How To Harvest Cherries From Tree

Harvesting Cherries from Trees

Cherries are one of the world’s most popular fruits, revered since ancient times for their tart or sweet flavor and rich red color. Harvesting these delectable fruits can be a rewarding experience, but for a successful harvest, you’ll need to know the best practice for plucking the cherries from the tree.

Timing is Everything

Two key factors determine when a cherry is ready to pick: color and firmness. As the cherries ripen, the color will start to change from light green to deep red. If the fruit has a slight blush, it could be ready for harvest. Put your index finger to the test by pressing gently to determine the firmness of the berry. If it’s soft, it’s not ready. However, if it’s firm but yields slightly to pressure, it’s good to go.

Using the Right Tools

The ideal tool for harvesting cherries is one that avoids bruising the fruit while still allowing it to be picked with ease. Pruning shears are the preferred tool for most because of their accuracy, but some people prefer to use hand-held picking poles that have a clip on the end. Another option is to use pinking shears for smaller cherries, and then use the same technique with both hands on the middle-sized cherries.

Getting Started

When the time comes to begin the harvesting, start high and work your way down the tree. Begin by gently snipping below the stem, making sure to leave some of the stem attached. For long harvest days,I recommend using a fruit picker, a small cage-like device that fits over the cherry and can be used to carefully twist and remove the fruit.

Cherry Handling

Once the cherries are harvested, be sure to handle them with care. Damage to the berries can cause deterioration, making it difficult to store and transport the ripe fruit. Cherries can easily be crushed and the broken pieces can quickly spoil. experts recommend carrying the cherries in shallow trays or lined buckets so that their weight is spread more evenly. This will help ensure safe transport to the kitchen table.

Storage and Preservation

The goal for properly preserving cherries is to maintain their freshness as long as possible. Unpicked cherries can remain viable on the tree for weeks, even months, but once picked, cherries should be stored in the refrigerator to ensure peak freshness. Cherries can also be washed and frozen to enjoy their taste at any time of the year.

Using a Net to Pick Cherries

If you’re willing to use a bit of ingenuity, you might consider using a net to pick cherries. Place a large netted bag over the entire tree; this will simplify the task of picking and collecting cherries without breaking or losing any of the fruit to wind or other elements. Once it’s filled, you can easily remove the net and take it inside to pick over the cherries.

Fruit-Dispensing Machines

Another interesting option for harvesting cherries is by using fruit-dispensing machines. These machines can be placed around the tree, and then programmed to drop the cherries down a shoot for easy retrieval. This way, you’ll be able to pick many cherries in a short amount of time with little effort. It’s a great way to reduce labour and save time.

Insects and Other Pests

The presence of insects and other pests can be an issue when it comes to picking cherries. If these pests are found on your trees, take the necessary steps to remove them. This could include spraying the tree with an insecticide or tying bags around the cherries to prevent pests from accessing the fruit.

Organic Care and Pruning

When caring for cherry trees, the utmost attention should be paid to organic methods of pruning and fertilizing. Organic methods are essential when it comes to cultivating healthy, pest-free trees. Removing dead and diseased branches can help to improve air circulation, while fertilizing the soil with nutrient-rich compost can help to boost the tree’s overall health.

Checking for Harvest Readiness

The last step when it comes to harvesting cherries is to check for readiness. Do this by taking a branch and inspecting the cherries for color and firmness. Once these two indicators are met, careful removal of the cherries is only a snip away.


Harvesting cherries from trees can be a rewarding experience, and with a bit of tender loving care and knowledge about the best cultivation methods and harvesting tools, you can pluck one of the world’s most beloved fruits with ease. Whether you choose to pick them by hand, use a net, or deploy fruit-dispensing machines, cherries can make for a tart and sweet treat that can be enjoyed all year round.

Gordon Wesson is an environmentalist and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing for many years about topics related to trees, the environment, and sustainability. In particular, he is passionate about educating people on the importance of living in harmony with the environment and preserving natural spaces. He often speaks at conferences and events around the country to share his knowledge with others. His dedication to protecting our planet makes him one of the leading voices in his field today.

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