Restoring Cherry Trees
I have about two acres of cherry trees in Sonoma county said to be about
20 years old. They are in a very neglected condition and I am desirous
of putting them in good shape for next year's crop. They are in a very
light sandy loam sail which is easily worked.
Cherry trees under good growing conditions and proper care are very long
lived in California and bear abundant crops when thirty and more years
of age. In the San Jose district and elsewhere there are orchards
considerably older than the limit stated and are still very profitable.
If your trees have been so neglected that the branches have died back,
the trees should be pruned, of course, cutting out all dead wood and
shortening weak or dying branches to a point where a good strong shoot
can be found. Then a good application of farmyard manure plowed in
during the rainy season, followed by summer cultivation for moisture
retention. Although the cherry is very hardy, it is quite likely to
suffer on light soils which become too dry. On such soils as yours there
is little if any danger of too much water in the winter, unless the land
lies low, but the injury to the tree comes from the lack of moisture
during the summer time, and this, with your abundant rainfall, you can
probably assure by thorough summer cultivation.
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