7 Best Places To Plant A Cherry Tree (And How To Do It)
Cherry trees make a great addition to any landscape. These hardy little trees offer shade, windbreaks, delicious fruit, and exceptional beauty. That said, you can’t simply plant a cherry tree wherever you like without considering a few factors first. So, where are the best places to plant a cherry tree?
You can plant a cherry tree in a garden or lawn, by a road, near water, on the edge of your property, or with other trees. However, make sure any space you choose gets at least 6-8 hours of sunlight and is at least 15ft, if not more, away from structures and other trees.
If you want to learn more about the potential benefits of planting a cherry tree—and where and how to do it—we’ve got you covered! Join us as we take a deeper look at whether or not a cherry tree would be the right choice for your garden.
Why Should You Plant A Cherry Tree In Your Yard?
Cherry trees can be a great addition to any yard or garden (provided you have the space for them, of course). Not only can you get delicious fruit from them if you select a suitable variety (more on that later), but these trees can provide quite a few other benefits as well.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best reasons to plant a cherry tree!
1. Cherry Trees Offer Shade And Shelter
One of the benefits of planting a cherry tree on your property is shade. With their tall growth habit and long branches, cherry trees provide excellent shade, making them a great choice for a front yard or backyard where you need an effective shade tree—and who dosen’t like shade? The shelter these trees can provide during the hot and sunny days makes them an excellent choice for any yard that can accommodate a tree of this size.
Cherry trees can also provide shelter for local wildlife, creating homes for the birds in your region. That said, you may need to protect your tree from birds and rodents during the fruiting season. But despite this, cherry trees will bring in plenty of beautiful songbirds, which can brighten up any yard or garden with their presence!
Additionally, according to the National Audubon Society, attracting birds to your yard can be very beneficial. Not only can birds help with pest control (eating irritating and potentially harmful insects), but they are also a vital part of the ecosystem they inhabit.
2. You Can Add Beauty And Value To Your Property With A Cherry Tree
Whether fruit-producing or flowering ornamental, cherry trees are well known for their beauty. Even the varieties with an otherwise mundane appearance will typically exhibit absolutely gorgeous flower blooms during the springtime, which can add a great deal of beauty to your yard and garden.
Additionally, some research has shown that the presence of trees and other forms of vegetation can have a tangible positive effect on a person’s emotional and mental health.
Depending on where you live, adding any tree (including fruit trees) to your landscape can also increase the overall property value of your home. It may cost a little bit right now, but it could be a worthwhile investment in the future!
That said, you should know that cherry trees may not live as long as other fruit trees. On average, they’ll survive between ten to forty years. However, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, black cherry trees can live upwards of 250 years! Make sure to take age into account when making any long-term landscaping plans.
Should you desire further insight or inspiration when it comes to successfully incorporating a tree into your yard or garden and landscaping in general, books such as the Encyclopedia of Landscape Design: Planning, Building, and Planting Your Perfect Outdoor Space can prove to be an excellent resource.
3. There Are Several Varieties Of Cherry Tree To Choose From
In addition to being beautiful, cherry trees are popular because there are so many varieties to choose from. Whether you want a fruit-producing tree or strictly ornamental, there’s a cultivar out there that will suit your needs.
Some of the most popular fruit-producing cherry trees include bing, rainier, montmorency, morello, and lapins.
Like fruit-bearing trees, there are hundreds of ornamental cherry trees to choose from—however, some of the most popular ones include:
- Yoshino: known for its adaptability and lovely white blossoms
- Weeping Cherry: known for its drooping branches and white/pink flowers
- Kwanzan: know for its double blooms and vibrant pink color
Just be sure to research and find a tree that will grow in your area and has the right aesthetic for your landscape.
How To Pick The Perfect Area To Plant A Cherry Tree
As mentioned earlier, there’s more to planting and successfully growing a cherry tree than simply picking a spot randomly and putting your sapling in the ground. Not only do you need to factor in what the cherry tree needs to reach optimum growth potential and remain healthy, but you also need to consider the tree’s potential impact on everything around it.
To better help you understand how to pick the right spot for your cherry tree, we’ll review some questions to ask yourself when you begin the process.
How Big Will My Cherry Tree Grow?
One of the most important things to remember when adding a cherry tree (or any fruit tree) to your landscape is that your sapling will grow. That might seem obvious, yet people will often add a tree to their landscape without determining how its size will change over time.
Cherry trees typically grow pretty tall and have wide-reaching branches. In fact, according to Clemson University, a Yoshino cherry tree can grow up to 50 feet tall and wide! But even smaller varieties can reach heights of 30 feet. Because of this, it’s important to consider how a tree that size could impact your yard, garden, house, and outbuildings.
Because of their height and the breath of their limbs, cherry trees are not suitable for planting near power lines or telephone poles. It’s also advised to plant a cherry tree at least thirty or forty feet away from your house to mitigate the risk of falling limbs damaging your home.
If you’re concerned about space, there are dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties available. Dwarf varieties of the popular Bing cultivar are particularly popular, usually reaching only twelve to fifteen feet in height while producing delicious cherries known for their sweet flavor and juiciness.
How Much Sunlight Does A Cherry Tree Need?
When picking a location for your cherry tree, it’s important to factor in how much sunlight your tree needs to grow and remain healthy and choose an appropriate spot accordingly.
Cherry trees, in general, typically do best when they get full sun (take a look at our guide on why cherry trees need full sun if you’d like more info.) Subsequently, you should do your best to plant your cherry tree in a location where it will receive at least six to eight hours of direct natural light every day.
Avoid planting your tree in the shadow of your home or other trees. Doing this might impact how much natural light it gets, which could stunt or delay its growth.
How Large is the Root System of a Cherry Tree?
In addition to its size above ground, you’ll want to consider how big a tree will get below ground. After all, the root systems of trees can impact a wide variety of things, including (but not limited to) sidewalks, underground pipes, or even the foundation of your home.
The root system of a cherry tree can be expansive (sometimes stretching out over thirty square feet), so be sure to factor that in when planting your sapling. Make sure to place your cherry tree safely away from any underground utilities and paved areas that larger surface roots could potentially impact.
The Best Places To Plant Cherry Trees On Your Property
While the location of where you plant your new cherry tree is ultimately up to you, we’ve listed here for you a few of what we consider to be the best places to plant a cherry tree.
Naturally, depending upon the capacities and limitations of your property, not all of these ideas may be viable for you. Even so, we hope that these suggestions are helpful.
1. A Cherry Tree Can Add Something Special To A Garden
This type of tree adds a lot of beauty to a space, especially during the blooming season. Whether they serve as a centerpiece or something more on the outskirts, cherry trees make an excellent addition to any garden.
That being said, with their broad reach and leafy branches, most cherry trees cast quite a lot of shade in their immediate vicinity. As such, you must be mindful of the plants you attempt to grow under or near your cherry tree.
Anything that requires full sun should probably not be planted close to your cherry tree since the shade from the tree will likely impact the amount of sunlight it can absorb, potentially stunting its growth.
2. A Backyard Is A Great Place For A Large Cherry Tree
Cherry trees can be an excellent addition to any yard, with sufficient space to accommodate them. They can offer shade, beauty, and even fruit when grown correctly.
And (as discussed earlier) there are plenty of cultivars to choose from, giving you a wide range of options for selecting the right aesthetic for your backyard. Cherry trees can also provide shelter for local songbirds and other wildlife, helping to turn your backyard into a thriving ecosystem.
Be aware, however, that if you are planting a cherry tree in the hopes of it bearing fruit, you may need to grow more than one solitary tree. Quite a few varieties of cherry trees are not self-pollinating, meaning that cross-pollination with another cherry tree is required for flower fertilization and fruit production.
As such, you will need to plant at least two cherry trees in your backyard (unless, of course, there is someone else in your neighborhood with cherry trees). Alternatively, if you have sufficient space, you could plant one tree in your backyard and another in your front yard.
3. Larger Front Yards Can Accommodate Cherry Trees
Cherry trees can be an excellent choice for the front yard, especially if you want a particularly eye-catching tree during the spring. Depending on the design and coloring of your house, planting a cherry tree out front could be the perfect accent to your home’s external aesthetic.
Just be careful where in your yard you plant the tree!
We already learned that cherry trees have root systems that can grow quite large, and they can damage paved areas. Be sure to take note of any driveways, walkways, or public sidewalks in the area and plant your tree safely away from these types of infrastructures.
4. Cherry Trees Can Provide Privacy At The Edge Of Your Property
A cherry tree can be an excellent choice for a border tree on the edge of your property. Their branches provide a windbreak, and they can keep nosey neighbors from seeing into your yard.
That being said, it’s important to remember that their long branches are prone to breaking and falling if they take too much wind damage. The last thing you want is your tree falling into a neighbor’s yard and damaging their property.
Because of this, when planting a cherry tree on your property line, you should be mindful of how close that tree is to your neighbor’s land. If damage to their yard is possible, plant the tree farther back on your side of the property line.
5. Block Road Noise With Cherry Trees
Planting a cherry tree near the road can offer some of the same benefits as growing it near the property line you share with a neighbor. Specifically, a tree between you and a nearby road can provide privacy from passing cars while also providing some insulation from the wind and road noise.
However, there are a few things to consider when planting a cherry tree in such a location. The foremost of which is the presence of power lines.
If a tree grows too close to a power line, its branches can become entangled—especially during stormy weather. Because of this, try to avoid planting your cherry tree anywhere near power or utility lines of any kind.
And remember, even if your cherry tree sapling is small when you plant it, several species can grow to great sizes with wide-reaching branches. As such, you should err on the side of caution when planting your tree near power lines and ensure there’s plenty of space for your tree to grow without posing any safety risks.
Pruning an established tree can help you avoid problems. Formore information, check out our guide explaining how to prune a cherry tree!
6. Cherry Trees Look Gorgeous Near Water
A pond can be a wonderful addition to any landscape in and of itself, but even more so when you put a tree nearby. Cherry trees, in particular, can be an excellent choice for planting in such a location because the reflections on the surface of a nearby pond often accentuate the beauty of their blossoms.
But be sure to check the type of soil around your pond (and its overall quality) before planting a cherry tree.
According to the California Foundation For Agriculture In The Classroom, cherry trees typically grow best in deep, well-drained loamy soils. If the soil around your pond doesn’t have good drainage, consider planting your cherry tree somewhere else to avoid root rot and other related conditions.
Cherry trees aren’t the only tress that looks nice near water. To learn more, here are some reasons why you should plant weeping willows near water!
7. Plant Your Cherry Tree Near Other Trees
Because their bright springtime blooms add a splash of color to your yard, cherry trees can be a great addition to your landscape—even if you have other trees on your property!
Additionally, planting multiple trees will ensure pollination occurs, which is essential if you’re planting fruit-bearing trees that cannot self-pollinate.
Just remember that cherry trees (and most other trees) need plenty of room to grow. Smaller plants and shrubs may be okay, but keep at least twenty feet between a cherry tree and other full-size trees (or anything that requires full sun).
Leaving space helps mitigate competition for resources between the trees while also ensuring that your cherry trees aren’t crowded and are getting plenty of sunlight.
How To Plant A Cherry Tree
While where to plant your cherry tree is open to a bit of debate, how to plant a cherry tree is not. Regardless of where you grow your tree, there are some key things to keep in mind once it’s time to put your sapling into the ground.
Alright, let’s learn how to plant a cherry tree!
Step 1: Select Your Tree And Your Plant Site
You have to have a tree to plant it, and choosing the right tree is just as important as selecting the perfect place to grow it.
Your first step should be researching different cherry trees so that you can choose a species that will respond well to your climate. Additionally, take the time to ask yourself why you want the tree. Are you hoping to harvest fruit someday, or is the tree to enhance your landscape?
Another goal in this step is to find a suitable growing location. Remember, cherry trees prefer full sun and deep soil with good drainage, so choose your planting area accordingly.
Step 2: Prepare Your Cherry Tree Sapling For Planting
Once you’ve chosen your tree and planting site, it’s time to move on to the next step: preparing to plant your young tree. Please be aware the specifics of this stage can vary slightly depending on whether your tree arrives with bare roots or in a container.
Trees that arrive with bare roots should be soaked in water for an hour or two before planting. In contrast, trees that come in a container should be watered, then removed from that container so you can loosen up the roots before planting.
When loosening the roots, do your best not to damage or bend them unnaturally since this could impact the tree’s ability to absorb water and nutrients after transplant.
Step 3: Put Your Sapling Into The Ground
For cherry trees to develop correctly, they need to be able to spread their roots out. When planting your tree, make sure the hole you dig is big enough to accommodate the entire root ball without crushing or squeezing the roots together.
Additionally, you can use the graft union on the tree’s trunk to gauge how deep to dig your hole. According to Ohio State University, the graft union is essentially a scar that forms where the scion and rootstock are fused. You can recognize it by its bumpy ridge-like appearance.
Generally, it’s recommended that the graft union of a standard-size tree sit a couple of inches below the soil level, while the graft union of smaller dwarf trees goes a few inches above the soil level.
Once your sapling is in the ground, carefully fill the hole with dirt. Finish by gently tapping down the soil to eliminate any excess air that might cause problems later.
Step 4: Give Your Sapling Love And Care
Once your cherry tree is in the ground, give it a head start with some love and attention.
Start by giving it a deep soaking—a layer of DIY pine needle mulch added to the topsoil will help increase moisture retention. Because new trees need more water than established trees, you should continue to water the sapling once a day for at least two weeks. After two weeks, you can reduce it to every two to three days.
Additionally, it’s strongly recommended not to fertilize your cherry tree during the first few weeks after transplant since the roots at this stage will be slightly too young and sensitive.
Mature trees can withstand powerful winds, but young trees may bend or break. If you live in an area with strong winds, or your sapling is particularly young, consider staking your cherry tree.
Staking a tree can be a chore, but kits like this Heavy Duty Tree Stake Kit make it much easier!
Things To Watch Out For When Planting A Cherry Tree
There are several things to watch for when planting a cherry tree—and we’ve got you covered!
Although safety’s important when trimming around any tree, you should take special care when mowing around a young tree. According to Purdue University, lawn equipment damage to roots and bark can be dangerous to a tree’s overall health and well-being.
During fruiting season, you may need to protect your tree from opportunistic birds and rodents. This Plastic Garden Netting from Ruolan can help by covering your tree and making it less accessible to hungry wildlife.
Remember to plant your cherry tree a safe distance away from your home, paved areas such as sidewalks and driveways, power and utility lines, underground pipes, and any other structures that falling branches or encroaching roots might damage.
Finally, avoid planting your tree in soil with poor drainage, and take care not to damage the roots when transplanting the young sapling into your lawn or garden.
Should you desire a more thorough guide on growing and caring for cherry trees, books such as Growing Fruit Trees: Novel Concepts and Practices For Successful Care and Management can be very helpful in understanding the intricacies of the matter.
That’s All We’ve Got!
And there we have it! We hope you’ve found this article helpful and informative; as you can see, cherry trees can be a great addition to any landscape.
And remember, some of the best places to plant a cherry tree include (but are not limited to):
- In your garden
- In your backyard
- In your front yard
- On the edge of your property
- Near the road
- By a pond
- With other trees
Of course, as discussed earlier, where specifically you choose to plant your tree is contingent upon several factors, such as:
- How much sun the tree needs
- How much space it needs to grow (both above ground and below ground)
- Whether it will potentially impact any buildings, power lines, utilities, paved areas, or other types of property or infrastructure
And as always, we strongly recommend consulting a professional if you have any further questions or concerns. Arborists and fruit tree specialists can offer a wealth of knowledge when it comes to caring for cherry trees and will be more than happy to assist you if you have any questions.
If you’re thinking about planting a cherry tree for shade, but don’t want to wait for it to grow, check out these fast growing shade trees for large yards!
Blodgett, E. C. E. C., Johnson, D. A. D. A., Grove, G. G., & Beers, E. H. E. H. (1990). Why cherry trees die.
Mircetich, S. M., & Matheron, M. E. (1976). Phytophthora root and crown rot of cherry trees. Phytopathology, 66(5), 549-558.
Patten, K. D., & Proebsting, E. L. (1986). Effect of different artificial shading times and natural light intensities on the fruit quality of ‘Bing’sweet cherry. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 111(3), 360-363.
Ulrich, R. S. (1986). Human responses to vegetation and landscapes. Landscape and urban planning, 13, 29-44.
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