This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
We have found great pleasure in the cultivation of dwarf cherry-trees, and observe others are planting them. Cherries, as bushes on the mahaleb stock, root pruned, should be planted four feet apart. The root pruning should be done towards the end of September, and will be facilitated if the bushes are planted on a little mound. Dig a trench round the tree, and introduce the spade- below, to cut off all the perpendicular roots; thus, all the spreading roots are shortened, precisely as is done with dwarf pears; this may be done with a knife, and the ends brought to the surface, previously filling in the trench with light, friable soil, and covering with the soil taken out of the trench; no dung, or manure of any kind, is required, as this stock flourishes on the poorest soils. Some short litter, or half-decayed leaves will, however, be of much benefit, placed on the surface, near the stem. If not root-pruned, they should be six or eight feet apart, as they are very apt to get large and lose the character of dwarfs; great attention should be given to pinching the new growth to within three or four buds of the old wood, leaving the leading shoots untouched till the middle or end of August, when they must be shortened to eight or ten buds.
The three varieties, or groups, those of the habit of the Morello tribe, the Bigar-reau family, including the Heart Cherries, and those of the compact habit of the May Duke, should be planted in separate rows. For potting, and forcing, cherries on the Mahaleb stock, are highly eligible, as they do not gum, and are very prolific. They are often infested with aphides and ants, but we have not found these insects injurious to any great extent. B.