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I recently bought (by mistake) a variety of cherry tree (Ohio beauty) that is not self-pollinating. I live in the city, in the 15th floor, and I have a large balcony on which I want to grow a few potted fruit trees (for instance, I already have a lemon tree and a dwarf pear tree).

I could probably return the tree. However, I am considering a second option. If I were to buy a second (dwarf, self-pollinating) cherry tree, would that give a reasonnable chance to get cross pollination with the Ohio beauty one? And if so, any particular variety I should chose or avoid?

As a side note to that question, I realized that the Ohio beauty cherry tree I bought is also not a dwarf variety. If I put in say a 100L pot, with otherwise good conditions (watering, fertilizer, good exposition), would it be reasonnable to expect the cherry tree to grow healthily? (not expecting a miraculous yield, of course).

  • Just to be sure: Have you calculated the weight of your filled containers, including wet soil and plants, and doubled-checked whether your balcony can handle this weight? – Stephie May 3 '20 at 21:49
  • @stephie your comment worried me for a moment, but after checking it should be fine. my other dwarf trees are in well-drained 45L pots, and turn out to be quite light. 100L should be fine, though maybe just to be safe I might pick something a bit smaller. – Max May 4 '20 at 7:25
  • Good! Always better to check than be sorry afterwards. – Stephie May 4 '20 at 7:26
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For cross-pollination, you need to have a compatible tree that flowers at the same time as your tree. I found this handy site for all cross-pollinator needs that gives a large list of matches for your Ohio Beauty. It's from a UK plant nursery so some of the trees may not be hardy in your area (unless, of course, you're from the UK). The only note-worthy variety on the list that I recognize is Morello, but I live in an area where essentially only Montmorency sour cherries are reliably hardy, so that's no surprise.

As for your second question, limiting the root growth will dwarf your tree, but it may also negatively affect its health. And @Stephie's advice is very relevant. When you tested the weight of your current trees, did you test them while dry or after a 3" rainfall? To get an accurate weight, the wetter the pots, the better.

  • I weighted my 45L pots right after watering them, with water still in the cup. They did not weigh more than 20kg each. For the larger 100L pot, I figure that at worse it could weigh up to 100kg (if it were literally full of water). That would be similar to the weight of a heavy person (I'm 80kg myself), and so well within the safety range (which is 350kg/sqare meter, and my balcony is 9 square meters). – Max May 4 '20 at 14:13
  • Thanks for the answer. I will wait a little bit before accepting, because the link you posted (which I also found) does not include dwarf varieties (the ones I saw are called "Cherry me"; but maybe that's also a matter of rootstock more than variety). Anyway it does look like it may not be a very good idea to keep the tree, like I feared... – Max May 4 '20 at 14:17
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    The type of tree (dwarf, semi-dwarf or standard) doesn't matter when it comes to cross-pollination because "dwarfing" is a factor of rootstock. – Jurp May 4 '20 at 23:31
  • I see, thank you! – Max May 5 '20 at 8:16

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