Freak Cherry Tree?

by Zanne
(Montreal)

Cherries

Cherries

About 35 years ago we planted a Montmorency cherry tree in our back yard in a suburb of Montreal. It has grown to about 40 ft, and yesterday a wind storm brought it down.

We want to replace it, and the specs on this variety of tree is a lifespan of 15-20 yrs, and a height of 15 ft.

Is it possible that our tree was a variety of Montmorency tree that lives longer (35 yrs), grows taller (40 ft) or was it just a freak? We'd like to avoid it and stick to a smaller tree for our second go around, as for the last several years the cherries have been too high to pick.

This tree gave us many years of wonderful pies, so it definitely was a sour cherry tree. Any guidance to steer us away from a tree that will grow too high will be appreciated.

Comments for Freak Cherry Tree?

Click here to add your own comments

Freak, or mislabeled?
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

I think you got ripped off when you purchased your Montmorency cherry tree. They are only supposed to top out at 20 feet tall. That makes it reachable with only a ladder, not a trained monkey to pick the fruit. If your tree got twice as tall, this makes me suspect that it was mislabeled.

If you stick with purchasing a tree from a local supplier or garden center, they would most likely have the best information on what they're selling. For sour cherries, there are a few newer introductions such as SK Mammoth, and Evans sour cherries. These are more shrublike than a single stemmed tree, so maybe that's an option to look at.

Cherries generally don't live very long.

Typically, this is due to the fact that they tend to get infections, most often due to the well meaning efforts of gardeners. They may prune them in the spring which is normally when other types of fruit trees are pruned (apples and pears) but all stone fruit should be pruned in August. This prevents them from bleeding or oozing sap which can attract pests and also make an opening for pathogens.

Hopefully you'll be able to find a new tree that will suit your needs.

More Digging
by: Jacki

Apparently, there is a dwarf variety of Montmorency, so maybe look for that as an option. They are a lot smaller, only reaching about 8' with a spread of 10' or so.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Horticulturist.