Having a cherry tree in your backyard is wonderful, but only if it produces a substantial number of cherries. If you're only getting a few handfuls of cherries per year, you may be left feeling more frustrated than satisfied. So what can you do about it? Here are a few ways to boost your tree's cherry production.
1. Plant a pollinating partner.
Many cherry trees are self-pollinating, which means that they will produce cherries without having another tree nearby to pollinate their flowers. However, just because they are self-fertile does not mean they give you their best production on their own. Pollination may increase dramatically when you plant a second cherry tree, resulting in a much better cherry crop. Make sure you figure out which type of cherry tree you have, and plant a different variety for best pollination results.
2. Trim the tree.
Cherry tree branches only produce fruit for so many years. They might continue to produce leaves after this, so at first glance, the branches don't look too old. However, you need those older branches to be removed so new ones can grow and produce new fruit. Unless you have experience trimming fruit trees, it's not worth it to try to do this on your own. Hire a professional to come trim back your cherry tree in late winter. They will know exactly which branches to remove for best production. You may not have the best cherry crop ever the season following this first trim, but the year after that should bring a bounty.
3. Mulch around the cherry.
There are two other possibilities: the tree may not be getting quite enough nutrients to produce prolific fruit, or it might not be getting quite enough water. You can help solve both of these problems by spreading a thick layer of much around the tree in the fall. The mulch will trap moisture in the soil, and it will also slowly impact new organic matter into the soil, helping to nourish the tree. Don't push the mulch directly against the cherry tree's trunk, as this may cause the trunk to rot. Use natural wood mulch made from wood chips, bark, or shavings.
If you make the changes suggested above and your cherry tree still does not produce ample fruit, reach out to a tree trimming service company in your area. They can offer other suggestions based on your climate and tree variety.