Cherry trees are highly cultivated and can grow rather quickly depending on cultivar. They generally mature to a round crown of 35′ x 25′, but the mature size really depends on the variety.
When planting, it is very important to examine the root ball for any girdling roots and to identify the root flare and position it properly in its new soil. Girdling roots can especially be a problem in container-bought trees.
Structure pruning is very important from early on and should be done according to what the tree’s purpose will be. If cherries will be harvested the tree should be pruned to reduce height and encourage thick limbs in order to make picking practical and allow the tree’s architecture to support the heavy fruit.
Cytospora Canker is often found on trunks and limbs of cherry and other Prunus species (Plum, Peach and Apricot). It is a fungus that moves through the tree cambium causing branch die back and eventually kills the tree. Treatment for Cytospora Canker is best done through proactive cultural practices such as proper watering, pruning etc. Once established it is very difficult to control or eradicate. Powdery mildew and a few other leaf and twig fungi do occur on cherries. However, they can usually be controlled with early season fungicide applications.
Aphids, shothole borer and peach tree crown borer are all common with ornamental cherry trees. Pear Slug is also occasionally found on the leaves of plums and cherries which can cause partial or full defoliation, but is generally not detrimental to the tree if treated or if infestations are minor. All pests of cherry trees can be controlled with pesticide treatments in the spring and summer.
History and Use
Cherry trees have traditionally been cultivated for fruit production, lumber production and as landscape assets for their beautiful flowers.