How to Plant Cherry Trees: Expert Tips and Instructions

cherry tree planting guide

Few things compare to the joy of biting into a fresh and juicy cherry on a warm summer day. Now, imagine being able to grow your own cherry tree and enjoy an abundant harvest every year. Our team at Tips Tree Planting is here to guide you on how to successfully plant and care for your very own cherry tree at home!

The Charm of Cherry Trees

Originally from Turkey, cherries (Prunus) have spread worldwide and enamored us with their delightful taste. However, finding quality cherries can sometimes be a challenge. By planting a cherry tree in your garden, you can have an endless supply of these delicious fruits right at your fingertips.

Planting a Cherry Tree: Potted or Bare-Root?

When shopping for a cherry tree, you may come across potted and bare-root options at your local garden center. Potted cherry trees are grown in greenhouses and can be planted year-round. On the other hand, bare-root trees are harvested freshly and wrapped in a protective covering. They are typically available in early spring or autumn. Bare-root trees are hardier due to their outdoor cultivation, while potted trees tend to develop faster. Consider your preferences and needs when choosing between the two.

Choosing the Right Time to Plant

Autumn, particularly October or November, is the best time to plant cherry trees. This allows them ample time to establish strong roots during the winter months and sprout in the spring. Alternatively, you can plant cherry trees in early spring, specifically March or April, on a frost-free day.

Step-by-Step Planting Instructions

To ensure the successful growth of your cherry tree, follow these planting instructions:

Materials You’ll Need to Plant a Cherry Tree

Gather the following tools and materials before you begin:

  • Spade, shovel, pickaxe
  • Supporting rod, binding material
  • Hammer, gardening shears
  • Potting soil, compost soil
  • Trunk protection, coconut fiber protecting mat

Selecting the Perfect Location

Take the time to choose the ideal spot for your cherry tree. They thrive in warm, sunny, and protected areas. Avoid heavy or waterlogged soil, as cherries are intolerant of excess moisture. Opt for well-aerated soil with a high humus content for optimal results.

Tips Tree Planting recommends checking if your chosen cherry tree requires cross-pollination. Some varieties need another cherry tree nearby to ensure proper fruit growth.

Digging the Hole

Prepare a hole that is approximately twice as wide as the root ball of your cherry tree. Use a shovel to create an outline and start digging. It’s a good idea to keep the excavated soil nearby for later use. Make sure to dig the hole about one-third deeper than the root ball and loosen the soil at the bottom with a hoe.

Adding a Supporting Post

Drive a supporting rod or post into the hole you’ve just dug. The height of the support should match that of the cherry tree trunk. Position the supporting post on the west edge of the hole to allow the wind to push the tree away from the post.

Preparing the Hole

Prepare the hole for planting by adding a layer of fresh potting soil mixed with compost. Consider adding fertilizer for optimal growth. Tips Tree Planting recommends using our Plantura Tomato Food, which releases valuable nutrients slowly, benefiting your young tree.

Preparing the Cherry Tree

To promote healthy root growth, slightly scarify the root ball with scissors before planting. Untangle the roots and gently loosen the root ball by hand, allowing the roots to branch out more easily.

Tip: If the root ball appears dry, soak the cherry tree in a bucket of water before planting.

Planting the Cherry Tree

Carefully place the cherry tree in the middle of the hole and fill the hole with the excavated soil. Lightly compact the soil to eliminate any air pockets. If you have issues with rodents, attach a trunk protector to shield the young tree from pests. Additionally, tie the bottom of the protector to the supporting rod to safeguard against strong winds. Remember not to tie the tree too tightly to its support.

Coconut mat placed around a cherry tree

Finally, water the cherry tree thoroughly to help settle the soil and ensure proper hydration for the roots. To prevent weed growth, place a coconut fiber mat around the tree’s trunk, covering the soil.

In summary, here are the key steps to plant cherry trees:

  • Ideally, plant in autumn (October/November)
  • Choose a sunny and warm location
  • Dig a hole twice as wide and one-third deeper than the root ball
  • Insert a supporting rod on the west side
  • Add fresh potting soil mixed with compost
  • Gently scarify and loosen the root ball
  • Place the tree in the hole and fill with soil
  • Lightly compact the soil and water the tree thoroughly
  • Attach the trunk protector and apply the coconut fiber protection mat

Caring for Your Cherry Tree After Planting

After planting your cherry tree, it’s crucial to provide it with adequate nutrients. Fertilize it annually using compost or organic slow-release fertilizers. Since young cherry trees have a limited root volume, especially during the first few years, ensure they receive ample water, especially in hot summer months. For pruning guidelines, refer to our article on cherry tree pruning.

At Tips Tree Planting, we’re committed to helping your cherry tree thrive. Follow our expert tips, and soon you’ll be enjoying a bountiful harvest of delicious cherries right from your own garden.

Tips Tree Planting