Been staring at my cherry bushes and trees. Loving the Nankin cherry bushes. The sour cherry trees not so much. They are not reliable so far. One died the year we moved in and the other last summer. Planted by the previous owner, I have no idea what kind they are. They are already the same height as miniature trees were and they are spindly starts. I might have the kind that grows to the height of a two story building. I hear they grow well but don’t produce as many cherries. Two stories they will not get. I own pruning shears.
I’m also learning that many trees can be grown as a shrub instead of a tree depending on how many ground shoots you allow and if you prune them. I’m going for shrub. Sour cherries are not a huge hit and the Nankins are sweeter so the sour cherry trees might just get pulled out all together if they don’t produce well and soon. Time will tell. Reliability is a must in a permaculture. Who has the time for fussy plants and trees when your survival is on the line?
As for Sweet cherries, they are fussier about drainage and pH between 6.3 and 7.2. They say no to growing here as they are only good to zone 5. Sweet cherries flower sooner than sour which mean frost bite is guaranteed. No flowers, no cherries. Sour cherries have more patience to wait for warmer weather and are more adaptable to a wider range of soils, preferring a pH of 5.5 to 8.0
I just learned you can delay your flowering by burying the trunk in snow. Which fools it into thinking it is still winter. Great if the snow doesn’t melt too soon.
The majority of cherries need pollination from a different cultivar of the same fruit type that flowers at the same time, which needs to be within 18 metres away. So don’t plan on a sweet cherry and a sour cherry as companions.
I came super close to cutting out the shrubs this week but first glanced at the things and saw they are budding, I’ll wait I guess and give them two years. If I’m not seeing something I really like, out they come.
I’m seeing the wisdom of reliability and resilience in production. There is only so much water, time, and money so if you are depending on your crops, they had better produce year after year.