Ranier Cherries

Asked June 2, 2019, 10:09 AM EDT

Why are our cherries so small this year. They look like they are ready to ripen and we have many cherries but they are very small, almost no bigger than the pit.

Trumbull County Ohio

1 Response

Hi Trumbull County, I looked up an answer to your question last year and you had asked about brown spots on the same cherry fruit. You stated at that time that the tree had an abundance of fruit last season. It would be my supposition (not being able to see the tree) that it is a matter of big production of fruit last year and this year not so many. Some trees go in cycles for some reason and it can't really be explained. With all the production of fruit last year, this year would be the off year and the production would not be as great. If you also had a lot of bloom and fruit set on, then the tree just can't keep up with the production of materials to fill out the fruit even though it did set on.

There could be other issues with the tree. We have had trees that show the effects of a lot of rain. The roots can't take a super soaking for a long period of time. Some of the roots are really fragile and will rot. I have seen some trees that looked bad after a wet spring and gone up to them and tried to shake the whole tree by pushing on the trunk of the tree. I was really surprised when the tree wiggled back and forth because the roots had rotted off on most sides of the tree. You can try this with the tree and also look all around the trunk and examine it for borers that have weakened the trunk by boring under the bark and almost girdled the tree. The tree can't translocate nutrients to the top if the portion under the bark has been girdled by the action of borers. Most likely you would see gumosis emerging from the trunk in several places.

You might take a fresh sample of a branch showing the fruit and leaves of the tree to your county OSU Extension Office during regular business hours. Maybe they can detect something that I can't see from your description. Also, a photo from a cell phone would help them see what the tree looked like overall. Don