Cherry Trees not bearing fruit

rober49(5 St Louis)June 8, 2013

I'm in arnold mo ( st louis area ). i planted 6 semi dwarf cherry trees 5 years ago. they mostly have not even bloomed. this year there were sparse blooms on 3 trees & only 1 cherry has appeared. there were no late freezes or significant frosts. i have 6 bee hives within 75 ft of the trees so pollination should not be an issue. what could be the problem? do cherry trees not do well in this area? the peach trees i planted at the same time are bearing fruit. any ideas? & while i'm on here how would you go about fertilizing fruit trees?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

You say semi dwarf, what rootstock would that mean? Cherries take a long time to bear on some roots. But 6 years is a long time even for a cherry on mazzard.

Are there any spurs forming on the trees? Are these sweet cherries?

Fruit trees generally don't need much fertilizer. If they are green and big enough to suit your needs, don't fret about fertilizer. If light green and not growing enough apply some nitrogen.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 1:06PM
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rober49(5 St Louis)

some are bing & 2 are a yellow cherry but all are sweet.
2 of these trees have barely grown at all. that's why im considering fertilizer. i have some 13-13-13 in the shed. i'll give them a light dose of that. the soil is mostly clay but i did give the roots a good mix of loam & manure when they were planted. i'm not sure of the rootstock. these all all came from lowes. if they do the same next year i might yank them & replace them with pears, apples, or peaches. i'm 62 & would like to harvest some fruit before i croak.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 4:33PM
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Robert49: Have to tell our funny story... we (senior citizens also) bought a' 4-in-1 apple tree from one of those mail order catalog nurserys; no indication any where where the different varieties were grafted! Eight years later not a single flower or fruit had ever appeared - yet the nursery says 'it takes time'! Well, tired of watering the fruitless tree we decided last Fall to cut it down... : there laying on the ground was the discarded infertile apple tree... with TWO apples on it!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 7:04PM
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Bing needs pollination. Not any sweet cherry could cross pollinate Bing. Do you know what varieties are your yellow ones? If you bought all from Lowe's. I don't know how actually their labels are, either.

It seems Bing is not easy to grow fruitfully outside the West Coast. My friend who also lives in MA planted Bing 5 years ago. It's sold at Lowe's here so she thought it'd be good here. She did not know that it needs pollination and that it's not a cherry tree for the East Coast.

Now that she knows Stella (sweet cherry) can cross pollinate Bing. She will buy a Stella next year. She does not want to cut it down. It's about 12 ft tall now.

Your problem could be that you plant sweet cherry varieties that are not compatible re. pollination.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 9:32PM
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It took 6 years until my starkrimson sweet cherry bloomed and the semi dawrf Bing from Lowes took 6 years to bloom (this year) and only had a few blooms although if like the starkrimson tree i will expect a full tree of blooms next year.

The blooms is the easy part, getting fruit to harvest before birds, squirrels, disease, weather, etc. is the hard part.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:22PM
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rober49(5 St Louis)

i'll do some checking but the labels are long gone. i do know that at least 2 were bings & there is a stella in the mix somewhere. what varieties would y'all recommend for the midwest?
& i know about the critters. mepps fishing lure company buys squirrel tales to make lures. they pay double if you take your pay in trade ( lures ) since i'm keeping tails i have an accurate head ( tail ) count. between my live traps & pellet rifle i on average kill 350 squirrels a year & 15-20 skunks. the skunks tap on my hives & eat the bees when they come out.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 10:20AM
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If you definitely has 1-2 Bing and a Stella, you'll solve cross pollination issue. Maybe, you need to wait one or two more years for the trees to mature for fruit production due to the rootstocks they are on.

My friend's semi-dwarf Bing from Lowe's only took 3 yrs to bloom.

Midwest esp. Michigan is known for sour cherry. You could try the Hungarian varieties which are supposed to be sweet enough to eat out of hand. Less issues with sour cherry.

If you really want sweet cherry, White Gold and Black Gold are often mentioned as sweet cherry to grow outside the West Coast. They are self fertile so you only need one.

Once your cherry produces, you'll be worried about birds, rain, cracking, rotting, etc, on top of everything else. Just be ready.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:48PM
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