Sweet cherry

Sweet cherry

The Cherry fruit is part of the Rosaceae family and this also includes almonds, peaches, apricots and plums. Cherries are small and fleshy red or reddish black fruits that contain a hard drupe. It is believed that the Romans discovered the sweet cherry fruit in the Asia Minor in about 70 BC. They then introduced them in the first century AD to Britain. Cherries are available in many species but there are generally only two kinds that are commonly eaten-the wild cherry and the sour cherry.

This cherry fruit has always been very popular as a part of desserts and other culinary purposes. The ancient days saw the cherry fruit being used for their medicinal purposes as well. Let us take a look at some facts about these red cherry fruits.

Planting Cherry

Transplant young cherry tree saplings into your yard or garden in the spring or summer. Most likely, the container of the tree you purchased, is made of a bio-degradable, heavy peat material. After planting, it will soften and break down in the moist soil, allowing the roots to easily penetrate it and grow. If the container is plastic or some other material, you will need to remove the roots from it during planting.

Dig a hole about three times as big and deeper than the root ball. Mix in plenty of rich compost into the hole, along with fresh,  rich soil.

If it is in a peat container, cut slits in the container to speed up its decomposition, and to help the roots to emerge easier.

Plant the chery tree to a depth equal to where it is in the container. Do not plant it deeper.

Fill in around the roots with a mixture of compost and soil. Tamp down the soil around the tree.

If planted in a windy area, stake the tree so it will grow straight.

Water well and deeply. Repeat deep watering frequently, to help new roots to grow and spread.

How to Grow Cherry

Once your cherry tree is established, it should grow well with little attention.  Fruit tree fertilizer spikes for the first few years, will help young trees to get off to fast, healthy start.

Each spring, before buds open, apply a dormant oil fruit tree spray. This will kill a variety of insects. Apply a fruit tree spray frequently during the season, if you have problems with insects or disease. We strongly recommend you avoid spraying near harvest time. In all cases, follow the directions on the label for application and use.

Pruning Cherry

Like other plants, pruning your cherry tree is healthy for it. This should be done by early spring, before the new year's growth begins.  

Prune the tree yearly, to remove dead or unhealthy branches and limbs. Also prune in areas where growth is very bushy. This will increase sunlight and air penetration, to help the overall health and growth of the tree. You can also prune branches to maintain a shapely looking tree.

Annual pruning will help keep your tree smaller and more manageable, too.

Controlling Birds in Cherry

If you don't work to keep birds from getting to your cherry tree, you stand to lose a serious portion of the harvest. Here are some methods that other home gardeners have used:

Pest Netting - Smaller trees can be wrapped in netting. It is very effective until the tree grows so big that it becomes impractical to cover it.  

Aluminum Pie tins on a string - its an old favorite. But, it can be irritating to you and the neighbors.

Noise Makers- Anything that is loud and sporadic will startle the birds.

Fake Predators - Plastic and blow-up owls and snakes 

The Cherry Fruit Facts:

  • The Cherry fruit is known to grow in many areas of the United States. It is noticed that sweet cherries prove to be difficult to grow. Sour cherries are grown mainly in the Eastern side.
  • Cherries are very easily perishable and they rarely ripen after harvest. Therefore, you need to refrigerate them soon after their purchase. These can remain fresh in the fridge for at least 2 days.
  • The German word Kirsch-the cherry liqueur comes from the word karshu. This is the name given to the cherries that were first cultivated in Mesopotamia in 8 BC.
  • Cherries are very versatile fruits and can be a part of any meal or dessert. From breakfast to soups and salads, these find their way into any food item easily! Being delicious, these can be frozen and devoured whenever you wish!
  • Studies have shown the cherry fruit to have plenty of health benefits. These are known to provide pain relief for people who suffer from arthritis. It is said that eating 20 tart cherries in a day can prove to fight inflammation effectively.
  • Red cherries are also very high in melatonin. These are known to destroy the toxins that cause diseases. The cherry fruit is also high in antioxidants that help to fight cancer and heart disease.
  • The cherry fruits are low in cholesterol, fat and sodium. They are also a very good source of fiber and Vitamin C.
  • Since the cherry fruit bruises easily, you need to handle them with care. When buying cherries, look for a bright color and those with a supple exterior. Cherries, which are plump and firm, are very good to taste. If you are looking for good quality cherries, try to go in for cherries with their green stems attached.
  • Tart cherries and tart cherry juice are known to reduce the urate levels in the body. These are also known to reduce muscle pain and back pain. The benefits of tart cherries are also found even if they are frozen, in the form of juice or canned. Sweet cherries as well as tart cherries have very high levels of anthocyanins. This is the red pigment in the cherries, which helps to reduce the inflammation.
  • Sweet as well as sour cherries can be used for jams. Sour cherries are used more often as an ingredient in pies and are suitable for making soufflés, cooked fruit compotes etc.
  • Cherries are also known to have a very short fruiting season. It is during the Christmas time, one sees these plants at their peak, especially in Australia. Areas of Northern America see these cherries as the first ones to ripen amongst other trees; therefore the term ‘in cherry condition’ has been derived which means something new.
  • Michigan has around 35,000 acres of tart cherry trees. This place grows almost 75% of the tart cherries, which are produced in the United States. The Traverse City is therefore called the Cherry Capital of the World. The sweet cherries are grown in large numbers in Washington.
  • The cherry fruit extract contains antioxidant flavanoids and are used in many tablets and capsules. These capsules are used to support the pH levels of the body.

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