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What Should I Do If My Cherry Tree Doesn't Bear Fruit?

, Admin

Cherry trees have been growing on our plots for a long time, and there is probably no garden that does not have two or three cherry trees. Cherry is loved by gardeners for its unpretentiousness, sufficient frost resistance, relative undemandingness to the type of soil (except waterlogged soils and poor ones), high recovering ability of the plant (after pruning, frost injuries), shade tolerance, good yields and high taste qualities and mass of fruits, especially of new varieties of this culture. However, with cherry trees can be difficult, sometimes it also happens that cherry trees do not want to bear fruit in any way. Why does this happen and what to do about it? To these questions and we will try to give answers in maximum detail.

What should I do if my cherry tree doesn't bear fruit?
Fruit cherry variety Shokoladnitsa

The main causes of poor fruiting cherries:

  • Principle 1. Improper planting of cherries
  • Cause 2. Lack of pollination
  • Cause 3. Cherry diseases
  • Cause 4. Bad weather
  • Cause 5. Cherry lacking nutrients
  • Cause 6. Cherry crown crowding

Cause 1. Improper planting of cherry trees

Let's start with planting, most often delays in the development of a cherry tree come from the fact that the gardener during planting has deepened the root neck of the plant. This should not be done, deepening of the root neck of stone fruit crops can lead not only to delays in the development of the plant (delayed entry into the fruiting season), but also cause its death due to root rooting out.

When planting cherry seedlings, which is better to be carried out in the spring period, it is necessary to ensure that after subsidence the root neck is raised above the soil surface by two or three centimeters. Gardeners often confuse the root neck and the grafting site - the root neck is located below the grafting site, in the area where the roots pass into the trunk.

If the reason for lack of fructification is exactly burying of root neck, it is necessary to rake away the soil from it, and not only near the root neck, inadvertently making a hole where melted, irrigation and rainwater will accumulate, and removing soil evenly throughout the root zone, making a groove three centimeters deep on the outer borders of root strip, where the moisture will accumulate. In this case, the tree may start to bear fruit the next year or season, but if it did not happen, the reason may be different.

Cause 2. Lack of pollination

The vast majority of cherry varieties require cross-pollination in order to set fruit and produce a crop (there are exceptions, such as the variety Shokoladnitsa). If you do not have a pollinator, the cherry tree can bloom abundantly but not bear fruit at all because the pollen from the stamens of the other variety does not reach the stigmas of the pistils of your tree.

If a cherry tree flowers but does not bear fruit, and this has been repeated for several seasons, then one or two pollinator varieties should be planted, necessarily blooming at the same time as the one already growing on your plot. For full pollination, the trees do not need to be close to each other, it is enough to place them within three tens of meters.

If there is no space on the plot for placing new plants already, you can graft one or two cuttings taken from other varieties with the same flowering time into the cherry tree crown. Cuttings should be grafted in spring, during the active sap movement. It is better to graft the cuttings higher up so that the pollen can get to most of the flowers. Of course, in this case, your cherry tree will begin to bear fruit fully only after (sufficiently) developed shoots from the cuttings grafted into the crown.

You can also achieve flower pollination and fruit formation by attracting bees and other insects to the site. To do this, you can plant bright flowers on the plot, placing them, for example, along the perimeter of the plot or in the root zone, or attract insects with sweet baits, dissolving sugar or honey in water and placing containers near the cherry tree.

What should I do if my cherry tree doesn't bear fruit?
Cherry tree flowering

Cause 3. Cherry Tree Disease

Another reason a cherry tree may not produce fruit is a plant disease. You can tell if a tree is diseased by a number of signs that are clearly visible to the naked eye. In the case of cherry trees, the lack of fruit bearing is observed if the plant is infected with coccicomycosis. With this disease, brown spots can be seen on the leaf blades of a cherry tree, and quite often a pinkish-red blotch can be seen on the spots. The spots can be seen both on the upper part of the leaf as well as on its back side.

The disease progression leads to untimely leaf fall, disruption of photosynthesis processes and absence of fruiting. Besides that, the plant loses winter hardiness under the disease influence and may die even in winters with average hardiness.

Coccicillosis can be controlled by treating plants with copper-containing preparations (1-2%), such as Bordeaux fluid, iron sulfate or copper sulfate. In late fall, when rains are excluded or unlikely, you should whitewash the base of the trunks and the first skeletal limbs. Approved fungicides such as Skora, Abiga-Pika, Chorus, and others can also be used.

Another disease that also causes a cherry tree to go without fruit is monilial blight. It is also a fungal disease. The fungus is able to penetrate the ovaries as early as possible in their formation stages, leading to shattering. You can tell that a cherry plant has been affected by moniliosis (moniliosis burn) by the withered leaf blades and shoots (as if burnt) much earlier. Grey-brownish spots can be seen on the bark.

Combat moniliosis should be treated in several stages - firstly, cut out all dead shoots, and then treat plants with copper-containing preparations or approved fungicides.

What should I do if my cherry tree doesn't bear fruit?
Cherry tree killed by coccomycosis
What should I do if my cherry tree doesn't bear fruit?
Cherry tree killed by moniliosis

Cause 4. Bad weather

Disrupt the growth of pollen tubes and leave the gardener without a crop can also adverse weather conditions during cherry blossom. It has been noticed that there may be no fruit at all if return frosts occur during cherry blossoming, if it rains and the humidity of the soil and air is very high, and also if it is very dry and there is a strong heat.

In case of frosts, you can try to help the plant by making smoke fires11> around the area, thanks to this the air may warm up and save the flowers. Of course, making the area smoky is not always a good idea, especially if you are in an urban area or among holiday homes with people living in them at the time. In the case of high humidity or drought you can try to stimulate the plants to set fruit by treating them with a solution of boric acid . A bucket of boric acid is needed per bucket of water (following the instructions) - the amount per mature tree or 2-3 young trees).

When there is plenty of moisture in the soil, loosen the soil in the root zone more often, it will help to evaporate moisture, but if there is not enough moisture, you should pour a bucket of water under each plant in the evening, pre-shake the soil.

Cause 5. Cherry trees lack nutrients

In poor soil, cherry trees may bloom abundantly but produce no fruit, or form small growths and form neither flowers nor fruit. Fruit may also fail to form due to excessive moisture in the soil, such as when groundwater is close to the soil surface. Another reason associated with soil is its high acidity, in such soil plants can not absorb nutrients, even if there is enough of them.

With a high level of groundwater the root system can rot, and the plant does not develop. To help the tree here is quite difficult - you can try to build drainage channels or dig long pits around the perimeter of the site, where water will accumulate.

With regard to fertilizers, in the case of their shortage, it is sometimes enough to establish the flow of nutrients into the soil, and the cherry plant begins to develop more actively, the next season it can give the first crop.

The scheme of cherry fertilization is quite simple - in spring time, when there is enough moisture in the soil, the cherry can be fertilized with nitroammofoska, making under each plant a matchbox of this fertilizer. During flowering, you should apply 8-10 g of superphosphate and potassium sulfate, and after fructification - enrich the soil with wood ash (200-250 g for each tree) or make a mixture of one kilogram of compost, 12-15 g of superphosphate and 15-20 g of potassium sulfate.

Fertilizers in the specified amount are necessary for plants from three years of age, earlier, provided fertilizers in the hole at planting, plants can not be fertilized, and if fertilizers were not applied, then feed half of the specified dose.

What should I do if my cherry tree doesn't bear fruit?
Formative pruning cherry trees

Principle 6. Cherry crown denseness

In conclusion, let's talk about another reason for the lack of fruiting of cherry trees - excessively dense crown. This phenomenon (absence of fruiting in dense crown) is not so often observed, but it still happens. If the cherry tree has not been pruned once after planting on the plot, over time the crown can get so dense that the fruit will stop forming.

To prevent this, early spring (usually in March) sanitary pruning should be done by removing all dry shoots, broken, sick and frosty, as well as those that grow deep into the crown, which ultimately causes its densification. Such pruning will not only brighten the crown, but will also encourage the plant to form new young shoots on which both flowers and fruit will appear.

These are the main reasons why a cherry tree may not form fruit. If you know other reasons or you know other ways to eliminate the above problems with cherry trees, then write about them in the comments: both us and our readers will be very interesting and useful to learn something new.