There are several causes why a cherry tree does not producing fruit or gives them in very little cherries quantity. Insufficient age, pollination problems, weather conditions, diseases, improper pruning…
Vigorous and growing tree
During the first years the cherry trees barely produce flowers and many of them do not set. Although the new varieties and management systems have significantly advanced the precocity of the tree. We must bear in mind that cherry trees take at least 5 years to be moderately productive.
If we have planted the cherry tree 1-2 years ago, we must be patient and wait a few more years for it to produce.
Because the cherry tree does not bear fruit: Inappropriate weather
One of the common problems for which the cherry tree does not bear fruit is that the tree is located in an area of unsuitable climate. The cherry tree needs a period of rest during the winter to get to produce, in hot or tropical climates the cherry tree does not manage to accumulate the chill hours necessary to bear fruitNeeds vary between 300 and 1200 hours below 7 degrees, requiring at least 500 chill hours currently published commercial fruit varieties.
Your cherry tree blooms but does not bear fruit? It is probably due to a pollination problem. Although new cherry varietiespublished by breeders are generally self-fertile, most traditionally bred cherry varieties are self-sterile Self-sterile cherry trees are classified by groups depending on their alleles and can only pollinate between different groups or with other self-sterile cherry trees. In addition, it is essential that the pollination season coincides between the trees planted from different groups.
For this reason, one of the most common reasons why the cherry tree does not give cherries is that it cannot be pollinated properly. This happens when we have a self-sterile and isolated cherry tree, which is common in non-producing areas.
Although bees can travel up to more than 3 km from their location to search for nectar sources, in spring with the abundance of flowers this distance is considerably reduced. In addition, a lonely and small cherry tree will not be attractive enough to be visited. The further our cherry tree is from others, the more unlikely it is that pollinators will do their job.
The solution to these problems is to plant compatible cherry trees or grafting our lonely cherry treewith other varieties that can pollinate it.
If we plant a cherry tree from seed we will be cultivating a new variety on which we will not have data on productivity, earliness, fruit quality, pollinator group…
We must be clear that cherry selectors evaluate and discard thousands of cherry trees for each variety they put on the market. It will be necessary to”win the lottery”for a cherry tree born from seed to improve the performance of a quality commercial variety.
Although we can be lucky and obtain a moderately good variety, most of the trees born from seed are scarcely productive, produce poor quality cherries or take longer years than usual to go into production.
Shortage of pollinators
Bees and bumblebees are essential for pollination of the cherry tree, bad weather, low attractiveness of the tree (solitary cherry tree with few flowers) or other problems such as the lack of pollinators in the area can cause the flowers to not be pollinated properly.
Because the cherry tree does not give cherries: sensitivity to diseases
Another reason why the cherry tree does not produce cherries could be diseases. Most of the cherry tree varieties require a frequent application of phytosanitary treatments to be productive and give quality cherries.
Cherry tree diseasessuch as Monilia they can make the future harvest completely disappear if it rains abundantly during flowering, something that is also quite common in producing areas. In addition, there are different diseases that can affect the fruit, making it easier for the fallen cherries on the ground.
The incidence of these diseases tends to vary greatly annually according to weather conditions, with rainy springs being unfavorable for cherry trees when phytosanitary treatments are not applied.
Nutritional deficiencies can cause different problems for the tree, for example Boron deficiency causes a significant decrease in production.
My cherry tree does not bear cherries: Improper pruning
Another reason why”my cherry tree doesn’t give cherries“is due to inadequate pruning. It must be taken into account that cherry tree pruning is very different from that of other fruit trees since it bears fruit on old wood. Most of the varieties fructify mainly on May bouquets and these are formed on branches that are at least 2 years old. For this reason, it is important to let the shoots of the year age so that they become productive and bear fruit 2 years later.
Although it is necessary to carry out a good training pruning, excessive pruning during the first years slows down its growth and retards its production.
Also in trees in production, inadequate pruning can be seen that leaves the cherry trees with hardly any productive branches.
It must be clear that pruning cherry treesis important, in fact it is essential for proper formation and obtaining quality fruit. But if we want it to produce we cannot prune it like an olive tree, an almond tree or a peach tree. Before pruning a cherry tree we must learn how to do it, because improper pruning can be worse than not pruning and it is one of the reasons why the cherry tree does not give cherries in quantity.
Do you already know why your cherry tree does not give cherries? We hope that our article has allowed you to discover the cause and soon you can enjoy this exquisite fruit. We want to recommend some publications that might interest you:
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We have translated the information on our website from Spanish to English. Please note that some words may have had their meaning altered during translation.