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Montmorency Cherry Tree – Tart cherries from Montmorency are a classic. This type is used to create dried cherries, and it is also excellent for making pies and preserves from scratch. Cherries that are dark and sweet are excellent for fresh eating, but if you want to bake and preserve them, you need something a bit tarter.
Montmorency is an ancient kind of tart cherry that has been cultivated in France for hundreds of years. It is also the most frequently cultivated tart cherry for commercial purposes, which means that if you have ever consumed a product containing tart cherries, the odds are that you have consumed a Montmorency.
Montmorency cherry trees are hardy in zones 4 through 7, although they need around 700 cold hours each year during the winter months to thrive. Montmorency trees are available on both normal and dwarf rootstocks, and they all develop a pleasant oval form as they mature. An abundance of late spring blossoms is followed by cherries that mature and are ready to be picked towards the end of May or early June.
Montmorency cherries are best used in preserves and pies, which are both delicious. This fruit’s acidic taste, combined with a touch of sweetness, gives pastries and preserves a distinct flavor. You can always add more sugar, but the greatest recipes strike a perfect balance between the sharpness of the cherries’ inherent flavor and the sweetness of the extra sugar.
Growing Montmorency Cherry Tree
Cherry trees need sunlight and space to flourish without becoming overcrowded. The optimum soil is loamy to sandy in texture and should drain effectively. It is possible for these trees to flourish on soil that is not very rich or fertile. Although your Montmorency cherry tree will be able to withstand some drought, it’s a good idea to water it on a regular basis throughout the first growth season to ensure that the tree’s roots are properly formed.
Montmorency is a self-fertile cherry variety, which implies that it may be grown without the need for pollination from other cherry varieties in the vicinity. However, if you incorporate another pollinator in your yard, you will be able to produce more fruit.
Every year, during the dormant season, you should prune your cherry tree to keep it in good condition. This will assist you in maintaining a decent form for the tree, as well as promoting excellent fruit production and air movement to aid in the avoidance of disease outbreaks.
Montmorency cherries are the most often planted cherries in the United States, and for good reason. If you are searching for a new fruit tree for your home orchard, or a dwarf type for your tiny yard, try a Montmorency.
How to Increase the Production of Your Montmorency Cherry Tree
Although the fruits of the montmorency cherry tree (Prunus cerasus) are excellent for pies, jams, and preserves, if your tree is yielding little fruit, it may be time to make some modifications. For montmorency to bloom, it needs at least 700 to 1,000 “chill hours” of temperatures between 32 and 45 degrees throughout the autumn and winter to break dormancy. It is often grown inland or along the coast in temperate settings.
Following dormancy, your cherry tree will produce blooms and then fruit, which will be picked in the early summer months. Improve various factors, such as your irrigation system, fertilizer program, and pruning technique, in order to increase your crop.
1. Grow a second Montmorceny cherry tree 14 to 20 feet away from the first. Despite the fact that montmorceny self-pollinates, it is possible that more fruit will set if the tree can cross pollinate with another tree.
2. To preserve a cherry tree from common diseases, take preventive measures before planting. During the winter, treat the tree with a dormant oil or scale emulsion spray to help it survive the winter. Spray the swelling buds with a fungicide that has been designated to avoid brown rot in the spring. When the buds are fully open, reapply the solution.
3. Prune around 10% of the branches each winter to maximize sunlight reaching the heart of the tree and to foster new growth, which will result in the production of more fruit in the following season. Pruning shears, loppers, or a pruning saw may be used to cut damaged, older, and less productive stems back to the point where they were originally planted. There are also thinly populated places. Maintain a well-shaped tree by distributing clipped branches evenly throughout the tree.
4. Water a montmorency cherry tree with around 3 to 5 inches of water every two to three weeks if you use a sprinkler, according to the University of California’s recommendations. When using a drip irrigation system, water it every day so that it gets around 1 to 2 inches of water every week. Water on a regular basis from the beginning of spring to the beginning of September. Water cherry trees sparingly when necessary during dry spells throughout the winter months, since excessive watering may promote root rot in cherry trees in the winter.
5. Fertilize each tree with 2 pounds of urea in the early spring and again after harvest, distributing it evenly beneath the canopy of the tree. Apply shortly before or during a rainstorm, or just before watering your tree with 1 to 2 inches of water. If possible, avoid applying during the day.