Cherry trees are one of the indisputable harbingers of spring. When grown in the right conditions, like full sun and well-drained soil, lovely blossoms transform into delicious fruit.
However, when your trees have absorbed most of the natural nutrients in the soil, or when you’re newly planting one, they may start to show signs of needing a little boost. That won’t be a worry once you know which are the best cherry tree fertilizers available, what type is right for your cherry tree and, how much and when to feed them.
With so many choices on the market, how do you tell them apart? Which cherry tree fertilizer is best, specifically? First, let’s take a look at the various types available and how they work.
Best Fertilizer for Cherry Trees
There are several ways to deliver food to your plants and trees, so let us have a brief look at each of them and outline the main benefits of each form of cherry tree fertilizer.
Spikes are one of the easiest to use, especially if you have more than one cherry tree. They are pre-measured, compact, and slow-releasing. There is little risk of root burn and nourishing your trees is as easy as pushing the spikes into the soil.
Other than rainfall, watering them in is not necessary either, as nutrients are released from the spike by micro-organisms that naturally live in the soil. This particular method of application also carries the added benefit of stimulating an increased resistance to tree disease and pests.
Liquid Concentrate Fertilizer
Fertilizers of this type are used by applying a water-diluted mixture of the concentrate around the base of the tree. Nutrients are then carried to the root system through the soil. The biggest benefit being the speed at which they get nutrients to the roots. Liquid feeds tend to keep the pH levels in your soil balanced, as well. However, I’d highly recommend that you don’t over-feed, as this can lead to root burn.
Granules are another slow-release choice. Heavily concentrated, they provide consistent nourishment for up to nine months, with the first results showing in just a couple of weeks.
Granular fertilizers are applied by sprinkling them around the base of your tree. For larger orchards, a seed spreader can be used for faster application. Slow releasers are also less likely to cause root burn and in most cases are considered more Eco-friendly.
Powder fertilizers can be applied either directly into the soil around your cherry tree’s base or diluted in water as a “tea”. This type is perfect for larger applications such as in orchards or on farms but does require a bit more effort in smaller spaces. While these are some of the most economical, they do carry a risk of root burn so do make sure you read up and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on how often to fertilize cherry trees.
Organic vs Inorganic
Choosing an organic or synthetic (inorganic) fertilizer is a matter of preference and end-result expectations. A basic understanding of the difference can help you make a solid fertilizer choice.
Organics are usually plant or animal-based using manures and composted natural materials. They generally contain lower levels of nutrients but can nourish your cherry trees for longer periods of time. This option can also improve the surrounding soil.
Inorganics are manufactured with minerals and synthetic chemicals. The use of inorganic cherry tree fertilizers can result in larger fruits as well as a higher yield. However, they can also potentially contaminate nearby water sources and are often hazardous to children and pets if ingested.
Cherry Tree Fertilizer N-P-K
Cherry trees are happiest when they have access to the right combination of macro-nutrients such as nitrogen (N) – for healthy branches and leaves, phosphorus (P) – for a robust root system, and an abundance of blooms and potassium (K) – for durable resistance to disease.
Cherries are generally light feeders, so a 5-10-10 NPK is recommended for larger trees planted in the ground. However, if your tree is planted with other well-fertilized plants in your garden, chances are there is already enough nitrogen present in the soil. In this case, a 0-10-10 fertilizer will work well. In pots though, a higher percentage of nitrogen may be needed so look for a higher first number, like 5-5-2.
What Exactly Is N-P-K?
Every fertilizer label will display three numbers separated by dashes. These numbers are known as the N-P-K ratio of the fertilizer you’re using. Indicating the proportions of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in it, in that order. Example: 5-5-2 means 5% nitrogen, 5% phosphorus and 2% potassium. Every plant and tree requires these three elements in order to thrive but in different proportions or NPK ratios.
Best Cherry Tree Fertilizers Reviewed
Through personal insight and knowledge plus a whole load of research, I’ve put together my recommendations for the best cherry tree fertilizers on the market. Allowing you to make the right choice for your trees and give them the boost they need in no time at all.
The criteria is based on what I believe to be the best cherry tree fertilizers based on overall performance and results, ease of use, as well as taking into account customer reviews from the major retail platforms and forums.
I have found these tree spikes from Jobe’s Organics to be the easiest fertilizer choice. They’re cost-effective and very practical and will nourish a whole array of fruit trees, all season long, with just one application.
Being a slow-release choice, these spikes not only feed your cherry trees but also help to improve the quality of the soil around them with 100% natural ingredients. I’ve found that using these tree spikes can also benefit other plants growing nearby and there is no worry of harming any nearby water sources from possible contamination.
The 8-11-11 NPK is perfect for cherry trees that don’t require high doses of nitrogen. Patented with Biozome the result is lush, green foliage and bigger, better blooms. Making this our best buy. Check the latest price on Amazon.com.
How To Use: Water soil thoroughly for easier application. Distribute spikes evenly around your tree at the drip line. Sinking them 1-2 inches below the soil surface.
Customer Reviews: Across the gardening retail spectrum, customers have been amazed by the ease-of-use and results of this product. With the added bonus of being so economical, Jobe’s fruit and nut fertilizer spikes boast a global consumer rating of 4.7 / 5.
- Excellent value for money
- Only one application needed for the whole season
- Improves soil condition while fertilizing cherry trees
- Contains patented Biozome for a safe and eco-friendly process
- Needs to stored in a cool, dry place
Another cherry tree fertilizer from Jobe’s Organics now and this one offers a convenient granular option, in an easy-to-pour, resealable bag. Jobe’s trademark and patented Biozome formula will provide a boost of nutrients to your cherry trees while remaining environmentally friendly.
This feed type offers those beneficial microorganisms needed to dynamically break down the nutrients in each granule and carry nourishment to the roots for a healthy cherry tree. Improving soil quality and disease resistance with a low risk of root burn also remain key features. You can buy it online here on Amazon.
How To Use: Feed each tree with 3 cups of granules per 1” of trunk’s diameter, within the tree’s drip line. Apply once every 2-3 months, during the growing season.
Customer Reviews: According to several different retail sources, customers were very happy with this product’s ease of use and how quickly they saw results in trees that had shown little growth in years. Earning this granular version a rating of 4.5 / 5 stars.
- Fast results with ailing trees
- Can be worked into soil or applied as a diluted tea
- Resealable bag for easy pouring and storage
- Balanced N-P-K for use in containers or garden beds
- Over-feeding may result in less foliage and fewer blossoms and fruit
Dr. Earth Premium Fertilizer is indeed a ‘natural wonder’ for your cherry trees when it comes to fast results. Its granular TruBiotic formula releases organic microbes and mycorrhizae that contribute to getting nutrients directly to the roots. All while being safe for people and pets.
With a 5-5-2 NPK, this slow-release option works well in areas with less fertile soil, and little rainfall. The granules in this formula quickly create a nutrient-rich environment for lush foliage and plenty of fruit, whether you grow your cherries in containers or in the soil. Making it the perfect fertilizer for drought-tolerant areas or those with shorter growing seasons. You can buy Dr Earth Fruit Fertilizer here.
How To Use: For established cherry trees, work 1 cup of fertilizer into the soil within the drip line every three months throughout the growing season. When planting a new tree, add 2 cups to the planting hole and water thoroughly.
Customer Reviews: Gardeners can’t stop raving about just how fast they see results with Dr. Earth Fruit Tree Fertilizer. Trees that seem to be failing perk right up after one application. “Very good value for money.” at 4.5 / 5 stars.
- Fast results
- Works well in different types of environments
- Safe around people, pets, and wildlife
- Balanced N-P-K for use in containers or garden beds
- Unpleasant smell
Don’t let the name of this one fool you. Not only is Espoma Organic Citrus-Tone Fertilizer great for fertilizing citrus trees, but it also has the right N-P-K ratio for cherry trees too. With exclusive Bio-Tone microbes and nutrients, this is formulated to produce lush foliage and large, tasty fruits.
A slow-release, granular option, Espoma Citrus-Tone provides a long-lasting stream of health benefits to the entire tree as well as improving the surrounding soil quality. Totally free from chemical nasties, it provides peace-of-mind being an Eco-conscious gardening product.
How To Use: For cherry trees grown in containers: apply 2 tsps for every 4” of pot diameter. For established trees grown in the ground: Work one cup into the soil, evenly around the base of your tree, within the drip line. Repeat every 60 days from early spring to autumn.
Customer Reviews: Gardeners everywhere are loving this product. Not only for the high yield of fruit their trees are producing but for the overall health of the trunk, branches, and leaves. Definitely a repeat buy.
- High fruit yield and overall tree health
- Less product needed to achieve great results
- Well-suited to cherry trees as well as other fruits and nuts
- Frequent watering of potted plants may result in lost nutrients in the soil
- Repeat applications are recommended throughout the growing season
This Down-to-Earth fertilizer certainly lives up to its name. And again, while its presentation seems to focus on citrus, the 6-3-3 NPK formula indicates its nutritious reach across the gamut of fruit trees. It is outstanding as a citrus fertilizer but also very good for cherries. It is readily available to buy at places like Amazon.com and other top garden retailers, so you should check out the whole range from these guys. I’m a big fan as my regular readers will know.
At the forefront of the organic gardening movement the production of lush new growth, fragrant blossoms, and juicy fruits became the primary goal of the Down to Earth Company. Expertly combining secondary organic materials such as fishbone and kelp meal, calcium, and zinc to its primary NPK formula, this citrus mix has been a mainstay for fruit-growing gardeners all over the globe.
How To Use: Blend 1 cup of fertilizer into the soil for every 1” of trunk diameter, working outward from the trunk to the drip line. Then, water in thoroughly. Repeat 3-4 times per year starting in early spring.
Customer Reviews: Customers return to Down to Earth Citrus Mix year after year and enjoy consistent, eco-conscious results, even when over-feeding mistakes occur. Awarding this product a generous 4.8 / 5 stars.
- Certified by the OMRI for organic use
- Consistent results year after year
- Well-suited to cherry trees as well as citrus
- Follow manufacturers instructions to ensure this product remains people and pet friendly
How To Feed Cherry Trees
When determining how to feed your cherry trees, the primary goal should be to get the most beneficial nutrients to the roots in the most efficient and practical way for both you and your trees. Keeping in mind that a tree’s root system will extend out to, at least, its drip line, you’ll have an idea where to apply your chosen feed. As to how much, it’s best to refer to the product instructions.
When To Fertilize Cherry Trees
Knowing when to fertilize cherry trees is essential to the long-term health and performance of your trees. Of course, timing and proper dosage are key considerations and it’s best to establish these details prior to beginning any fertilization protocol. Most feeding schedules start in early spring and continue on through to the end of the growing season with the last feeding being applied in the fall.
How Often To Fertilize Cherry Trees
As we’ve seen, fertilizer spikes are easily applied once in early spring and last all through the growing season. But, there are cases where granular fertilizers are the way to go, such as in small garden plots or if you’re growing in containers.
Referring to the company’s instructions on how often to fertilize cherry trees is always the best way to go as the frequency and amount will vary from one brand to another. I’m always inclined to fertilize potted cherry trees every 4-6 weeks and every 2-3 months for larger trees planted in the ground.
Final Thoughts On The Best Cherry Tree Fertilizers
So, there we have it. As promised, a list of the 5 best cherry tree fertilizers discovered using years of experience in horticulture, together with extensive market research into customer feedback from all manner of retail sources and gardening forums.
Now, before you click on the provided links, think about where your cherry tree is located and the condition of your soil, to determine which NPK formula is best. It could be Jobe’s Organic Fertilizer spikes with their ease of use and long-term, slow-release benefits. Or perhaps, Dr. Earth natural wonders, for more flexibility when planting in pots and smaller garden beds. No matter which you choose, nurturing your cherry trees and giving them the boost they need is always a well-rewarded effort.