I received a dwarf Montmorrency cherry tree last spring (March 2022). It had leaves and appeared healthy. I believe it was a few years old already. It only grew one cherry, though. I figured maybe I didn’t know how to take care of it.

In the winter I moved in inside and kept it indoors. It lost all its leaves, but the branches are still flexible. Now it’s spring in Nashville, and I moved it outside again. It doesn’t get full sun, but it still gets about 5 hours or so of afternoon sun (west facing balcony). Still it has no leaves. I pinched a bud and it’s very green and moist inside.

I recently moved it from the large plastic planter it came in and put it in a slightly larger pot. I inspected the roots, and they looked fine (but I’m no expert). I’m wondering if the tree will actually ever bloom again or if it’s going to die. Should I just wait? It has been unseasonably cooler in the area, but I’m concerned that no leaves at all means it won’t survive.

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Update: It's finally starting to bloom! Guess it's just late. I wonder if it'll actually have a chance to fully bloom, but either way, I'm happy that it isn't dead.

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1 Answer 1


Be patient. The buds having green is a good sign.

Depending how warm the area you stored it was, it's probably confused about the season and may or may not bloom and fruit due to inadequate chill hours. Several sources mention 700 chill hours being required for Montmorency.

If at all possible, plant into the ground.

  • Oh so for something like a cherry tree, I should leave it outside during winter so it goes dormant correctly?
    – CIFilter
    Commented May 7, 2023 at 15:12
  • 1
    If keeping it in a pot, it's safest if you dig a hole the size of the pot for the winter, so the roots have some moderation from the ground. The top definitely should be out in the cold ( unless you're in an area too cold for the plant, but that does not appear to be true for your location and this tree.) If you have ground you can plant it in, that's the best all around, but growing in a planter is possible, just limiting. If you only have a balcony for it, providing some insulation around the pot for the winter may help.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented May 7, 2023 at 15:28
  • Thank you! At the moment, I don’t have ground I can reasonably plant it in in the winter. I’ll see what I can do about insulating the pot. Given that it may not bloom or bloom late this season, should I just prune it back as usual in late winter and see what happens next spring?
    – CIFilter
    Commented May 7, 2023 at 15:31

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