What to do if cherry does not bear fruit?
Cherry has long been grown on our sites, and there is probably no such garden in which two or three cherry trees would not grow. Gardeners love cherry because of its unpretentiousness, sufficient frost resistance, relative undemanding soil type (with the exception of swampy soils and poor), the plant's high regenerative ability (after pruning, freezing), shade tolerance, good yields and high taste and weight of fruits, especially new ones varieties of this culture. However, difficulties may arise with cherries, sometimes it also happens that cherry trees do not want to bear fruit. Why is this happening and what to do about it? We will try to give answers to these questions as detailed as possible.
The main causes of poor fruiting of cherries:
- Reason 1. Incorrect planting of cherries
- Reason 2. Lack of pollination
- Reason 3. Cherry Disease
- Reason 4. Bad weather
- Reason 5. Cherry is lacking in nutrients
- Reason 6. Thickness of the crown of cherry
Reason 1. Incorrect planting of cherries
Let's start with the planting, most often the delays in the development of the cherry tree occur because the gardener, when planting, deepened the root neck of the plant. You can’t do this, deepening the root neck of stone fruit crops can lead not only to delays in the development of the plant (to their late arrival at the fruiting time), but also cause its death due to the root neck creeping out.
When planting cherry seedlings, which is best done in the spring, it is necessary to ensure that after the subsidence of the soil the root neck is raised above the soil surface by two or three centimeters. Gardeners often confuse the root of the neck and the place of inoculation - the root of the neck is located below the place of inoculation, in the area where the roots go into the trunk.
If the reason for the lack of fruiting is precisely the deepening of the root collar, then it is necessary to dig the soil from it, and not just near the root collar, inadvertently making a hole where melt, irrigation and rain water will accumulate, but evenly removing the soil throughout the near-stem lane, making on the outside the borders of the near-trunk strip a groove three centimeters deep, in which moisture will accumulate. In this case, the tree may begin to bear fruit the very next year or in a season, if this did not happen, then the reason may be different.
Reason 2. Lack of pollination
The vast majority of varieties of cherries require cross-pollination in order to set fruits and produce a crop (for example, there are exceptions for the Shokoladnitsa variety). If there is no pollinator variety, then the cherry can bloom profusely, but not produce fruit at all, because pollen from stamens of a different variety does not fall on the stigmas of the pistils of your growing tree.
If the cherry blossoms, but does not bear fruit, and has already been repeated for several seasons, then one or two pollinating varieties must be planted on the plot, which must bloom at the same time as the variety that is 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 at a distance within three tens of meters.
In the event that there is already no place on the site for placing new plants, one or two cuttings taken from other varieties with the same flowering time can be grafted into the crown of cherry. The graft should be vaccinated in spring, during active sap flow. It is better to plant cuttings higher so that pollen can get on most flowers. Of course, in this case, your cherry will begin to fully bear fruit only after the shoots (to a sufficient degree) have developed from the grafted grafts cut into the crown.
You can also achieve pollination of flowers and the formation of fruits, if you attract to the site of bees and other insects. To do this, you can plant bright flowers on the site, placing them, for example, along the perimeter of the site or in the near-trunk strip, or attract insects with sweet baits, dissolving sugar or honey in water and placing containers near the cherry.
Reason 3. Cherry Disease
Another reason that the cherry tree may not bear fruit is a plant disease. You can understand that a tree can be ill by a number of signs that are clearly visible to the naked eye. In the case of cherries, the absence of fruiting is observed if the plant is infected coccomycosis. With this disease, brown spots can be seen on the leaf blades of the cherry tree, quite often a pinkish-red coating can be seen on the spots. Spots can be seen both on the top of the sheet, and on the reverse side of it.
Progression of the disease leads to untimely subsidence of leaf mass, disruption of photosynthesis and lack of fruiting. In addition, under the influence of the disease, the plant loses its hardiness and can die even in a winter that is moderate in severity.
You can fight coccomycosis by treating the plant with copper-containing preparations (1-2%), for example, Bordeaux liquid, iron sulfate or copper sulfate. In late autumn, when rains are excluded or unlikely, it is necessary to whiten the base of the trunks and the first skeletal branches. You can also use approved fungicides such as Skor, Abig-Peak, Horus and others.
Another disease that also leads to the fact that the cherry tree is left without fruit is monilial burn. It is also a fungal disease. The fungus is able to penetrate into the ovaries at the earliest stages of their formation, leading to shedding. It is possible to understand that the cherry plant is affected by moniliosis (monilial burn) by leaf blades that have dried up much earlier than before, as well as by shoots (as if burnt). At the same time, grayish-brown spots can be noticed on the bark.
You need to deal with a monilial burn in several stages - first cut out all the dead shoots, and then treat the plants with copper-containing preparations or fungicides approved for use.
Reason 4. Bad weather
Unfavorable weather conditions during cherry flowering can disrupt the growth of pollen tubes and leave the gardener without a crop. It is noted that there may not be any fruits at all if during the flowering period of the cherry blossoms return frosts are observed, if it rains and the humidity of the soil and air is very high, and also if it is very dry and very hot.
In the case of frost, you can try to help the plant by breeding smoky fires around the site, due to this, the air can warm up and save the flowers. Of course, the smoke of the territory is far from always appropriate, especially if your site is in an urban environment or among dachas with people living in them during this period.
In the case of increased humidity, or, conversely, drought, you can try to stimulate plants to form an ovary by treatment with boric acid solution. A bucket of boric acid is needed on a bucket of water (following the instructions) - the amount per adult tree or 2-3 young trees).
With an abundance of moisture in the soil, loosen the soil more often in the near-stem zone, this will contribute to the evaporation of moisture, but if there is not enough moisture, then in the evening it is necessary to pour a bucket of water under each plant, previously loosening the soil.
Reason 5. Cherry is lacking in nutrients
On poor soil, cherry trees can bloom profusely, but not produce fruit, or form small growths and not form flowers or fruits. Fruits may also not form due to excess moisture in the soil, for example, when groundwater is located close to the surface of the soil. Another reason associated with the soil is its increased acidity; on this soil, plants may not absorb nutrients, even if there are enough of them in the soil.
You can reduce the acidity of the soil by adding dolomite flour (300 g per square meter) or lime (200 g per square meter).
In the case of a high level of groundwater, the root system can be rotten corny, and this does not develop the plant. It is quite difficult to help the tree here - you can try to build drainage canals or dig long pits along the perimeter of the site where water will accumulate.
As for fertilizers, in case of lack of fertilizers, it is sometimes enough to establish the supply of nutrients to the soil, and the cherry plant begins to develop more actively, it can give the first crop already next season.
The cherry feeding scheme is quite simple - in spring, when there is enough moisture in the soil, you can feed the cherry with a nitroammophos, adding a matchbox of this fertilizer under each plant. During flowering, 8-10 g of superphosphate and potassium sulfate should be added, and after fruiting, enrich the soil with wood ash (200-250 g for each tree) or add a mixture of one kilogram of compost, 12-15 g of superphosphate and 15-20 g potassium sulfate.
Top dressing in the indicated volume is necessary for plants from the age of three; earlier, if fertilizers were added to the hole during planting, the plants can not be fed, and if fertilizers were not applied, then feed half the specified dose.
Reason 6. Thickness of the crown of cherry
In conclusion, we will talk about another reason for the lack of fruiting of cherries - an overly thickened crown. This phenomenon (namely, the absence of fruiting with a thickened crown) is not observed so often, but it still happens. If the cherry after landing on the site has not been cut even once, then over time the crown may thicken to such an extent that the fruits will cease to form.
To prevent this from happening, early spring (usually in March) it is necessary to carry out sanitary pruning by removing all dry shoots, broken, diseased and frozen, as well as those that grow deep into the crown, which ultimately causes its thickening. Such pruning will not only lighten the crown, but will also stimulate the plant to form new young shoots, on which flowers and fruits will appear.
Here are the main reasons why a cherry tree may not form fruits. If you know other reasons or you know other ways to eliminate the problems described above with cherry trees, then write about them in the comments: it will be very interesting and useful for us and our readers to learn something new.