Cherry tree dropping fruit

Asked September 15, 2019, 10:51 PM EDT

Hi, I live in Lions Bay B.C. I have 3 sweet cherry trees in my yard. They are growing very strongly. They set fruit, which grows to about half to 3/4 size each year, then they stop growing, go a light yellowish colour and fall off the tree. Do you know the likely reasons for this and how to rectify? Thank you

Outside United States

5 Responses

Hello, and thank you for contacting us about your cherry trees. Some fruit drop is normal as the tree adjusts its load to a size it can handle. Beyond that, there are a number of possible causes for premature fruit drop. So, I'll have to ask you to do some sleuthing to find the likely cause (or causes) in your particular situation.

The following articles suggest some causes as well as some controls. Please look them over to limit the possibilities, then write back (using a reply to question #596964) so we can pursue the problem further. I may be able to advise you if we can narrow it down a bit.

Thank you for your quick response Lynne.
We have three cherry trees of different variety, including one with 4 different types of cherry grafted on it.
i only got 3 cherries of one tree this year, nothing off the others.
I don’t believe water is an issue. Perhaps it is a fertilizer issue, what should I apply and when?

The vegetation growth is very strong, I have to prune heavily each year to restrict growth. Trees are between 8 and 10 years old.

Hello again.

It is not normal to have to prune extensively every year. I suspect you may have a nutrient imbalance, however, applying fertilizer is not the answer. You need a good soil test to determine if there are deficiencies or imbalances.

Too much of some nutrients can be as had as too little. Find a lab that will provide you with an analysis and recommendations specifically for cherry trees, and let them know the problem.

Herbicide drift may also be a problem. Are your trees in an area that may get drift from chemicals in other yards of agricultural fields?

Also, you may wish to consult local experts who may know of other local factors that may be affecting cherries. A botanical garden of ministry of agriculture may be able to help.

Thank you Lynne

There are no herbicides used in our area.

I will get a soil test done.