So you would like to grow cherry from a pit? Mankind has been consuming cherries since the dawn of civilization, literally. Fossilized cherry pits are found in prehistoric caves by archeologists in Asia and Europe, dating back to the earliest civilizations. The earliest written mention of the sweet, red fruit was by the Greek author Theophrastus, who documented them in his book, “A History of Plants,” in 300 BCE. The cherries we all know and love today were delivered to America in 1600 by the Europeans.
There are over 1000 different known sorts of cherries. Though only about 20 different varieties are utilized in commercial production, cherries are available in over 500 different sweet varieties and nearly 500 tart varieties round the world. In the US, three states produce over 94% of the nation’s sweet cherries, Washington, Oregon, and California. Michigan produces over half the nation’s tart cherries, which are primarily used for cooking, as against eating raw.
An average cherry can produce 7,000 cherries per annum. Modern cherry farmers use a mechanical shaker that grabs the tree and shakes it hard enough to loosen the fruit, which falls on a huge tarp and is then funneled into a conveyor belt. Though you’re probably an extended way faraway from a mechanical shaker and a conveyor belt, a few cherry trees on your property are one step closer to growing your own orchard.
VARIETIES OF CHERRY TREES
There are two main sorts of cherry trees that are grown for his or her fruit. The sweet cherry and therefore the tart cherry, specifically. The sweet cherries are usually grown for eating ripe and therefore the tart cherries are more commonly used for cooking. Both cherry types ripen early and are ready for harvesting within the late spring. Most sweet cherry varieties need a pollenizer, while most tart cherries self-fruit. Here are a couple of our favorites of both kinds:
Black Tartarian – An early season favorite, the Black Tartarian boasts massive, black-purple fruit that’s sweet, juicy, and tender. The Black Tartarian cherry is additionally a prolific fruit producer.
Bing – Bing cherries are one among the foremost commonly grown cherries and one among the foremost popular types available commercially. The fruit is large and dark and ripens mid-season.
Chelan – immune to cracking, Chelan cherries grow upright and swiftly, maturing fortnight before Bing cherries.
Rainier – Rainier cherries ripen in mid-season. they’re yellow in color, with a red blush. they’re somewhat popular commercially.
Coral – Coral cherries have a superb flavor. they need large, firm fruit, that’s immune to cracking.
Benton – Said to possess surpassed the sweet cherry, the Benton may be a self-fertile tree, whose fruit ripens mid-season.
Stella – Our late season favorite, Stella is nice cherry with large blood-red fruit. The Stella cherry is sensitive to weather but highly productive late within the season.
Early Richmond – the first Richmond may be a lovely sour cherry that’s ready for harvest early within the season.
English Morello – Loved by piemakers and juice drinkers around the world, English Morello cherry may be a sour cherry that deserves a sweet spot.
Montmorency – Montmorency is that the hottest and most generally grown sour cherry. It makes up 96% of the entire production of sour cherries within the world. Available for harvest within the middle of the season.
Meteor – Late within the season, the meteor cherry is prepared for harvest. A dark, tart cherry with a really distinctive flavor.
HOW TO PLANT A cherry – PART ONE – PREPARATION
First, you’ll want to accumulate some cherries. You don’t want to urge them at the grocery, as they’re stored in refrigerated rooms that make the seeds a nightmare to germinate. Instead, you’ll want to source the cherries from a farmers market, or from a cherry orchard in your area. Eat them and put the pits into a bowl of warm water for around five minutes, gently scrubbing them clean of any clinging bits of fruit. Put the clean pits on a dry towel during a sunny windowsill and let dry for 3 to 5 days.
Next, place the pits into a Tupperware and put the lid on securely. Label it so you don’t forget what it’s, and put it within the fridge for 10 weeks. This process should be started around January to organize the seeds for the springtime germination. This cold stratification period prepares the pits by mimicking what the plant will endure naturally during the winter months to organize them for germination within the spring. After 10 weeks within the cold, your cherry pits are able to become cherry trees.
HOW TO PLANT A cherry – PART TWO – GERMINATION
Once ten weeks have passed, remove the pits from the cold and permit them to return to temperature and thaw out from their artificial winter. Once they’re at temperature, they’re able to plant. Use small containers crammed with potting soil and place two or three cherry pits inside each container. Water the seeds into place and keep the soil moist.
HOW TO PLANT A cherry – PART THREE – TRANSPLANTING
Once the seedlings have grown to 2 inches tall, select the strongest seedling, and take away the others from the container. Keep the only seedling containers during a sunny spot indoors until all danger of frost has passed, then transplant them outdoors. Once the seedlings have reached a height of around eight to eleven inches, they’re able to be transplanted outside. Plant each cherry a minimum of 20 feet aside from the subsequent one.
GROWING CONDITIONS FOR CHERRY TREES
Depending on the sort, cherries are hardy to USDA zones 5-9. Cherry trees enjoy full sunlight and though they’re not a fan of any particular soil type, they are doing a sort of a pH range of slightly acidic to neutral and need deep, well-draining soil. When growing sweet cherries, you’ll want to grow different varieties that will pollinate one another naturally.
CARE FOR CHERRY TREES
There is no difference in care between sweet and sour cherry trees, though there are sometimes differences between the care of individual varieties. For the foremost part, however, cherry care is pretty universal. Apply mulch to retain moisture from watering and rainfall.
Fertilize your cherry trees each spring until the tree starts in touch fruit. Afterward, fertilize only after harvesting each season. Water your cherry trees often, especially in dry areas, and through droughts or dry spells. Drape netting over the trees to guard the fruit against birds and other scavengers. you are doing not need to thin back your cherry trees because the thinning process occurs naturally within the early summer months.
Prune your cherry trees per annum within the late winter to encourage new growth. don’t prune during the autumn. Harvest fruits only they’re fully ripe. don’t pluck cherries off by hand. Clip the stems off with scissors.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHERRIES
Cherries are filled with antioxidants. These cellular warriors help your body hamper aging and fight against chronic illnesses, like a heart condition, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and obesity.
Consuming cherries can help lower the danger of gout attacks, provide arthritis relief, and protect against diabetes. Eating cherries promotes healthy sleep, helps to curb high cholesterol, and may help reduce post-exercise pain.
CHERRY TREE PESTS AND DISEASES
Cherry trees are relatively disease-free but are known to possess issues with pests, also as scavengers. you’ll want to organize yourself to defend your harvests when necessary. you’ll run into issues with aphids, Japanese beetles, caterpillars, and therefore the most notorious of scavengers, birds.
There are a couple of diseases that are known to affect cherry trees. These include plant disease, plant disease, and bacterial canker. Any branches that show signs of plant disease or bacterial canker should be stop and discarded immediately.