• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Cherry trees are too hard, apparently

 
Phil Hawkins
gardener
Posts: 228
Location: Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So I read this on a "conventional" gardening site

Some 'expert', on the subject of growing cherries, wrote:Growing tips: to be frank, cherries aren't that easy to grow as a backyard fruit tree. As well as needing the correct cool climate, they need pruning when young, and regular feeding, spraying and other maintenance.


Now the climate part is valid enough, and I'm not sure if I would qualify where I am, but the other stuff?! Is this just flat out bullshit, or does it really mean something like "you are less likely to get cherries you'll enjoy, in the sort of time you think you will, so if you're impatient, you'd better go with growing something else"? As far as I knew, I thought maize/corn was the only crop that we'd managed to screw up to the point where it actually can't reproduce without human intervention?

 
Chris Kott
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Phil,

I'm in Toronto, Canada, and although the variety is sour, there is a cherry tree that has been neglected for the 20 years that my family has been here. You're right, this is bunk. This thing fruits every year, and the birds love the things. I think I'm going to harvest the tree this year (my neighbours don't care if I prune it or cut it down) and turn it all into cherry sherry (see what I did there? Wasn't that clever? ). If anything, as long as the winters get cold enough (I hear there are fruit tree species that require this, though I originally thought it only applied to germinating seed), all sun or heat sensitivity would mean is a particular well-suitedness for the understory of a food forest.

-CK
 
Phil Hawkins
gardener
Posts: 228
Location: Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks!

It gets pretty cold here in winter (0C / 32F fairly regularly) but it also gets plenty hot in summer. We had two days last week where it topped 36C (97F), and multiple days over 40C (105F) is fairly common.

I want to plant plenty of fruit trees, and there's only so many apples you can eat (or, in my case, make cider from)
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Phil, I know stuff-all about cherries and all I can remember about Gippsland is wine, so there's always grapes ...
It looks like stonefruit generally might struggle with Gippsland humidity. Is it humid where you are? Golden queen and blackboy peaches can handle quite humid climates.
Remember figs! Best figs I ever had were in Melbourne.
 
Phil Hawkins
gardener
Posts: 228
Location: Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There's a little wine in Gippsland, but then again, there's a little wine everywhere in Oz. It's basically a pyramid scheme. To paraphrase South Park

1) Set up a vineyard
2) <shrug>
3) Profit!

Most folks seem to be a little hazy about step 2.

Anyway, I wouldn't say it was real humid here - we're a good 50km inland, and there's a "mountain range" (again, Australian terms - nothing anyone else would call mountains) between us and the ocean.

As well as apples, I do have pears, lemons, grapefruit, and (as I seem to recall we've discussed before) feijoas!
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ah, I thought you seemed familiar! Yip, I'm a pusher of fruit crack, aka the feijoa
Are there nectarines etc growing up your way? One day I'll work out how I can squeeze one in...
 
Chris Kott
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi again,

So I have to admit, I've never heard of the fruit crack feijoa. Please fill me in. What are they, and what do they need to grow? Or are we Canadians shit outta luck?

-CK
 
Phil Hawkins
gardener
Posts: 228
Location: Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Chris,

Facts:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acca_sellowiana

Recipes and such:
http://foodforest.com.au/feijoa.html

I think of 'em as sort of like a cross between a banana and a kiwifruit. I have two trees that are very productive, although I don't really know what to do with the fruit, so we give away what we can and then the rest just falls and rots (sorry Leila!)
 
Chris Kott
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh, I see. So I might be able to raise individuals in microclimates, or go looking for the cold-hardier Russian variety, but my guess is that it wouldn't taste as good. Good to know, in any case. Thanks!

-CK
 
Phil Hawkins
gardener
Posts: 228
Location: Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know Paul W isn't a fan, but (noting it doesn't grow too big) would a greenhouse help in this sort of situation?
 
Chris Kott
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Phil,

As to small greenhouses, I agree completely with Paul. The smaller the greenhouse, the more you are directly responsible for maintaining the needs of whatever you imprison there. As soon as you have a greenhouse large enough to shelter trees, even if dwarf-varieties are the largest you can manage, you have the room to put together a self-sustaining ecosystem, more or less. You'd be stuck watering, either from tap, or from rainbarrels (I'd choose the latter), but as long as you can keep those solitary, ground-dwelling bees and wasps alive in there, they take care of your pollination, and as long as you've lined up everything else, you have a chance in hell that you can keep on top of things. Personally, the reason I would have one (and it would be ground-sheltered on three sides and designed as a four-season hothouse) would be to keep that food forest, so I would have some place to keep my layers (chickens) in good light and heat and foraging all year long.

-CK
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When we lived in Rochester NY, cherries were one of the easiest fruits to grow.

Might depend where you are, they would be near impossible here - being tropical. But then again, growing bananas / citrus in Rochester is near impossible. (outside of a greenhouse, etc.)

I personally believe in scientific neglect. I grow what grows easily and enjoy the other fruits when I travel. We tend to co-ordinate our trips up north to coincide with fruit harvests.
 
Chris Kott
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Fred,

I must admit, before I found Permies.com, I thought that greenhouses were the be-all and end-all. Of course, that was when my idea of a cash crop was one that you grew in your bedroom closet or in the basement, and so a four-season hothouse was the epitome of cool .

As I mentioned, the only reason I could see for me to go that route now would be, apart from sneaking in a pot plant or five, to provide a warm, well-lit set of chicken paddocks during the winter, to see if I could keep their laying rates up. If I can get my hands on some nice arabica cultivars, I'd try my hand at coffee, as well as some citrus, but other than that, just a set of chicken paddocks that I'd seed as they clear them to speed up regrowth.

I actually have to plan some fruit harvest-related trips hereabouts.

-CK
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
cherry trees are NOT that difficult to grow and you don't have to prune, spray or all that jazz.

In our OLD (destroyed when we had our housefire) food forest gardens we had cherry trees that bore beautifully and we are in zone 4/5. since I have planted baby cherry trees, I have wild cherry trees in the area as well as bush and ornamental cherries but also I planted 2 sour cherries and 2 sweet cherries. I expect the sour cherrie sto bear this year and the sweet cherries to bear next year. Have another cherry tree on order, it is kinda a cross betwen sweet and sour and is a bush. I do admit I have less success with the bush cherries though..probably cause the fruit is closer to the critters.
 
Doug Owen
Posts: 17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This depends on your location. I have grown sweet cherries in Willamette vallley OR USA. They do well there but required spraying with Sulfur for fungus diseases. The area was known for that. I now live near Spokane WA USA, I have no fungal spray issues but our late frosts and ocassional deep freezes in April will either zap the fruiting buds or just outright kill the tree. I have given up on Sweet cherries and just grow the sour ones, resigning my self to strawberries and the stuff brought in from outlying areas.

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i know of more than a dozen local cherry trees in peoples yards that they do not prune ever, some close by let me harvest the fruit and it is delicious.

i also know of one wild seedling cherry tree that is HUGE and produces excellent fruit.

and now that i think of it, it seems like cherry trees would be able to grow the best without pruning compared to apples or pears. ive never seed one grow so dense it was hurting itself. they are wide open trees from the way the branches naturally grow.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic