Long summer days, cool nights, and a mostly dry season are ideal conditions for growing fruit trees.
Fruit trees require freezing or close to freezing temperatures during the winter, but generally need
at least 150 days between the last spring frost and the first fall frost so that blossoms are not
damaged in spring and so that the fruit will mature in the fall.
Cherries have a fairly narrow range of adaptability, however they are
very popular home-grown trees and can be found in most growing areas in California. Cherries do
in areas with full sun and well-drained soils at least 4 feet deep. Plant in unshaded areas as
much as possible to prevent diseases. The best soils are fertile, deep sandy loam soils, free
or salinity. Avoid sandy, high clay, or shallow soils. Cherries cannot tolerate soils without drainage
whether from hardpans, claypans, or saturated soil conditions. For optimum production they require
moderate summer temperatures because in high summer temperature areas, the fruit tend to double
or spur. Cherries will not be productive in foggy coastal areas because of disease problems.
require between 800 and 1,200 chilling hours. They bloom late so tend to be less injured by late
Do not plant in low spots or areas that flood frequently. Do not plant trees too close together,
as this may cause poor growth.
Avoid low areas that accumulate water