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we would like to plant a cherry tree in our backyard for the fruit and the shade. what would be the proper kind to purchase,we like sweet cherries.

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I would not recommend planting a fruit tree for the purpose of shade. When fruit trees grow tall, harvest is difficult and pest management is nearly impossible. Therefore, I would recommend that you plant dwarf fruit trees in a full-sun area.

Shade trees are very valuable landscape assets, but select wisely. The USU Extension publication titled "Selecting and Planting Landscape Trees" is available in county Extension offices and online at http://extension.usu.edu/forestry/HomeTown/Select_SelectionandPlanting.htm

This publication is a very useful tool as you go shopping for a tree; you may find one at the nursery that appeals to you but you're not sure how long it will live. This booklet includes that information, plus how fast the tree will grow, whether it produces and drops fruit or seeds, whether it flowers or has good fall color, and much more useful information.

If you would like a shade tree that will produce an edible crop, consider growing a nut tree, like English walnut, butternut, or Chinese chestnut. Nut trees grow tall and have much less pest problems than traditional fruit trees.

Posted on 23 Apr 2007

Maggie Wolf
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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