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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