Choosing a site for your cherry trees is an important decision. Note that site choice and care for cherry trees is the same for both sweet and sour varieties, except for pH: Sour varieties are at their best in soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0, while sweet cultivars prefer a pH of 6.3 to 7.2. You have some wiggle room, but those are the preferred ranges.
Cherry trees need full sun—six to eight hours—good air circulation to discourage disease, and well-drained soil, though some varieties aren’t picky about that. The sunlight not only promotes fruiting, but it also helps prevent fungal issues with your trees. A site that gets strong morning sun is a good idea, as that helps dry out dew that might encourage fungal diseases.
Tip: If you live on the southern edge of cherry’s planting zones, it’s ideal if your trees get a bit of protection from the hottest part of the afternoon sun. You may want to set up shade protection otherwise.
Good soil drainage is critical for the tree’s roots. Heavy clay soil or rocky soil is a bad bet for cherry tree health, and fast-draining sandy soil means it will require more frequent watering. As always, a soil test is the best way to check on nutrients, and you should amend your soil accordingly before you plant.
Have you successfully chosen a site for cherry trees? Please tell us your tips for getting cherry trees to grow in your selected site.