Growing dwarf trees is a preferred form of gardening for apartment dwellers and homeowners who lack outdoor space or want to plant trees in containers to place them indoors or on a patio. Proper care of dwarf cherry trees will ensure good produce in the form of fully formed, succulent cherries that can be cooked, preserved or made into jam and jelly. Feeding the trees a dose of fertilizer every year is essential for their health and fruit quality. Fertilized dwarf cherry trees grow well, produce good quality cherries and have strong trunks, branches and leaves.
Select a day in early spring to fertilize your dwarf cherry tree to encourage and stimulate it to produce cherries at the right time. Ideally, you should pick a day somewhere between the last week of March and the first week of April. Fertilizing in mid to late summer or winter will stimulate the trees to produce fruit at a wrong time, causing them to freeze.
Use a flat-bladed spade or hoe to dig the soil a foot around the perimeter of the tree. This will help aerate it and break large clods into smaller pieces. If your dwarf cherry tree is in a container, carefully loosen the soil to the depth of 5 inches with a hoe or stick.
Measure the diameter of the dwarf fruit tree trunk to determine how much fertilizer to prepare. Put the measuring tape a foot above the soil level, wrap it around the trunk of the tree and measure. You will need 1/8 lb. of fertilizer per inch of tree trunk diameter.
Purchase fertilizer formulated for fruit trees from your local nursery or garden supply center, including organic---those that have no chemicals or pesticides. Chemical-free fertilizers often contain animal manure, fish cakes, blood meal and crushed bone meal. Animal manure is the most commonly used organic fertilizer due to its high nitrogen content. There are also many types of chemical fertilizers specifically made for fruit trees.
Pour the fertilizer from its bag into a large bucket or container.
Use a mug to scoop out the fertilizer, or directly pour it onto the loosened soil by tilting the bucket. Pour it a foot away from the trunk and work your way toward it. The fertilizer will sink into the roots where it will be absorbed by the tree.