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Columned cherries (and columned fruit in general) are particularly practical when there is not too much space in the garden. The narrow and low-growing spindle or Bush trees can be cultivated both in the bed and in the pot and can even find a place on the balcony, terrace or roof garden. So nothing stands in the way of summer fruit enjoyment. The slender column cherries can also be used as a room divider, hedge or trellis tree. Many varieties are also self-fructifying and do not require a pollinator plant. In most varieties of Pillar Cherries, however, the yield increases if another plant (same or different variety) stands nearby.
What are pillar Cherries?
Pillar cherries are not their own botanical species, but a breeding form with a long Tradition. Already in the 19th century cherry trees were shaped and cultivated, which were narrower and smaller than the conventional species. This facilitates both the care and the harvest of the sweet sweet fruits. Nowadays, in spindle tree breeding, selection is refined with strong, straight main shoot and short side branches on weak-growing rootstocks. Thus, for different varieties, the breeding form “”pillar cherry”” results, which grows particularly narrow and only between two and four meters high.
The fruit wood starts with column Cherries directly on the trunk. In contrast to traditional cherry trees, which are often refined on a base of the strong-growing and robust bird cherry (Prunus avium), the most popular base for Pillar cherries is the variety ‘GiSelA 5’, itself a hybrid of Prunus cerasus and Prunus canescens. It is compatible with all modern sweet cherry varieties and is so weak-growing that the added Noble varieties remain up to two-thirds smaller than usual. Their wood is frost hardy and fructifies after three years of standing. Another popular base for Pillar cherries was for a long time the variety ‘Colt’. However, this is much stronger and less frost-resistant than ‘GiSelA 5’ and is therefore rarely used today.
Meanwhile, there is a large selection of column cherry varieties with different fruit sizes and ripening times. Common to all is the compact growth form, which makes the trees so interesting for limited garden areas. Due to the particularly narrow growth, the variety ‘Sylvia’ takes up very little space, but still yields large fruits in midsummer. Their naturally rather short shoots need only very rarely be pruned. The firm sweet cherries of the variety ‘Celeste ‘ ripen at the end of June. It prefers to stand in full sun and is a maximum of three and a half meters high. The pillar Cherry ‘Garden Bing’ is about two meters high. It drives only short side branches and can thus also be raised as a super slim pillar cherry. It is self-fertile and very resistant.
Also fruit Prunus ‘Sunburst’ and the heart-shaped ‘Lapins’are. Self-fructifying pillar cherries can stand as a solitaire in the garden or on the balcony. ‘Sunburst’ bears large, dark red, hardy fruits, which ripen in July. ‘Lapins’ grows relatively strongly and can grow up to five meters high. It should therefore be pruned regularly. ‘Jachim’ is a self-fertile sour cherry whose pleasantly sour fruits ripen in July. It can be raised columnar or as a multi-shoot bush tree. For the shape as a spindle tree, the side shoots must be cut regularly.