Suitable Trees: The Cherry Family

The Cherry is a member of one of the largest family of plants on the planet, the ‘Rosacea’, yes they are related to Roses (Those horrible plants that flower for two days, and then drop petals all over the garden). The Rose family is really diverse, with the Cherry family at one end, apples, and pears, then Quinces, Cotoneasters, through the Raspberry/Blackberry group, past Roses themselves, and on to Strawberries, the only plant to carry its seeds on the outside of the fruit.

The Cherry family itself includes Apricots, Peaches, Plums, Damsons, Gages, and my own favorite the Blackthorn or Sloe, all of which will make good Bonsai. The Apricot or ‘Mume’, as its called in Japan is the earliest flowering of the group, here in the UK I’ve seen them in flower in late January.

The Cherry family propagates easily from seed, sown in the autumn. The seeds need a cold winter to germinate. They will take from hardwood cuttings but can prove difficult. A search near an old Cherry tree will often provide seedlings you can collect, however plants grown from seed, or cutting can take ten to fifteen years to flower.

They have no particular needs, as far as their cultivation is concerned.

Pruning should be carried out in mid summer, allowing time for next year’s flower buds to develop.

Allowing them to set fruit may stress the tree beyond its ability to survive.

Cherry bonsai are often seen as stumps, as like most flowering trees they tend to be difficult to train in a 'normal' style.

Allen. C. Roffey Wednesday, August 8, 2018 10:55