A bing cherry tree will give you delicious sweet fruit, unlike ornamental cherry trees commonly seen in yards. If you care for it correctly, it will reward you in many ways.
You can show off the beauty of your tree covered with lush deep-plum colored leaves in fall, and save money on energy in summer when the shade keeps your home cool. In early spring, enjoy the showy display of buds and blooms, and their beguiling fragrance. They come in white and shades of pink, from pale to deep fuchsia, and grow over 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide.
Once your tree is producing fruit–from late spring to early summer– you can make a tasty cherry pie or baskets of cherries to give away or sell. And naturally you can pluck a juicy one and eat it right off the tree. Your bing cherry tree will also supply you with gifts for friends and family all year long; preserve cherry jam in pretty containers, or sauce for making smoothies, milkshakes and mixing into yogurt.
Now that you’re salivating thinking about these delicious, healthy treats, the first thing to consider is a bing cherry tree needs cross pollination. To grow fruit, you need two trees. If you can’t handle 2 in your yard, maybe your neighbor could go in with you on the plan. The pollination does not require another bing. Good choices include Angela, Black Tartarian, Republican and Sam. Royal Anne and Lambert will not cross-pollinate with a bing. Plant your trees in very deep soil, well drained. The best way to start a tree is with a dwarf root stock rather than standard size.
These cherished cherries do poorly in regions with hot summers, such as southern California. Recommend zones are 2, 6—9, 14 and 15 as described by the Sunset Western Garden book. They must have many days in winter with temperatures under 45 degrees. However, extreme cold and frost is dangerous, and if it is too rainy or frosty, the crop may suffer or perish.
You will need horticultural oil spray during dormancy, for pests such as mites and scale. To control rot, apply the following: Copper spray in autumn when leaves begin to fall, and fungicide in spring, at first flowering, then weekly until flowering ends. Birds love cherries too, so use netting for protection. Pruning is not required for promoting growth but it’s recommend to prune for a nice growth habit.
Be sure that you remove any unhealthy fruit, leaves or twigs as soon as you see them, to stop disease from spreading.
If the first year doesn’t bring buckets of cherries, don’t despair. Check with local gardening professionals and adjust what you are doing until you get it right. Whether you select the hugely popular bing cherry tree, or another variety, sweet cherry trees will afford you years of pleasure and good eating.