The Q&A Archives: Dropping Cherries

Question: Can you help me out? My cherry trees are in their second year in my orchard now and they seem very healthy and vigorous, but the fruit, after setting and beginning to swell, are now shrivelling up and dropping. Any ideas?

Answer: There are two easy answers for the lack of fruit production from your cherry trees. Cherry trees aren't mature enough to bear a crop of cherries until they're 5-6 years old. A random fruit or two may develop, but don't expect more than a handful from your trees for a few more years. The second consideration is pollination. Sour cherries are self-fruitful, but sweet cherries need a pollinator. Check to see which cultivars you have and whether or not they'll pollinate one another. If the weather is wet while the trees are in bloom, or if it's very cold or windy, insects won't be active, resulting in poor pollination and subsequent fruit drop. Just exercise some patience - maybe you'll get your first crop next summer.

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