Cherry trees are popular among gardeners because of their rich foliage, spring blossoms, and of course, sweet fruits.
This blossoming tree doesn’t require as many nutrients as other trees, so you only need to add fertilizer occasionally.
Fertilizer is generally needed to replenish the nitrogen in your soil, which is responsible for thick, green foliage. While cherry tree fertilizer doesn’t significantly affect fruit production, it can help you grow a healthy, green tree.
If you’re wondering what’s the best cherry tree fertilizer, as well as when and how to fertilize your tree, you’ve come to the right place!
5 Best Cherry Tree Fertilizers
Best Overall Fertilizer for Cherry Trees
Dr. Earth Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Fertilizer 5-5-2
Dr. Earth’s Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Fertilizer features beneficial nutrients for your cherry tree, including feather meal, cottonseed meal, alfalfa meal, soft rock phosphate, mined potassium sulfate, and much more.
- 5-5-2 NPK ratio that’s perfect for less fertile soil
- For use on a wide variety of trees
- Safe for pets
- Not the best smell
Best Easy-To-Use Fertilizer
Jobe’s Organics Fruit and Citrus Fertilizer Spikes
The Fertilizer Spikes for Trees & Shrubs from Jobe’s Organics ensure a consistent supply of nutrients and minerals. The fertilizer has a low-odor, slow-release formula, which ensures your tree stays fertilized all season.
- Easy to use, no mixing or measuring required
- Eco-friendly formula
- Lasts all season
- Has to be stored in a dry place
Best Nitrogen-Boosting Fertilizer
FoxFarm Happy Frog Citrus & Avocado Dry Fertilizer
The FoxFarm Happy Frog Citrus & Avocado Dry Fertilizer comes with an N-P-K ratio of 7-3-3, making it apt for soil that needs more nitrogen. The fertilizer is specially made for citrus and avocado trees.
- OMRI Listed® for organic gardening
- Can be used for other citrus plants
- Slow-release nitrogen formula
- Takes a while to dissolve in water
Best Overall Fertilizer For High Fruit Yields
Espoma Organic Citrus-tone Citrus and Avocado Food
The Organic Citrus-tone fertilizer from Espoma is one of the best in the market if you want to have abundant fruits. The all-natural formula contains Bio-tone, Espoma’s proprietary blend of microbes.
- Ensures a high fruit yield
- Features a blend of beneficial microbes that aid growth
- Can be used for other citrus trees
- May need frequent application
Runner Up, Best Fertilizer For High Fruit Yields
Natural Guard Organic Fruit & Citrus Food 3-5-5
The Natural Guard Organic Fruit & Citrus Food is an organic fertilizer that comes with an NPK ratio of 3-5-5. The fertilizer provides plants with healthy nutrients, leading to a generous fruit yield.
- OMRI Listed® for organic use
- Aids healthy growth and promotes abundant harvests
- Balanced N-P-K ratio
- Be careful not to overuse
Types of Fertilizer for Cherry Trees
Manure and Organic Compost
Organic matter fertilizers are made from manure or compost and are the safest fertilizer for cherry trees. Though relatively low in nutrients compared to synthetic fertilizers, they can aid cherry tree growth for longer.
Organic compounds are also better for the soil and can improve its quality. One downside to organic cherry tree fertilizer made at home is you won’t know how much nutrients it contains.
Commercial fertilizers are a blend of nutrients, synthetic materials, and chemicals. Using a commercial cherry tree fertilizer can yield more fruits and a healthier tree.
However, this cherry fertilizer can potentially harm healthy soils if used too often and may contaminate water sources nearby. If you have pets, make sure they don’t accidentally ingest it.
Commercial fertilizers are available in different nutrient blends. When purchasing these fertilizers, check the ingredients so you get the ones you need.
Granules and Powders
Granular fertilizer is a concentrated but slow-releasing fertilizer that is mixed with the soil by adding it near your cherry tree trunk’s base. This cherry tree fertilizer can provide proper nourishment for eight to nine months.
Slow-releasing fertilizers are more eco-friendly since they aren’t likely to cause root burn.
Powder fertilizers provide ample nutrition but come with the risk of harming tree roots through root burn. They are economical and commonly used for large areas.
Fertilizer spikes are an easy-to-use cherry tree fertilizer that is slow-releasing and packed with nutrients. It’s useful for fertilizing multiple cherry trees.
This fertilizer is nourishing and comes with a low chance of root burn. Nutrients are injected into the soil with spikes and give your plant resistance to harmful pests and diseases.
Liquid Concentrate Fertilizer
Liquid concentrate fertilizer is diluted with water. It’s generally applied around the base of the trunk. This cherry tree fertilizer delivers nutrients quickly and keeps the soil’s pH level balanced.
Things To Consider Before Fertilizing
Type of Cherry Tree and Its Needs
There are different cultivars of cherry trees available such as trees that bear sour cherries or sweet cherries. Know the variety of cherry trees you’ll be growing so you can use the right kind of cherry fertilizer. Different cherry trees have (slightly) different needs.
Do a Soil Test
Cherry trees require well-drained, moist, and slightly acidic soil. A soil test will help you determine soil quality and check for deficiencies. It can help you choose the best cherry tree fertilizer.
Choose soil based on its properties. For example, clay soil won’t work as well since cherry trees require moist soil with good water retention. On the other hand, loam soil that is well-drained suits cherry trees the best.
Does It Require Macronutrients?
Soil supplies beneficial nutrients that aid healthy growth. Examples of useful nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. A deficiency in macronutrients can harm your plant’s health.
Knowing what your soil lacks will help you decide on the cherry fertilizer to use.
Does It Need Micronutrients?
Soil also supplies micronutrients like manganese, boron, iron, copper, zinc, etc. Depending on the result of your soil test, you can use your cherry tree fertilizer to add missing micronutrients.
The Cherry Tree N-P-K Ratio
The N-P-K ratio identifies the components of different fertilizers, helping you find the perfect fertilizer for your plant. It shows the percentage content of the fertilizer in terms of the volume of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
Most cherry trees are light feeders and don’t require too many nutrients in the soil. A 5-10-10 ratio is generally used for larger trees, though this can change according to the soil quality.
Gardens with well-fertilized soil don’t require nitrogen fertilizer, so a low-nitrogen fertilizer with a 0-10-10 ratio will suit them.
When to Fertilize Cherry Trees
If you’re using nutritious, well-drained, and fertile soil, you won’t need much fertilizer at the start. The only time you’ll need fertilizer is when your cherry tree begins bearing fruits. The best time to add fertilizer to the soil is early spring.
When it comes to cherry tree fertilizer, using it once a year is more than enough. However, it’s best to do a soil test to check if your soil has any macro or micronutrient deficiencies. If your soil is lacking minerals or nutrients, you can choose a fertilizer accordingly.
How to Fertilize Cherry Trees
Do a soil test before adding fertilizer. If there is a nutrient deficiency, you’ll need to buy the appropriate type of fertilizer.
How you use cherry tree fertilizer depends on the fertilizer you get. In general, you’ll want to spread the fertilizer uniformly around the tree. You can use water to dilute and administer it more easily.
Where to Put Fertilizer on Cherry Trees
Regardless of the variety of your tree and fertilizer, spread fertilizer evenly around the base of your tree. Avoid accidentally applying the cherry fertilizer on the trunk if it’s begun to grow.
Use the Best Fertilizers for the Best Cherry Trees
Cherry trees are long-lasting, easy to grow, and don’t require much maintenance. While growing them, use the right kind of cherry tree fertilizer that meets the needs of your tree. Using one of these best fertilizers for cherry trees means you can look forward to crops of juicy cherries to enjoy each year.
Fertilizing is just one part of caring for your tree. To learn more, visit our Cherry Trees page where you’ll have access to all our guides and blog posts about cherries and cherry trees.