How many cherry trees per acre

Big cherries require big commitment

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Producing 11-row cherries may no longer be profitable.

March 15th 2010 Issue

Big cherries require big commitment

March 15, 2010

Left: Before pruning: Bing on Mazzard rootstock. Right: After pruning: The same Bing on Mazzard tree. Notice that the small, weak wood was removed.

Growing big cherries doesn’t just happen. It takes commitment, attention to macro and micro details, and crop load management. But with larger cherry crops forecast in the future, having a 65 to 75 percent packout due to small size may no longer be profitable.   

In sharing insights on how to produce cherries that peak at 10-row or larger, a panel of cherry growers stressed during the 2010 meeting of the Northwest Cherry Institute held in Yakima, Washington, that size is becoming ever important. Growers need to do all they can to produce large, firm, sweet cherries.

“In the past, I thought that the 11-row cherry had a place,” said Travis Allan of Allan Brothers, Yakima, Washington. “It paid for picking, it paid for packing, and we made money on it. But last year, it was such a drag on what we did.” His company is now ­looking at ways to eliminate 11-row cherries from the operation.

Start off right

The Dalles, Oregon, orchardist Tim Dahle said that growing large fruit is a complex equation, involving such factors as light interception, adequate branch diameter and angle, proper leaf-to-fruit ratio, and adequate root system, nutrition, and irrigation. “It begins with orchard establishment and choosing the proper rootstock,” he said. “Even in the best of orchards, you’ll have trees that aren’t performing, which means that there’s an imbalance from something.”

The imbalance could be from roots that are impaired, a tree that’s diseased from crown gall (or other viruses), damage from gophers, roots that were killed from a water leak, or other maladies, Dahle said. But it’s important to identify those trees and take corrective action, removing enough of the top of the tree to allow it to grow ­pencil-sized wood, he noted.

Precise irrigation plays a major role in fruit size, said Dahle. “If there’s not quite enough irrigation, fruit is small and stressed. Too much, and fruit is soft and low in sugar. It’s difficult to hit it right all of the time.”

Once the crop is harvested, the tree doesn’t need as much soil moisture, and reduced levels can actually encourage deeper rooting.
Dahle warned growers not to depend on a calendar to schedule irrigation. Good soil moisture data is needed to make good irrigation decisions.


Cherry grower Norm Gutzwiler of Wenatchee, ­Washington, has been part of field demonstrations and workshops for years, helping others learn the importance of pruning in cherries. He encouraged orchardists to get rid of big wood, opening up the tree to capture energy through light interception.

“It’s a continual process—remove and replace wood every year,” he said.

Gutzwiler said growers  should think in terms of pounds or boxes of fruit per tree. In a block of Bing on Gisela 6, planted with 8 feet between trees and 16 feet between rows, heavy pruning was done to the two-leader structure to bring production levels down to two boxes of fruit (one box per leader) per tree. At that spacing, there were 340 trees per acre, he said, which equates to about 20,400 pounds of fruit or 10.2 tons per acre. “If you put five more pounds of fruit on each tree, you’ll come up to more than 11 tons per acre.”

In another example of central leader Skeena trees on Mazzard rootstock, spaced 5 by 14 feet apart, the trees only need 30 pounds of fruit per tree to total 9.5 tons per acre. Branches need to be continually tipped, he said. The closer spacing results in 628 trees per acre. “If you add five pounds of fruit per tree, it puts another 2.5 tons of fruit per acre on the trees.”

Pruning should be approached differently depending on the rootstock, he added. For Gisela, a very precocious rootstock and one that sets a lot of fruit on one-year wood, he recommends tipping all of the shoots and leaving less wood in the trees than on Mazzard rootstocks. “In Mazzard, if you take one-year wood and tip, you’ll get too much vigorous wood,” Gutzwiler said.

Fruit per foot

Thinning at the green fruit stage is one way to eliminate 11-row fruit, Allan said. But how do you know if you’ve thinned enough?
Allan has been working with grower-shipper Jason Matson of Selah, Washington, to develop guidelines based on the number of fruit per foot of fruiting limbs.

“We trying to boil it down to a small area,” he said, adding that a guide is needed so that growers don’t just have a “look” that they’re after when thinning, but some real numbers as well.

If target tonnage is around ten tons per acre, with 228 trees per acre that would equal about 87 pounds of fruit per tree, he explained, and that would be about 3.6 to 4.3 pounds of fruit per limb in the fruiting area (20 to 24 branches) on a multiple-leader tree. Because the average weight of a 10-row cherry is approximately one-third ounce, it would take about 40 individual cherries to equal 13. 2 ounces for each foot of fruiting area on the limb.

Allan is still working on many variables to the formula. Data showed that one-year wood is key to producing large fruit and should comprise 30 to 50 percent of the total length of the fruiting branch.

Data that Allan and Matson have collected thus far show that for a heavy crop of ten-plus tons per acre with 228 trees per acre, a grower should aim for 40 to 45 cherries per foot of a fruiting limb. If the crop was thought to be on the light side, say six to eight tons per acre, a few more fruit could be left on the fruiting branches. The grower would then target 45 to 55 cherries per foot of fruiting limb.


When it comes to tree nutrition, the three grower panelists follow new recommendations from university researchers to apply nitrogen (urea) in the fall to boost spur development the following spring. They also take leaf and soil samples to identify nutrient deficiencies.
Dahle noted that trees that are being pruned hard need adequate levels of nutrition to produce his goal of pencil-sized, 18-inch-long wood.
Growers also need to observe tree growth to gauge how vigorous the orchard is growing, said Gutzwiler. Tree vigor can be a clue to the nitrogen status. 

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Melissa Hansen is the research program director for the Washington Wine Commission. Hansen previously was an associate editor at Good Fruit Grower from 1996 through 2015. Read her stories: Author Index

How many cherries does a cherry tree produce? 0, 20, 50, 100, 400 kg?

In this publication, we will analyze how many cherries does a cherry tree produce in various growing conditions.

A cherry tree can produce 0, 20, 50, 100, 400 kilos of cherries depending on the weather, terrain, care applied… Personally the most I have caught a cherry tree has been 400 kg . A huge cherry tree of the Sunburst variety.

Factors that influence the kilos that a cherry tree can produce

The kilos a cherry tree can produce are influenced by multiple factors. Variety of planted cherry, weather, pollination, maturation date, planting density, rootstock, tree age, treatments performed, resistance at cherry tree plagues and diseases…

Cherry variety

Some varieties of cherry can become very productive, however, the size of the cherries will be greatly affected. Lapins, Sunburst, Van, Frisco, Celeste, Black Star, Royal Tioga, New Star, Crystal, New Moon, Starking, Bing, 4-84, Somerset, Royal Helen, Sweet Heart… They are varieties of cherries that can reach high yields.

Maturation date

Generally, early ripening cherry varieties are less productive. This is because the tree has less time to produce cherries.


Irrigation is a good way to prevent cherry trees from experiencing water stress during the summer. Cherry trees affected by drought weaken and suffer the attack of big-headed worm, which can dry them.

Having strong cherry trees will help us obtain quality cherries, although excess vigor can reduce cherry production.


The self-fertile cherry varietieshave a greater ease of curdling, so they usually outperform the self-sterile varieties.

Cherry tree fertilizer

Cherry trees need to be well nourished to produce.

It is important to control nutritional deficiencies and provide specific fertilizers to improve quality and production.

Control of pests and diseases

The application of phytosanitary treatments is essential to keep diseases and pests of the cherry tree controlled.

Fungi such as moniliacan significantly reduce the kilos of cherries produced by a cherry tree.

Pests such as the black aphid from the cherry treecan steal a large part of its sap from the tree, reducing quality and productivity.

Age of the tree

Cherry trees take several years to bear fruit, they need more than 5-7 years to reach their productive potential.

Plantation framework

A smaller distance between cherry trees, these will be smaller and the production of cherries per tree will be smaller.


The accumulation of chill hours is essential for the cherry tree to bloom properly. On the other hand, rainy climates favor the presence of diseases (cherry leaf spot, Stigmina carpophila…) that will need to be controlled.

Size occupied by the tree

The density of plantation influences of important form in the kilos of cherries produced by tree and surface.
Plantation cherry trees made in high density will hardly produce more than 20kg of cherry. Although one hectare can exceed 20,000 kg of cherry produced.

Cherry tree pruning

The cherry tree pruning, is an effective tool for regulating tree load. When cherry trees are not pruned correctly, they can become overloaded. Although trees can produce many kg of cherries, they are of poor quality. In many cases, it will not be profitable to pick up these cherries, which in the end, have to stay in the field, favoring the presence of pests.

So, how many kilos of cherries does a cherry tree produce?

We have seen the factors that can influence the kilos produced by a cherry tree, now I will give several examples of how many kilos of cherries a cherry tree produce. In my case I speak of Kg of cherry net, once the cherries with defects (cracked, chopped by birds…) have been removed. In the cases that are going to be exposed, the gross production of the cherry tree can be between 5 and 15% higher.

Location: Arenas de San Pedro (Ávila).

Care taken: pruning, payment, control of pests and diseases.

Reinforced 15-year-old cherry tree with the variety 3-13, plantation frame 5×5 meters, irrigation of support for. The first interesting production with 10kg, 3 years after crown graft. Caliber 28-32 mm.

30-year-old Sunburst cherry tree, grafted into avium rootstocks and nestled among centuries-old olive trees, the estimated planting frame is 12×10 meters, dry land. Maximum production obtained: 400 kg, regular productions above 200 Kg. Gauge 24-28 mm and 28-32 mm respectively.

30-year-old Summit cherry tree, grafted into avium rootstocks and nestled among centuries-old olive trees, the estimated planting frame is 10×9 meters, dry land. Maximum production obtained: 150 kg, irregular productions, with only 10 kg years. Caliber 24-30 mm and 30-32mm.

15-year-old Lapins cherry tree, grafted onto avium rootstocks and located between cherry trees with 5×5 meter frames, specific supportive risks. Maximum production obtained: 100 kg, with annual productions exceeding 50 kg. Caliber 22-26 mm and 24-28 mm.

The above examples are mainly from very productive cherry varieties. The estimated average production for cherry trees is 30 kilos of cherry per tree and 12,000 Kg / ha.

How many kilos of cherries does one hectare produce?

In commercial plantations in the United States, it is recommended that the kilos of cherry per hectare do not exceed 15,000-20,000 kg. Although some operations allow production of 30-40 tons of cherry per hectare, the quality and sales prices of the cherry plummet.

However, these numbers are for high density plantations and the most productive varieties.
Actually, in Spain the plantations are very old and the production of one hectare of irrigated cherry trees is less than 6,000 kg / h a.

Recommended reading

In what month is the cherry picked up?

What properties do cherries have?


We have translated the information on our website from Spanish to English. Note that some words may have seen their meaning altered during their translation.

90,000 how many seedlings per hectare - calculator

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distance in a row, in meters, through point

m 9000

– Hectare = 100m * 100m = 10,000m2 (square meters)

– Calculate the number of seedlings per hectare

– How many seedlings per hectare

Go to buy Hazelnut seedlings 5 ​​varieties

    • Apricot
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Here are the main advantages of this fruit over others:

  1. Huge market demand. These are both retail sales and wholesale sales to the same canning factories or to large retail chains.
  2. Minimum maintenance time. Cherry care consists of basic things: watering, pruning, fertilizing, and more.
  3. The cherry tree itself is quite resistant to frost, but at the same time, frosts during flowering can deprive you of a full-fledged harvest.
  4. Investments will bring profit for a long time, because cherries can bear fruit for many years.
  5. High yield. So from one tree per season you can collect about 20 kg of cherries.
  6. Ability to plan the harvest and sale of the crop depending on the variety of cherries. There are varieties that bear fruit already at the beginning and middle of summer, and there are later varieties of cherries, which are harvested somewhere in the middle of September.

For a commercially viable approach, one should count on a cherry orchard with about 1 - 2 thousand trees.

Popular cherries:

- for Russia: Bulatnikovskaya, Apukhtinskaya, Zhukovskaya, Nord Star, Chernokorka, Molodezhnaya, Malinovka, Shchedraya;

- for Ukraine: Meeting, Griot of Ostheim, Griot Seridko, Zhukovskaya, Toy, Lutovka, Nord Star, Optimist, Miracle Cherry, Shpanka, Elegant.

Also, some entrepreneurs grow felt cherries. It is a large bushes, and its fruits are 1.5 - 2 times more useful than the fruits of ordinary cherries. They contain vitamin C, carbohydrates, organic acids and B vitamins.

An alternative to cherries can be a business of growing and selling cherries. Garden care, costs and profitability.

Growing and caring for cherries

Contents of the article

  • Growing and caring for cherries
  • Harvesting and marketing
  • Selling cherry seedlings
  • Why consider an apiary?

For a cherry orchard, you need to either have your own plot of land or look for a long-term lease of land for this business. The area under the garden is calculated from an indicator of about 25 sq.m. per cherry tree. So, about 400 trees can be planted per 1 hectare. When choosing a landing area, it is advisable to focus on the following parameters. Sandy soils are preferred. The site itself must be protected from cold northern winds and be sure to pay attention to the groundwater level, it must be below 2 meters, because otherwise the cherry root system will rot and your investment in seedlings will not pay off. The soil itself after planting seedlings is fertilized with manure, and subsequently with phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. You can read the technology of growing various varieties of cherries on specialized forums.

There are several different methods of growing cherries from the stone, from seeds, from cuttings. It is worth noting that the cherry begins to bear fruit already 3-4 years after planting, but the peak of fertility occurs 6-7 years after planting. Thus, it is a long-term investment and in order to shorten the waiting time for the tree to form, and came up with various planting options. So when choosing seeds or seeds as planting material, this will be the most difficult and time-consuming way to make a profit in a cherry business. If you grow cherries from cuttings, then such a business will give faster results, since you can buy a cutting that is already 2 to 3 years old and harvest the first crop within the next season. Businessmen usually choose this way. The cost of one cutting is within $5. So to plant 400 trees per 1 ha, you will need to spend about $2,000 on seedlings. Also include fertilizer costs in your business plan.

Seedlings are planted either at the beginning of spring or at the beginning of autumn. They handle winter well. If the soils are clayey, sand and fertilizers are added to them. After planting, watering is carried out.

Of the features of caring for a cherry orchard, it is worth highlighting the periodic replenishment of the soil with useful fertilizers, pruning of trees and the formation of a tree crown, as well as disease prevention and protection from pests. So, among the diseases, it is fungal diseases that can be distinguished: coccomycosis and moniliosis, which damage the branches and flowers of cherries. Of the pests, birds do the most harm, they encircle trees, and one can distinguish from the methods of dealing with them: installing scarecrows, hanging brilliant tinsel, or buying special ultrasonic devices designed for this business. Observing all these conditions for growing cherries, you can get good yields. So, depending on the variety, you can have about 15 - 40 kg of a marketable product at the exit from one cherry tree.

Start your own apple business. Varieties, garden care, harvesting and storage, sales.

Harvesting and marketing of products

Harvest mainly in summer, except late cherries. The fruits themselves are plucked by hand, after which they are packed in boxes and then the goods go to the buyer. In business costs, also include wages for harvesters.

Products are sold, as already mentioned above, either to grocery stores or to wholesale buyers, and part of the products is sold on the market at retail prices.

It is worth noting that if you have financial resources, you can produce various food products and sell them already. So, for example, you can sell jams or cherry preserves, or you can sell candied cherries.

Thus, the retail price of cherries is about $1.5 - $1.8. With an average yield per tree of about 15 - 20 kg per 1 ha (400 trees), we can get about $ 9000. If you subtract planting material, fertilizers, wages for workers, transportation costs, security, then on average you can earn about $ 5,000 - $ 6,000 per season, subject to good yields. The business pays off in the first year, when the cherry begins to bear fruit (about 5 - 6 years). Further, you will not need to purchase planting material, and the income will be higher.

Sale of cherry seedlings

Sale of seedlings is a separate line of business in the cherry orchard. If you have a large garden with varietal cherries, you can easily start growing cuttings and sell them first of all at retail prices in the market. For large buyers, you can make discounts, but the plus is that even private traders buy 1-3 seedlings in order to plant near their home, for their own needs. And if you attach bright photos of your garden and show what cherry yields you can achieve, then you can significantly increase the sales of seedlings.

Learn more