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Science-based gardening information for Colorado communities from CSU Extension, Denver Botanic Gardens, and Green Industries of Colorado.

1202 – Cherries   arrow

Where should I plant a cherry tree?

Plant cherry trees in full sun, in soil that drains well and on higher ground so frost gathering in low pockets will not damage the tree or the fruit. Cherry trees on the warmer south or west side of a building tend to bloom earlier in the spring and can be damaged by frost.

Cherry tree

What are dependable cherry trees in Colorado?

The most dependable fruit producers are sour cherries that don’t need another variety for cross pollination. In the eastern part of Colorado, sour cherries are more dependable than sweet cherries. Good sour cherry varieties for Colorado include Montmorency, North Star, Montmore, Meteor, English Morello, Early Richmond, Hansen bush cherry and Nanking.

Sweet cherries are more dependable in the western part of Colorado, but sometimes will work in the more urban areas of the eastern part of the state. Index, Lapins, Stella and Sweetheart are sweet cherry varieties which don’t need another tree to pollinate. All other varieties of sweet cherries need a second variety for cross pollination.

Peach Tree Borer

How do I kill insects and diseases on cherry trees?

Insect and disease problems that affect cherries include peach tree borers, cherry slugs, Coryneum blight and cytospora canker. Control peach tree borers with insecticide applied to the lower part of the trunk during the first week of July. Cherry Slugs, the larvae of a sawfly, suck the juices from the leaves during the summer, leaving only a skeleton. Spraying a general purpose insecticide or dusting wood ashes on the leaves will quickly kill these larvae. Cytospora canker is a fungal disease which can be controlled by pruning diseased branches.

Should I prune cherry trees?

Pruning is best done when the tree is dormant to prevent the spread of fungus. Sterilize pruners with every cut if done when not dormant. If this disease infects the trunk, the tree will often need to be removed.

For “Cytospora” refer to message number 1451.
For “Tree Borers” refer to message number 1417.

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).

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