Plant a fan-trained cherry tree
NOW is the ideal time to plant a cherry tree on your plot. If your soil is prone to water-logging, dig a mixture of composted bark and horticultural grit into the top 10in (25cm) to improve drainage, reducing the likelihood of bacterial canker.
Years ago you needed a large garden because cherries were grown on vigorous rootstocks and were selfinfertile, needing another cherry to pollinate the flowers and set a crop.
Thankfully modern-day varieties are often self-fertile (e.g. ‘Lapins’, ‘Stella’, ‘Celeste’ and many more) and nurseries now tend to graft them onto dwarfing rootstocks such as Gisela 5, giving you a much more manageable tree size.
If you have a wall or fence, grow your cherry as a fan against it. The branches are splayed out, like the fingers of a hand, so sunshine can reach the fruits, and pest control is simple.
Cherries suffer from two major problems – cherry blackfly and birds. It’s easy to spray the shoot tips where blackfly congregate if the branches are spread out, and bird netting can be laid against the tree once fruits begin to colour up.
All sweet cherries need is a sheltered, sunny spot. And fan-training is the best method
Fan training makes for maximum fruiting
Cherry blackfly on the underside of a leaf