The ‘Bali’ cherry tree in our front yard is weighed down with hundreds of big, sour cherries. Birds love these cherries even more than people do, so some kind of cherry tree protection is necessary if I want any cherry pie this summer. As I discovered the first couple of years we had the tree, the birds will clean it out in a single day the moment the cherries get ripe.
This covering is a jerry-rigged affair involving row cover and a couple of pieces of bird netting clipped together with my new favorite tool—spring-fired clamps, which I bought at the local big box.
Also called ‘Evans’ cherry, ‘Bali’ is a dwarf tree, so it is not expected to get more than 10 to 15 feet tall. It’s a result of Canadian research and is considered one of the best fruit trees for northern gardens. Mine is about 6 feet tall at four years in the ground (planted from a tree in a 1 gallon pot). It’s a very healthy tree. I never spray it and only occasionally give it some fish emulsion fertilizer. The wire around the base is to protect the trunk from voles. ‘Bali’ is known for its amazing production of cherries, with mature trees producing up to five 5-gallon pails of fruit each year. Last year was the first year I harvested any cherries off the tree, and got more than 15 cups. This year, the branches are drooping under the big load of green cherries on them. Going by last year’s date, I expect to pick them around the 15th of July.
The funny thing is, just as they did last year, the birds in our yard raised a huge ruckus after we put the cherry tree protection on. The squawking was deafening, which makes you wonder how much they know. They won’t starve, however. We have a bumper crop of highbush cranberries and lots of berries on the new cotoneaster I planted in our backyard. Let them eat berries!
Barb Ogilvie says
I have a Bali Evans cherry tree, and I am researching wheither the leaves can be used in teas?
Mary Schier says
I’ve never heard of eating any part of the cherry tree, other than the cherries. Interesting.
C Rutherford says
Just getting into cherry trees. I have one I planted several years ago which has reached an enormous height- about 20 feet high or more. I was oblivious to the required pruning until recently. Its producing cherries, but the birds are snapping them up green, before they even ripen. I haven’t seen a single one drop to the ground, nor ever tasted one- they vanish as fast as they come.
I’ve since bought a Black Tartarian and Evans Bali this spring. Both had a few green (unripened) cherries on them in-the-pot before planting, but the birds have already wiped them clean also.
Its disappointing for sure. I’m looking at ways to deter them….. the first tree is far to big to net.