Cherry trees need full sun to grow and thrive. Plant your cherry tree in an area that gets 6 to 8 hours of full sun each day and has fertile, well-drained soil. Direct sunlight is crucial to the number of cherries each harvest yields and the taste of the fruit itself. Providing your cherry tree with full sun prevents fungal diseases from getting a foothold as well.
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How Many Hours of Sun Do Cherry Trees Need?
Cherry trees need 6 to 8 hours of full sun on a daily basis. If they receive less than this amount, you are risking a poor harvest with low-quality fruit. So, plant cherry trees in an area that receives all-day sun. South-facing plantings that are not shaded by buildings work best for growing cherries.
- Cherry trees need 6–8 hours of full sun daily.
- If cherry trees get less than 6 hours of sun per day, they will produce small harvests.
- Your cherries may taste “off” if the trees don’t get appropriate sunlight.
If your cherry trees get a little less than 6 hours daily, the negative effects may not be severe, but significantly less than 6 hours of daily direct sun will definitely have a bad effect on your trees.
Can Cherry Trees Grow in Indirect Sunlight?
Cherry trees can grow in indirect sunlight, but most varieties will produce less fruit if they are deprived of direct sun. Without full sun, you may also end up with fruit that does not fully ripen. This means you’ll end up without any cherry harvest.
- Cherry trees can grow in indirect sunlight.
- If they don’t get 6–8 hours of direct light, most cherry trees produce less fruit.
- Cherries may not completely ripen if the tree does not receive direct sunlight.
- Extreme heat and direct sunlight can also harm cherries.
- Use this row cover to shade your cherry trees when temperatures rise above 100℉ (38℃)
If your cherry tree receives all-day sun when temperatures rise above 100℉ (38℃), the excess heat can force the growing cycle of your cherries to progress too quickly. In this case, cover your cherry trees with sun-filtering row covers until temperatures cool down.
- Winter protection for your plants and crops.
- Lightweight and breathable material.
- Can also be used to encourage rapid seedling growth.
Can Cherry Trees Grow in Shade?
Most varieties of cherry trees can grow in the shade, but will not produce a good harvest. In the majority of cases, you can expect less fruit and fewer flowers if you grow your cherry trees in shade. This is because the trees will shift their focus from producing fruit to trying to find sunlight.
- Cherry trees can grow in shade but will not do well.
- When grown in shade, cherry trees produce fewer flowers and less fruit.
- Roots and foliage will grow leggy trying to find sun.
Growing a cherry tree in the shade results in leggy, odd-looking foliage. Certain ornamental cherry tree varieties are a bit more shade-tolerant, but adequate sunshine is ultimately vital to the health of any cherry tree.
What Happens if Cherry Trees Don’t Get Enough Sun?
Cherry trees that don’t receive enough sunlight produce poor-tasting fruit. Cherries may not grow as large, may have a bitter taste, or might be dry, rather than juicy. Cherry trees that don’t get enough full sun usually have fewer flowers as well.
- Poor fruit quality is a sign of sun deprivation.
- Cherry trees produce fewer flowers if enough full sun is not provided.
- A poor harvest, leggy foliage, and a delay in fruit setting are all signs of the lack of sun.
- Cherry trees deprived of sun may develop fungal diseases.
You can expect fewer cherries overall from your harvest if the tree lacks sunlight. A delay in the fruit setting is also possible, which means that your trees may produce fruit, but the fruit will never ripen. Cherry trees that are deprived of sunlight often become leggy as well, and are far more susceptible to fungal diseases.
Can Cherry Trees Get Too Much Sun?
Cherry trees are typically not harmed if they get more than the recommended 6 to 8 hours of full sun, but sun scorch is a possibility. Cherry trees usually develop their own canopy, which is sufficient protection from the harsh afternoon sun, but young cherry trees should be given additional protection from sunburn.
- Cherry trees can become sun-scorched if overexposed to hot sun, especially if not given enough water.
- Young cherry trees are susceptible to sunburn.
- Whitewashing the trunks and larger limbs can help prevent sun scorch.
- Signs of sun-scorched include overly ripe fruit.
- Dark spots on the trunk, and a brownish-yellow tinge on the foliage may also indicate sun scorch.
Whitewashing the trunk and largest limbs with a mixture of one-half white latex paint and one-half water can help reflect hot sun away from your trees. Signs of sun scorch include an unsightly brown or yellowish tinge on the foliage, or dark spots on the trunk for which no other reason can be found. Cherries may also become overly ripe at an abnormally fast pace if they are not protected from excessive heat and sunlight.
How Much Sun Do Cherry Trees Require?
Full sun is vital to the health of your cherry trees. It also dictates the size and quality of your harvest. Keep these cherry-growing tips in mind when planting your tree:
- Cherry trees need 6–8 hours of full sun daily.
- Direct sunlight is vital to the harvest and the health of cherry trees.
- Fungal diseases are easier to prevent when cherry trees get direct sunlight.
- Cherry trees grown in full sun produce bigger, better-tasting harvests.
- If your cherry tree lacks sun it is prone to disease and may produce bitter fruit.
- Sun scorch is possible when temperatures exceed 100℉ (38℃), but most cherry trees enjoy all-day sun.
In order to grow ripe, sweet cherries, make sure to plant your tree where it will receive plenty of direct sun. If you have a young cherry tree, consider growing it in a pot for a while. Move the pot to different locations in your garden until you find a palace where the tree thrives. Make this the tree’s permanent spot.