Popping the Backyard Cherries


The cherry trees in the backyard are in their prime and glory, with blooms tumbling off tiers of branches, and petals falling delicately in the wind. In the warmth and sun, they don’t last as long, but the trade-off for the fine weather is more than worth it. I planted this tree when we first moved into our home. Barely five feet tall then, it soon shot up and out. Ten years later it’s about twenty-five feet taller (and in dire need of further pruning, but not until these beautiful blossoms fade).

This is a single-flowered cherry tree, and one of the earliest. It flowers before most of the foliage leafs out fully, lending it an aspect of elegance as the blooms are held starkly against branch and sky. It begins white, changing gradually to the slightest shade of the lightest pink toward the end of its blooming cycle. Fruit – inedible for most folks – will appear later in the season, but it usually gets eaten by the birds before the fall. (In fact, I’ve never seen fruit on the tree once the leaves have fallen, and most is picked off before it’s even ripe.)

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