Cherries and sweet cherries in autumn: terms and rules for planting and pruning

Cherries and sweet cherries are trees that must be in every garden plot. When is it better to plant them — in autumn or spring — this question has to be decided by everyone on their own. There is no single answer. It all depends on the climate and the condition of the seedlings. Nevertheless, many people prefer to plant cherries and cherries in the fall, arguing that the earth is moist and warm, while the vegetation process ends, and the plant can use all its strength to develop the root system, which means it will take root faster and better.

Landing dates

When to plant cherries and sweet cherries in the fall depends on the climate and the average temperature in the region. It is enough to know the approximate date of the first frost and count 20-30 days from it. This will be the optimal time for planting cherries and cherries. The main thing is that the temperature indicators in the selected period of time are as follows:

  • in the afternoon — 10-15 degrees of heat;
  • at night — not lower than 0-2 degrees with a «+» sign.

Place to land

The landing site should be well lit by the sun, with fertile soil. Best of all, these trees grow on black soil and loam with a neutral reaction. Waterlogged, swampy areas with surface occurrence of groundwater (less than 1 m) are not suitable for them.

In addition, it should be noted that cherries will not grow well next to oak, linden, spruce, birch and pine, and cherries — near walnut, mountain ash, peach and pear. But they get along well with each other and quickly become good neighbors.

Site preparation

As part of the preparation, the selected site is dug up, compost, manure or mineral fertilizers are applied. At the same time, all weeds are removed. To neutralize the acidity of the soil, wood ash or dolomite flour is added.

The size of the hole depends on the size of the seedling’s root system. Most often, holes are dug 60 * 60 * 60 cm for cherries and 80 * 70 (depth) cm for cherries. The pit is prepared in advance, about 2-3 weeks before planting. When digging it, it is necessary to set aside the top layer separately in order to subsequently prepare a nutrient mixture with it, adding humus (1 bucket), superphosphate (200 g) and potassium sulfate (30 g). A drainage layer is laid at the bottom of the pit (expanded clay, broken brick, gravel, crushed stone) and a stake about 1 m long is driven in. 10 days before planting, the pit is filled with a nutrient mixture.

When preparing the pit, be sure to consider the type of plant and its maximum height. So, bushy varieties are planted at a distance of 2 m, a 2 * 3 m scheme is suitable for undersized ones, and at least 3-3.5 m of free space around is necessary for tall ones. It is best to arrange seedlings in a checkerboard pattern.

Seedling preparation

Additional preparation needs not only the area allotted for planting cherries or cherries, but also the seedlings themselves. Before lowering them into the pit, the long roots should be trimmed a little. Then the root system is completely immersed in a clay mash and only after that it is lowered into the pit, be sure to properly straighten it on a mound from the soil mixture prepared in advance. After that, the roots of the seedling are covered with the remaining soil, forming a trunk circle. At the final stage, the seedling is watered with warm water (2-3 buckets), the leaves are cut off (if any) to prevent the loss of excess moisture, tied to a peg and the trunk circle is mulched.

Rules for autumn pruning of cherries and cherries

Autumn is considered the most favorable period for pruning cherries and sweet cherries. Therefore, do not rush and hide garden tools, but it is better to familiarize yourself with the scheme and get to work.

Pruning rejuvenates the tree, allows you to form a crown and even prevent the development of some stone fruit diseases. It is not carried out only for one-year-old seedlings.

The purpose of autumn pruning is to free the trees from everything superfluous, so that in the spring they will direct all their efforts to the development of new shoots. Indeed, with a sparse crown, the plant will receive more light, the number of flower buds will increase, and, consequently, the yield will increase.

Pruning of cherries and cherries in autumn is carried out from September to November. The signal to start work is the fall of the leaves. At this point, sap flow stops, and the tree will more easily tolerate the procedure. The main thing is to do everything before the first frost, so that the slices have time to tighten.

The event is held in dry weather. For thinning the crown, it is best to use a pruner, garden saw or lopper. The tool must be sharp and disinfected in alcohol, a solution of potassium permanganate or iron sulfate. For processing slices, you must immediately prepare a garden pitch.

Before pruning cherries or cherries in the fall, you need to carefully examine the tree. All dry, diseased and damaged branches, as well as shoots growing inside the crown and thickening it, are subject to removal. At the same time, branches that look down are cut off and all basal shoots are necessarily removed. You should not leave tops (fatting shoots) and shoots on the trunk, as well as branches that cross or are at forks.

If there is a lot of work, it is not recommended to cut everything at once. The tree may not endure such drastic changes and weaken. It is best to do all the work in several stages, annually deleting some of the problematic branches.

Pruning of old trees is somewhat different. They are already quite tall. Therefore, they try to remove 60-90 cm from the tops, leaving the main trunk about 3 m long. Otherwise, their pruning comes down to the usual thinning.

At the final stage of work, all sections must be treated with garden pitch. This will contribute to the faster healing of «wounds», and the trees will more easily endure the winter.

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