Maybe we should talk about how the spring was brutal to our cherry trees and they never seemed to recover after our last snow/frost storm. These two trees were bought after the bulk of our other trees were purchased. By delaying these I was hoping to spare them for the late frosts and snow that are typical in April and May here in Colorado.
We planted these trees after the last frost and provided them quite a bit of compost and rich soil to give them a boost with early growth. All the trees were doing pretty good with the exception of the two cherry trees. They were of different variety and we were both excited to soon be able to harvest cherries from our backyard.
Well, after several weeks and a couple months, the two cherry trees were the only two not showing any signs of growth. The ends of each of the branches were dry and snapped when I was testing their moisture level. So the question is: could we have done something different; and the anwer is always “it depends”. Often trees grown in nurseries have several issues that affect quality in a young tree. The most common is that they have spent too long growing in a container and their roots are spiraling and turning back in to itself causing the tree to choke itself from nutrients. Trees like to spread out and with this when purchasing trees from a box store or nursery try to get them into the ground as quickly as possible.
With our trees, I still had quite a bit of planning to do before deciding where the trees should go, I needed to get a plan for water and our growing beds. So, by the time I had figured out where it was safe to put the trees and select a suitable area for a tree to thrive we were several weeks into spring. We took care to water each of the trees daily and provide a nitrogen booster to help them transition, they still had a pretty rough go at taking to the homestead. With that said it is only natural for some trees not to make it, so I am confident that the trees that are doing well, will continue and may prove out over their life to be resilient and hardy fruit bearing trees.
We packed up the two cherry trees, and took them back to the store and ended up getting a refund for the partial amount spent. We decided to pick up another apple variety tree, and though we won’t have fresh cherries next year we will certainly have a good stockpile of apples.