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Question: 981-3013
I have some big old fruit trees . My cherries came out but dropped all the fruit before maturing. I have not fertilized but I use an oil spray every year. Alan, Fairview, MO

Mort's Answer:
You have benefitted from no diseases for a while. You need to add a spray program and some fertilization. In addition to the oil spray for crawling insects, you need to purchase a Home Orchard spray for fungi and flying insects. Follow directions on the label. Never spray while the flowers are on the trees. At leaf drop , you will need to dig some holes with a crow bar or like tool. Make one hold for each inch of diameter in a circle. The holes need to go deep (as deep as two feet, if possible). Fill the holes with 5-10-10 . This will last for five years.

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Question: 1054-4813
We have very rough soil here in Norwich, CT. I have tried to grow cherries without much success. Any suggestions? Roy

Mort's Answer:
It is highly probable that you have given the plants too much water and rotted the roots. Because you have a shallow water table and a lot of clayey soil and hard pan,water does not drain off well. Next time, dig a hole that is twice the true size of the ball.Fill the bottom of the hole with a good planting mix with 50 % coarse sand. This will assure good drainage. Do not put any fertilizer in the hole. You can dust the top with a handful of a high phosphorus fertilizer. Water thoroughly after planting and repeat in 10 days. Unless you have a drought, let Mother Nature do the rest.

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