The hardest part of growing cherry trees may be enduring the wait to taste their delicious bright red fruit or to see their blossoms in the spring. You may be wondering how fast cherry trees grow. We've thoroughly reviewed the available information and have some answers for you.
Full-sized cherry trees usually grow between one and two feet per year, while the dwarf variety grows between eight to ten inches in a year. A full-sized ungrafted cherry tree can take seven to ten years to bear fruit from seed. Dwarf tree varieties may fruit in three to five years.
Many factors may affect a cherry tree's growth rate. We'll look at ways to make sure your tree is growing at the fastest rate. Keep reading as we discuss how tall a cherry tree may grow and what can cause your tree to take longer to bear fruit.
How Tall Do Cherry Trees Grow?
Cherry trees are some of the largest growing fruit trees. A standard size cherry tree can grow to 30 feet tall. Sour cherry trees grow to about 20 feet, while the dwarf varieties, sometimes called shrubs, can be as short as five to seven feet or as tall as fifteen feet.
How Long Does It Take For A Cherry Tree To Sprout?
If you plant cherry seeds in the garden, there can be a wide variance in the time they take to germinate. With the proper care and conditions, seeds planted in the fall should produce sprouts in the following spring.
You may see sprouts in as little as 90 days after planting. It could take as long as 150 days in some conditions and climates.
Can You Speed Up A Cherry Tree?
You may be able to ensure the sprouting timeframe stays on the shorter end. Place the seeds in moist peat moss and then in the refrigerator. The temperature should be between 33 degrees and 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Store them this way in the fridge for 60 to 120 days.
After this time period has passed, you can plant them in one-gallon pots with sterile starting mix or sterile compost. You should start to see sprouts in about 30 days. The way you start your seeds may affect growth rate and quality. There may be some other ways you can get a faster harvest.
Sow A Faster Growing Variety
Dwarf cherry trees can bear fruit in just a few years and can be purchased as ready-to-fruit trees. Sour cherry trees also fruit in much less time than standard cherry trees. They can fruit in as little as five to seven years.
Experienced gardeners caution that if you are growing trees to enjoy their fruit quickly, you may want to get your trees from a nursery. If you want the experience of growing from seed, these dwarf cherry tree seeds will need to be cold stratified first, meaning they need to be in the fridge or freezer for at least 60 days before planting them.
Pick The Right Variety Cherry Tree For Your Zone
Sweet cherry trees grow the best and fastest in zone five to seven. If you live in zone four to zone six, then you can grow sour cherry trees. Location is also essential. Plant your trees in the part of your garden or yard that will get at least six hours of sunlight. The soil also needs to be good draining since the roots are susceptible to rot.
How To Water A Cherry Tree
Watering your cherry tree correctly will also help it grow at the fastest rate. Maintain two inches of water every two weeks when your trees are young. You may need a water gauge to make sure your trees are getting the right amount of moisture.
Prune Your Cherry Tree In During The Spring
Cherry trees should be pruned in the early spring or late winter to get the maximum growth rate. You'll want to prune the branches that reach straight up, down, or inward. These branches sap energy from the tree. The weaker low potential branches should be removed to allow the tree to grow up and out.
This video shows how to prune a fruiting cherry tree. A non-fruit-bearing cherry blossom tree should only be pruned as needed and only from May to August.
When Do Cherry Trees Blossom?
Cherry trees blossom in the spring for only one to two weeks. Cherry blossom trees or flowering trees are fast-growing cherry trees. You can expect to see your first cherry blossoms on your ornamental trees in as little as one to four years.
Fruit-bearing trees will see blossoms when it's almost ready to bear fruit. Once the tree is old enough to grow and blooms freely, you know you may have a harvest this year.
Do You Need More Than One Tree To Produce Fruit?
Sour cherry trees are what is called self-fruiting. This means that they do not need another tree to bear fruit. Dwarf trees, also known as Stella cherry trees, are also self-fruiting.
Sweet cherry trees of the standard variety need other trees to cross-pollinate so they can bear fruit. The trees need to be planted in the same area. Plant a few trees to increase the likelihood of pollination.
Will A Cherry Blossom Tree Bear Fruit?
Cherry blossom trees are trees that have been bred for their flowers. Since their fruiting ability was unimportant, many of these trees do not bear fruit. They are hardier than fruit-bearing trees and, depending on the size, can be inside or outside trees. They do well in zone five through eight and can do well in various soils.
Why Do Cherries Take So Long To Grow
All fruit trees take years to grow, but standard cherry trees are one of the largest fruit trees and take a long time to reach maturity if you grow from seed. The time to bear yearly fruit might also be longer because they require long, cold dormant times to activate fruiting.
Why Is The Cherry Tree Not Bearing Fruit
Not all cherry trees are guaranteed to bear fruit. Some cherry trees may only bear fruit every other year. Other issues may include insufficient pollinating action between trees, soil issues, or pruning errors. If the soil doesn't drain well, look for rot on the roots.
You can do a simple test to test how well your soil is draining. Dig a hole one foot in depth. Fill it with water. Keep checking every 30 minutes or so to see how long it takes to drain the water. If the water takes three to four hours, your soil is not draining fast enough.
When your tree is still young, you may be able to move it to better soil. If it's fruiting age already, consult with an experienced landscaper. Drain options can be installed in the soil to assist drainage.
For tips on caring for a cherry blossom tree, read our article, "My Cherry Blossom Tree Is Dying What To Do?"
What Is The Fastest Growing Fruit Tree?
All fruit trees will be a long investment of time and effort if you plan to grow from seed. If you get trees that are already started, there are fruit trees that may bear fruit a little faster than the cherry tree.
Peach and apple trees are fast and easy to grow. Peach trees may bear fruit as soon as a year after they are planted. While apple trees bear fruit in three to five years.
Depending on its rootstock, the fastest growing fruit tree may be the plum tree. Like dwarf cherry trees, the dwarf varieties of fruit trees usually grow and bear fruit faster.
Now that you know how fast cherry trees can grow and how long it can take to see the first blooms, make your plan and start planting your trees! Caring for cherry trees may take patience and a lot of attention, but when you see those first blossoms or eat your first homegrown cherry, it will have been well worth your wait.
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