Bing cherry trees (Prunus avium) produce sweet cherries that are heart-shaped, about 1 inch in diameter, and turn deep crimson or maroon when ripe. Bing cherry trees grow up to 25 feet tall and wide, while the dwarf rootstock types grow 12 to 15 feet in height. These sweet cherry trees bloom in white flowers in late winter or early spring and have 3- to 6-inch-long dark green leaves that are slightly fuzzy and light green on the undersides. Bing cherry trees grow best in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8, tolerating winter temperatures down to minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water your Bing cherry tree deeply and thoroughly once each week from spring until autumn when rainfall is less than 1 inch. Soak the soil down to and around the roots.
Feed your Bing cherry tree in spring and again in fall after the harvest with a slow-release, all-purpose fruit tree fertilizer. Follow the dosage instructions on the label and don’t fertilize the tree while it’s fruiting.
Prune off the top of the Bing cherry tree by about 1/3 of the total height immediately after planting it. In winter, prune the cherry tree to remove clustered branches so that the main branches are spaced 8 to 12 inches apart. Keep the main branches that have the widest crotch angles with the trunk.
Prune the Bing cherry tree once each year in winter to remove any excess lateral growth that emerges alongside the main “scaffold” branches. Also remove any diseased or damaged growth, and prune to maintain the desired shape and size.
Harvest the Bing cherries when they achieve a deep crimson color. Pick off the Bing cherries with the stems attached, but take care not to remove the fruiting spur on the branch along with the stems.
Things You Will Need
- Garden hose
- Slow-release fruit tree fertilizer
- Pruning tools
- Bird netting
- Plant your Bing cherry trees in full sunlight and moist but well-draining soil. Plant the cherry trees in early spring, spacing the trees 20 to 25 feet apart. Keep the graft union on the tree's base about 2 inches above the soil surface.
- Watch out for birds feasting on your Bing cherries, even well before they ripen. Protect your cherry trees from birds by covering the trees with bird netting about two to three weeks before the cherries ripen.
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