growing fruit producing Cherry Trees in the Home Garden

Asked July 11, 2014, 8:14 PM EDT

I would like some information about growing cherries in my yard in Salem Oregon. I have a Bing variety cherry tree that I planted 3 years ago. So far it has not really produced a crop of cherries. I am wondering about a couple things. First, does it need a pollinator? Does it matter what variety that pollinator is? How far away can the pollinator be? Second, should I prune the tree every year? How much should be pruned? Where does the fruit grow - old or new branches. Finally, I would like to know where the database is for fruit, vegetable and berry plants that is published by OSU Extension. I have found the one for woody landscape plants but cannot seem to find the one for fruit and vegetables. These databases are an excellent source of information and I have used them many times. Thank You Jeanie Golino

Marion County Oregon

1 Response

If you have a pollinizer cherry of a compatible variety within reasonable flying distance for bees (100 yards or so) you may be able to get a small crop of cherries by the 3rd year if the tree is on a dwarfing rootstock. If it is on a full size rootstock, it may take up to 5 years to produce the first cherries. Compatible varieties for Bing must bloom at the same time as Bing and be either self-fertile or have a different allele combination than Bing. Examples of compatible varieties include Van, Lapins and Sweetheart. Trees should be pruned every year, otherwise you won't get good branching, and on a dwarfing rootstock, you may end up with too many cherries and the fruit will be small and of poor quality. PNW 592 on this website will provide you with information on how to prune a cherry tree on dwarfing rootstock. Here is the link: Cherry fruit grows mostly on spurs on 2 year old wood and older, but there is some fruit that grows at the base of one year old wood. Here is the link to our catalog that has information on fruits and vegetables: