievskaya and Rastunya. Average frost resistance. Propagated by shoots and grafting.

Volzhanka is a densely leafy bush with erect branches, up to2.5 m… The variety is self-fertile, the best pollinators are Generous, Mayak. Winter hardiness is satisfactory, after freezing it is well restored. Susceptible to coccomycosis.

Abundant – bush up to3m, bears fruit annually after 3 years, abundantly in the second half of August. The variety is self-fertile.

Lyubskaya is an old Central Russian cherry variety for the middle zone with large fruits, ripens late, self-fertile, requires good soil, winter hardiness is not lower than Vladimirskaya.

Tenderness – a bush with moderate fruiting, the fruits ripen in the first half of August, the variety is self-fertile, well pollinated by many varieties.

Flame – a bush with a wide crown, a self-fertile variety, pollinators: Generous, Lighthouse; bears fruit in late July – early August.

Sverdlovsk woman . The variety is self-fertile, pollinators: Vole, Generous. Winter hardy. Ripens later, in the second half of August.

Ural standard . Ripens in late July – early August, sour fruits, satisfactory taste. The variety is self-fertile, the best pollinators are Mayak, Volzhanka, Plamennaya. Winter hardiness is high.

Ural ruby . The fruit tastes good, ripens in the second half of August. The variety is self-fertile, the best pollinators are: Alatyrskaya, Zvezdochka, Izobilnaya. The wood and buds are frost-resistant.

Generous . The variety is self-fertile, but it is well pollinated by the varieties Polevka, Standard of the Urals. Winter hardy. Fruits ripen in the second half of August, good taste.

Felt cherry varieties

One of the best in taste – Early pink , winter-hardy, moderate yield, ripens in early August.

Spark – ripens in the second decade of July, the taste of the fruit is pleasant, the winter hardiness of the variety is satisfactory.

Cherry Stepnaya – multi-stem bush 1-1.5 m, the fruits are small, the taste is sweet and sour, sometimes tart, undersized forms provide wintering under the snow.

Altai is a large , self-fertile variety, fruits of pleasant taste, blooms at a later date, fruits ripen in early August. Propagated by shoots and green cuttings.

Cherry Prickly (Flatseed) – propagated by seeds, winter hardiness is sufficient, does not suffer from pests and diseases. The disadvantage is the presence of thorns. Placed in a row with irga, chokeberry, cherry, sea buckthorn or on the front side of the garden house, because has some decorative effect.

Maksimovskaya is a winter-hardy, drought-resistant variety, self-fertile, blooms at a later date. Forms little shoots, easily propagates by cuttings.

Growing cherries correctly

Cherry for planting and caring for it needs elevated areas, well protected from the wind, and illuminated. Soil types can be different, but lighter sandy loam and loam are preferred. The characteristics of the soil are very important, since cherries cannot tolerate waterlogged and highly acidic soils.

Podzolic soils for cherries are limed, lime is scattered, and then the soil is dug up. But you can also put it in the planting pits. Planting distances depend on the species and variety: for grafted-2 m between the rows, for own-rooted – 3m, between trees -1.5 -2 m…

Planting cherries in the spring, in warm soil, works best. Roots can be planted in the second half of September. The size of the planting holes -80 cm in diameter and 50 cmdepth. A bucket of humus is brought into the pit,2000 g superphosphate, 50 g potassium salt or 400 gash, mix well with the top layer of soil and then fill the hole with a mound, filling it 2/3 of the depth. Planting is usual, the main thing is that after settling the soil in the hole, the root collar of the grafted seedlings is at the level of the soil surface. Shoot plants are deepened by 35 cm… After backfilling, each seedling is watered with two buckets of water, and when the moisture is absorbed, the soil near it is mulched with humus, peat or loose earth. If the cherry is planted in the spring, until it has taken root, it should be watered at least 4-6 times, in the autumn planting they are limited to two waterings, and in May the cherry must be watered again.

Cherry care is simple, its agricultural technology is available to every gardener. Early in the spring, until the buds have swollen, the plants planted in the fall are cut to 1/3 of the length of the shoots. In the spring, with a late planting, cut the excess branches onto the ring. Moreover, these operations are performed only with strong seedlings.

The soil around the seedlings should be loose, without weeds, but when loosening and digging, do not forget that the cherry roots are shallow. Mulch is buried in the soil in the fall.

Fertilizers. In the year of planting, cherries are not fertilized, because fertilizers were applied to the planting pit. Subsequently, on poor soils, in addition to the main nitrogen fertilizer, an infusion of mullein (1: 6), slurry (1: 5), bird droppings (1:12) are used – one or two buckets at a time for each plant. It is better to do this, as under an apple tree, in grooves 10-12 cm, at a distance of 50-60 cmfrom the main bush. If the soil is poor, mineral nitrogen is introduced completely in the spring, and the second and third top dressing – with these solutions. It is very good if, during fruiting, the bushes are fed with bird droppings mixed with sawdust – 1-2 kg on the 1 m2… Fertilization must be mulched.

Depending on the acidity of the soil, 5-6 Kg lime under each bush, better – during the autumn digging.

Watering for cherries is not needed daily, but plentiful, it is especially important in June and July, when the plant enters the fruiting phase and shoots grow. It is important that the soil layer is shed to a depth of 2030 cm and is sure to be ripened.


Weakened plants are not pruned, because their wounds heal badly. You can only cut off strong, healthy ones, mainly forming a bush and shrub crown for ordinary cherries, placing branches after 5-12 cm…

Excess shoots are removed. Pruning is carried out only in spring, with a stable transition of air temperature through 0 ° C to warming. The damaged branches are cut off later, when they are clearly visible, the drying ones must be cut off above the actively growing shoots. The place of the cut is covered with garden pitch.

The crown begins to form in the 3rd year, ends in 4-5 years. In a grafted plant, 5-8 closely spaced skeletal branches are formed, in a coppice plant 3-6, up to 8 trunks. Plants rejuvenate as they age. To do this, new stems are grown from the root shoots, and the obsolete ones are removed. Throughout the life of the grafted bushes, all emerging root shoots are removed.

Cherry propagation

You can do this as you like, just not with seeds – with seeds, so as not to lose varietal properties. Cherry is propagated by spring and winter grafting, shoots, green and root cuttings. The most common method is grafting, or the surgical connection of two parts: a rootstock – a part of a stem with a root system and a scion – a part of the annual growth of a propagated bush. The stock for cherries can be varieties Vladimirskaya, Polevka, Rastunya, Shubinka and others, or their root shoots – late or medium winter-hardy varieties. Rootstocks are grown from seeds. After washing in the spring, they are sown on the ridges, having previously been prostrated. Stratification lasts 5-6 months (autumn and winter): the bones are dried for two days, placed in a box with ventilation and mixed with peat, coarse river sand or moss and placed in the basement. As soon as the bones begin to hatch, the box is transferred to the cold and covered with a layer of snow, sawdust and stored until sowing. In the spring, the prepared beds are dug up, weeds are removed and seeds are sown to a depth of 45 cm and after 3-5 cm… Moreover, the seeds should be 10 times more than required. The furrows are watered and mulched with peat and then looked after – loosened, removed weeds. They feed (1 matchbox of urea per10 lwater). The grown rootstock on the lower part up to a height of 10-15 cm leaves and branches are torn from the soil.

In the fall, seedlings are dug up and buried in an inclined position for the winter on an elevated site. If they have not reached the desired size (the thickness of the root collar should be 6-8 mm), they are left in the same place for another year. In the spring, as soon as the soil thaws, the seedlings are planted in a nursery, shortening beforehand to15 cm roots and up to 20-30 cmaboveground part. They sit down so that it is more convenient to carry out budding in late July – early August. A few days before budding, the lower leaves and shoots are removed from the stock. And if the bark is well separated, they start budding – with a sprouting eye.

A simpler and more reliable method is spring grafting with a cuttings (the main thing is that the graft does not show signs of spring awakening), as well as winter grafting, which is done indoors from November to February. The thickness of the scion and rootstock must be the same in both cases.

Propagation of own-rooted cherries by shoots is a favorite method of amateur gardeners. It has both advantages and disadvantages. Own-rooted plants recover well, if the root system is frozen, they do not need to be refined by grafting. But on the other hand, they enter fruiting late, clog up the area with shoots. As a planting material, 1-2-year-old offspring are used, growing at some distance from the mother plant, with a well-developed root system and a branched crown. In the spring, they dig up the ground at some distance from the shoots that you like, find horizontal roots, chop them up and leave them in this form until autumn, and plant them in the fall.

When propagated by green cuttings, the cultivation of seedlings is faster. Cuttings are carried out when the shoots are growing intensively, this is the second half of June. In the morning, cuttings are cut from young plants with a length of 5-7 cmwith two to three internodes and remove the lowest leaves. Then for a day they are placed in a solution of growth substance (heteroauxin), and then they are planted in a prepared greenhouse, where after 15-20 days they will take root. In the fall, they are mulched and left until spring, when they can be planted in open ground.

Felted cherries reproduce successfully by seed-seeds, green and lignified cuttings, layering, but grafting on common cherries and sweet cherries fails, because it is incompatible with these types.

Reasons for failure

This may be an unfortunate location of the site, a high level of groundwater, the wrong type of soil. If these shortcomings cannot be eliminated, it is better not to deal with cherries in the garden.

But the reason for failure may be an unsuitable variety, for example, bought in the south – its frost resistance will be zero. You should not plant shoots taken from unknown plants. Much depends on the depth of planting cherries; in no case should it be buried. This culture reacts poorly to temperature changes in winter, and with spring frosts, the flowers (stigma of the pistil) only slightly freeze – there will be no fruit. There are few fruits if there is no pollinator variety nearby, if bees do not fly, and if there are many such fruits. One more if – coccomycosis. This is a dangerous fungal disease that affects leaves and fruits in warm and humid summers. The plant is weakened and may freeze in winter. And cherries, once severely damaged by frost, will never bear fruit well.

This is a difficult cherry culture. But, despite this, it is very attractive for gardeners.

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