Prune fruit trees and spray pest control products when the leaves have fallen in early spring, late autumn or winter, and apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer regularly throughout the winter months to promote growth in the spring. To promote succulent fruit, water the tree when the top 2 inches of soil are dry, and water the tree deeply on occasion. Thin the fruit early in the growing season.
Young fruit trees require weekly watering from spring through fall, and occasional watering after the first frost of the season if the weather is very dry. Older fruit trees are watered once every 10 to 14 days during the growing season unless the weather is very hot or dry.
When the weather is very hot or dry during the summer, water the fruit trees more frequently by placing bubble-style or drip irrigation near the base of the tree, and place a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to conserve moisture.
Thin the tree when fruits reach 1 inch in diameter by breaking up clusters and allowing approximately 6 inches of space between each fruit on the branch. If cherries are dropping prematurely, thin large clusters. Otherwise, do not thin cherry trees. Harvest fruits from late summer to mid-fall, or whenever the fruits separate from the branch easily.