Cherry trees are popular additions to orchards, parks, and home landscapes alike. Their beautiful displays of flowers in the spring provide amazing decorative effects. At the same time, those that also produce fruit give you wonderful, healthy snacks as well as plenty of goodies for your favorite jams and pastries. You may even have enough cherries left over to can or freeze a nice stash for the winter months. Of course, cherry trees’ beauty and yields depend on how well you take care of them. Though they require very little care, it’s important to take the appropriate measures to keep them healthy and minimize their vulnerability to diseases.
1) Prune with Caution
Unlike some trees, cherry trees just don’t take well to pruning. They basically want to be left alone to thrive on their own. In some cases, though, it’s necessary to do a little light pruning in late summer or early fall to remove weak, dead, or broken branches or manage the trees’ sizes. If you need to prune your cherry trees, do so in moderation. Having Arborists and Professional Tree Services handle this task is highly recommended because they have the knowledge and experience to prune them based on their unique needs.
2) Apply Pruning Paste
Using pruning paste isn’t always advisable because it can slow down the healing process in some trees. That being said, it’s a necessity when you prune cherry trees. They’re particularly vulnerable to arboreal diseases, and pruning wounds can leave them wide open to infections. Applying pruning paste will help seal out those pathogens and keep the trees healthy.
3) Take Care of Broken Limbs
As is the case with pruning wounds, the scars left behind by broken branches during storms and on particularly windy days can lead to detrimental infections in cherry trees. If any branches break, promptly remove them and apply pruning paste to the wound. This will keep infections from invading and taking over.
4) Keep Pests at Bay
Cherry trees are also vulnerable to certain types of insects during their flowering and fruit-bearing stages. Those invaders can wreak havoc on your lovely trees and quickly destroy a nice harvest. Dormant oil can be applied to the trees in early spring before new growth begins to appear. Other natural pest control agents, such as neem oil, can also be applied later on in the year.
5) Ward Off Birds
Birds can also be major hazards if you have cherry trees. Though they’re not particularly harmful to the trees themselves, they’ll readily take all your nice, juicy cherries before you even have a chance to harvest them. You can place protective nets over the trees to keep the birds away. Hanging pie tins or strips of aluminum foil in the trees may also discourage the birds from stealing the fruits of your labor.
Keeping Your Cherry Trees Beautiful and Healthy
In reality, cherry trees aren’t overly demanding. All they want is plenty of sunshine, nutrients, and water. Still, they’re more vulnerable to plant pathogens than some other tree species, and pests are drawn to them because of their wonderful blossoms and sweet fruits. Follow the tips we’ve listed here to keep your cherry trees healthy, beautiful, and safe. If you’re ever in doubt about their care, don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals for guidance.