Bing cherries, known botanically as Prunus avium, are one of a hundred cultivars of the sweet cherry species. Bing cherries are prized for their sweet juicy stone fruits that ripen in the summer and produce a dark reddish black glossy skin when ripe. Cherry trees have a reputation for being difficult to grow and demand that their cultural requirements be met to ensure good performance.
Plant your bing cherries in nutrient rich deep soil that is easy draining with plenty of coarse material such as gravel and sand. In heavy or wet soils plant the cherry tree in a raised berm to improve drainage of standing water away from the roots and prevent root rot.
Feed your bing cherry tree twice per year in the spring and late summer. Apply either two pounds of urea fertilizer or 70 pounds of aged livestock manure around the base of each tree in spring. Apply two pounds of urea in the late summer after the fruit harvest. Water the soil in deeply until drenched after each application of fertilizer to drive the nutrients into the root zone.
Water your bing cherry trees deeply every three to four weeks until the soil is drenched at least 8 inches down. Never allow the soil to dry out completely and increase the amount of water applied if the soil dries out completely more that 4 inches down in between watering. Scale back watering in the early fall as the tree prepares for dormancy to prevent root rot. Supplement winter rainfall to keep the soil lightly moist and the tree healthy.
Prune your bing cherry tree during the dormant period in winter. Remove 1/10 of the previous years growth to thin the canopy and encourage sunlight penetration and air flow. Cut back all broken, damaged, diseased, crossing or abrading branches. Do not reduce the size of the canopy for aesthetic purposes only as this will impact fruit harvests.