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When to Plant Cherry Trees

Growing your own cherry trees is one of the most rewarding activities in a home garden. By tending an orchard you can reap fresh, delicious fruit. Don't be intimidated by the thought of growing an orchard; you can do it with the right techniques and the right timing.

Plant in early spring, April to early May, if you live in an area Zone 5 or colder and are planting bare-root cherry trees. For these Northern states, winters come too swiftly to allow for a fall planting, according to James R. Schupp, a tree fruit specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Wait until the ground has thawed before planting. Fruit trees do not appreciate a waterlogged environment, so give the snow and ice time to melt and drain off before planting.

Plant in late May through early June in Northern states if you are planting potted or ball-and-burlap cherry trees. These saplings do better in slightly warmer soil, according to Schupp.

Plant in late fall if you live in an area Zone 6 and warmer. These states have ample growing time between the initial cooler weather of fall and the onset of winter. Cherry trees get extra time to establish roots and settle in, and are ready for a burst of growth when spring comes.

Cherry Trees

Shield your outdoor sitting area from onlookers during the warm weather months when you plant flowering cherry trees that grow into ideal privacy screens, including pink star flowering cherry (Prunus “Beni-Hoshi”), which grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 5b through 9, and the cherry tree “Accolade” (P. “Accolade”), which grows in USDA zones 6 through 8. These cherry trees grow in any type of moist, highly acidic to alkaline soil, give beautiful pink flowers in spring and have green leaves that turn bronze or golden in autumn. These cherry trees thrive in any type of acidic, well-drained soil. Bright N Tight” grows in sites with full sun to full shade in any type of well-drained soil. It produces pink or white flowers in spring that don’t produce fruit and grows in USDA zones 6 through 8.

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