mazzard cherry flowers

Gold Cherry Planting, Care, & Propagation Guide.

Welcome to the world of growing Gold Cherry trees, where beauty and flavor come together in perfect harmony. Gold Cherry, also known as Prunus avium ‘Gold’, is a delightful variety that will add a touch of elegance to any garden or orchard. With its vibrant golden-yellow skin and juicy, sweet flesh, this cherry is a true gem among fruit trees.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a novice enthusiast, this article will guide you through the essential steps of successfully cultivating and caring for Gold Cherry trees. From selecting the right location to nurturing the tree through each stage of growth, get ready to embark on a rewarding journey of cultivating these golden treasures.

What are Gold Cherry?

Gold Cherry is a variety of cherry tree known for its beautiful golden-yellow fruit. It is a deciduous tree that typically reaches a height of 15-20 feet and spreads about 10-15 feet wide. The tree has a moderate growth rate and produces an abundance of medium-sized cherries that are firm and juicy. The Gold Cherry tree is self-fertile, meaning it does not require another cherry tree for pollination.

It blooms in early spring, showcasing clusters of fragrant white flowers that attract bees and other pollinators. The fruit ripens in late summer, transitioning from a pale yellow to a vibrant golden color. This cherry variety is highly regarded for its sweet and tangy flavor, making it perfect for fresh eating, baking, and preserving. The cherries have a firm texture, making them suitable for transportation and storage.

The Gold Cherry tree requires full sun exposure and well-drained soil to thrive. It is also known to be relatively disease-resistant, making it a low-maintenance option for gardeners. Overall, the Gold Cherry tree is a delightful addition to any garden or orchard, offering both aesthetic appeal and delicious fruit.

What do Gold Cherry taste like?

Gold Cherry is a variety of cherry known for its unique flavor profile. It is characterized by its sweet and tangy taste, making it a delightful treat for cherry enthusiasts. The flavor of Gold Cherry is often described as a perfect balance between sweetness and acidity.

When you bite into a Gold Cherry, you will first experience a burst of sweetness that is reminiscent of honey or caramel. This initial sweetness is followed by a subtle tanginess that adds depth and complexity to the flavor. The tanginess is not overpowering but rather complements the sweetness, creating a harmonious taste sensation.

The flavor of Gold Cherry is often compared to a blend of tropical fruits, with hints of pineapple and mango. This fruity undertone adds a refreshing and exotic touch to the overall taste. The cherry also has a slight floral note, which further enhances its flavor profile.

The texture of Gold Cherry is typically firm and juicy, providing a satisfying bite. Its vibrant golden color adds to its visual appeal, making it an attractive choice for both culinary and decorative purposes.

Whether enjoyed fresh as a snack, incorporated into desserts, or used in savory dishes, Gold Cherry’s flavor profile is sure to impress. Its unique combination of sweetness, tanginess, and tropical notes make it a standout variety among cherry enthusiasts.

How to start Gold Cherry from seed

Starting a Gold Cherry tree can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you successfully grow a Gold Cherry tree:

  1. Variety Selection: Choose a Gold Cherry variety that is suitable for your climate and growing conditions. Some popular Gold Cherry varieties include ‘Rainier’, ‘Goldrich’, and ‘Royal Ann’.
  2. Soil Preparation: Gold Cherry trees prefer well-draining soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. Amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility and drainage.
  3. Site Selection: Select a location that receives full sun for at least 6-8 hours a day. Ensure that the area has good air circulation to prevent diseases.
  4. Planting: Dig a hole that is wide and deep enough to accommodate the root system of the Gold Cherry tree. Place the tree in the hole, making sure that the bud union (if grafted) is above the soil level. Backfill the hole with soil, gently firming it around the roots.
  5. Watering: After planting, water the tree thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate any air pockets. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water deeply once a week, especially during dry periods.
  6. Pruning: Prune the Gold Cherry tree during the dormant season to remove any dead, damaged, or crossing branches. This will help improve air circulation and sunlight penetration, leading to better fruit production.
  7. Fertilizing: Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring before new growth begins. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate dosage. Avoid over-fertilizing, as it can lead to excessive vegetative growth at the expense of fruit production.
  8. Pest and Disease Management: Monitor the tree regularly for common pests such as aphids, cherry fruit flies, and cherry slugs. Use organic pest control methods or consult with a local horticulturist for suitable insecticides. Additionally, practice good sanitation by removing fallen leaves and fruit to prevent the spread of diseases like brown rot or cherry leaf spot.
  9. Pollination: Most Gold Cherry varieties require cross-pollination with another compatible cherry tree for optimal fruit set. Ensure that there is a compatible cherry tree nearby or consider planting a different cherry variety to ensure successful pollination.
  10. Harvesting: Gold Cherries are typically ready for harvest in late spring or early summer, depending on your location and the specific variety. Harvest the cherries when they are fully ripe, firm, and have developed their characteristic golden color.

Remember to be patient, as it may take a few years for your Gold Cherry tree to reach full fruiting potential. With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious Gold Cherries from your own backyard.

When to plant Gold Cherry outdoors

The ideal time to plant Gold Cherry trees is in the early spring or late fall. This allows the tree to establish its root system before the heat of summer or the cold of winter. Planting in early spring gives the tree a full growing season to establish itself before winter, while planting in late fall allows the tree to settle in and establish roots before the onset of winter dormancy.

Growing & care guide

Caring for Gold Cherry trees requires attention to several key aspects, including proper planting, watering, fertilizing, pruning, and pest control. Here are some best practices to ensure the health and productivity of your Gold Cherry tree:

  1. Planting: Choose a location that receives full sun for at least six hours a day. The soil should be well-draining, rich in organic matter, and slightly acidic with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.5. Dig a hole that is wide and deep enough to accommodate the tree’s root system, and ensure that the graft union (the swollen area where the tree was grafted onto the rootstock) is above the soil line.
  2. Watering: Gold Cherry trees require regular watering, especially during dry periods. Deep watering is essential to encourage deep root growth. Water the tree deeply once or twice a week, providing enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.
  3. Fertilizing: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring before new growth begins. Use a fertilizer specifically formulated for fruit trees, following the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates. Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilizers, as they can promote excessive vegetative growth at the expense of fruit production.
  4. Pruning: Pruning helps maintain the shape, size, and overall health of the Gold Cherry tree. Prune during the dormant season, preferably in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges. Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased branches. Thin out crowded branches to improve air circulation and sunlight penetration. Additionally, prune to maintain an open center or modified central leader shape, which allows for better fruit production and easier maintenance.
  5. Pest Control: Monitor your Gold Cherry tree regularly for common pests such as aphids, cherry fruit flies, and cherry slugs. Use insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils to control aphids, and hang yellow sticky traps to catch cherry fruit flies. Handpick and destroy any cherry slugs you find. Consider using organic pest control methods to minimize the use of chemical pesticides.
  6. Harvesting: Gold Cherries are typically ready for harvest in late spring to early summer, depending on your climate. Harvest the cherries when they are fully ripe, as they do not continue to ripen after being picked. Gently twist or cut the cherries from the stem, being careful not to damage the tree or the fruit.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your Gold Cherry tree thrives and produces an abundance of delicious cherries for you to enjoy.

Harvesting guide

The Gold Cherry is a delightful variety of cherry tree known for its golden-yellow fruit. Harvesting Gold Cherries requires careful timing and attention to detail to ensure the best flavor and quality. Here’s a step-by-step guide on when and how to harvest Gold Cherries:

  1. Determine the ripeness: Gold Cherries are ready for harvest when they have reached their full color and size. The cherries should have a rich golden-yellow hue and feel firm to the touch. Avoid picking cherries that are still green or have a reddish tint, as they are not fully ripe.
  2. Check the taste: Before harvesting, it’s essential to taste a few cherries to ensure they have developed their full sweetness and flavor. The Gold Cherries should have a balanced taste, not overly tart or bland. If they are still sour, give them a few more days to ripen on the tree.
  3. Choose the right time of day: The best time to harvest Gold Cherries is in the morning when the temperatures are cooler. This helps preserve the fruit’s quality and minimizes the risk of damage or bruising during handling.
  4. Use proper harvesting techniques: Gently hold the cherry stem between your thumb and forefinger, then twist and pull it upwards. Avoid pulling the cherries directly from the tree, as this can damage the branches or leave behind a portion of the stem, which may lead to spoilage.
  5. Handle with care: Place the harvested cherries into a shallow basket or container lined with a soft material, such as a towel or paper. Be careful not to stack the cherries too high, as the weight can cause bruising or crushing.
  6. Store properly: Gold Cherries are best enjoyed fresh, so it’s advisable to consume them as soon as possible after harvesting. If you need to store them, keep them in a cool place, such as the refrigerator, for up to a week. Avoid washing the cherries until you’re ready to eat them, as excess moisture can lead to spoilage.

Remember, the timing of the harvest may vary slightly depending on your specific climate and growing conditions. Regularly monitor your Gold Cherry tree and adjust the harvesting schedule accordingly. Enjoy the sweet and vibrant taste of your homegrown Gold Cherries!

Cody Medina
Small Scale Farmer
Hi there! I'm Cody, a staff writer here at The Garden Magazine and a small-scale farmer living in Oregon. I've been gardening most of my life and now live on a quarter-acre farmstead with chickens, ducks, and a big garden.