Dwarf black Tartarian cherry tree origin and characteristics
Originally found in Circassia, now a region in Russia, Black Tartarian was brought to England in the 1700s then to the United States.
in the 1800s. Black Tartarian is the original species, while the dwarf black Tartarian cherry tree is the new variant. Black Tartarian produces black, sweet, tender, and juicy cherries.
Since the fruit is too soft to ship commercially, people enjoy harvesting from the tree.
The fruit ripens from mid-June to early July and takes four to seven years to bear. The tree grows well in hardiness zones of five to eight.
Commonly the mature size of black Tartarian cherry trees is 18 to 30’ in height and width. Meanwhile, the dwarf is 8 to 15’ in height and width.
The original one has a growth rate of 13 to 24’ per year. It has white flower bloom and purplish-black, heart-shaped fruit with a one-inch diameter.
Ideal soil and light for dwarf black Tartarian cherry tree
Even though the tree grows well in different soil types, it prefers sandy and loamy soil. Hence the roots can absorb sufficient oxygen from fast-draining, loose, and deep soil.
The ideal pH of the soil ranges from 6.2 to 6.8. Above the ground, there must be direct full sun for six to eight hours each day.
Especially for the dwarf black Tartarian cherry tree, there must not be any buildings and larger trees that could block the sunlight on the cherry tree. The light is critical for the tree for the fruit quality and production and to prevent fungal issues.
How to plant dwarf black Tartarian cherry tree
The first thing to do is to prepare the right location and soil for the tree. Then prepare the tree. Growing a tree from the seed is quite difficult and takes a long time.
Hence people mostly plant a tree from bare-root or potted ones. If you plant a tree that has been through a shipping process, acclimate or harden off the plant first.
It helps the tree adjust to the new environment and reduce while transferring to new soil.
The best time to plant a cherry tree is in the late fall to early spring since the ground contains high moisture and is soft during that time.
If the dwarf black Tartarian cherry tree comes from the rootstock method, plant it with the graft union above the soil for several inches. It aims to prevent the growing root from the graft that bypasses the rootstock.
Fertilizing Dwarf black Tartarian cherry tree
After planting the tree, water regularly on the dry areas and spread some mulch to preserve moisture underneath. For soil fertilizers, cherry trees favor low nitrogen ones like 10-15-15 or 5-10-10. Over fertilized tree is prone to disease and pests.
Before giving any fertilizer, check the soil first. If the soil has rich nutrients, the fertilizer should only be given when trees start bearing cherries.
Yet if the newly-planted tree has no significant growth for a long period meaning that the soil lacks nutrients, fertilizer is okay before the bearing fruit period.
Fertilizing the tree once a year is sufficient, especially in early spring and no later than July.
After mid-summer is a forbidden time to fertilize the tree because it is time for the new growth to harden off before fall and winter.
Dwarf black Tartarian cherry tree maintenance
To stimulate new fruiting branches, prune dwarf black Tartarian cherry trees in late winter every year. The pruning can create a certain shape and structure that opens the canopy to air circulation and light.
Create sharp and clean cuts about a quarter-inch from the next bud. The cuts will be easy to heal and produce new, strong, and productive growth.
Pruning out of season is also good, especially when damage happens. An injured branch usually results in ragged edges and no stub.
No pruning at all might make the trees dormant.
Another care for the tree is fruit-thinning. Besides, always prepare the sprayed disinfectant for pests and diseases like aphids, moths, borers, mites, leafhoppers, scale, thrips, buckskin, and more.
Best way to harvest the dwarf black Tartarian cherry tree
As black Tartarian cherry is not fruitful by itself, the tree must get pollinated by another variety of sweet cherries. In addition, it requires 900 chill hours.
After three or four years, usually, during harvest time, a dwarf black Tartarian cherry tree could produce 2-3 bushels of cherries.
Pick the ripe cherries by cutting the stalks using scissors only, as hand-picking might cause infection and injure the shoots. Harvest within a week.
Then cook or eat the cherries immediately. If cherries are meant to be frozen or preserved, pick them when firm.