Prunus avium

Cherry Blossom

El Prunus avium It is one of the most ornamental deciduous fruit trees that exist, and there are no shortage of reasons: during spring it is filled with magnificent white flowers, in summer its green crown provides a most interesting shade, in autumn it helps us to calm the stomach and in winter its leaves turn reddish before falling.

What's more, maintenance of this tree is not too complicated; in fact, it is one of the easiest species. But yes, to bear fruit it requires certain hours of cold, since otherwise this fruiting will be scarce.

What is the origin and characteristics of the Prunus avium?

Cherry Blossom

Image sourced from Wikimedia/Логунова Виктория

It is a deciduous tree native to Europe and Western Asia known as wild cherry, sweet cherry, mountain cherry or simply cherry that grows to a maximum height of 30 meters. Its crown is wide and somewhat pyramidal, formed by branches from which simple leaves sprout, with an ovate to oblong shape, glabrous on the upper side and pubescent or smooth on the lower side, whose margins are crenate or serrated and with a length of 6 to 15 centimeters. and width from 3 to 8 centimeters.

The flowers are white, about 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter, and appear before the leaves, around April-May in the northern hemisphere. They do not self-pollinate; This task falls to the bees, which is why more than one specimen must be planted to obtain fruit, or graft it. These fruits are reddish or blackish drupes, or rarely yellow, with a globose or oblong shape, which finish ripening towards the end of summer/autumn.

What uses is it given?

Cherries

El Prunus avium or cherry has several uses:

  • Ornamental: It is a magnificent tree, which provides a very pleasant shade, as well as adding beauty to the garden or orchard.
  • Gastronomy: its fruits, once ripe, are delicious. It has a somewhat acid taste, and is eaten fresh or preserved. With them, ice creams, cakes, and even cocktails are also prepared.
  • Wood: it is reddish brown and hard. It is valued for making musical instruments and cabinetmaking.
  • Medicinal: Certain medicines can be prepared from cherries, which have astringent and diuretic properties.

What are the cherry tree care?

Prunus avium in flower

Image sourced from Wikimedia/ Konrad Lackerbeck

El Prunus avium It is a tree that must be outdoors, planted if possible in the ground, rich in organic matter and with good drainage. So that it bears a good quantity of fruits it is very important that there are between 500 and 1300 hours of cold per year, which is why its cultivation is only recommended in temperate climates.

Its roots are not invasive, although like any tree, it needs space to grow. Considering its adult size, It should not be planted at a distance of less than 7 meters from other tall plants or from the lower ones that want sun, because the top of the cherry tree would prevent them from growing normally.

Watering should be frequent. She will typically need an average of 4-5 waterings per week during the summer, and 2-3 per week the rest of the year. Take advantage of the growing season to fertilize it with guano, mulch or with herbivorous animal manure, and you'll see how healthy you keep it 😉 .

Lastly, it resists frosts down to -18ºC, but the spring ones harm it.


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