Mature stella cherry didn't flower

illiahNovember 14, 2012

Hi all,

I have a mature stella cherry tree (about 3m tall and wide). last year it flowered and produced little green fruits which all fell off. The tree had a really bad pear and cherry slug infestation so I assumed this was why the fruit fell. Over winter we put the chickens under the tree and this year we haven't seen a single pear and cherry slug. But it's supposed to fruit in december in our area and we haven't had any flowers on it yet. does anyone have any ideas about why it's not flowering?

If anyone can offer any insight i'd really appreciate it - i'm a very novice gardener.

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What is the weather like there in Australia? If you did not have enough chill hours during the cold weather that could be your problem.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 8:36AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Late frost/freeze?

Just a thought, but Stella is not that great of a cherry...much better sweet cherries out there, a lot of them being self pollinating.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:39AM
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Thanks CharlieBoring for the thought but we got heavy frosts everyday for two months during winter, sometimes down to -10 so I'm pretty sure it got enough chill.

We do get late frosts Franktank232 - I think the last one this year was mid october but I know we got 3 in a row late october last year. I know late frost can damage flowers and stop them setting fruit but would it prevent flowering altogether?
Also, I had thought that Stella was pretty much the only self pollinating sweet cherry - not that we chose this one, we only moved into our house a year and a half ago and it was already there where we moved in - what sweet cherry varieties would you recommend? I'd be very keen to get opinions on other options.

Thank you both for your thoughtful and quick replies

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 4:12PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I like Lapins, but BlackGold is also very good. Both are self pollinating. This was a great year for my sweet cherries. I also have Stella and Kristin...Stella is the worst one, in my opinion. I'm actually going to either give it away or graft it over to one of the others.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Stella is a common pollinator for Bings, because it is big and red and "pretends" to be a Bing in some markets... likewise Brook. Stella usually blooms early March in the Northern hemisphere; so I would suspect early September in Australia. I would suspect lack of water, fertilzer, and maybe too cold weather.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Thanks franktank232 for the recommendations, I'll check them out.

Thanks for the ideas Johnmerr. It's had the same amount of water as last year and I didn't fertilise it this year or last year (although it got chook poo this year from when the chickens ate all the pear and cherry slug).
I guess the cold weather could have stopped it flowering but i'm just not sure why then it flowered last year...

oh well i guess i just won't be getting any cherries this year and will have to wait and see next year - plus i think i'll get a Lapins like franktank232 suggested.

Thanks again everyone

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 7:26PM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

Have you pruned the tree since you inherited it? Cherries bloom on 2nd year wood and if that were taken out this spring, or all the one year wood taken out last year, then you could have removed the blossom potential for this year.

It just seems there are a limited number of reasons for no bloom--excessive pruning removing the fruiting wood, excessive cold during the winter which killed the blooms, frost this spring when it was breaking dormancy that killed the blooms, insufficient chill, and sometimes on a young tree it will bloom then stop for a year or two--kind of like it gets ahead of itself for whatever reason. Probably a number of other reasons too.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 1:25AM
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