Sour Cherry Tree – Albaloo
Sour Cherry trees, contrary to their counterpart cherries, produce smaller and pleasantly tart fruits that do not require much cold to produce in even mild Winter climates like in Los Angeles and Orange County. The tree provides beautiful white blossoms and an abundance of fruit. The fruit ripens in the Summer, becoming dark red and tart.
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General Plant Information
‘Albaloo’ (البالو) – Sour Cherry tree is a compact, self-fruitful tree that produces consistently in mild Winter climates.
Sour Cherry Tree
A relatively small tree that can easily be managed to stay under 10 ft tall. In hot dry climates such as Los Angeles, Sour Cherry trees thrive in areas with morning sun and afternoon shade to protect from intense sun and heat. Our nursery has been growing this type of tree in Los Angeles for over 15 years and it has been a very consistent producer.
Originating from the Middle East, the Sour Cherry tree produces dark red to almost black tart and juicy fruit that is great for cooking and sometimes eaten fresh when fully ripe. It is a small beautiful tree with white blossoms.
Sour Cherries have been a popular type of cherry for Iranians for many years. It’s impossible for Persians to not have fond childhood memories of enjoying these deliciously tart cherries by the handful. Sour Cherries, unlike regular cherries, are smaller in size and have a pleasant tart flavor.
Sour Cherries in Iran are referred to as Albaloo and are used in a variety of Persian recipes.
Growing Sour Cherry Trees
Trees are dormant in the Winter and do not need additional water at this time. Make sure not to water Sour Cherry trees too frequently, especially while dormant. Begin watering the Sour Cherry tree once the plant leafs out in the Spring. As it warms up in the Summer, the frequency should be increased. Create good watering wells above ground, so that water collects and is available for the plant’s root zone.
Plant Sour Cherry trees in the full sun where Summers are mild such as near the coast and areas that are not extremely hot. If planted in hot inland climates, it helps to plant where the tree will receive morning sun and afternoon shade. Larger trees can provide this shade to protect the Sour Cherry Tree from sunburnt leaves during heat waves. Shade also reduces water needs due to a lower temperature around the tree.
Fertilize organically in the Winter with flower and bloom fertilizers, and manure to promote blossoms in Spring. Use an organic fertilizer with more nitrogen to promote growth in the Spring and Summer.
Organic horticultural oils like Volck and Neem Oil are great for natural Winter dormant spray for pest management. Sour Cherry trees are easy to grow and relatively low maintenance.
In the home orchard, plant trees about 10 feet apart, and trim them to stay between 8 – 15 feet tall. In a commercial farm, trees are spaced 15 feet apart with 20 feet rows are machinery. These trees are grow to 25 feet tall. Trees can become almost 40 feet tall in nature.
Standard and Semi-Dwarf Form: Our trees are grown in Standard and Semi-Dwarf forms. A Standard tree grows tall because the tip continues to grow. The tip of a Semi-Dwarf tree has been cut about 2 feet from the ground, therefore the tree has a shorter branching structure for easy picking.
Additional InformationHarvest Time : Summer
Bloom Color : White
Bloom Time : Spring
USDA Hardiness Zones : 4-10
Plant Type: Deciduous
Chill Hours: Less than 100
Pollination: Self-Fruitful / Self Pollinating
Soil and Planting: Plant in soil that drains well. Dig a hole that is as deep as the tree’s roots and at least twice as wide.
Place the tree in the hole and backfill around the plant’s roots with a mixture of the native soil and high-quality planting mix that has washed sand and organic fertilizer.
Create a basin around the roots drip zone so that water collects. Water deeply until the roots and nearby soil is saturated and reaches field capacity.
Plant Care Information
How To Water - Frequency and Duration to Irrigate
Newly planted trees should be watered regularly to establish well. The frequency of irrigation and quantity of water mainly depends on the season of the year, soil type, and size/age of the tree.
Frequency to water
Discontinue watering in the Winter while the tree is dormant.
Begin to water weekly as the tree breaks bud and leafs out in the Spring.
Increase the frequency of water to twice per week in the Spring.
Water 2-3 times per week during the hot Summer months.
Reduce irrigation frequency to 1-2 times per week in the Fall.
Stop watering your tree in the Winter while it is dormant.
You may need to water sandy soils more frequently but less quantity because of sand’s lower water holding capacity.
Water Duration – Quantity of water
Drip System – 30- 60 minutes
Sprinkler – 15 – 25 minutes
PVC Bubbler – 5 – 7 minutes
Hose – Flood the trees watering well until the soil surrounding the tree’s roots reaches field capacity.
Fertilizer and Plant Nutrition
Fruit trees and edible plants need nutrients to grow. This is called fertilizer and it comes in different forms. Use organic manure, bone meal, blood meal, and humus based fertilizers. Apply fertilizers like manure along with a bone meal, humus based phosphorus fertilizer (1-2-2) NPK ratio in the late Winter, right before spring growth. Reapply with organic high nitrogen (2-1-1) or fertilizers with a 1-1-1 NPK as directed by the label during the Spring and Summer growing season. Do not fertilize in the Fall, new growth at this time will be thin, lanky, and weak.
Winter Pruning and Summer Thinning
Prune fruit trees in the Winter to maintain size and shape to prepare for Spring growth. Thin the tree in the Summer, and remove excess fruits. Remove any dry twigs and branches. Cut off any new growth below the graft or very low in the tree, this will direct the plant’s energy to its main branches. Thin your trees during the Spring and Summer seasons to ensure the plant’s energy is directed as desired. If the plant provides an overly large quantity of fruits for that branch, reduce the quantity of fruit so that what remains grows larger. This will also prevent broken limbs. Harvest ripe fruit to prevent undesired pests.
Harvesting and Pest Management
The basics of integrated pest management is cleanliness and the use of a combination of methods. This means we use an organic pesticide when the pest population reaches a threshold that requires action. Horticultural oils such as Neem oil is an organic pesticide that controls tiny, soft bodied insects. Use organic Bordeaux and Liqui-cop to manage fungus causing diseases such as powdery mildew, rust, and leaf-curls.
Keep a clean environment, free of weeds and dropped fruit that host insects or attract animals. Harvest when fruit reaches size and store indoors. Use repellants and bird netting to protect your harvest from other animals.
Limited Guarantee and Returns
The two factors that determine if a deciduous fruit trees will grow well and produce fruit in a certain area are the Chill Hour Requirement and the Cold Hardiness. “Chill hours” are the amount of cold a deciduous fruit tree need to produce fruit. This is measured in the number of hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit a plant must experience during its winter dormancy. Paradise Nursery only grows Low Chill fruit trees that meet the chill requirements of all areas of the United States.
The second factor is Cold Hardiness. Cold Hardiness refers to the minimum temperature a plant can tolerate. The USDA’s Cold Hardiness Zones indicate the average minimum winter temperatures of areas. Based on the shipping zipcode, our website will only allow you to add plants to your cart that grow within your USDA Hardiness Zone, and tolerate your climate.
Pollination & Propagation
(Grafting/Cutting) Most of Paradise Nursery’s edible plants are self-fruitful. Self-pollinating trees do not require an additional tree to produce fruit. For your convenience, we have indicated which trees require a pollinator, and their associated pollinators. Only the sweet cherries, avocados, and some plums require a pollinator. All of our other propagated edible plants do not require a pollinator. All of our edible plants are either grown from cuttings, budded, or grafted. This way, we can ensure that our plants are high quality and fruit immediately. Plants will generally begin fruiting within a year of planting.