Mesabi Tart Cherry TreeThe Mesabi tart cherry tree, also called the sour cherry tree (Prunus cerasus), bears small, bright red cherries with a tangy flavor. This cherry variety grows best in temperate climates, boasting white to light pink flowers before lanceolate leaves appear. Approximately 15-20 feet tall, the trees have a rounded canopy that promotes fruit development. They are self-pollinating but benefit from multiple trees and thrive in well-draining, slightly acidic to neutral soils. In addition to fruit production, pruning ensures shape, air circulation, and disease control. Mesabi Tart cherries offer a variety of fruit characteristics, and their tangy essence makes pies, tarts, jams, and juices irresistible.
- Hardiness Zones: 4
- Pollination: self pollinating
- Disease Resistance: good
- Harvest Period: Mid to late July
How to Water Mesabi Tart Cherry Tree
- Water your tree with a garden hose or a watering can.
- Water the tree deeply when you see the soil has dried out.
- Additionally, water the tree slowly and evenly all around the root zone.
- In fact, avoid splashing the leaves with water, as this can cause fungal diseases.
- Let the soil dry out between waterings.
- Mulch around the base of the tree in order to help retain moisture and reduce weed growth.
- Lastly, provide supplemental water during periods of drought or dry weather.
- Follow this link for more detailed instructions on how to water a fruit tree.
Planting and Caring for a Mesabi Tart Cherry Tree
- Choose a sunny spot in your yard that is sheltered from the wind. Make sure the soil is well-draining.
- For dwarf trees, space 6 to 8 feet apart, for semi-dwarf trees about 15 feet, and for standard or full-sized trees about 25 feet.
- Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of your tree.
- Remove the tree from the container and place it in the hole. Make sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil.
- Backfill the hole with the soil you removed earlier and pat it down firmly.
- Water the tree deeply and mulch the area around the trunk in a 3-4 inch layer.
- Prune the branches to the desired shape and size.
- Feed the tree with a fertilizer designed for fruit trees.
- Watch your Mesabi Tart cherry tree thrive in its happy home.
- For more detailed instruction on how to plant a cherry tree, follow this article.
What is a Rootstock?A rootstock controls the tree’s size, precocity, cold hardiness, and partly its disease resistance (such as fireblight). In order to grow a reliable and high quality fruit tree, growers graft the scion, which is above the ground and responsible for the fruit’s characteristics and disease resistance, onto the rootstock, which is underground.
How to Choose a Rootstock?A rootstock that grows well in one location, may not grow well in another. Therefore you must consider your specific site considerations before choosing a rootstock. When choosing a rootstock, some considerations for growers are
- what size tree is optimal for your site
- how well the rootstock adapts to your soil
- the disease pressure on your site
- how well the rootstock anchors
- precocity (bearing fruit at a younger age)
How to Prune a Mesabi Tart Cherry Tree?For more detailed instruction on how to prune fruit trees, follow this article.
- First, prune the Mesabi Tart cherry tree in late winter or early spring, before it begins to flower.
- Cut off any dead, diseased, or damaged branches.
- Remove any crossing, upright, and downward branches, leaving branches that grow outward.
- Prune to an open center or modified central leader shape.
- Cut back branches that are too long or have grown too close to the ground.
- Cherry trees bear fruit on one-year-old wood, so it’s essential to encourage new growth. Therefore. remove some of the older branches to promote the growth of younger branches. Look for spurs, which are stubby branches with fruiting buds, and avoid pruning them excessively.
- Thin out the branches to allow more air and light to penetrate the center of the tree.
- Remove any suckers (new shoots growing from the base of the tree)
- Lastly, prune with a smile on your face and enjoy the beauty of your tree!