Plant a fan-trained cherry tree

Amateur Gardening - - Your Gardening Week -

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

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