What Is A Cherry Tree

What is a cherry tree?

Cherry trees, scientifically known as Prunus avium, belong to the Rosaceae family and are amongst the most beloved fruit trees out there. Keeping a cherry tree in your garden is a beautiful thing and it adds a special charm to your outdoor area. Since the cherry tree blossoms up to four weeks in spring and provides lush and juicy fruits in summer, it is a great addition for garden decoration and edible benefits.

Origin, Characteristics & Lifespan

The cherry tree has its origin in Southeast and Central Europe, but it is also found in many other parts of the world. The scientific name of the common cherry tree is Prunus avium, in Latin meaning ‘small tree of wild cherry’. The trees are varying in size, ranging from large trees growing about 25 meters high to many small, shrubby forms. Their leaves are dark green and oval shaped, with a serrated edge, whereas the bark can be brown to grey. The blossoms of a cherry tree are very fragrant, white and in the most common forms of the tree they blossom in springtime with red, round fruits that ripen towards late summer. Furthermore, the lifespan of a cherry tree can vary from 20 to 60 years, depending on the size and climate conditions of the respective tree.

Cultivation & Maintenance

Cherry trees are easy to take care of, however, they need regular pruning when planting in your garden. When grown in a pot, the growth is limited and thus pruning can be omitted. Moreover, cherry trees should preferably not be exposed to temperatures below -15° Celsius to -20° Celsius, since that could have a harmful effect on the tree. In terms of optimal growth, cherry trees thrive in moist, somewhat alkaline soils and need a couple of hours of full sunlight each day for their healthy growth. When the soil is too acidic, an adjustment of the pH-value is required with the help of potassium aluminum sulfate, usually referred to as alum.

Uses & Health Benefits

Cherry trees provide numerous uses and health benefits. Not only do they add a pleasant look to your garden, but also provide great deal of delicious fruits. Cherry fruits contain a high amount of antioxidants and are known as some of the healthiest and tastiest fruits out there. Cherry trees can also be successfully cultivated in the colder areas of many countries, since they are winter-hardy in comparison to other fruit trees. Furthermore, due to their distinct flavor, the fruits are used in culinary specialties, such as jam, syrup or pies. Cherry juice and cherry wine are two incredible tastes and can make for a great gift for friends and family.

Pest & Disease Control

Despite the many practical and nutritional benefits, cherry trees should not be grown without proper pest and disease control. Common cherry tree pests include birds, flies, aphids and rootworms, whereas fungal diseases, such as brown rot, can occur due to humidity or too much moisture in the soil. To prevent this, space the grafts properly and remove overripe or rotten fruits and infected limbs. Additionally, using biological control, such as ladybugs, or planting beneficial herbs or flowers near the cherry tree, can additionally help to protect it from pests. With proper maintenance, a cherry tree can last for a many years and add a wonderful value to your garden.

Working with Cherry Trees

Working with cherry trees can be an enjoyable activity for gardening-lovers. Before getting started, make sure to choose the right type of cherry tree for your region and for the respective soil conditions. Once this is done, there are a couple of important steps one should consider. Firstly, the cherry tree can be fertilized in early spring with phosphorus-potassium fertilizer and biostimulants to promote healthy growth. Furthermore, it’s important to understand how to prune correctly and how to identify any signs of pests or diseases, since that can put the tree at risk of death.

Pollination & Care For Cherry Trees

When it comes to pollination of a cherry tree, cross-pollination is necessary as most varieties of cherries require two different trees and different types of pollen in order to bear fruits. Thus, if planted in a garden, two types should be planted in order for the trees to be fertile. Additionally, cherry trees require little maintenance and are less vulnerable to pests and diseases in comparison to other fruit trees. They can be managed with natural medicines and biostimulants to reinforce the health of the tree.

Harvesting & Storage

When the tree starts bearing fruits, this is when your patience will be rewarded as the cherry tree starts providing juicy and flavorful treats. The exact time for harvesting cherries can vary from one variety to another, yet it is important to know when ripe, as the fruits should be picked accordingly and stored for later use. It is crucial to pick cherries at the right level of maturation in order to enjoy them later on.

Tree Preservation & Actions To Consider

Finally, if watered and fertilized properly, a cherry tree can peacefully live and bear fruits for many years to come, however, if maintaining it is neglected, this may result in future insecurity of the tree’s lifespan. Therefore, it is important to perform regular checks of the tree for any signs of pests or diseases and act accordingly to ensure a healthy lifespan of the tree. Moreover, it is best to use organic fertilizers and biostimulants whenever possible, to reduce the environmental impact and preserve the cherry tree in its happy and natural state.

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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