How old does a cherry tree have to be before it produces fruit?
Cherries usually start bearing fruit three or four years after planting. Sour cherry varieties vary in hardiness with a few reported growing in zone 2 or 3, several for zone 4 and most others suited for zones 5 to 9. They are self-fruitful so you only need one tree to produce fruit. A couple sweet cherry varieties will survive in zone 5 but most perform their best in zones 6 to 9. Most sweet cherries are self-unfruitful. You usually need two compatible varieties for pollination and fruit formation. All cherries are subject to late spring frost. This can damage the flowers and prevent fruiting. Too much nitrogen fertilizer can stimulate leaf and stem growth and discourage flowering and fruiting. Proper plant selection and care, cooperation from the weather and a little patience will be rewarded with a tasty harvest.