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How to Grow a Cherry Tree

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

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  • Cherries are a favorite summer treat with a number of valuable health benefits, thanks to their antioxidants and powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. Both sweet and tart cherries are easy to grow
  • Cherry trees will grow about 1 foot per year, start producing fruit in two to four years and can produce anywhere from 150 to 300 pounds of cherries per tree per year once fully mature
  • Tart cherry trees are self-pollinating and can be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 4, 5 and 6. They require about 1,000 chill hours below 45 degrees F during winter months
  • Sweet cherry is suitable for USDA zones 5 through 9, and need about 150 to 300 chill hours during winter months. Self-pollinating cultivars include Stella, Black Gold and North Star. Others may need companion trees to ensure successful pollination
  • To keep birds from flying away with your harvest, cover the tree with netting as the fruit starts to form. Planting mulberry trees nearby can also help lure birds away from your cherry trees, but won’t prevent them from eating your cherries as well

Cherries are a favorite summer treat with a number of valuable health benefits, thanks to their antioxidants and powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. If the steep price and limited availability of commercial cherries leaves you wanting each season, consider growing your own.


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