Prunus 'Summer Sun' | Cherry Fruit Tree
Reliable cropper of tasty fruit, even in cold areas
'Summer Sun' fruits beautiful sweet cherries that range from dark red to nearly black. The fruits have an excellent texture, neither too firm or too soft. Developed in the UK at the John Innes Research Station, the tree is an excellent choice for the colder areas of the UK. 'Summer Sun' is recipient of the Award of Garden Merit given by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), which helps gardeners make an informed choice about plants.
- Supplied As: Bare Root
- Height on Arrival: 1.5m (5ft)
- Age: 2 Years with 4 Year Rootstock
- Rootstock: Colt
- Eventual Height & Spread: 4m x 4.5m (13 x 15ft)
Fruit trees are generally budded or grafted onto a rootstock by their nursery, which means their roots are of a different plant to that of their trunk, branches, and fruit. Rootstocks (amongst other environmental factors) will determine the eventual size of your tree.
Dwarfing rootstocks produce smaller trees than the one grown on its own roots. Some rootstocks have a greater dwarfing effect than others, with Gisela 5 producing the smallest tree. While having a smaller tree may sound like a negative, it is actually highly beneficial! Dwarfing trees will crop earlier in their lives; placing more energy into their fruiting instead of vegetative growth. Nonetheless, some dwarfing rootstocks, such as Gisela 5, need permanent staking to make sure that they aren't uprooted by strong winds.
Your fruit tree will only produce fruit if their flowers have been pollinated. This is usually done by pollinating insects, which will transfer pollen from one flower to another. Honeybees, the main pollinating insect, will travel several miles in search of blossom. So if there exists another cherry tree within that radius it will most likely bear fruit.
Some cherry trees are self-fertile, while others need a pollination partner from the same or neighbouring pollination group. Although self-fertile varieties form fruit without the help of a pollination partner, a pollination partner will still greaten their yields.
Due to genetic similarities, it is not guaranteed that two self-sterile cherries will pollinate one another, so we recommend that you buy one self-fertile variety and another that needs to be pollinated. Cherry blossom trees can't pollinate cherry fruit trees, although sweet and sour cherries can pollinate each other.
- Pollination Group: 3
- Self-Fertile: No
- Harvesting Period: Mid (Late July)
- Estimated Time to Cropping: 2 Years
- Estimated Time to Best Yields: 5 years
- Uses: Eating Fresh
We have developed an eco friendly polypot that is currently in use across our 9 litre range. This polypot has less than 20% of the plastic used by a regular pot, and is importantly recyclable. Polypots also prevent root spiraling, encouraging a healthier root system.
All trees arrive in an extra thick cardboard box with a clamp to hold their pot in place. This prevents them from moving around on their journey.
Nursery staff will wrap the roots of our bare root trees and use compost to keep them moist during transportation. This extra protection prevents them from drying out, allowing for a flying start. We also use the same specialised box that our potted trees have to keep them nice and secure as they make their way to your home.
Bare root and containerised trees have differing planting requirements, detailed below:
- Watering: Bare root trees should have their roots soaked in water for up to 2 hours before planting, while with containerised trees, it is important to drench their root ball before planting.
- Pruning: Another difference is that for bare root trees, it is useful to prune their woody roots back a few inches. However, for containerised trees, you should free any spiralized roots growing around their rootball's circumference.
- Planting: With bare root trees, you should dig a hole to enable the graft point to be above the soil, while with containerised trees, the pot should sit no lower than an inch below the ground.
Bare root and containerised trees also share planting requirements, detailed below:
- With both, you should dig a hole that is twice the radius of their rootball. Stake your trees no more than 2 - 3 inches from the stem, and make sure that they are pointing away from the prevailing wind.
- Fill the planting hole with a mix of compost and garden soil, finishing with fertiliser and mycorrhizal fungi. Take care to not compress the soil.
- Once you are happy with your efforts, give your tree a generous watering.
- Add mulch on top (this can be bark and wood chippings, compost, manure, leaf-mould, and stones), and ensure that these do not touch the stem of the tree.
- Tie the stake to your tree (and leave space for growth), and place a rabbit guard around your tree to protect it from harmful pests.
- Apply fertiliser and replace decomposed mulch come spring. When autumn arrives, remove fallen leaves to prevent the risk of disease. You should also make sure that the ties are not rubbing your tree.
- Hardiness: Cherry trees can be found growing in far colder regions than the UK and therefore its mild winters will not affect your tree. One issue that can affect cherry trees is frost-damaged blossom, which can prevent a tree from fruiting.
- Position: In the UK, the greatest barrier to successful fruiting is a lack of sunlight, so be sure to plant your cherry tree somewhere that receives enough sun. Choosing a sheltered location will also help prevent uprooting and allow it to leverage more resources into fruiting.
- Soil: Soil types can be an unwelcome confusion as many plants will adapt to their conditions. Nonetheless, less than ideal conditions will certainly limit your tree’s growth. Waterlogged soils will starve your tree of oxygen, which plays a key role in photosynthesis; causing its roots to rot and creating an optimal environment for disease. Similarly, compressed soils can starve a tree of oxygen and water, so do not compress the soil when planting.
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