When To Pick Cherries From Tree

When to Pick Cherries from Tree

Cherries are a popular summer snack thanks to their tart and sweet flavor, making them favorites for all ages. Picking cherries off the tree is a great way to enjoy the fruit of a cherry tree and learn a bit about the harvest season. But when is the best time to pick cherries from a tree?
The timing of when to pick cherries depends on the variety of cherry tree. For example, sweet cherries usually ripen around June, while tart cherries generally ripen later in summer. Cherry trees also tend to ripen their fruit in a sequence, so it’s best to check the tree periodically throughout the season.
Generally speaking, a good sign to tell when cherries are ripe is when the fruit easily comes away from the stem and the skin has obtained a deep red to almost black color. This is when the sugar content is highest in the cherry and when it’s most flavorful. However, it’s important to remember that overripe cherries become too soft and may lack flavor.
It’s important to pick cherries when they reach their full ripeness as leaving them on the tree for too long can lead to a well-known problem called stem-end cracking. This is when heavy rains fall after the cherries have ripened and the fruit absorbs too much moisture. As a result, the fruit will crack and cause them to become moldy within a couple of days.
When picking cherries, there are a few costly mistakes to avoid. Wanting the best-looking cherries, people may be tempted to harshly tug the ripe fruit off the tree. But this kind of action can damage the fruit’s skin leading to decay. A better technique would be to place a cloth underneath the branch, lightly tug the branch to detach it, and then let the cherries fall onto the cloth.
It’s important to make sure that the cherries are clean and free of bugs when you pick them. Bacteria, fungi, and insects can make the cherries deteriorate faster, so be sure to keep a lookout for these pests. The longer the cherries stay in contact with these pests, the quicker they’ll rot.
Finally, you’ll want to add a shallow layer of water to the bucket of cherries as this will help keep them hydrated and fresh. Once you’re done harvesting the cherries, make sure to store them in the fridge rather than on the kitchen counter. Refrigeration prevents the cherries from drying out and helps keep them fresh for longer.

How to Care for Cherry Trees

Caring for a cherry tree is essential for its growth and production of high-quality cherries. While cherry trees can tolerate some neglect, optimal care will help ensure a stronger and more productive tree.
Suitable cherry tree care should begin with the selection of a suitable site for planting. It’s important to select a spot that will provide enough light and room for the tree to spread its branches and root system. A well-drained soil is also required to ensure adequate oxygen and nutrients move to the tree’s roots.
Cherry trees need plenty of water, so they should be watered deeply and regularly during summer months. It’s important to water the soil around the tree, avoiding the leaves and fruits, as this will also reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
As with other tree species, soil nutrition is essential for promoting healthy growth in cherry trees. Regular application of a balanced fertilizer will help ensure the trees get the nutrients they need.
Pruning is also an important step in cherry tree care, as this helps promote better air circulation and generally better appearance. Removing dead branches, thinning the canopy and shortening long branches will help keep the tree looking good and encourage more fruit production.
When winter rolls around, keep an eye on cherry trees as they’re prone to cold damage. If temperatures get too low, wrapping the tree trunk in burlap can help protect the bark from winter damage.

Pest and Disease Concerns

Like any other tree, cherries are vulnerable to pests and diseases in the spring and summer months. To reduce the risk of pests and diseases, it’s important to practice preventive measures such as regular removal of dead leaves and using organic methods for pest control.
Birds are a common issue when it comes to cherries as they feast on the ripe, juicy fruits. To prevent bird attacks it’s recommended to heavily net the branches or use a scare tactic such as a scarecrow, noise makers or sonic devices.
A range of fungi can infect cherry trees and lead to severe issues such as brown rot. To reduce the risk of brown rot, it’s important to out properly plant, irrigate, and prune the tree, as quickly removing diseased branches and fruits right away is key. Fungicides are also an effective way of protecting the tree from infection.
Keeping a keen eye on the tree’s health will also help limit the spread of pests and diseases.

Harvesting Cherries

Harvesting cherries is straightforward but there are certain steps that should be followed for a successful harvest.
It’s important to take the necessary safety measures such as wearing protective clothing, gloves and boots. It’s also important to be aware of the sharp thorns that may be present on cherry trees.
It’s also recommended to harvest cherries in the morning, when temperatures are cooler, and for healthy fruits, avoid harvesting when it’s raining.
The ideal harvesting equipment consists of a picking pole as this will help get to the clusters far away from the intended person and a large cloth, as this will help keep the cherries away from any dirt on the ground while they’re being picked.
Finally, to ensure the quality of cherries remains, pick the cherries individually, avoiding picking whole clusters or branches, as this risks hurting the cherries and make them non-marketable.

Storing Cherries

When storing cherries, they should be handled delicately as they are very fragile and can be easily bruised. To keep them in top condition, clean away dirt and blemishes with a damp cloth, but avoid over-cleaning as this will damage the skin.
It’s important to inspect each cherry before storage and to remove any decayed cherries as these can speed up the deterioration process of other adjacent cherries.
The freezing method is said to be the best way to store fresh cherries for a longer period of time. This can be done by using either vacuum packing or dry ice packing. Alternatively, cherries can be stored in the fridge. They can last for up to two weeks if stored correctly.

Canning and Preserving Cherries

Canning and preserving are great ways to extend the lifespan of cherries and have them available during cold winter months.
One of the ways to do this is by making cherry jam, as this not only preserves these sweet treats, but it’s also surprisingly simple to prepare. All that’s needed is sugar, lemon juice and cherries- making for an excellent breakfast spread on warm toast.
Another way to preserve cherries is by freezing them. All you need to do is put washed and pitted cherries into a deep container and keep them in the freezer.
Finally, we can’t talk about preserving cherries without mentioning dried cherries. This is a simple way of preserving the tart and sweet fruits of the cherry tree. To do this, you’ll need to wash the cherries, discard any damaged fruits, and place them on a pan in an oven set to the lowest temperature. Baking the cherries until they are a deep brown is key.

Eating Cherries

The vibrant red cherries are undeniably an attractive and tasty snack to indulge in during summer. Eating cherries is not only delicious but it also offers some benefits such as aiding in healthy digestion, reducing inflammation, supporting joint health and improving heart health.
Cherries can be enjoyed fresh off the tree, boiled in hot water for tea, or added to fruit salads for a burst of taste. As for baking, cherries can be used to make a range of sweet treats, from classic cherry tarts to cherry pies.
When it comes to cocktails and mocktails, cherries can add spark to any beverage. For a special presentation, fresh cherries skewered with a stick, frozen for an hour and then added to either wine, vodka or sparkling soda water makes for a fun and showy beverage.
Interestingly, cherries can also be used to make savory dishes. Adding pitted cherries to a braised pork or a tomato-based sauce will produce incredibly delicious results.

Nutritional Profile

Cherries are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E and potassium, helping to develop strong bones and teeth.
Cherries are low in calories and contain good amounts of dietary fibre, making them an excellent snack for weight loss.
More importantly, fresh and dried cherries are abundant in anthocyanins- powerful antioxidants that are believed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
Cherries are naturally sweet, so you don’t need to worry about adding unhealthy sugar to recipes when using them.

Health Benefits

Cherries are thought to have numerous health benefits thanks to the plethora of nutrients they contain.
Firstly, cherries can help to get a better night’s sleep thanks to their melatonin content. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep, helping us to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Secondly, they can help to reduce inflammation in the body. The potent antioxidants found in cherries have anti-inflammatory properties which may help to alleviate the discomfort of arthritis and muscle pain.
On top of that, cherries are a great source of fibre and contain good amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, helping to improve digestive health.
It’s worth noting that cherries should be enjoyed in moderation, as consuming high amounts may lead to adverse side effects such as abdominal discomfort and headaches.

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.

Leave a Comment