Prunus 'Sunburst' | Cherry Fruit Tree
2ft Rhododendron 'Peter Alan' | 7.5L Pot | Primrose Exclusive
'Sunburst' produces regular, heavy crops of dark red cherries with a very sweet flavour. An offspring of the more famous 'Stella', 'Sunburst' shares many of its characteristics and makes an excellent choice for any garden. Self-fertile, this tree will produce fruit without a partner and makes an excellent pollinator of self-sterile varieties.
Fruit trees are generally budded or grafted onto a rootstock by the nursery, which means the roots of the tree are a different plant to that of the trunk, branches and fruit. Rootstocks, among other things, determine the eventual size of your tree with dwarfing rootstocks producing smaller trees than one grown on its own roots. Some rootstocks have a greater dwarfing effect than others, with the Gisela 5 producing the smallest tree going.
While having a smaller tree may sound like a bad thing, it is actually a huge benefit. Dwarfing trees produce earlier in their lives and put more energy into fruiting at the expense of vegetative growth. This allows one to maximise space. A downside is that some dwarfing rootstocks such as Gisela 5 will need permanent staking to ensure they aren't uprooted by strong winds.
Fruit trees will only produce fruit if their flowers have been pollinated. This is usually done by pollinating insects, which transfer pollen from one flower to another. Honeybees, the main pollinating insect, will travel several miles in search of blossom, so if there is another compatible cherry in that radius your tree will produce fruit.
Some cherry trees are self-fertile while others require a compatible pollination partner from the same or neighbouring pollination group. Self-fertile varieties will produce fruit without a pollination partner, but benefit from a partner for heavier crops. Due to genetic similarity, it's not guaranteed two self-sterile cherries will pollinate one another, so we recommend you buy a self-fertile variety that can pollinate itself and any self-sterile varity. Cherry blossom trees can't pollinate cherry fruit trees, although sweet and sour cherries can pollinate one another.
We have developed an eco friendly polypot currently in use across our 9L range. The polypot uses less than 20% of the plastic compared with a normal pot and, unlike most garden center pots, is recyclable. Polypots also prevent root spiraling to encourage a healthier root system.
All trees arrive in a specially made, extra thick, cardboard box with a clamp to hold the pot in place at the bottom of the box. This prevents any movement during transit, keeping your plant safe.
We wrap the roots of our bare root trees and use compost to keep them moist during transport. This extra bit of protection prevents them from drying out and makes sure your tree gets off to a flying start.
We use the same specialised box as our potted trees to ensure safe transit.
Please note: where your plant is supplied with a pot, your plant's 'Height on Arrival' includes the pot
Cherry trees are easy to grow. Your tree’s growth and output will likely be fine providing you followed our planting and care instructions. Below we address some common queries:
- Hardiness: Cherry trees can be found growing in far colder regions than the UK and therefore the UK’s mild winters will not affect your tree. One issue that can affect cherry trees is frost-damaged blossom, which can prevent a tree fruiting. For more information, please consult our pollination guide.
- Position: In the UK, the greatest barrier to successful fruiting is a lack of sunlight, so be sure to plant your tree in full sun. Planting your tree in a sheltered spot will help prevent uprooting and allow the tree to put more resources into fruiting.
- Soil Types: Soil types are best ignored and remain an unwelcome confusion. Every plant will adapt to its conditions. Having said that, less than ideal conditions will reduce growth. Every plant is suited to a specific pH and cherry trees prefer soils with a pH between 6.5-7. pHs beyond this range will reduce nutrient uptake. Waterlogged soils will starve your tree of oxygen, which plays a key role in photosynthesis, cause its roots to rot and create the perfect environment for many diseases. Similarly, compressed soils can starve a tree of oxygen and water, so do not compress the soil when planting. Aeration can be improved further with mulching.
Advice on hot and droopy plants
If your plants are looking a little wilted right now, don’t worry! Plants like to be filled with water to keep their structure, and when it’s hot that water evaporates.
Just give them an off-schedule watering and they’ll be right as rain in no time! Be careful not to flood them - plants don’t like extremes.
Key is to regularly water newly-planted trees, at least bimonthly for two months. It is also important to ensure adequate spacing between trees with 3-3.5m between Gisela 5 and 4.5-5m between Colt rootstock trees.
Bare root & containerised trees have different planting requirements. With bare root, it is important to soak your tree's roots in water for up to 2 hours before planting, while with containerised trees it is important to drench your tree's rootball. With bare root it can be useful to prune woody roots back a few inches, while with containerised trees, it is important to free any spiralized roots growing around the rootball's circumference. With bare root trees, dig a hole so as to ensure the graft point is above the soil, while with containerised trees, ensure the pot sits no lower than an inch below ground.
Bare root & containerised trees also share planting requirements. Dig a hole twice the radius of the rootball. Stake your tree no more than 2-3 inches from the stem, pointing away from the prevailing wind. Fill the hole with a mix of compost and garden soil, and add fertiliser and mycorrhizal fungi. Do not compress the soil. Give your tree a good watering. Add mulch on top whether bark and wood chippings, compost, manure, leaf-mould and stones. Make sure mulch doesn't touch the stem. Tie the stake to your tree, leaving space for growth. Place a rabbit guard around your tree.
Apply fertiliser and replace decomposed mulch come spring. Check ties to ensure there is no rubbing. Collect fallen leaves in autumn.
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