• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Sparse fruit on ungrafted Cherry tree  RSS feed

 
Esther Platt
Posts: 6
Location: Oregon Zone 8b
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm inquiring to see if anyone has studied this kind of thing - thanks for your insight.

I have a cherry tree that came up on its own about 7 years ago, hasn't been grafted, and has always consisted of multiple trunks from the bottom. The problem is that it only makes about 1/15 the amount of fruit as other cherry trees in town. It grows well each year and has abundant flowers, but as the weeks go by, much of the forming fruit falls off/shrivels up (and maybe not many of them were fertilized in the first place). There is a cherry tree a block away, and I want to determine what the other possible causes for sparse fruit could be.  Does anyone know if it's because of the genetics from coming up from seed, or if the multiple trunks are influencing it?
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3313
Location: Anjou ,France
158
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Firstly I suspect it's not a seed but it's come from another tree and it's a root . Since most cherries are grafted what you have is the fruit from the root stock . Seems a good opportunity to learn to graft my cherries produce these suckers all the time . It's great free trees

David
 
Esther Platt
Posts: 6
Location: Oregon Zone 8b
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm almost certain it was from a seed, as it came up right in the middle of a big established coniferous bush.
 
Bill Erickson
steward
Posts: 1072
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
119
books chicken forest garden hugelkultur hunting wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've got a similar volunteer cherry as Esther does. Actually have three of them, and the only cherry tree in the area is over 300 meters away. I suspect bird droppings.

I the situation that Esther describes, I'd prune it to a central leader. Prune everything off that is below about 18 inches (roughly half a meter) from the ground, and put down compost/mulch to a 3 foot/1 meter diameter circle this season. See what kind of growth you get and go from there.

I've found that fruit drop like that is indicative of some stress like weak root structure, lack of moisture, depleted soil, heat and the like. The pruning will encourage the root system, and good feeding will also aid in that development.
 
Nicole Alderman
pollinator
Posts: 1267
Location: Pacific Northwest
142
duck forest garden hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wouldn't a standard cherry (from seed), like standard-size apple trees, take longer to bear fruit? Dwarf apples, for insance, bear fruit after 2-4 years of planting, while a standard apple takes 7-10 years to bear fruit (http://homeguides.sfgate.com/long-apple-trees-mature-produce-fruit-56479.html).

My cherry trees (1 Lapin, 1 Rainier, 2 Bings) were planted 3 years ago. Last year I got one cherry. They are all semi-dwarf trees bought at various nurseries. Now maybe I'm doing something wrong (totally wouldn't put it past me), but I figure they're just taking a few years to mature.

Here's some info I found about how long it takes cherries to mature enough to bear fruit (http://homeguides.sfgate.com/long-cherry-trees-produce-55503.html):
Sweet cherry trees take about five to seven years after planting to produce fruit, while tart cherry trees set fruit in three to five years. Trees only produce fruit when they are mature enough to fully bloom. The trees bloom in early spring and the fruit appears in late spring to early summer. Dwarf varieties of cherry trees often produce before full-sized trees; you can expect fruit in between one to three years sooner with dwarf varieties.


I think Bill Erickson has some great ideas. I think I might try them on my cherries!
 
James Freyr
Posts: 240
Location: Middle Tennessee
14
books cat chicken food preservation toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There's a few possibilities that may be the reason for the fruit drop. One is inadequate pollination. Some cherry trees are not self fertile and require a different variety somewhat nearby for pollination and to get good fruit set. The tree will form small cherries so one may believe the blossoms were pollinated, but then the tree aborts the fruit. Second is a nutrient deficiency. Have you had a soil test done? Boron and zinc deficiencies can cause fruit drop in cherry trees. There are other suspects too like a late frost after the blossoms have bloomed. Unpruned trees can experience fruit drop, but usually only drop a portion of the fruit so the tree has a fruit load it can handle. Like Bill mentioned, pruning is good practice, especially with fruit trees.
 
Do not threaten THIS beaver! Not even with this tiny ad:
This is an example of the new permies.com Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!