Getting more cherries

Credit: lepiaf.geo

Q: I have a cherry tree that had flowers but didn’t grow any cherries. What should I do to have cherries next year and what branches should I cut to make it grow?

A cherry tree with lots of flowers but poor fruit production could be due to lack of a proper pollenizer, e.g. ‘Bing’ & ‘Van’. Or it could be that bees were not present when flowers were open because of cold, wet weather. I always suggest homeowners look into setting up a mason bee (orchard bee) colony in their garden to increase their quantity and quality of fruit yield.

Pruning a cherry tree to a shape called “open centre” looks like an umbrella turned upside down and allows the most light and air circulation into it. Prune no more than 15 to 20 of the branches by volume at any given time to open up the centre of the tree. Consider summer pruning to control the size of your tree by reducing the current year’s new growth. Consult a good pruning book for illustration, e.g. Christopher Brickell & David Joyce’s Pruning & Training, DK Books.