no cherries from healthy mature trees

Asked May 18, 2014, 12:39 AM EDT

I have several mature cherry trees (nine years old) and seldom get cherries. They are compatible cross pollinators. They all flower abundantly and produce immature fruit. But most of the fruit disappear before they get ripe. Two years ago I had a great crop for some reason. I suspect that the red squirrels are eating them before they mature. The red squirrels have dropped every single apple from my apple trees in the past when they are about the size of a quarter in diameter. Then they haul them off. Lately I noticed several immature cherries on the ground along with some broken fruiting branch clusters with their leaves, and single leaves. I suspect something is eating them, dropping them to the ground, or the trees are giving them up for some reason. Is this normal? Why do I seldom get ripe fruit when I have very healthy looking trees? The varieties that I have are Van, Rainier, Bing, Royal Anne, and Stella.

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

What you describe is not normal. It does sound like it is a pest problem, like the red squirrels. The apples and cherries do drop some fruit but not all of it or with the stems and spurs attached. I have used bird netting to keep raccoons and squirrels out of my trees. What I do is wrap the netting around the lower canopy of the tree going from tight around the trunk gradually wrapping outward and upward so the lower branches are not accessible to climb. This seems to work because the animals don't like grabbing onto the netting. Give it a try. I don't think you have a disease problem.