Cherry trees are so beautiful when they are in bloom that they are an ideal choice if you want a tree that doubles as an edible ornamental. Fruit-producing types don’t have double flowers or weeping habits like ornamental cherries, but they make up for this shortcoming by producing buckets of juicy fruits. Cherry trees always bloom in spring, but in some years they fail to set fruit, even when conditions seem perfect. Perhaps they’re saving their energy, because when a cherry tree does have a good year, the harvest is huge.
Sweet or Tart?
Choose from the two types of cherries: sweet and tart. Sweet cherries are for plucking right off the tree and eating fresh, but the trees often don’t fruit well in climates with mild winters. Tart cherries, which are fine for cooking, are more widely adapted and often easier to grow. All cherries mature in early summer.
How to use dwarf cherries
Use a pair of dwarf cherries to anchor a strawberry bed or plant the ground beneath them with little spring-flowering bulbs. Dwarf cherries have a neat, upright growth habit that makes them easy to fit into any type of landscaping plan. If you want a more sculptural tree, a standard-size cherry may be an ideal choice.
Keep birds out
Fine netting is the surest way to discourage birds from devouring your crop. Cover the whole tree with the netting and remove it as soon as your harvest is done. Alternatively, string black cotton thread among the branches just before ripening begins. Take a spool of thread, grab the free end and toss the spool back and forth over the tree to a helper; continue until the spool is empty. Birds will hit the invisible thread and find it too much trouble to return to the tree.
Plant a dwarf cherry in a tub
Select a tub or other large container at least 20 inches (50 cm) in height and width. Fill it with a mixture of equal parts garden soil, compost, and per liter, plant your cherry and grow it on your deck or patio.