|Detail of Cherry Tree - 3/9/2012|
|Cherry tree 5/9/2012|
At this point, they weren't fully ripe yet, but by Memorial Day weekend, they were, which is a little early. This is a Sweet Cherry tree, 'Stella', which ripens late May / early June. Interestingly enough, Sunset says cherries don't work in the desert (don't tell my tree!). 'Stella' is a self-pollinated variety, that can also be used as a pollinator for other sweet cherries. It needs 700 hrs or more of chilling time, which is low for a sweet cherry, and that's what makes it work in Zone 11. The tree wasn't staked when it was planted about 2 years ago, as part of the front garden overhaul. It is partially sheltered from the wind by the wall, but it is definitely leaning, like a lot of trees out here. I might need to give it some support, especially as it gets taller. Other than watering, I did give it some fertilizer (a spike) in early spring, but I haven't sprayed it for anything. Last year, something ended up eating the leaves later in the summer. I'll have to watch for that this year.
The birds were already starting to catch on the feast, and the tree isn't that big yet, so I decided to pick all the ripe ones all at once. Next year I'm going to try to leave them on even longer, probably with bird netting over the tree. But still, I got almost 3 pounds of cherries:
|All the cherries of 2012 (plus about a handful that are still on the tree....|
|Mini Cherry Pies with home-grown cherries!|