You don’t need to travel a long way to find cherry trees in bloom in many areas of America. To see them, over half a million people make a spring pilgrimage from around the country to Washington, D.C.
These cherries are not only stunning in their profusion but also have a rich history. They were given by Japan in gratitude for U.S. assistance during the Russo-Japanese War (1905).
Howard Taft was then secretary of war; Helen Taft, his wife, was president when the first cherry tree was planted in the ground in 1912.
Aging Cherry Trees
Unfortunately, trees die eventually, and the original cherries are aging, despite our efforts to care for them. To replace the ones that die, it would be wrong to plant any cherry tree in the ground.
These trees are a symbol of Japan and have been a witness to history. There are many varieties of cherry species, and not all are pink-flowered, double-flowered, or weeping cherries.
Most of the Yoshino trees that were sent as gifts in 1912 included around 3,000. Yoshinos are hybrids from unknown parents and come in many varieties.
They include those with pink flowers, upright habit (Afterglow), and white flowers and weeping habits (Pendula), as well as smaller sizes and weeping habits (Shidare Yoshino).
In the 1930s, the first replacements for the Tidal Basin’s ailing trees were made using a Yoshino variety called Akebono. (Daybreak), which bears double, pink-colored flowers.
Cloning is the solution.
Recent years have seen efforts to replace the ailing trees with genetic copies of the originals. These trees would look exactly like the originals but be much younger.
Cloning is a process that creates genetic replicas. This involves taking cuttings of the original trees and rooting them to make new trees.
Rooting cuttings of an 80-year-old tree can be difficult because they tend to root more readily from the so-called juvenile timber. How do you locate juvenile wood in an 80-year old plant? The original part of the plant is found in the roots.
Because not all original Yoshino cherries were the same, it was possible to “fingerprint” them using their DNA to identify and distinguish them.
Because pests are more likely to attack plants with a small gene pool, genetic diversity is greater.
Are you thinking of planting cherry trees? Trees are grown for two reasons. Trees are often grown for their delicious fruits. Cherries can also be planted because they look beautiful when they bloom in spring. Let’s take a look at how to plant a cherry tree in your backyard.
How to grow a cherry tree
Cherry trees can only be planted in well-drained and fertile soil. Trees are susceptible to root rot, so it is important to drain the soil well.
They need eight hours of sunlight each day, so they cannot be planted where they can grow under other trees. Cherry tree care books will inform you that sour cherries trees can be self-pollinators.
They do not need to be tended by more than one tree to produce their fruit. For proper cherry tree pollination, however, you will need two trees if you are planting the sweet variety.
When planting cherry trees, ensure that they are planted in higher ground. Low-lying areas are more susceptible to frost damage in early spring. Frost damage to the blossoms of growing cherry trees can lead to lower fruit crops.
The sweet cherry trees are more vulnerable to frost damage because they bloom earlier than the sour varieties. Cherry tree care should include pruning the trees to ensure a healthy harvest.
Cherry trees that are properly tended to produce more fruit will bear better quality and yield more.
Birds love cherries. To stop birds from eating your cherries, you will either have to share them with them or cover the tree with netting. Hanging scare devices such as aluminum pie pans from the tree’s limbs can help to prevent birds from eating your crop.
Before picking cherries from your cherry trees, be sure to taste them. When ripe, sour cherries will be soft and juicy. When the cherries are uniform in color, sweet cherries are ready. They have a sweet taste and a meaty texture.
The stem should be left attached when you harvest your cherries. The stem helps preserve their freshness once they are picked. They will last longer and keep better if the stem remains attached after harvest.
You can use cherries in many different ways. Cherries can be used in jams, canned, or eaten plain. The perfect pie cherry is the sour cherries.
You will get a great crop if you pay attention to the care requirements of cherry trees.