My cherry trees have just given us our first fruits since being planted. I
have finished picking and need to prune the tree (or so I am told). As I
don't have any experience in pruning and wouldn't know a leader from a
politician, can someone help me out with a layman's guide to what I need to
merry Christmas all.
Hi Don. I was taught not to prune until the trees were dormant. That means
in the winter. Since we are having winter here, you are having summer down
there. I would wait until they are dormant. I was taught that if you prune
them before they are dormant, diseases and insects will have a way to get in
Next, I wouldn't prune them too hard if they are that young. I would take
out any dead wood on the tree, any limbs that are growing toward the ground,
any limbs that are growing toward the center of the tree, and any limbs,
that if left alone, would soon be rubbing against another branch that will
be more important to you later.
Within the next few years, you will need to look at the tree and see how it
is shaped. Then you will have to decide how you want it to look in 10
years. As you prune it, shape it the way you want it to be. You prune
above a bud pointed in the direction you want the tree to grow.
I have an apple tree that started out with 5 main center branches. You
aren't supposed to take out more than 1/3 of the tree at any one pruning, so
I took off the two smallest unwanted leaders. Then I put a brace on the one
I had selected for my best leader, to make it pull toward the center of the
tree. Within the next 2 or 3 years, I will have that branch the center of
the tree, the other 4 leaders will be gone, and it will be shaped like a
tree, not a funnel.
Have fun. Dwayne
I think a more important reason for not pruning unless the tree is dormant,
otherwise you are stimulating the tree to put out additional growth where you
don't wnat it (like suckers).
I believe that should be in any one season.
Otherwise I agree with most of what you say.
If the original poster wants more
detailed information, there is a slew of stuff on the internet. Just google
on 'pruning fruit trees', and lot's of references should pop up.
thanks for your input. The normal matters relating to pruning fruit trees
(such as when dormant), don't seem to apply to cherry trees from most of the
sites I have read on cherries due to some sort of winter disease/virus.
Hence my confusion.
I did further checking on the web myself and it seems that many sites are
different times of pruning for cherries than say apples. There is some concern
a disease called Silver Leaf, but that may be more for decorative cherry trees.
In any case, several sites recommend to prune the cherry tree in August, so the
pruning cuts will heal better. Apple trees, on the other hand are done in late
while the trees are still dormant. I guess the healing issue is more important
the issue of encouraging suckers. Again, there is plenty of material out there
web for 'pruning cherry trees'.
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