How to Care for Bing Cherry Trees

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The most popular type of sweet cherry in America, Bing cherries provide a healthy and tasty food. There is no better way to ensure that you receive the freshest and tastiest Bing cherries than by growing your own trees. Bing cherries need to cross-pollinate, meaning that you need at least two trees in order for them to produce fruit. Once mature and pollinated, each tree can produce up to 100 pounds of fruit. Proper care of all of your Bing cherry trees is vital for supplying fresh, healthy fruit for you and your family.

Things You'll Need

  • Cherry tree
  • Soil testing kit
  • Shovel
  • Watering pail or garden hose
  • Pruning shears
  • Fertilizer

Planting

  • Purchase a Bing cherry tree from a garden center or nursery. Bing cherry trees begin to produce fruit when they are five or six years old; choose your tree accordingly. Check to be sure that the tree you choose does not have a history of any diseases.

  • Purchase a soil testing kit from your local hardware store. Collect soil samples from at least two places in your yard; allow soil to dry, then follow the steps for testing the soil for pH, or acidity. Bing cherry trees prefer a pH level between 6 and 7.

  • Plant the Bing cherry tree in an area of your yard that receives direct sunlight and allows for the growth of the tree; Bing cherry trees can grow up to 35 feet tall and have up a 25 foot branch spread at full maturity. Dig a hole between two and three feet deep, and between four and five feet wide. Spread the roots out in the hole. Fill the hole in halfway with soil, then compact it with your shovel; fill in the hole and compact the soil once more.

  • Water the tree using a watering pail or garden hose as soon as it is planted. The soil will sop up the water as it is being applied; keep watering until the soil is thoroughly damp and stops sopping up the water.

Maintenance

  • Water the Bing cherry tree often and well. The Bing cherry tree is not drought resistant; water often enough that the soil does not dry out in between waterings. Pour water until the soil stops sopping it up.

  • Prune the cherry tree each winter after you have collected the fruit and the tree is in its dormant state. Use shears to trim weak, damaged or diseased branches. You can also control fruit production through pruning by ensuring that the fruits have room to grow to their fullest potential without being hidden from sunlight or airflow by other branches.

  • Fertilize the cherry trees each spring with nutrient-rich brands that also contain organic material such as peat to benefit draining. Mix fertilizer into the soil using a shovel or rake. Consult an expert at a gardening center or nursery if you are unsure about a type of fertilizer to use.

  • Apply insecticide or preventive oils to the cherry tree as needed to prevent insect infestations or diseases.

Tips & Warnings

  • Bing cherry trees grow best in hardiness zones three through eight, according to the scale produced by the Arbor Day Foundation. This means that the cherry trees grow best in areas with average annual minimum temperature of negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit to twenty degrees Fahrenheit. Check the hardiness zone of your area before attempting to plant Bing cherry trees.
  • Along with the pH level of your soil, check the soil's drainage ability. Bing cherry trees grow best in soil that drains quickly and easily; sitting water can lead to frost and flooding, which will damage the roots and trunk of the tree.

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